Wednesday, October 07, 2009

'It'll break your heart'

When Alexi Casilla hit the winning RBI single last night to take the Minnesota Twins to the playoffs, I thought about Bart Giamatti.

The late, great former commissioner of our national game once said that baseball is designed to break your heart. Thus it is with me and a bunch of folks in Motown this morning.

The Tigers blew the 7-game lead it held on Sept. 7 while the Twins went on a tear. As it dwindled to three games, then two, then one, then the tie -- forcing last night's play-in game -- I could feel the sickening feeling in my gut, trying to keep my hopes alive, but knowing somehow that it was over.

I'll say this, though. Yesterday's game was a classic.

The Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The Twins scored one on an error. Back and forth it went. Tie game. Free baseball, as they call it, into the 10th inning, and the 11th, and the 12th.

I talked to J.M. on the phone for the last few frames, telling him not to react too quickly, since my satellite feed is a bit behind his cable broadcast. Dustin Mynatt texted his fear that the Tigers had blown too many chances. Mike Hermann said at least he'd be in Minnesota for a playoff game.

I can't believe I'm getting ready to type this, but I hope the Yankees win -- this series anyway.

So now it's off to root for Boston, with or without Heidi Watney, and look in on the National League from time to time.

But as I turned off my TV last night, trying to ignore the sinking feeling in my gut, I remembered the Renaissance poet who knew so much about our perfect pastime, and marveled over the fact that this little boy's game can still break my heart.

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