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Twelve hours until C.J. kicks
Rangers 4, Yanks 2
To answer your question:
Wishful thinking? Maybe. But that's what this is all about.
When I see Mark Teixeira step up in the top of the first and Alex Rodriguez in (hopefully) the second, in the back of my mind I'll have it tucked away that Tex is 0 for 5 lifetime against Wilson and that A-Rod is 1 for 13. But this is different now, and even those numbers feel like wishful thinking.
But if I'm going to toss those out, do I also toss out the fact that the Rangers suiting up for this series are 24 for 137 lifetime (.175) against C.C. Sabathia - and 12 for 99 (.121) if you don't count Michael Young's 12 for 38 (.316)?
I toss it all out, as well as the fact that my legs are almost numb right now, I figure because I probably haven't slept well in a week and a half. Because of this.
This I think I know: Over the next week and maybe for the rest of my life, I will harbor an irrational hatred for Nick Swisher, there will probably be a home plate ump or two whose name I'll remember forever, and not fondly, and there will be several moments and images that will push all other moments and images down in my mental sports scrapbook.
It will never be like this again.
Texas could go on to win three World Series in a four-year span, and yet there will never again be a year like this one. Those of us who are Cowboys fans understand that.
There are lots of numbers in my head right now, streaks and trends and splits and precedent, and I'm going to make an effort, strenuous as it may be, to suppress all of them, and to do for myself whatever the equivalent is of Wilson looking over his left shoulder at the top of the right field foul pole, to center myself and block out the hype and the history and the punditry and the paranoia, and lock in on Wilson-Jeter, seeing it and every other battle in this best-of-seven not as a clash of numbers, but a series of exercises in pure sports combat.
Roger Angell said this: "What I do know is that this belonging and caring is what our gamers are all about; this is what we come for. It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitative as a professional sports team, and the amused superiority and icy scorn that the non-fan directs at the sports nut (I know this look — I know it by heart) is understandable and almost unanswerable. Almost. What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring — caring deeply and passionately, really caring — which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives. And so it seems possible that we have come to a time when it no longer matters so much what the caring is about, how frail or foolish is the object of that concern, as long as the feeling itself can be saved. Naivete — the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing and shouting with joy in the middle of the night over the haphazardous flight of a distant ball — seems a small price to pay for such a gift."
Enjoy this. Love it and hate it and lose sleep.
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(c) Jamey Newberg