Halloween Month (Oct) gives way to Thanksgiving Month (Nov) as those of us in the We Love Baseball Society are positively giddy. Our National Pasttime rewards our devotion with oodles of examples why we….. Love Baseball.
JOY has gone AWOL on Chicago’s North Side and on Raleigh’s West Side like Casey’s mythical Mudville…. First lets deal with local matters.
Downeast…. “Scotty Mo”, or whatever they call him, notches an elusive W while Pirate fans take a greater pleasure watching an entire Marching Band STAND while asking “Jose, Can You See”. The jury is still out…. because of, or in spite of, Chancellor Cecil Staton’s efforts. We still believe Cecil The Chancellor is doing his best to blow out the flare of angry snowflakes’ discord.
Over bowls of lasagna and unlimited garlic bread…. Wuff loyalists at Amedeo’s on Western Blvd are assembling torches and pitchforks AGAIN. Yea verily, Dave Who From Where is apparently NOT The Answer.
A grumbling chorus of “Won’t You Come Home Bill Cowher” rises above The Hindenburg Hangar at The Fairgrounds.
If not Our Boy Bill then perhaps Les Miles or Manny Diaz or (the usual trio of) Nick Saban, Bill Belichek, and Urban Meyer. Losing to THE WORST Team in modern ACC History without Doug Flutie, Matt Ryan or Luke Kuechly and doing so ingloriously “at home” means Kay’s sister’s – a/k/a Frau’s – e-mail in-box is overflowing with suggestions.
When the clock strikes November and your team is not yet “bowl eligible” ….. suggestions from the disgruntled multitudes take on a nasty tone. The Raging Yahoos of a disgruntled fan base never run out of “suggestions”. How long before Frau flashes that Wuff finger thingy and gives Dave Who From Where the dreaded Vote of Confidence?
If only Bambard’s kick had …… “if only” indeed.
Meanwhile the (Not Very) Big (Not Even) 12 is assured of Not Having a Final Four participant this season. As the odor of The Briles Era lingers, Jim Grobe suffers his first L as leader of Waco’s Bears. …. and embattled Charlie Strong “makes it to November”.
Speaking of Art Briles, has his name come up in Amedeo’s backroom ….. yet? Surely Pack SuperFan Bre’r Kennel would NOT approve of Art Briles. Wait a minute, considering Bre’r love affair with a certain POTUS candidate, maybe he WOULD be all in for Art Briles too.
The Fighting Dabos prove the value of “nap rooms”….. “mini golf” and “sand volleyball courts” by thumping The Jimbos.
Mr Jefferson’s Hoos “almost” bring joy to The Lawn by almost upsetting Louisville. When “almosts” are celebrated your school is NOT a Juggernaut.
Amid those towering pines the Fedorians take their annual “extra week to prepare for the triple option”…. As Bubba, Chihuahua and several million $$$$-worth of legal muscle go “behind closed doors” with The NCAA AGAIN. I have this image of Chancellor Chihuahua – bedecked in her lapel ribbons and holding a votive candle – reminding the NCAA goons “I’m from Dartmouth”.
For all their trips to Indianapolis in recent years, UNC woulda been wise to have bought a condo back in 2008.
Who woulda guessed that UNCCH would be “under NCAA investigation” for longer than a black guy would be POTUS ??? Taking that bet nine years ago woulda won you a coin or two.
OK…. Now to BASEBALL
Admit it. You are still scanning the grandstands of The Friendly Confines looking for at least one token “face of color”. I’m telling you there ain’t nary a one. They’re all over on Chi-Town’s South Side playing “9mm Tag, You’re Dead” while not listening to Jeremiah Wright’s racially toxic sermons…. and while waiting for their favorite “community organizer” to give a damn about them. Guess what SUCKAS…. He doesn’t and he never did. I digress.
I get why Those Lovable Loser Cubs are America’s (Baseball) Team du jour. I am the ONLY Cardinals’ fan who is NOT a Cubs-hater. If The Baseball Gods were smiling on Theo’s Guys I’d be fine with it. They aren’t…. so as they say in Mudville:
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville Nine that day;
the score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
a sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
they thought, if only ……..
With goofy Chief Wahoo’s tribe only 27 outs away from donning those champagne goggles as I post this…. we devotees of Abner Doubleday’s Wonderful Game know all too well that it ain’t over til the fat lady makes that final out in the 9th.
The Men of Tito Jr have found Wrigley’s confines very very friendly ….. so far…. only means it ain’t over yet. This has not been The Grand Celebration on Waveland Avenue that so many were anticipating just a week ago.
I’ve watched darn near every inning of the 2016 Fall Classic so far. I’ve yet to see one instance of HEY LOOK AT ME crap. I’ve seen high fives and hugs and lots of very happy Indians but not one HEY LOOK AT ME chest-thumping crap. I really really like that. You probably figured I would. Huh?
The media fascination-fest for the Cubs was predictable. The Cubs are “a national team” for all the well-documented reasons based on their 100 year drought and assorted futility. “The Indians” are just “the Indians” and known more for the Major League movie than for Bob Feller, Al “Flip” Rosen, Herb Score, Rocky Colavito, et al.
NINE of the current Indians played in Kinston’s iconic Grainger Stadium for the Class A Kinston Indians “back when”. Think Bull Durham and you might imagine there are young ladies in their late 20s / early 30s around Lenoir County who still have “special memories” of all-too-brief liaisons back when. “Local lovelies” and young phenoms dreaming of making it to “the Big Leagues” are one of Baseball’s enduring traditions.
And, of course, Andrew Miller will always be a former Tar Heel All American / National Player of The Year. But even hard-core Diamond Heel fans may not recall….
….. in 2006 – UNC’s first trip to Omaha – UNC playing Oregon State in “the Finals” and “poised to win it all”…. a routine ground ball to 2nd gets misplayed – OH NOOOO! and The Baseball Gods smiled on the Beavers. The pitcher on the mound when that routine grounder was misplayed was … Andrew Miller. Although he was “the ace”, Mike Fox had brought Miller in from the ‘pen to seal the victory.
Now, ten years later, heralded as Baseball’s #1 Reliever…. Andrew Miller is once again poised to Win It All on Baseball’s Biggest Stage ….. if The Baseball Gods allow.