Monday, March 31, 2008

Why is baseball STILL the national pastime? Read on and learn.

Opening night of a brand new ballpark. The home team scores two in the first to get the crowd pumped. A future Hall of Famer (Chipper Jones) homers in the 2nd for the visitors to cut the lead in half. A stunning pitchers duel ensues, as Tim Hudson of the visiting Braves settles down after a shaky first inning and retires NINETEEN STRAIGHT BATTERS! The home team pitcher, Odalis Perez, matches him for 5 innings, giving up only 4 hits. His pen pitches even better, throwing 3 hitless innings.

2-1 home team, heading to the ninth. The visitors tie it up with two out in the top of the inning, scoring from 3rd on a passed ball. 2-2, going to the bottom of the 9th.

Two out, bottom of the ninth, and up comes Ryan Zimmerman. The Nats best player in their short history. The matinee idol good looks, the talent that goes with it. He takes a 1-0 pitch and hits a scorching laser to center field, which clears the wall by less than a few feet. Home team wins 3-2 as the crowd, myself included, literally goes wild. I'm not even a Nats fan- but I know sports history when I see it. It was something to be celebrated.

You don't get moments like this when a new football stadium or basketball arena open. So Michael Jordan scored a lot of points when the United Center opened? BFD. Dan Marino threw a TD pass in his first game at Joe Robbie Stadium? That's nice.

Last night was storybook. It came straight out of a legend. A myth. Arthur Miller could not have scripted it better. Because it was perfection.