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Big Game

Well, and Pedro meets Clemens tonight for the pennant. This is something we won't see again, baseball fans. Mr. Career Value (and quite possibly the best Career Value in a hundred years) against Mr. Peak Value (who may well clutch his shoulder after any pitch, be carried off the field, and never play ball again). Neither of them are at their absolute best this year, but if Grandaddy says he saw Lefty Grove pitch against Walter Johnson, do you ask whether they were having their best years? And the Rocket is having a better year than the Train did in 1927, and Pedro's ERA this year is better than Lefty's was in 1927.

And then there's the whole Sox/Yankees thing, which even more than usual has the class undertones. A tuxedo-clad Yankee team faces a cowboy-booted Sox team that shaves the tops of their heads but not their chins. The Yankees, you feel, are most likely to be indicted for insider trading, while the Sox are more likely to be beaten by off-duty cops in a bar brawl. And, you know, the Sox. The Yankees. Bucky Fucking Dent.

So. I'm not predicting a pitcher's duel—heck, I'm not predicting anything, except that Clemens is unlikely to wear Ninja Turtle shoelaces. Enjoy the game, y'all.

Redintegro Iraq,

Why couldn't McCovey have hit the ball just ONE foot higher?


aside from that, i watched the marlins/cubs, i watched mark prior and kerry wood both fall apart on the field, and remembered livan hernandez staying in a long time in the series last year, and there was dusty in the dugout.

Yeah, the way the Marlins-Cubs series played out was _eerily_ similar to the way the Angels-Giants series played out last year.

Now only Pedro and the Red-Socked Cowboys of Boston stand between baseball fans and the ultimate horror: a Yankees-Marlins World Series. Though, to give the Fish their due, they've held their ground while better teams than they have crumbled over their very heads. And Pudge Rodriguez . . . wow!

oops i'd write something back but fox has just broken in with the news: new york and boston are officially at war!

wow. i'm. really. glad. pedro. showed. new. york. he. could. beat. them. himself.

i know i'm angry, it's not healthy to be so angry. i was screaming at pedro to leave the field in the 8th inning. they had it. they had the lead, the bullpen to keep it, but, in my opinion, the red sox showed the same fault that the cubs and the A's showed: in the end, the clear-headed attitude, the team attitude, evaporated, they weren't playing together.

as far as i'm concerned the two teams that made it through played together better than the other 6 teams. i can't make myself watch the world series, having rooted against both teams all the way through, but i give them credit for staying smart.

willis and cabrera and company: have a good time kicking butt in yankee stadium!

everybody played really well. this is the first time in my life i ever followed a team through the whole season and then into (and past) into the playoffs. it was fascinating.

the most intreresting thing was watching the teams play under normal pressure, and under post-season pressure. during the post-season all of the teams i watched had trouble keeping their brains and bodies together, which was generally not a problem during the year. i have the feeling that the yankees dominate as they do when the season's over because the franchise reputation smothers the players' egos. the team's reputation seems to me to take on the moderating role of a long term plan.

so what i'm partly taking away from this is that long term plans are very hard to formulate and do not strike people as important because it is rare that they are tested. ordinarily what you're doing isn't hot enough that you need to think about it beforehand, to make sure you don't get out of control.

i'm not talking about the planning the owner and the general manager and the manager do. i'm talking about the link between the planning staff and the doing staff in the heat of the game. as we increase the heat, the connection between thought and action keeps on melting until it completely breaks.

another thought: i'm sad that the series between boston and new york had to happen at all. i don't feel like the two cities have properly dealt with the 9/11 relationship. this sports rivalry is so powerful, did it help?

and, though i see how engaging the brain with numbers and combinations is a good thing, i don't understand how getting emotionally involved in a competition in which the rules remain the same for years is a preparation for reality. both the competition and the constant guidelines are false, aren't they?


You speak to my condition.

I'm actually leaning toward giving up watching playoff baseball because it's depressing. The teams are so good, little differentiates them in the course of a short series except luck and the errors of judgment or performance induced by pressure. And it's just sad to watch people of great talent and dedication struggle against one another until someone breaks down. I'm at the point now where I've seen, I think, all the different ways those breakdowns happen, so I don't feel much interest in watching the spectacle continue to repeat itself.

Re: i don't understand how getting emotionally involved in a competition in which the rules remain the same for years is a preparation for reality. both the competition and the constant guidelines are false, aren't they?

It's not good preparation for reality in this sense, no. I would say, however, that the problem is not that one shouldn't become emotionally involved in a competition with fixed rules, because one _will_ become emotionally involved in all kinds of things. Rather, I would say that one should recognize one's emotional involvement in sport not as a training ground for judgment in reality, but as a training ground for governing one's emotions in reality.

The emotional involvement in competition can be valuable preparation for reality only insofar as it is treated as something to be tempered into what I would call sportsmanship: learning to win graciously and lose gracefully; learning to respect the game more than you value winning; learning that, really, it's not good to get so emotionally involved with a game so that you seek to master those emotions -- not to eliminate them, because we shouldn't stop feeling, but to keep them in perspective so that they don't run/ruin your life.

I find it increasingly disturbing that coverage of professional sports seems to endorse a fanatical investment in team spirit and a focus upon the desirability of being free to celebrate wildly when you win!! Gestures of sportsmanship on the part of fans are honored when they happen, but they aren't really encouraged by much of the coverage that sport receives.

There's playoff baseball?

Thank you,

I hear there's _something_ being played just now. Maybe it's an exhibition series?

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