I know I said I was going to talk about the Packers, and I am, but this might be one of the last opportunities I have to bring up inconsequential and arguable points about baseball, so I really think it’s a higher priority right now. But speaking of the Packers, I have to credit them with allowing my Twins season to go down so smoothly. At least, much more smoothly than it would have for my Vikings and Bears fan friends. When you have the best team in one sport, it’s so much easier to deal with having the worst team in another sport. And it would have been a much worse season for me, you better believe, if the Brewers had gone to the Series, too, so that doesn’t have nothing to do with it. As I always said, however, this is what sports is about: Losing. It’s losing that makes winning so much more rewarding, speaking from very recent experience. Yeah Buck, I hear, You only went 13 years without a championship. But I can back that up with three instances that made this worth it, in between those two trophy presentations: 4th and 26, Brett Throws a Pick (Part I), and the OT loss in Arizona.
Regardless, for a season in which the Twins weren’t good, there were still plenty of exciting moments- Thome’s 600th, Bert’s Hall of Fame stuff, the Franchise’s No-no, and about seven walk-off wins. I really enjoyed all of them, and I’m pretty sure this was the most Twins games I’d gone to in a single year. I even went to one on the South Side of Chicago, which itself was pretty exciting. But regardless of how much all this stuff helps, I can usually still use more distractions. The 30 for 30 movies at my new place helped, and I went to see Moneyball, which itself was pretty good. The one scene I keep thinking about was Scott Hattieberg’s walk-off pinch hit homer for the 20th win in a row. It reminded me of the homer from what I now only refer to as The Thome Game, and I’ve realized from those two events that a pinch-hit homer, especially of the walk-off variety, is probably the most dramatic, American event in sports. It allows us to see one individual who’s given one chance to succeed against all odds, and does so in the most profound way possible. Thome’s itself was from behind!
But even without any of those in the playoffs, I found myself enjoying them. It’s always fun when the Yankees go down, and though I was rooting for the Phillies momentarily, it’s been cool to see zero teams from the coast make it to a LCS. Even if TBS is still getting its feet wet.
So many questions surround the broadcasts in general- Why does Joe Buck enjoy the phrase “At the wall, this game is tied!” so much? Are Craig Sager’s suits too distracting? What is up with TBS’s montages for each team in the playoffs? And why did Fox get rid of their old baseball theme? I’m not here to offer any opinions on the subject, but the fact that these questions are there is not a good sign. Although I will tell you that the baseball theme, which can still be heard on FSN broadcasts, was inarguably one of the three best themes for a sports broadcast. (Besides the original Fox football theme [on my iPod], there is the baseball one and the NBA on NBC theme. And throw in the CBS NCAA tournament theme for good measure.)
To offer my two cents, though, I think America should be rooting against the Cards and for the Rangers. Texas has had an underrated amount of sports agony recently. The Mavs won the NBA championship, but now are locked out; the ‘Boys have been horrendous in the playoffs recently; and the Rangers themselves got whooped in the last Series. Meanwhile, St. Louis sucks. Did you hear me, Jeff? Yea, I said it- quit trying be the Gateway to the West. That’s our job- most of western North America is in Canada, and we’re closer to that. And the Cards just won in ’06.