Sunday, September 04, 2005

Boys of September


Have I had seasonal amnesia or something?
Wasn't it just yesterday that we were tussling with the Devil Rays? And freaking out over Tito in the hospital?
And worrying about Curt's ineffective return? ( Oh, wait....)
And who are all these new people? Embree? And Bellhorn? YANKEES?

Summer has gone by really, rilly fast.
And suddenly it's the stretch run. And by some freak of God, luck and nature, or perhaps all three, we've been in first place almost continuously since June.
However it still doesn't feel real.
I go back to the PROC in less than a week, and the return of college means the return of freaking out over every single game. (Well, more than usual.)
And yet this season has an air of surreality to it.
Well, if that's what it takes, hook me up. Hook me up to this strange combo of hit or miss pitching, and freakishly strong offense, except against rookie pitchers that we've never seen before.
September baseball. Better than any artificial high one could ask for.


And whenever the above ends, there's always football.
Unfortunately, living in the Tri-State Area,inundated by TO tomfoolery, Pats preseason football has been going on in a remote, disconnected world. The passion has been slightly dormant.
But I knew it was back this morning when I got the year's first Pang of Righteous Indignation That Someone Is Disrespecting The Patriots.
Trenton Times writer Mark Eckel has the Pats going out in the first round of the playoffs. Beaten by Buffalo. BUFFALO! That cannot stand. It must not stand. The Patriots must make Mark Eckel look like an idiot.
(Though he did pick The Most Awesome Safety in All The Universe, Mr. Rodney Harrison, for his all AFC team. So he can't be all bad.)


Also, sad to say, I've been unfaithful to the Sox. Not with any major league team, mind you. Oh no, I'm robbing the cradle, and with the enemy, as well.
The Trenton Thunder may be the Yankees farm team. But they are my home team, my link to NJ sports, the local baseball team I grew up with. And by god, they have NOMAR's retired number on the facade of Waterfront Park.
Also, minor league baseball is just plain fun.
La Familia went to see them take on the Binghamton Mets last weekend. And apart from a wicked painful sunburn, acquired due to tank-top wearage, it was so cool.
The Maternal Entity manage to get field level sets, seven rows back, even with the visiting dugout. Eye-level view with the pitchers. We nearly could have caught a couple foul balls, if we weren't cowering under our programs. Good view of nearly everything. This included the sheer terrible spectacle of Waterfront Park's version of Sweet Caroline: public performance of the Cotton Eye Joe Dance. *shudders* Fortunately, that was outweighed by my introduction to He who is Now My Second Favorite Bronson: 2B Bronson Sardinha. Offensive sparkplug, defensively solid. And yummy.
For most of it, Jeff Karstens of the Thunder was cruising, and the Thunder offense was backing him up well,putting up a 5 spot. It got interesting in the 7th, when Karstens gave up 3 straight singles, and then Russ Triplett hit the quietest grand slam I have ever seen. It looked like a lazy high fly to left, but it kept going, and going, and BANG, off the left field wall over the yellow line. And it was 5 to 4. However, the Thunder did not let it get to them, giving Karstens and the bullpen some insurance runs, and then little Justin Pope came out with his zipping fast ball, and got 'er done.
We're going back tomorrow for the Labor Day season finale. The Thunder may have clinched an EL playoff spot by then. But it
won't matter. Nothing like live baseball, whatever form it may take.
(Plus 1 DOLLAR HOT DOGS! Whooo!)

I have a high opinion of you readers, so you probably don't need to be told this, but whether you're American, or not, the victims of Hurricane Katrina are your people. They need you. Go to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, any charity you want, but go donate.