Monday, October 1, 2007

Talkin' Baseball

Yesterday was the last of the season. At least for most. So I decided to sit back and enjoy, take it all in.

Starting with Pat and Ron. The Cubs had clinched. They are headed to the playoffs. So today's game meant little. Just baseball for its own sake. Sit back and enjoy. A home run? Oh well, who cares! We're playing in the postseason. You're not. Life is wonderful. Stress is off. "What inning is it?" Santo laughingly asks. Any other day it might upset you that the broadcaster doesn't know. But today it was pure joy. Just engulf in the game which is timeless.

On the other side of town, things weren't so hot this year. At least the Sox failed to finish last. Ed Farmer and Chris Singleton on radio, Hawk and DJ on TV. Sox lost, but someone in Detroit won the 13 run pool. And the team returned to the field following this game to thank their fans.

I couldn't grab Bob Ueker on the air. Milwaukee's station broadcast the Packers, instead. So I turned to XM and dialed around, listening to the games about the nation. The Padres eliminated the Brewers from postseason play Friday. Could Milwaukee find revenge? "Hang a star on that one!" exclaimed Jerry Coleman. Anticipating victory and the wildcard entry, he hoped (alongside Andy Mazur) San Diego could seal things up. But it was not to be. The Brew Crew came back and overcame, forcing the Pads to a one game playoff today.

Tom Glavine giving up several first inning runs? Could it really be? For a Chicagoan, seeing New York choke was wonderful!

Then to the Phillies game, listening to them clinch. Nice comeback, the last few weeks, to oust those Mets.

Dialing around, I hear Toronto, Kansas City, Boston, Oakland, and Cincy: the Brenamens talk, dad and son. Games which mean nothing today but are baseball, nonetheless.

Over to the Diamondbacks - Rockies game. Who knew it would be so big? Colorado winning all but one the last two weeks and needing to now pevail in order to have one last chance at postseason play. What could be better?

I'll tell ya what. The dial, at last, lands on the Dodgers. Where legend Vin Scully eloquently waxed. "I hope you don't mind me taking liberties with strict play by play today. It's the final day of the season and we're enjoying the bittersweet game visiting - just you and me." Artistry on the airwaves. He shared moments in time remembered from seasons gone by. And summed it up with A. Bartlett Giamatti's awesome poetic work, The Green Fields of the Mind:
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come out, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.

You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.

Today, October 2nd, a Sunday of rain and broken branches and leaf-clogged drains and slick streets, it stopped, and summer was gone."

The voices which guide us through the summer, keeping us company, giving us hope now fall silent, mostly. But, at least in Chicago, it lasts a little longer: red ivy will be seen this October.