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I Kan't Spell



Tuesday, October 07, 2003

 
The Cosmic Clash of the Red Sox and Cubs

I'm a Baltimore boy. I don't lay claim to any other city and I don't like being away from my city for a long time. I go to other people's dwellings and I just don't feel the same. Now Baltimore is no great shakes but when you live somewhere you tend to find the beauty from time to time.

I'm sure you all know we have only two professional sports teams in our city. We have the dismal and abysmal and utterly ulcer causing Orioles and the overachieving, stabber harboring, over-rated defense, home of the NFL's most sissy fans, Ravens. This is all we have. We aren't big enough or rich enough to support basketball or Hockey. I support my squads no matter how many times they break my heart and make me angry (It's somehow even sadder that they do break my heart and make me angry. But thus is the life of the underachiever and his quest for relief and escape through mass entertainment.) Now the Ravens did win the most coveted title in sports 3 years ago and the Orioles were a dominant team no more than 5 years ago. But, if your squad doesn't do it every year it seems as though the heart breaks just the same. This heartbreak leads to daily pain when you check the scores or Espn power ranking and always see your team in the bottom percentile. There is pain when you don't get anymore Monday night games. There is pain when your number one pitcher gets traded for 2 minor leaguers that you'll never hear from. There is pain when you hear the term "rebuilding process". For the people of Boston and Chicago however, there lies pain in a stronger form.

Now both Boston and Chicago have laid claims to world champions in the past decade. Chicago has had it's Bulls and the occasional Blackhawk victory. Despite the Bears horrible string of events they have not starved for sports supremacy. Boston, being part of New England have managed to appear in two super bowls over the past 8 years and eked out one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history. While the Bruins and Celts haven't really lived up to par standards the fans of Boston have still managed to dance in the streets a couple times in the past decade.

Now I know some people who think that our national sport is quickly changing into football. There is no doubt that the short, intense, violent, evenly matched season has weighed itself on the American psyche. It has made us feel as though every Sunday a small war being waged in places like Lambeau field. I find myself rising up every Sunday in hopes of a miracle, of bliss, of pure instant gratification that is all consuming and brings a just verdict of defeat or victory. Despite these mediaecntric soma pills and our new lust for hyped up cameras and violence, I am one who still believes our national sport is played between two chalked lines that lead to two yellow polls. I believe in strange baseball stadiums where walls jut out, pitchers warm up right next to the first basemen, fans are invovled by flying projectiles, teams sign powerful lefties because they have a short porch in right. This game of baseball is our national pastime.

Baseball differs from football in so many ways. Football is intense. It involves critical decision making every play. It has the constant possibility of bodily harm. It has cheerleaders. It is rigidly timed and involves such plays as the "Blitz", "Bomb", and "Shotgun". Baseball is passive and spacial. It has no time limit. You have no idea when it will end. It is considered, besides tennis, as the mainstream gentleman's sport. It has nothing to do with the brutality and media savy puppet that has become football. For those of us who love baseball and football alike, ask us what we would rather see throughout an entire season. I don't think baseball would be in the majority, but I do think it would be in the majority of those people who take their cities, sports, and leisure passionately. The people who love the game of baseball get to watch a team grow. They get to see the youngsters come up in September to make something magical happen. They get to watch the slumps, the hot streaks, the aura of the past arise in impossible records that were never meant to be shattered. It is the utopian melting pot that holds our nationalities and creeds under one roof of rules and regulations that all are forced to abide by. It has more legends and heroes than any other sport and the generation coming to power now all played at least tee ball when they were little. Our current president owned a baseball team and every year you see the man who lives in the white house throw out the first pitch somewhere in America. It is still our nations games depsite the hype of the moguls.

Most of us know the tragedy that has faced the Cubbies and BoSox over the last 85 years. Boston has the curse of the Bambino while Chicago has their famous goat and Charlie Root's jawing. The boSox have lived through Buckner's ball and Bucky Dent's bomb. The cubbies, while less prolific, have had to struggle through the confines of Wrigley and their curse to find a pitching staff in conjunction with underdeveloped teams that hurt for so many years because of horrible ownership and penny pinching. If I were to root for one team or the other I root for the Cubs. Reason 1) Boston is in Baltimore's division 2) I love Sammy Sosa.

Last night I watched the BoSox clinch the ALDS over the boring A's. I felt something good about seeing them win. Robert Frost once said, "You know a true baseball fan by asking them one question, How do you feel about the Yankees? If their response is anything but love or hate then they are not a true fan". There is no bigger rival to the Yankees than the BoSox. To hopefully watch them get even with the baseball Gods by beating the hated Yankees would be true justice. And if they fell short one more year then it would only lend itself to the msytique that is baseball. Watching Boston win last night I felt a weird sense of camaraderie with all those fat visor wearing people at Jillians right next to the Dig. I felt like we bonded in some way. Two nights prior to that I watched the Cubs clinch against the bloated and lack luster Braves. Again a swelling came to me. A flush of blood and pride. A pride that I had for some sort of Baseball god (and if you play the game you know somewhere there is a baseball God) that was finally doing the right thing for all us people on Earth. He was going to make it possible for the cosmic collision of the Cubs and Red Sox.

This is the moment that every baseball has been witing for. The ideal series. Every man in America has his fingers crossed somewhere for it to happen. They have them crossed for a game 7 with a boot or a bomb to decide the whole thing. They want to see Pedro drag his dying arm off the mound in a game 7 relief appearance after striking out Sammy Sosa with the bases loaded. Ot they want to see Sammy's traditional hop and jog as he crushes another one out onto the alley. I root for this game to happen. I root for it because it will help this game bring people back. It will give the media something to play with and bring the fans that have strayed to the brutality of football back into the motherly fold that is baseball.

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The Cosmic Clash of the Red Sox and Cubs
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