Rather than providing readers a traditional, outdated, AP-style recap of a World Series game that everyone watched, we offer up a look back at not only the game, but the fringe elements that make professional sports as enjoyably absurd as its become.
50-word Game Recap:
Derek Holland and Derek Holland’s teenage facial hair shut down the Cardinals offense for a grand total of two hits and 16 less runs than Saturday night. Mike Napoli crushed a three-run bomb off Mitchell Boggs to make it 4-0. Scouts from local men’s softball teams were impressed with Napoli.
The Holland Mustache Bonus
We have no proof, but we’re just guessing that the producers at Fox Sports put out a little incentive to the camera operators – the person who gets the most disturbing closeup of Derek Holland’s pre-pubescent mustache gets a bonus on their next paycheck.
Just say the guy who took this one will have a nice Christmas this year:
If any of Holland’s teammates dared to give him a shaving cream pie to the face after his pitching performance last night, they’d better be watching their backs because all 52 of those scraggly pubes on his upper lip will be coming for them.
The Albert Pujols Media Conundrum
Avoid the press like Pujols did after Game 2 and you get national writers like the New York Post’s Joel Sherman moaning about how you’re doing a disservice to the sport and avoiding your duty to “the fans”, even though most fans don’t care how Albert Pujols responds to questions from people like Joel Sherman:
“I don’t want to get between Mr. Pujols and his god or his family. But he does have some responsibility to the game, too. This is the World Series, not Tuesday night in June against the Pirates. There are concerns about diminishing TV ratings, so you can’t, as the institution of baseball, complain about that and have one of your biggest stars not make himself available to sell the game.” – Joel Sherman
Answer the press’ questions like Pujols did after Game 3 and you get national writers like ESPN’s Howard Bryant ripping you for not showing enough personality when you do. In comparing Pujols to Reggie Jackson, Bryant laid out his impression of Albert after hearing his media comments:
“(Pujols) had the greatest night of his life on the biggest stage and spoke of it with all the significance of a spring training intrasquad.
Albert Pujols took one half — produced a Promethean night on the biggest stage, five consecutive hits, three home runs in his final three at-bats — and left the really important part, the hero part, the mythmaking part, the imagination part, the good part and tossed it in the trash by being purposely bland, purposely evasive, as if he preferred to play in an empty stadium.” – Howard Bryant
If there’s ever been any mystery as to why professional athletes have an inherent distaste for the agenda-driven national media, this minor example should give a glimpse of why. If you aren’t exactly what they want you to be, you lose. Maybe baseball players should all just hope that Derek Jeter comes out with a tutorial workshop explaining to his colleagues what steps are necessary to get the media to fall passionately in love with you.
When its a national sporting event that their TV network covers, just know that FoxSports.com will have the big guns out dropping headlines the next morning. A guy named Mike Napoli hitting a key homerun just makes it that much easier:
Value Over Stuffed Animal
If you’re an adult and you choose to wear you baseball glove to the stadium, we’ve always just assumed you were willing to drop everything and hunt down any ball that drifted within a ten foot radius of your seat. But when we said “drop everything” we figured a $12 beer and maybe a bag of peanuts might factor in. We never thought that would be more specifically defined as “drop the toy monkey you’re snuggling”, but apparently it is for some:
But the question still remains – when the time comes for this Rangers fan, which wins the battle: foul ball or stuffed monkey? No one wants to be faced with that dilemma.
What We’re Looking Forward To Tonight…
After riding the roller coaster that has been the Cardinals 2011 postseason, nothing has been quite as welcoming as Chris Carpenter taking the mound. He’s not the consistently dominating ace he was a few years ago, but good lord is he an upgrade from the back end of the rotation.
The last two night’s we’ve seen the standard Kyle Lohse meltdown and Edwin Jackson handing out free passes like he’s an indie concert promoter. Tonight Cardinals fans can go into the game with at least a shred of confidence that the starting pitcher could add another gem to his postseason resume.
And if it doesn’t happen that way, just hope we get more looks like this one from the front row in Arlington.