Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Something weird at Chavez Ravine


Something weird usually happens when Gus and I see the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. For example, we were there for the last free ball giveaway, when fans protested some bad calls and ejections by throwing their free balls onto the field, leading to the last MLB forfeit. It probably won't be the last forfeit ever, but it certainly was the last free "object that is dangerous when thrown onto the field from the top deck" giveaway.

And apparently Monday's game was something out of the ordinary, with an inside-the-park triple from Puig who celebrated a home run and was still fast enough after it didn't leave the park to get to third standing up; the Cardinals' center fielded missing three routine balls, none for actual errors (yet another obsolete and useless statistic); a double-phantom double-play; Hanley Ramirez going two for four with broken ribs; and a dancing bear who, after everyone remembered that the Dodgers don't have a mascot, was ejected and banned.

Tuesday's game lacked these features. It did have a tremendous Matt Holliday home run, as well as a home run from the littlest Cardinal, a 5'9" defensive specialist. As Gus said, "he's only an inch taller than me [not true]. He's me! I just hit a home run! [it bounced off the wall; it would have been caught if Crawford had suspected he could even hit the ball that far and not positioned himself so shallowly].

It also had a balk, catcher's interference, which neither of us had seen before, and a pickoff at second, which neither of us could remember having seen in person. All of these were against the Dodgers, because it was that kind of game. The Dodgers got essential, rally-starting hits in the sixth, seventh, and ninth, each of which fired up the crowd for up to 30 seconds before the inevitable double-play. It was, all in all, a thorough, grinding, soul-crushing defeat and a very ordinary day.

After the game, I went to the bathroom and then out the top gate to the little plaza, where Gus was waiting by the giant 42. According to him, while I was gone, a TV cameraman spotted him in his red regalia (everyone had been perfectly polite to him up to that point) and started to interview him, which triggered a mini-riot of abuse that was quickly ended by hustling security guards (so happy Frank McCourt is gone). So I missed my chance to save his life by shielding him behind my blue shirt, hat, and rally towel. Even the exciting part of the day I missed. I hate baseball.

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