I am a little distracted this morning. Game 7s have a unique magic. Or is it otherwise known as nerve dancing jitters flying around the room with an irritating buzz like tinkerbell ‘s evil twin? Is there some way that the electricity of Youkilis-Pedroia could be lent to the Celtics? Kobe leads the other team (mentioning them by name here is like saying Macbeth inside a theater . .doom ensues), but the game isn’t won by one player. Pretty obvious. When the Celtics bench played its best, there was no stopping them. The bench always wins. Could there be a louder charge at Fenway this season than Daniel Nava’s grand slam? Off the bench, around the bases and onto the top step for a curtain call.
But back to this morning. Back to the moment, even with the anticipation of game 7, we can linger in our faith.We can linger in Lesteration (see previous entries for a definition), even as Lester may have had a necessary shifting approach with more change-ups. We might celebrate Moyer’s effort against the Yankees.
One of the great pleasures of the game for me is knowing a hitter’s home run swing and the angle of his head as the ball leaves the bat, with the follow through that signals nothing else but a home run. As difficult as it is to know each tic of Youk’s stance, the long ball is beautifully apparent. For some reason it was hard not to think of the 4-homer sequence against the Yankees in 2007. Each shot over the monster was definitive. I don’t have to mention that Manny was in that quartet. Manny. Manny.
But back to the morning here in Asbury Park. The new issue of Poetry Magazine arrived and has a short essay by basketball coach John Wooden. (I won’t mention his team by name.) Clearly, as monthly publications go, the editors decided to publish this many months before he died. He writes about how he always used poetry when coaching his players. In the New York Times obituary, the writers( Frank Litsky and John Branch) say that Wooden was a “dignified, scholarly man who spoke with the precise language of the English teacher he once was.” In his pocket, he carried a note from his father, which offered a good dose of wisdom.
“Make each day a masterpiece” was one part. “Pray for guidance, and count and give thanks for your blessings every day,” is the last line.
Ok, Coach. It might not goes so well, but I’ll give it try.
Is 9:00 pm as far off as it looks? Never mind. THANK YOU KEVIN. BOTH OF YOU.
Willie Stargell called the knuckleball a “butterfly with hiccups.” Last night the ball had movement more closely resembling a peregrine falcon, that is when it was moving in the opposite direction off the Royals’ bats, to the tune of more hits than they have had in five years.
“If a knuckleball flounders, it is proof somehow, that the craft
itself–just look at it–is unreliable,” wrote Ben McGrath in his
article “Project Knuckleball.” With respect to Wakefield, I will avoid
Instead, imagine if we sent out umpire Joe West to fight the Royals’ black-belt in residence, Kyle Farnsworth. I know some of us might pay for such a spectacle, even though it wouldn’t last too long. The momentum shift feels pretty much like that. Like Joe West’s face in the infield dirt. Perhaps I should refer to another image, in case some readers find that too violent. That’s easy. How about the aforementioned falcon picking up a slovenly pigeon.
The only regret I have watching the Celtics pound the Magic is missing Bill Hall pitching a 1-2-3 inning in relief.
In more optimistic realms, I hear this pitcher will be available by the end of June.
PS. On the Ipod right now, a la Professor Abraham: “Nadine” John Hammond. (This is outrageously synchronous, given the lyrics, “it seems that every time I catch you, you are up to something new.” That is Vmart singing himself to sleep last night.