View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Why I Love Baseball 

Aside from the statistics, that is.

When that count went full, and the game ended as it should have, with the batter swinging, not looking, what a thrill to realize that the series wasn't over yet. Football fans and ex-players like to make fun of tubby baseball players like Cecil Fielder. There's not one concussion-riddled quarterback who's ever shown more raw physical courage than Curt Schilling did tonight. Every step was painful, but it probably just made him look more menacing.

Just when it looked like this postseason was going into the toilet, we've been rescued by three fantastic days of baseball. The Red Saux and Yankees have play three tremendous games, bringing the Red Saux once again to the point of, but likely not past, the brink of history. I've seen great teams "caught in the riptide," as Tom Boswell wrote of the 1979 Orioles. The Yankees have that look.

Over in the National League, the Cardinals are probably giving Tony LaRussa nightmares about his 1983 White Sox. That team won the American League West by 20 games, only to do an el foldo and lose the ALCS 3-1 to eventual World Series Champions Baltimore Orioles.

For my money, the greatest post-season as a whole is still 1986. The Red Sox came from down 3 games to 1 to beat the Angels, including Dave Henderson's Game 5 heroics. The Astros and Mets played a 6-game set, the sixth game going 16 innings, with each team getting runs in both the 14th and the 16th. The 6th game had a 7th-game feel to it, since the unhittable Mike Scott would have gone for Houston in Game 7. While we all remember Game 6 of the World Series, we forget that the Saux started out with a 3-0 lead after one inning of Game 7, and brought the tying run to the plate late in the game, too.

Who says baseball is boring?

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