Tuesday, October 2

Sex and the City, and Baseball...

I hurried home from work only to find the Game was not on TV. It wasn't on Network TV, not ESPN, and not even Fox Sports net. It was such a huge game (at least to us faithful baseball fans) it really really surprised me it wasn't on prime time TV. So with nothing else to do (at the moment) and somewhat disheartened (I mean come on, Monday Night Football was too predictable in my opinion...), i went out to grab dinner for the family at the San fernando Valley famous Pinoy Pinay (After checking the score online. Rockies up 6-5... apparently Jake Peavy was not himself that night). The drive there frustrated me too because i couldn't find the radio broadcast, damn it!

I ate dinner throughout the second quarter of the somewhat boring New England vs Cincinnati game, even taking my time knowing i couldn't catch the remainder of the baseball game anyway. But i couldn't let it go, i asked myself "Why would a game with this magnitude, not be broadcast on tv or at least cable?". Sure no one cares about the Padres and the Rockies around here, but wouldn't MLB figure theres thousands if not millions of Baseball Fans around the country that would be interested in watching the Game? And despite the fact that the Padres and the Rockies are collectively responsible for the Dodgers demise this year, I sure was very excited to watch it. I love drama! For one night, all that mattered was baseball -- the Pads and the Rockies--. Forget MNF and dare i say it Heroes, the game was the most important show on TV or anywhere that fateful night.

After dinner it occurred to me that maybe TBS (The Braves network...) was broadcasting it. They usually pick up games that doesn't necessarily warrant a nationwide audience... So i grab the remote and hit "guide" but found that TBS was showing "Sex and the City", a marathon one in fact. I shook my head and turned back to MNF, annoyed. Then, somehow still unconvinced, i log on to the Padres official website to check what channel the game is being broadcast regionally, hoping maybe for availability in LA. The site displayed "TBS", which, as stated above is on a Sex and the city marathon arghh. Even my friend Melissa in Denver confirmed the game was on TBS. It was driving me nuts! Then finally i hit 247 on Direct TV to see if in fact the game was being shown on TBS despite what the guide suggested. I had to see it for myself... When it flickered on, i almost cried! Apparently Direct TV had not downloaded the new shows (I believe they download once a week, though not sure what day. Someone confirm that please?). I'm guessing because that game was contingent upon a Padres lost and a Rockies win, the day before. I couldn't believe it, I had missed 10 innings of great baseball because i had not bothered flipping the channels bwuhahaha. I guess i should have known it wouldn't actually display the Game on the guide yet. I guess my aggravation got the best of me *sigh*...

Coors Field was filled to the brim that night, and the magic in the air was almost palpable (a capacity 48,000+). It was the top of the 10th inning, 1 out and a man on second base. Former Dodger and farm system product Matt Herges was on the mound facing SD's star short stop Kahlil Green... Suddenly all was right in my world. I began to forgive Direct TV and even Sarah Jessica Parker. I sat back feeling better and intended to remain there until the game was decided. This was an important game, it was a tie-breaker (# 163 for the season) to decide the last playoff berth in Major League Baseball. Bud Black, the first year SD manager, had decided not to start Jake Peavy (perhaps this year's Cy Young winner) in their last regular season game (the previous day) in case this game was necessary. The Rockies on the other hand had won 13 out of their last 14 (including their last regular season Game) to earn the right for a tie-breaker against SD. It was contingent upon SD losing their last game of the Season though, which begs the debate of whether or not Bud Black should have started Jake Peavy on Sunday (his scheduled start anyway...).

I truly love these games. I am impartial so it didn't matter to me who won and who lost, all that mattered was all the drama. What both teams had to endure and accomplish throughout the Season is what made this Game truly special. And I found myself rooting for both teams, for San Diego in the top innings and Colorado in the bottom innings.

It was a tough game in the extra innings. The pitchers were finally on top of their game after what had seemed like a slug fest (A combined 25+ hits through 7 innings, though not surprising in that stadium). Games that go extra innings are somewhat predictable and it is usually bad pitching that does the trick. That night, it was Julio-- the wildest and most inconsistent Pitcher in the Rockies Bullpen (A former closer who had lost his job). Not surprisingly, he gave up a Walk that followed by a Home Run to put the Padres up 8-6 with no one out... And with Hoffman lurking in the SD bullpen (the best Closer in MLB history), i liked SD's chances.

What really surprised me though was the that it looked like no one left the stadium despite the best Closer in Baseball history warming up in the bullpen (at least in sheer numbers and longevity). Their baseball dreams had seemingly been flushed down the toilet, but yet they stayed, they believed.... You had to give credit to Bud Black too, always thinkin' ahead. It is rare to see a Closer who had not been used much to still be available in the 13th inning... How good is Hoffman exactly? How about 547 career saves in 15 years (including 66 out 68 against the Dodgers), yea real good...

But if you were watching game, you got that feeling that it wasn't meant to be for San Diego, even with Hoffman on the mound and a two run lead (armed with that devastating change-up we've seen over and over again). It was more than Hoffman, perhaps more than the game itself that night, it was destiny... I kept thinking that baseball was a game of momentum (well at least the road to the playoffs) and if winning 13 out 14 isn't, then i don't know what is! I thought of the Phillies clinching the NL East on the last day of the Season the only day they led the Division (Thanks to the Mets blowing a 7 game lead with 17 days to go), the Yankees improbable comeback to clinch the AL wild-card, and the Cubs also winning their Division on the last day, so why not The Rockies?

I'm not going to do a play-by-play but you could tell something special was about to unfold in that beautiful mile-high Stadium. And it seemed like the fans knew it too. It actually sounded more like their team was ahead, it was a bit strange. There wasn't that deafening silence of inevitable defeat if you will that you usually hear in such games. You couldn't see anyone in the stands with their hands over their mouths looking resigned or anyone sitting down for that matter. They knew, maybe not a World Series berth just yet, but they knew their team wouldn't let them down, not that night, and certainly not after winning 13 out of 14 to earn that fight. Good game...


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