Spinning Baseballs

Nothing unravels quite so spectacularly as a baseball game, does it?

Witnesses, and there were many, will be talking about last night’s ending for decades. That wasn’t a “walkoff,” so much as a tumble off. And a defensive meltdown from a Dodger team that has been splendid in the field.

A few observations from someone who has been watching the sport for 60 years:

–Baseball is a haunted game. It’s based on spinning baseballs. Like witchcraft, it messes with your mind. That’s why it always wraps up around Halloween.

–No sport changes so much from game to game, because a pitcher changes everything. Can you imagine an NFL team using a different QB every week?

–Chris Taylor is hardly the Dodgers’ best player. But he is a gutty, no-nonsense pro. In that situation, he is the last guy I expect to bobble a baseball.

–Why did catcher Will Smith still have his mask on? As my buddy Jim said, 8-year-olds know to throw their masks aside.

–Why wasn’t Kenley Jansen backing up home, as pitchers will in that situation? Some witnesses said he was backing up third. But replays show he was in no-man’s land, backing up nothing.

The Greeks have a word for all of this: Anagnorisis. It’s when a character discovers, in the heat of a moment, his true character. Or comes to appreciate the magnitude of the situation.

These Dodgers are a magnificent baseball team. The Rays play with a ton of heart.

This is a lofty and grandiloquent World Series, the best since 2016. I can’t wait for tonight’s game. It starts at 5 pm Pacific time and ends in bedlam.

Go Dodgers.

14 thoughts on “Spinning Baseballs

  1. Last night’s game saved this World Series. Had the Dodgers gone on to their pre-ordained win as “the best team in baseball” (which they are), the series would have been effectively over — no way could the Rays run the table for the three remaining games against the relentlessly powerful Dodger offense. Instead of a serene, flower-strewn walk to their coronation, LA will now have to fight hard for that trophy — and the smart money will bet on them winning — but with a 9th inning assist from the Dodgers last night, the Rays managed to make the process much more interesting, and for that, all baseball fans should all be grateful.

  2. We went out for a walk and taped the game, and then decided to watch it from the beginning without checking the score. We spent hours watching, and then our recording stopped after the first batter in the top of the 9th! We were sure the Dodgers won, but had to read about how they didn’t. Haunted is right! Can’t wait to read Plaschke’s latest. His opinion changes with every game.

  3. …giving new meaning to ‘snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!’ HWJuicer is right…could have been over tonight, now we get maybe three more games. My friend Harold who will “watch anyone play anything and doesn’t care who wins as long as it comes down to the mile relay” was in conflicted ecstasy bleeding Dodger blue. Harold says, and he’s right, that the hardest thing to do in all of sports is hit a baseball thrown by a pitcher. The game starts with that and can end a million ways. Ain’t sports great?!

  4. Note: Today’s LA Times crossword puzzle is titled “A Series of Missteps”. Yes that game was all that. Weird for sure.

  5. My Family is from Brooklyn, we moved out here when they moved to LA ,and even though I was very young, ‘dem bums’ was a phrase very familiar to us. I still have family members that have never forgiven the O’Mallleys or Robert Moses. We love them no matter what , hocus pocus or whatever!Every year, hope springs eternal!

  6. After the 9th inning meltdown, I have joined the get rid of Dave Roberts club!
    P.S. Throw in Pedro Baez too in the deal.

  7. Why was Baez still pitching earlier(gave up 4 runs!)?! Why was Jansen left in?! Why was Taylor in CF?! Bellinger would have fielded that ball cleanly and threw a strike to home plate. It’s time to ship Roberts out, w Baez, Jansen, Taylor and Pollock. Gutsy win Sunday!

  8. Nothing breaks your heart like a spinning baseball. Like a young girl with a mind of her own, it will give you the oddest kiss, then want to be alone; a situation few could wrap their arms around. Like love, no game like it.

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