Yesterday, the Detroit Tigers completed a 4-game sweep of the slumping NY Yankees, and won the American League Pennant, and an 11th trip to the fall classic, the World Series. Being a native of Detroit, I was ecstatic about the victory, not only because I wanted to see the Tigers in the Series, but I liked the fact that it was the Yankees they beat. I know, I know, everyone hates the Yankees. I don’t necessarily HATE the Yankees, but Detroit and NY have had a long running rivalry, and I remember back in the day where there were only 9 teams in each league, when Detroit was not playing its best ball, the one team that we seemed to do well against consistently was NY. I grew up with it.
Of course, I now live in Baltimore, and have followed the Orioles for the past 14 years that I have been here. I must say, I found this last season exciting, and was genuinely glad for the Orioles when they made it to the post-season. I have to admit, I was not looking forward to a Detroit/Baltimore pennant series. It would have been a gut-wrenching experience for me. I would have been happy to see the O’s win the pennant, but I just didn’t want Detroit to lose. It would not have been a good situation for me. But I feel that next year, the O’s will be the team to beat in the American League.
I like sports, although I am not a rabid sports fan. About the only sport I play is tennis, and I like to follow the major tennis tournaments. I enjoy football, a little basketball, even golf on TV can be fun, but there is nothing like baseball. The great comedian George Carlin did a routine comparing baseball to football, and if you look him up on U-tube with the baseball/football comparison, you’ll see it. Very funny, and a lot of truth to it, as well.
For me, there is nothing in any sport as beautiful to watch as a perfectly executed double play. It’s like a ballet, and I even love to see it when the opposing team executes. A thing of beauty. There is nothing in any sport more dramatic than the bottom of the 9th, two out, bases loaded, a 3-2 count. Batter vs pitcher–mano y mano. I also like the fact that in baseball, the coach (manager) wears the same uniform the players wear. He is part of the team. I love that solidarity. I also feel that any game that is NOT regulated by a clock is superior to any game that IS regulated by a clock. In baseball, you play until the game is over, and the play itself determines that, not some clock.
You might have surmised that I like baseball. I do. I think it is the great American pastime, and while I look forward to my Tigers in the World Series (Perhaps another Detroit/St. Louis matchup, a la 1968?) the end of the baseball season always makes me a bit sad. I like football, but i welcome the end of the football season. By that time, I’ve had enough. I don’t pay enough attention to basketball or hockey to care that much, but I hate to see the baseball season end, and when it does, I’m already looking forward to spring training.