Thursday, September 27, 2007

Baseball, baseball, baseball

Time for an admission: it's tough to find time to blog when you have a regular job, and it's tougher to find energy to blog about baseball when your job involves baseball writing. The last thing you want to do when you get home is watch more baseball, and write more about it. A beer always ends up being the better option.

That said, reading about baseball never gets old. Our friends around the Royals blogosphere continue to hammer on, but others around the country are doing fine work, too. A quick spin around the world of words:

DENVER POST: Loose clubhouse proves best elixir, by Mark Kiszla

Is it safe to exhale?

The Rockies stand tall. But, if they insist on playing with fate in this crazy dream of making the playoffs, anyone who loves them might crumble from the emotional strain.

Colorado won for the ninth consecutive time Tuesday night, hanging tough, staying a single game behind San Diego in the race for the final postseason berth in the National League, by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-7 in 3 excruciating hours and 21 nearly unbearable minutes, every last second tough enough to age a witness by years.

(And how bout those Rockies, still just a game behind the Padres after winning their 10th straight game Wednesday night.)

PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Phillies fans who dare to dream, by Michael Vitez
The full moon was rising last night at game time at Citizens Bank Park, and so were the hopes and dreams of Phillies fans.

Consider Patricia Marie Kelly, a first-grade teacher in North Philadelphia for the last 40 years. Just the other day, she was teaching her children the short U sound, so of course she wore her Chase Utley jersey.

"U-U-Utley," she told them. She also taught them the CH sound for good measure. "That made it perfect," she said.

Kelly, 57, has been to 60 home games this season, and has been a Phillies fan since birth. The only time she's ever, ever been late for school - as a student or a teacher - was in 1964, when the Phillies collapsed and lost the pennant to St. Louis.

"It was such a heartbreak," she said. "My mother just couldn't get us out of bed."

DAVID M WARREN / Inquirer Staff Photographer

Alas, someone's heart will be broken again... Phillies fans have seen this before, writes Sam Donnellon.

They have seen the Phillies in this spot before, several times in recent years, a playoff spot attainable through a crisply played week, through a couple of big hits, a few well-pitched games.

Never before had it felt this way though, the team coming off an 8-2 road trip, the teams ahead of the Phillies playing worse, not better than them. They have overcome so much this team, battled through an incredible number of injury hits to be where it is now, arguably one of the healthier teams in the mix. The Phillies fight. They care. And yet here they are, a saddening sameness accompanying their final drive.

Or maybe new heartbreak this time...

NEWSDAY: Staggering Mets fall short despite six-run ninth, by Mark Herrmann
These last days of the Mets' schedule really are exciting. It is the kind of excitement you feel when you're driving home with a tank reading on "E" and you are not sure if you're going to make it or not.

The Mets, especially their pitchers, look as if they are out of gas. That is true even for Tom Glavine (13-7), who had figured to be their one sure thing on a reeling staff, but who got hammered for six runs in five innings in a 10-9 loss to the Nationals last night at Shea Stadium.

Still, although the Mets are running on fumes in this final week, they are running. They brought Shea to life with six runs in the bottom of the ninth and had the tying run on third with two out. They even made headway because the Phillies lost to the Braves, remaining two games behind in the National League East and reducing the Mets' magic number to 4.
Six runs in the 9th in a one-run loss...

Late September baseball is like the red wine before the peach cobbler that leads to foreplay and whatever comes next. Savor it, every last drop, because it'll make the morning after all the sweeter.

POSTSCRIPT: Bonds plays final home game in Giants uniform. Departs with fanfare.

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