SD and MP sat together in the car, laughing, cheering, and acting like the very best of friends.
No, that's not a dream I had. Nor is it a line for the BOSD fiction blog. That actually happened. Here's the underlying story:
It was the fifth game of the ALCS. The Yankees has a 3-1 series lead, and a win would mean they had clinched their spot in the world series. Top of the ninth, Yankees down by a run. Two outs. Bases loaded. 2-2 pitch to Nick Swisher. And the pitch is called...a ball! It's a 3-2 pitch! Both of us, sitting in the car, screamed from excitement. One more bad pitch and the Angel's pitcher would walk in the tying run. The fans in Angel's Stadium are all going wild. And so are we.
This, I thought to myself, is the miracle of baseball. It's the reason we've converted driving to the store to pick something up for our mother, late one thursday night, into a cheering fest. It's the reason we are laughing together like old friends. Differences aside, we are simply laughing like two little kids.
When asked my father why he likes baseball, he always says: "Its nice to get all worked up over something but suffer no loss if it doesn't work out."
And it's so true. In the end, a few pitches after the one I just described the guy hit a fly ball to the out field and prolonged the Angel's season by at least one more game. But the moment was still there. MP and myself were still sitting excitedly in the car, talking about great plays we remember as kids. Talking about how Nick Swisher could have done an Aron Boone and hit a grand slam, securing his place in every NY paper's sports section. Talking about how good it is that our father was a White Sox fan when he lived in Chicago, because had he been a cubs fan we would have wound up fans of the Mets. Talking about...everything.
So while people complain that baseball is the most boring sport, about how there is waaaay too long between pitches, about how it's just a couple of minutes of excitement spread out over a couple of hours, I am realizing that those empty minutes where the sports broadcasters are trying desperately to fill the gaps between pitches are times when differences can be forgotten and bonds can be formed.
(I apologize to my readers who found this post gobledegook. I can lend you the official copy of the Baseball Rule Book that my father got me when he got tired of my questions.)