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Friday, October 1, 2004

Sorry, but I can't pretend there's anything more important to me right now than the Giants-Dodgers series in Los Angeles this weekend. I know there are more important things going on in the world; that's not what I'm saying. I know baseball isn't life and death. (What?!?) I'm just saying, Beat L.A. That's all.

As it stands now, the earliest the Giants can be eliminated from postseason play is Sunday, the last day of the regular season. I don't know how you can ask for more than that. They play a 162-game schedule, stretching from the last days of March to the first weekend in October. That's a long haul, and it takes a lot out of fans (not to mention players).

My team doesn't play many games that don't count for something. They're good enough that every game matters. Some teams were eliminated from contention before the end of August, but they still had to play the whole month of September. That has to be hard on everyone associated with them.

I had a little taste of that tonight, as I tried to watch the (useless) Rockies playing their incompetent little hearts out against the steamrolling Astros in Houston. I have my reasons for disliking the Rockies, and I've spelled them out here before. But on this occasion I was pulling for them. I need them to win at least one of the three games in their series against the Astros. That would give the Giants their only chance to win the division title Sunday.

It's painful to want a bad team to win, because more often than not they let you down. That's pretty much what makes them bad in the first place, and I'm not used to it. My team plays bad games sometimes, and it can be at the worst possible moment, but overall they play well and win often. When I have to cheer on a team that's going nowhere and probably isn't going to win, I don't know how to do it. It fricassees my baseball fan's brain.

1 October 2004

It's not the clutter that's the alarming thing in this photo. It's the fact that someone could casually drop a paper clip into the Mountain Dew can instead of the dispenser. I didn't swallow it, though.

There's nothing like October baseball, though. They say the games in April count just as much, but I can't see it. There's no urgency at the beginning of the season, the way there is at the end. On the other hand, if the April games had been played with a little more urgency, the October games might not be so stressful. The Giants got off to a lousy start this year, so in a way it's a tribute to them that they're in a position to keep winning and keep playing at the end of the season. It definitely holds my interest, to the near exclusion of everything else.

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So far, so good. The Giants did what they had to do tonight, beating the Dodgers, 4-2. Now they have to go out and beat them tomorrow and again Sunday. If they do that, they gain at the very least a one-game playoff for a post-season berth. If the useless Rockies should happen to win one game (just one! out of three!) from the Astros over the weekend, the Giants can even clinch their division by beating the Dodgers twice, without an extra game. It's all very complicated, even for me (and I started making up these kinds of scenarios when I was ten). You can only win one game at a time, so it's probably better to take it that way.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Open Mind
"I'll fight even my own government when I see it trying to take away my rights, or anyone else's. I'm open-minded, not weak-minded."

Two years ago: Nonlinear
"I actually had an antiwar rant half-written, but everything I was saying seemed so logical and self-evident that it wasn't worth finishing. We have a government led by Pinky and the Brain."

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'Cause I've been running a long time
On this travelling ground
Wishing hard to be free
Of going round and round