Game 4 2005 NLDS (Astros – Braves)

I like baseball. In fact, I like baseball a whole lot. Granted, my more “devoted” activities for the sport [playing “competitively,” collecting baseball cards, having a favorite player, mailing cards to teams/players for autographs, and so on] have long since lapsed [what with turning 11 and all], but I still watch a fair share of games on TV (especially during the August/September/October playoff races, then playoffs themselves) and attend games as I can.

sleepy cat
game 4 makes kitty sleepy

The concept of a super-long extra innings game is intriguing, implying that the two teams are so evenly matched that the only solution to their baseball dilemma is more baseball. As those following the playoffs are aware, there was one of those “super-long” extra innings games this past weekend between the Astros and Braves. That’s fine and dandy (18 innings…..whoo, a lot of baseball), but as soon as the game ended, it somehow became a classic, and in the press conference following the game Astros manager, Phil Garner, couldn’t help but claim it was potentially the best game ever as reporters lobbed questions at him, probably attempting to generate a sound bite about its standing as the best game ever.

Rubbish. And that’s why this review exists. Would one of the best games ever more-or-less implode after the 9th inning? Would there be no runs scored and practically no drama (scoring then re-tying, bases loaded with less than two outs, fan interference, crazy plays, etc., etc.) between innings 9 and 18 in this best game ever? 5 hours and 50 minutes is a lot of baseball, and baseball, all things considered easily becomes quite boring. I’d hate to think that one of the best games ever would’ve been that boring and uneventful until one swing in the bottom of the 18th. A greatest game ever would have a team scoring one (or more) runs in the top of an extra-inning, then the home team being forced, then succeeding, to match that. There was none of that. It’s only significance (other than the length) was Roger Clemens pitching in relief, reminiscent of the Yankees-Diamondbacks World Series when Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling combined for the win, something that would never happen in regular-season baseball. Roger Clemens pitching in relief is something significant, but it’s not like when a team runs out of pitchers and puts an outfielder on the pitching mound, potentially turning the game into a home run derby. That’d be the best game ever.

Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS receives 1.5 stars for being grossly over-rated, quickly forgotten, and rather unremarkable in any category other than length. Besides, as of now, the blown call from game 2 of Angels-White Sox is the story to beat for the season.


What the Heck are We up to Now?

So, one day I was thinking. I’ve been accused of being very opinionated, and I’ve decided that I’m hilarious, so combining those two, I said to myself, “Why not provide a more permanent forum for expressing my views beyond the ‘forum’ created when in a personal, social setting?” Of course, this “personal, social forum” is actually just fancy-talk for “me sitting around complaining,” but still doesn’t it look that much more official when displayed on a computer monitor? With all that talk of “social,” “forum,” etc. you may think I’ve devolved into some a sort of “the internet is opening all sorts of new avenues of communication, and it’s awesome!” person, but don’t worry, I’m sure that this site is just part of the on-going “blog boom” reminiscent of the personal homepage boom of the late 90’s. [In full disclosure, I had a personal homepage back then, but for some reason the Internet Archive didn’t consider it worth inclusion.] [In fuller disclosure, the comparison between the popularity of blogs now and homepages in the late 90’s was made by someone else in some print or internet article, but I can’t track it down, and the closest I (well, that Google…) can find is someone copying that section of the article in the comments of a semi-academic discussion on the state of blogs.

Keeping in mind the “boom” aspects mentioned above, this little endeavor has a decent chance of petering out before too long, but there’s nothing wrong with trying for a little while.

The look of this page will probably be changing in the very near future as we figure out a better template (though this default one is nice, if not overused) for our purposes.

There are a few technical hurdles to be overcome for this project, but I won’t leave those here. Josh Shafer [how do you spell your last name?], Brian Newhard, MJ, Kurt, Andy, and Justin [the last three of you of the Northwestern Variety], I’m looking in your direction.

More to come, including reviews of: people who value their opinions too much, electricity, Columbus Day, sandwiches, Adam’s Smug Sense of Self-Worth (ok, that’s more of a Family Guy joke than a topic for a review), Arby’s, the Dell 2005FPW monitor, scissors, Verizon Online DSL, The Streets’ A Grand Don’t Come for Free and many, many more*.

*note, the promise of “many more” is very conditional, based on whether not the whole thing “gets old” and whether it keeps our attention.