08 October 2009

With Two Outs in the Ninth

Holliday --- a tough play --- a gut play --- and he dropped it. The ball, and the game, went rolling, bouncing away, uncaught. They tried to pick it up, but it kept bouncing away. The ball kept skittering around, just out of reach. Up the middle off Belliard's bat, then the other way, past the catcher, and then toward Holliday again, a little loop off the bat of Loretta, but as a taunt, because Holliday never had a chance at that one. He could only watch as it dropped, uncaught again, this time untouched, but still right to the gut. You win as a team, and you lose as a team. I'd imagine they all felt it, still feel it, that line drive to the gut of losing that way.

And the Dodgers? And their fans? What is it like for the players, and us, the fans? I can't describe it. That's for someone else to say.

Right now, I consider it from the other side, the losing side, not as a sobering thought, or as a gloomy reminder of what could have happened, or what even might yet happen in the greater scheme, but simply as an acknowledgment that in baseball there is crying, and there is joy, and you have to take both in the times they come, and that the joy of winning is a precious thing, impermanent in time, but not in memory.

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