It used to be this way when baseball turned on America with the competitive enchantment of the World Series.
Here's where we try to figure out how old Jerry Green is:
A seven-game set decided by a home run by a light-hitting Bill Mazoroski in the bottom of the ninth.
Okay, 1960. Say you were, I don't know, 20? when this happened. That makes you 67.
Or a hung-over Grover Cleveland Alexander wobbling in from the bullpen, eyes rimmed with redness from his night on the town, and striking out Tony Lazzari with the bases full of Yankees.
Grover Cleveland?! Tony Lazzeri? This event took place on October 10, 1926. If you were even 10 when this happened, you, Jerry Green, are 91 years old. (So old you forgot how to spell "Lazzari [sic]."
Or a Brooks Robinson, sliding to his right, and stabbing the shot down the line -- backhanded.
An event that only happened in the World Series. (?)
The enchantment of Babe Ruth
You are 104.
and Sandy Koufax, of Kirk Gibson and Willie Stargell; of Willie Mays racing back full speed to snare the drive over his shoulder in the center-field depths of the ancient Polo Grounds. Of Don Larsen's perfect game.
So far the most recent event cited is from 1988. And that event is: The Enchantment Of Kirk Gibson. (???)
The enchantment of Kirby Puckett and Joe Carter hitting their critical home runs; of Jack Morris telling manager after nine innings of scoreless pitching, "No, I'm not coming out. It's my game." The enchantment of Mickey Lolich winning three games for the Tigers.
Seems like, back then, baseball's World Series used to be absolutely fucking stuffed with enchantment.
Back then, long ago and not so very long ago, Baseball's World Series used to be stuffed with enchantment.
Every October. Every year.
Really? You've mentioned events from about ten years since 1926. Pretty sure there were some boring sweeps mixed in there, too.
And it was followed by something we called the Hot Stove League. It was the offseason, with all its remembrances of the recent World Series enhanced by the sport's juicy tidbits.
It has been a while now since I heard, or read, the phrase Hot Stove League. I guess it is passé, so 20th Century, only for old-fashioned dreamers.
It's been a while since you heard or read the phrase "Hot Stove League?" Here is the google result for a search of the term "hot stove league." There are more than one million hits. Many of them from the 21st century. Here, too, is a link to Peter Gammons' annual concert/charity "Hot Stove, Cool Music." You might not be familiar with Mr. Gammons, because he is a non-sesquicentennialian sports writer. You should read his stuff -- it's very enchanting.
And it has been a while known since Major League Baseball has delivered to America an enchanting World Series.
I don't know. 2004 was pretty goddamn enchanting. 2002 was, I'd say, sirenic, and 2001 was downright winsome. We've also recently had World Series that were glamorous (1997), entrancing (1996, 1988) and ravishing/beguiling (1992). The Reds-A's of 1990 was bewitching, methinks! And who can forget how intriguing, charming, befrothing, and just straight-up trebimmulating was the '05 Series? And on a more important note, why do you keep using the word "enchanting," you nerd?
It is very sad when the Hot Stove League delivers more enchantment than the World Series. But that is how it has been in this week that just was:
The Tigers filling their vacuum for a prize shortstop in the Hot Stove League's first major trade, the coup in acquiring Edgar Renteria.
Enchantment Index (using standard 75-point Lathingham-Norbley Scoring System:
Sox Sweep Series: 42.8
Tigers Trade for Renteria: 55.9 (!!!!!!!!)
The Yankees hiring Joe Girardi as their manager and the New York rumor quacks had Don Mattingly all set as the successor to Joe Torre.
Yankees Hire Girardi/NY Rumor Quacks Miss on Donnie Baseball: 21.3
Geoff Jenkins is going to play for Detroit. No, he's not.
Jenkins Not Going to Tigers: 0.0
(Incredibly unenchanting. Also, "Geoff Jenkins not signing with the Tigers" is being used as an example of how much more exciting/enchanting the Hot Stove season is than the World Series. I don't care if you're a Yankee fan and Matt Holliday is your cousin and you are a Rockies groundskeeper -- the World Series was about a billion fucking times more enchanting than "Geoff Jenkins not signing with the Tigers.")
