So, this is what it boils down to. There’s one sip left from baseball’s cup, and the grounds are visible even in the murkiest liquid. Game 7, they say. Do or die, they hype. The ultimate, they believe.
While we’re here in the wake of Kansas City’s Goliath performance in Game 6 of the 2014 World Series, we must withdraw the Royals' label of David. It’s too late to declare it a slingshot when you’ve destroyed the American League with it. The Royals have done just that. The crowns on their heads are gold and shiny and deserved. Even if they look like lucky grunts to you, they are the gorgeous of baseball.
So, too, are the San Francisco Giants. It’s hard to peer at the mugs in the batter’s box and think this is one of the best franchises going in sports. An unfair reminder of the clean-shaven Yankees and their dominance seems to come to mind when the thought of the dynastic pops up. These guys are just good, even though the grooming says otherwise.
There was a time in my life when I would have waited anxiously for Game 7 of the World Series. My day would’ve revolved around it. I remember long days of school, squirming in my seat just so I could get home and wait some more. The game had only a day to come, and it would become so grand by the time the first pitch was thrown.
It’s a game decided in between lines in parks that aren’t the same size. For all the problems I have with the national pastime, I can still see the beauty in its deep October. It glances at you early and brushes its hair out of its forehead. Across the room, you can’t help but look over a few times more. The night wears on, the glances become more frequent.
And Game 7 happens when capacity falls. It’s you and it. There’s nothing to keep you away, yet it seems too perfect to touch or describe.
Sometimes, it comes down to a home run. Other times, it’s a first-inning blast or a bases-clearing double. An error can be the difference.
Those moves that mean so little in a 162-game season loom so large. It teaches us that the details are really where the devil hides. A normally empty cliché becomes a stark reality.
This is what baseball does. It makes us want to wear a mitt while we watch. Kids cram their mouths full of sunflower seeds and bubble gum. They do it because it can be so poetic, yet real – even if they don’t realize that’s why they do it.
Someday, love will find you and you’ll know why. The brush of the hair might entice, but the conversation will last. If you threw your best game and avoided mistakes, it could end up with a ring. Game 7 will become the talisman for one of the two franchises left, and nothing will ever seem so hollow to the other side.
The point of all this isn’t who will win or what will decide it. A simile of the heart doesn’t make things any more real than they were before. There might be a goosebump-enducing final play or the roar of a crowd the likes of which we’ve never heard. Or maybe it will be a 7-1 clunker of a game.
Jeremy Guthrie and Tim Hudson will pitch with short leashes around their necks. As my best friend said, “I’m pretty sure everyone will have a short leash.”
The leashes short, the chances long and a title in the balance. A place in the immortal vault where only the select are kept awaits.
It’s all in the joy of finding out what’s temporary and what’s real. The reason it’s important is worth much more than a name on the banner. It matters because we know it exists, and that’s the reason for this whole god-damned opera.
Sports are all I know. Writing came naturally. Sports writer by night & sports writer by night. Philosophy major who thinks the unexamined sport is not worth watching. Always for hire, never for sale. I believe that silence is the virtue of fools and I can't hear you.