Monday, October 4, 2010

'Bonus Baseball' in October

The 2010 regular season didn't go down without a fight.

The Red Sox and Yanks engaged in two--two--extra inning games on Saturday, logging some eight-hours plus of baseball at Fenway.

The Rays and Royals went 12 innings yesterday, even though the Yankees had lost, thus giving the division title to the Tampa-ites.

And the Metsies, oh those Metsies, went 14 before losing in the most ignominious of ways. It's the stuff late-night comic monologues thrive on--what could make the Mets' dismal season worse than five innings of extra baseball that ends in a loss?

"Bonus Baseball," went the headline from our friends over at Baseball Musings. (Well, we're sort of friends...we're on each other's blogrolls and they ran a nice item on Batter Chatter not long after we launched.)

There aren't many synonyms for extra innings. Some wiseguys call it "overtime", the phrase every clock-based sport uses. Some say "extras."

Earlier this season, the surprisingly good writeups referred to "bonus baseball in the desert" after the Yankees and D-Backs went very long in an inter-league game.

Coincidentally, "bonus baseball" also refers to the one-game playoff to see who gets into the post-season when there's a tie--a game that would've been played today, if we'd been in such a situation.

"Playoff Watch: Another year of bonus baseball?" mused Sporting News yesterday, before all the races played out before the finish line.

Oddly, and against all logic, I had considerable interest in yesterday's 14-inning Met game. I'd gone to my first game at CitiField all season Saturday. Mets against Nats, October, there could not have been less on the line.
Let's call it the Fall Spastic. 
The view from the right-field terrace.
The place had about 13,000 people and me and Tommy T took in the game from a number of vantage points, including the glass-walled restaurant and the standing terrace beyond right field. (Lower-level ushers were oddly protective of the good seats, all things considered.) And boy, what a gorgeous day it was.

David Wright had a little Dave Matthews playing when he stepped up to the plate in the 7th, but the peace-and-love vibes were gone in seconds. Tyler Clippard through one under Wright's chin, and DW responded with a long three-run, tie-breaking home run, and a very slow and purposeful trip around the bases.

CitiField went wild. All 13,000 of us.

I truly wanted the Mets to end on a posititve note, just as I eagerly went to this morning to see how my last place Luckless Pedestrians did in their fantasy league final. (Sandbox down and I don't know if I held on for the win against Weaver's Beavers. Nice one, Sandbox.)

[UPDATE: Luckless Pedestrians took down the Beavers, 183-76. AJ Burnett even contrib'd some points this week, for once.]

Silly, I know. But I'd rather watch last-place baseball than football. That's just me.

I also had to mow the lawn, and set the DVR to record the last few innings. I tape the last game every year in case I suffer some sort of Mets withdrawal sickness in the dead of winter. I don't ever actually watch it -- it's more like the aspirins you through in your toiletry kit before going on vacation. It's good to have them, just in case.

I had the Blackberry in my back pocket and checked the game update every time the mower bag was full. The game went on, the 12th, the 13th. I ran inside when the lawn was finished, ignoring a neighbor and his angry dog who wanted to make small talk about taxes and the president.

Ollie Perez was in for the first time in weeks. Ollie Perez, who became pitcher non grata--at $12 mil a year--after refusing to go to the minors to figure out his woeful control issues. A ghost in the clubhouse, say the beat reporters.

Bad Ollie walked three and hit a batter in a third of an inning. Yeah, you're right, Ollie -- you don't need a tuneup in the minors. You're fine.

Game over. Season over.

On one hand, I appreciated the Metsies bringing me one hour closer to pitchers and catchers reporting in February. On the other hand, I'd just dedicated my weekend time and my emotional investment to a meaningless game that ended badly. (Badly doesn't quite describe it. Grotesquely?)

Had the Mets pulled out yet another walk-off win yesterday (they'd had two in the past week), a tiny hint of optimism would've buried itself in my brain for those cold winter months.

Instead, I just felt cold.

1 comment:

JT said...

Hasta la bye-bye 2010 Metsies.