The Fall Classic

In most years this is a date that I anxiously look forward to. It is the first game of the World Series. This is the epitome of what all baseball players hope to obtain. Some players play their whole career and never get any closer to the World Series than what I do as a fan. There are literally hundreds of ballplayers who like me will be glued to their television sets watching each inning unfold evaluating the performances of the players and the umpires. The World Series is filled with pomp and circumstance. The bunting will be out in full force. There is just something about that red, white, and blue fabric draped along the stands that makes the game feel special. The World Series is the time when Major League Baseball plays on the national stage and they take every opportunity they can to put on the best “show” for the people. Most times I don’t mind all the frills although there are some that seem more staged and contrived than others. I am especially lenient during those times when the Diamondbacks are playing. I want each moment to last as long as possible so if MLB wants to wheel out former greats from the game or bring out another up-and-coming musical act to play before first pitch I’ll gladly watch if it means a few extra moments at the stadium.


read more

When the baseball season began in April, weather was a major story. In Cleveland fans filed in to Jacob’s Field to watch the Indians host the Seattle Mariners. The game was called due to inclement weather. That usually means that rain showers caused the game to be rescheduled. In this case it was snow that postponed the game. The teams attempted again to play only to be thwarted by the weather. The extended forecast did not look promising either causing the Indians to move one series to Milwaukee where they could play under the cover of a retractable dome. Many people questioned what the schedulers at Major League Baseball were thinking when they proposed that Cleveland host a series in early April. Now we fast forward to Sunday October 21, 2007 and the Boston Red Sox are hosting the Cleveland Indians in game 7 of the American League Championship Series. This is one of the latest dates scheduled for the ALCS and with the format of the World Series it would place game 7 into November for only the second time in Major League Baseball history. The only other time baseball has been played in November was in 2001 and this was due to the delay in the season as a result of the tragedy on 9/11. So really, this season is the first time that Major League Baseball willingly chose to play baseball in November. The question is, whether weather will play a role in this year’s Fall Classic.


read more

This is one of those days when you just don’t really know what to do with yourself. There are no baseball games being played at the Major League level. The match-up has been set for the World Series and now you are in a waiting game watching the clock wondering when game time is ever going to begin. For the fans of the twenty-eight teams who didn’t make the World Series it is a time to wonder about what could have been had your team been able to put the pieces together to make a run like the Boston Red Sox and the Colorado Rockies. Sometimes baseball is like a big puzzle made up of literally thousands of pieces and depending on how they are put together they can make a picture that looks like the front of the puzzle box or they can be a menagerie of ill-fitting parts that looks like the floor of a truck stop men’s room. This of course was not a mental image I wanted to dwell on today so I tried to put it out of my mind.


read more

At the conclusion of Game 5 of the American League Championship Series I made a comment that this series had an eerie feeling of déjà vu hearkening back to 2004 when the Boston Red Sox fell to an 0-3 deficit against the New York Yankees only to reel off 4 straight wins to put them into the World Series where they demolished the St. Louis Cardinals in a sweep to win their first World Championship in 86 years. Rowdy and unruly players wandered the club house with the mantra of “Cowboy up” and claimed themselves a team of destiny. There was drama at every turn from close plays on the base paths to a gutsy performance by a pitcher complete with a “bloody sock”. These were the stories of 2004 that finally ended the curse of the Bambino. You could turn the clock ahead three years and feel many of the same things. The bloody sock is long gone although Curt Schilling remains a staple of the Boston rotation. Johnny Damon went to the dark side and now plays outfield for the “evil empire” yet the Red Sox continued to move forward.


read more

Dealing with Loss

I don’t deal well with death, I never have. I’d like to blame my parents (what kid doesn’t?) since they went out of their way to shield me from having to deal with the traumatic effects of losing a loved one. Even when we had to put our dog to sleep my mother took her to the vet while we were in school. When we arrived home she simply stated that the family pet had gone on a trip to a wonderful place where she would never experience pain. That was a lovely thought and helped us overcome the fact that we would never see the dog again but it really didn’t do much to prepare me for when I had to deal with a loss first hand. As I’ve gotten older I have had my share of opportunities to be introduced to the effects of losing a loved one. Each time seems to be harder and harder to try and understand why death is necessary. I promised myself that when I became a father I would not make the same mistake my parents did. I would find a way to teach my children about how death was a natural progression and that we must at some point face the realization of our mortality. Granted that is a little deep for a child to understand and I knew I would need to find a way to explain it in terms that they could understand without resorting to the analogy that my mother used on me when I lost my first pet.


read more

Almost as soon as the Arizona Diamondbacks had clinched a play-off spot people began talking about how the team was ahead of schedule with the development of their young players and that this would be the first of many years when the Diamondbacks would be competing for a spot to represent the National League in the World Series. Even I have been guilty of looking blissfully into the future imagining a run similar to that of the Atlanta Braves where the Diamondbacks make the play-offs every season and expectations are similar to those of the New York Yankees where anything less than a World Championship would be considered a failure for the season. But now that I have had an opportunity to stop and reflect upon this season I am starting to question the wisdom in looking too far into the future.


read more

Ever since the last out was recorded in the National League Championship Series I have been in sort of a baseball funk. Instead of my usual baseball-obsessed self I have tended to shy away for any and all news regarding the baseball front. Part of it was just that I didn’t want to be reminded that the Diamondbacks had been eliminated from the post season. About the last thing I needed was to hear yet another story of how the Colorado Rockies are the hottest team on the planet and that this year is a year of destiny. Sure it’s a feel good story especially the part where the Rockies are going to donate a full team share to the family of minor league coach Mike Coolbaugh who was killed earlier this year when he was hit in the head by a foul ball while coaching first base for the Tulsa Drillers the Double-A affiliate for the Colorado Rockies but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to be reminded that my favorite team missed an opportunity to be in the World Series. But today I decided that I needed to return to the land of the living and see what was happening in the world of Major League Baseball.


read more