Ups and downs

Today isn’t about the Rangers, because if it was it would only be titled Downs.  Another defeat, this one has no merits to it other than Kinsler tying the club record for HRs in April.  Another poor performance by McCarthy, I have to admit I expected a lot more from him already.  I even bought the t-shirt.  But Ups and Downs really could refer to me, because every day I am either elated or deflated depending on how the Rangers do, and I can definitely feel my moods changing as the games go on.  I feel the same about Arsenal (to a much greater extent), or the Seahawks, or NZ rugby, but they don’t play every day, they mostly play once a week, twice sometimes for Arsenal.  In those cases, the mood dissipates after a day or so, unless it’s a really big game (I still feel gutted about Arsenal losing the European Cup Final last year, and I feel like I’m flying anytime I think about Arsenal winning the league in the last minute of the season in 1989, which is far and away the greatest moment of my life).

No, the Up in the title refers to the unassisted triple play by the Rockies, by their shortstop Tulowitzki who I’ve never heard of.  I still remember Morandini’s in 1992, because I had to explain it to my brother (who is not a baseball fan).  What’s interesting is that Morandini’s was the first in 24 years and only the second in 65 years, but we’ve now had five in the last 15 years.  And there were six between 1920 and 1927.  That’s 11 of the 13 in two spans adding up to 22 years, the other two occurring in the other 85 years (since 1900, in other words in the modern era).  Kind of like buses, you don’t see any for ages and all of a sudden five in a row show up.

The down, of course, is as low as you can get in baseball, with the death of a ballplayer.  I fully admit I would never have known the name Josh Hancock without this happening. His Wikipedia page suggests the same thing for most baseball fans, because almost half of it is taken up by his death (and that is all AP reports, something that is a little annoying about Wikipedia and current events, that they simply copy in an AP report as the story).  Looking at the list of players who died while active, it’s a little weird to realize that there’s twice as many who’ve died as there are who’ve made unassisted triple plays.  There is no meaning in this, just something that came to me.

Since I’ve been a fan of baseball I’ve seen Tim Crews, Steve Olin, Steve Bechler, Mike Darr, Darryl Kile, Cory Lidle, and now Josh Hancock die.  Crews and Olin were a big shock to me, but sad to say the rest have impacted me less and less.  That sounds horrible, but it isn’t meant to be.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, to the age where players are thinking of retiring, or if it’s something that you can get desensitized to.  I hope not.

I looked up Hancock in the Baseball Prospectus annual, and here’s their last two lines:  “…one would like to think he’d get one more shot at a rotation spot before he’s pigeon-holed for life. Not that it’s a bad life to have.”  I just think that feels creepy, that it was written just a couple of months before he died.  Marian disagrees though, so maybe it’s just me, and therefore maybe there’s hope for me yet.

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