SPidge Tales

Friday, October 19, 2007

Thoughts on the Baseball Playoffs

What do your parents, the English language, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the awful taste of peas, and bad television sitcoms have in common? They’ve always been there. As far back as you can remember they were a part of your life. You can’t even remember life without them. Kenny Lofton fits right in there. I cannot remember Kenny Lofton not being in the Major Leagues. As long as I’ve known what baseball was, Kenny Lofton patrolled centerfield for the Cleveland Indians.

I didn’t even know Kenny Lofton was still playing, but the real life Willie Mays Hays came from nowhere to add flair to this season’s playoffs. On Monday night, in game three of the ALCS between the Indians and the Boston Red Sox, there stood “Cool Papa” Lofton (a nickname given by ESPN writer Bill Simmons), sending a Dice-K fastball over the leftfield wall for a two-run homerun. Later, Lofton stole second and passed Rickey Henderson for the career postseason stolen bases record. Rickey Henderson still leads Kenny in career regular season steals, but I bet if we combined Lofton’s Major League stats with his totals from the Negro Leagues, he’d be right up there with Rickey. Seriously, what? Jackie Robinson wasn’t available to pinch-hit? You know the Red Sox are in trouble if they’re getting beat by a team that has to role out journeyman Kenny Lofton.

Yeah, the Sox won last night. But, that’s because Josh Beckett has turned into God in the postseason. The Indians tried icing him by bringing in ex-girlfriend (and legitimate hottie) Danielle Peck (http://www.daniellepeck.com/) to sing the national anthem. Heck, I’m even developing a man-crush on Beckett. He stared down our old friend “Cool Papa” Lofton when Kenny dropped his bat, almost starting a bench-clearing brawl. Fists stayed put, though. Beckett saved his punch-outs for the Indians batting order, racking up 11 K’s in eight innings, leading Boston to a 7-1 win, and reducing their deficit to 3-2.

But if I were Boston, I wouldn’t be too confident with Schilling and Dice-K set to pitch this weekend. Like Mom and Dad, the English language, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the awful taste of peas, and bad TV sitcoms, Red Sox fans can’t remember a time when they didn’t expect to lose. That Calvinistic pessimism disappeared after 2004, but like Kenny Lofton, it’s back.


Blogger SeanPatrick said...

This column can be filed under the "boy, that prediction came back to bite me in the ass" category.

10:43 AM  

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