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Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Humanists

I keep overjoying about Throws Like A Girl. Part of it, I suspect, is a reaction to the saber-guys -- and they uniformly are guys -- who get so brutal and righteous about their opinions, and often, have solid arguments for them. If there's one thing people hate, it's a know-it-all, but if there's something they despise down in the coils of their souls, it's a know-it-all who really does know it all. But Batgirl is fun, Anne Ursu's heedless fun and fretting over her beloved Twins. Yet, I dare you to find anyone in baseball blogdom turning out consistently solid prose with such understated pathos as these, ground out of a brutal losing season wherein the Astros find themselves behind even the Pirates, bloodied and bruised, left in a dumpster:
The Astros suffered their sixth straight loss today against Atlanta, falling 16-0 in a Mike Hampton complete game shutout. I suppose a 16-0 loss is humiliating under any circumstances, but when it comes at the end of a series sweep [that] puts you in sole possession of last place in MLB’s only six-team division, then you have stepped beyond humiliation and probably somewhere closer to 24-hour suicide watch.


It’s especially hard to adjust of my first season of losing Astros baseball from afar. During the bleak months of June and July 2004, there was some pleasure in soaking up the communal misery in person at Minute Maid Park. Watching in person, it was easy to find things you could still love -- Adam Everett’s nifty defensive play (on the radio, that seems weirdly absent of late) or the emergence of Chad Qualls as a quality reliever or the continued dominance of Clemens and Oswalt.

Up here in the Midwest with only internet radio for company, there’s no pleasure at all. You turn on the game and the team is already down by a run, or three, or six. That’s not any damn fun at all. I think I’m going to find a hobby.


WIN A G*********D GAME FOR MILO! I screamed at the radio at one point today, after the Astros play-by-play man went out of his way to urge broadcast partner Alan Ashby to wish his wife and mother a happy Mother’s Day while they were driving home from church. It’s not often you get a glimpse into Hamilton’s grief for his wife, who passed away just before the start of Spring Training this year. You get the sense that the man needs baseball this year in a way that he hasn’t before. And he’s not getting it.

Which is what you get for giving your heart away to a stupid team, and a stupid game.

If you can read that and walk away untouched, I have a chisel for the stone where your heart is.


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