The Dodgers signing Torre as their manager in their own coup as the rumor quacks actually got one correct. For a change.
You are a thousand years old. You are a thousand year-old monk who lives on Easter Island and worships giant stone things.
And Curt Schilling, the mouth that seldom stops, using his blog to list 13 ballclubs for which he might be willing to pitch.
Neither enchanting nor unenchanting. Just, like, a "thing."
And Barry Bonds proclaiming that he would reject election to the Baseball Hall of Fame -- if he ever happens to be elected.
This didn't happen. He said he'd reject it if the record/ball had an asterisk.
And the Tigers crushed by another vacuum in the quaint shoulder injury to Joel Zumaya.
You don't use adjectives well. Or nouns, or language.
And of course, the daily speculation and rumors about the next destination for man-child Alex Rodriguez, celebrated free agent. The Marlins? The Angels? The Red Sox? The Dodgers? Back to the Yankees despite the Yankees strong statements of good riddance.
Not to rain on your parade, Andy Rooney's grandpa, but most humans in the world find the exploits of ARod and his agent: the opposite of enchanting.
And the Tigers slipping in the announcement at the end of the heavy baseball news week that most ticket prices would be raised for 2008.
Am I nuts? These things are more enchanting than the World Series? That's the argument, right? I'm not nuts.
Now he contrasts all of these things with:
Meanwhile, there is the rumor and speculation that the 2007 World Series actually ended last Sunday night. Ah yes, the night after a baseball game actually finished in 4 hours, 19 minutes of little action adorned by repeated television commercials.
"There is only one October. There is only one World Series." Over and over on the TV screen.
The idea of 2200 year-old Jerry Green trying to download and process what Dane Cook is... Fantastic.
Plus the droning about obscure records by Joe Buck and the mysterious explanations of Tim McCarver.
I take it all back. Jerry Green is a genius!
Wild-card Bud Selig and his cohorts from the Fox TV network sure gave American another World Series extravaganza! That makes it four straight now for Bud and Fox.
Yes. It is Bud Selig's fault that the World Series was 4-0. Well done.
In 2004, the American League wild-card Red Sox sweep the Cardinals in four games. Series over!
It is absolutely inconceivable to me that a 1.2 million year-old man, whose life goal seems to be searching for "enchantment" in playoff baseball, would not place the 2004 Red Sox WS victory in that column. Regardless of how many games it lasted.
In 2005, the White Sox sweep the National League wild-card Astros in four games. Series over!
So, whether they sweep or are swept, the Wild Card is the problem, somehow. 'Splain that.
In 2006, the Cardinals actually lose a game to the American League wild-card Tigers and win in five games. Series over!
Not even Eckstein can enchant Jerry Green?!
In 2007, the Red Sox sweep the National League wild-card Rockies in four games. Series over!
Wild-card Bud Selig keeps telling us how compelling Major League Baseball has become to the American psyche. His ego swells because the sport is popular again. He boasts that the game has rebounded from its work stoppage of the 1990s and the cancelled World Series. The World Series that he cancelled.
You spelled "canceled" wrong. Twice. (EDIT: I don't care if it's a common British spelling. America -- love it or leave it. Am I right?!) Also, Selig didn't cancelllll it. The players' union cancellllllled it when they went on strike. Or the owners cancellllllllllllled it, if you prefer, by not giving them a deal.
It is true. Baseball is thriving again.
Color you unenchanted, I guess.
But what does it tell wild-card Bud when a week of the old-fashioned Hot Stove League upstages the World Series? For four consecutive Octobers?
This is such a weird thing to do -- to pit the World Series against the Hot Stove league, as if they are comparable things. What a waste of time. The only bigger waste of time would be to dissect and analyze it for a blog you don't even get paid for.
To me, it seems that Bud Selig and Major League Baseball exist, their minds boggled, their eyes fogged, in a Land of Enchantment.
Are you J.R.R. Tolkien?
Jerry Green is a retired Detroit News sports writer.
Enchantée, M. Green. The pleasure is mine!
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