30 June 2009

Short Circuited Metaphors: Game 77 Unfair Win Shares

Turns out the circuit was phantom tripped. By the time we figured that out the Dodgers were deep into extra innings, extending their schizophrenic reign of superb relief pitching and inept offense.

It began late in last night's game around the eighth inning, so it was really in the middle of the game, but it felt late at the time. A circuit that carries the load for the refrigerator, mircrowave and a garage box freezer went down. The first indication of the loss of power came when I tried to get ice out of the fridge dispenser and none came. I would say that it was a cosmic resonance with the Dodgers inability to score runs, the inaccessible ice vibrating in sympathy across space-time with the unscored runs, but it was easy enough to open up the freezer and get at the runs, or rather, the ice. The Dodgers had no equivalent strategy to pursue, unless they might have hypnotized Ethier in the ninth inning and found that home run trapped in his psyche and made him to release it earlier. Judging from all the walk-off hits Ethier keeps uncorking, he has a lot of unresolved issues to work through. Or maybe he just enjoys being pummeled and thrown to the ground by his crazed teammates after a win.

It was when I opened the freezer to manually grab my ice that I noticed the whole contraption had simply stopped running. The little light inside the door was dark; the hum of coolness was silent; the Dodger offense was inert and sessile: another cosmic resonance. We moved into this house shortly before the start of spring training this year, so some things are still new to us, and we had a hunt for the circuit breaker box. Sure, the previous owner had shown us where it was, but that was several fuzzy memories ago. Eventually I found it, but not before missing most of the excellent relief pitching of the Dodgers in the ninth and tenth innings. I kept coming back to see the Dodgers bat, to see the game end, I hoped, a mercy win, to release me to more pressing concerns. Just win the game already, I implored. Go Nike on their asses. Just do it. They did not.

None of the circuit switches in the box were tripped. Moreover, though some were labeled clearly, the one we were looking for was not. The circuit breaker box was clearly deceiving us, and I called a balk on it.

If there was such a thing as a batter's balk, Wolf would have received one in the fifth inning. It looked like he was starting some half-hearted aerobics right there in the batter's box. Make a fist at your head and push out toward the air! And do it again! It is rare when I feel sympathy for that arrogant turd Tracy, but I did when his pitcher was faked out of his shoes by Wolf and induced to balk. That Wolf was not trying to induce the balk only makes the deception more effective. And then Wolf showed why he has been used as a pinch hitter so often this year. About time, Wolf. Jimenez would have been better off plunking Wolf in retaliation for his weird timeout dance at the plate and then gotten Pierre to weakly ground out with the bases loaded.

Concerning Tracy, I enjoyed the moment in the bottom of the thirteenth inning when the camera showed him in the dugout and he appeared to have his hand around his neck. Perhaps it was a trick of perspective, or my own late-inning addled perceptions, but it looked for all the world like he was pantomiming a choking action to indicate what we were about to see out of his pitcher. I think it was Tracy's way of preemptively assigning blame for the loss elsewhere.

The Dodger relief pitchers were lined up like circuit breakers for the Rockies to trip, but none of them did. Not even Weaver. I watched Weaver pitch to the first batter of his inning, hoping to see an out before I went back out to attempt solving the mystery of the phantom tripped circuit. Instead he gave up a double, and I thought the game was lost. It must have been something to see him strike out the side after allowing runners to second and third. The entire bullpen was something. The Dodger magic may or may not be gone but the bullpen magic has never left this team. Eventually we found the right switch, flipped it off, then back on, and power was restored to the kitchen appliances. I completed my circuit. Ethier completed his circuit. The Dodgers won.

Unfair Win Shares ( Dodgers )

Ethier -- 1
McDonald -- 1
Wolf -- 1

Unfair Loss Shares ( Rockies )

Peralta -- 1
Barmes -- 1
Tulowitzki -- 1

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