FanPost

Baseball: Blessing or Curse?

What are the odds...? 

For the second  year in a row, the Twins turn a double play on a ball that bounces off the right field wall with a runner on in a tie game.

Let me say that again:  the Twins have made two outs on doubles to right with a runner on in a tie game for the second year in a row. 

If this happens again in my lifetime, I will cash out my retirement funds, buy a rare bottle of Lafitte Champagne, a boat-full of caviar and prepare to meet my maker.  

Last year, it was Tampa Bay and Carl Crawford who steamed into third in the 8th inning (I think) where his teammate was already hanging on the bag, and remarkably the Twins managed to get them both out.  If memory serves,  the Twins ended up winning that game.

This weekend it was in the 3rd inning on Friday and Texas' runner was thrown out at the plate and the batter was caught at third as he tried to move up on the play.  How that runner, who was on second when the ball was hit, could not score on that play is beyond me, especially given that the throw went first to second base and then home.  (Sure, he went back to the bag to tag up but still... the ball bounced over Cuddyer's head...)

Still, such an unlikely scenario, to get two outs in a tie game when it looks  for all the world like you are about to lose the lead--it really does defy any reasonable sense that one can predict the outcome of a baseball game.

IT reminds me of an ancient Taoist story: 

A man who lived on northern frontier of China was skilled at interpreting events.  One day, for no reason, his horse ran away to the nomads across the border.  Everyone tried to console him, but his father said:  "What makes you so sure this isn't a blessing?"

Some months later his horse returned, bringing a splendid  nomad stallion in tow.  Everyone congratulated him, but his father said:  "What makes you so sure this isn't a disaster?" 

Their household was richer by a fine horse, which the son loved to ride.  One day he fell and broke his hip.  Everyone tried to console him, but his father said:  "What makes you so sure this isn't a blessing?"

A year later the nomads came in force across the border, and every able-bodied man took his bow and went into battle.  The Chinese frontiersmen lost nine of every ten who fought.  Only because the son was lame did the father and son survive to take care of each other. 

Truly, blessing turns to disaster, and disaster to blessing:  the changes have no end, nor can the mystery be fathomed.

So, Liriano doesn't have the right stuff.  Young can't seem to drive the ball.  Gomez is all over the place.  Mauer has no power.  The Twins can't score runs and lose the deciding series game to the worst team in baseball 10-0.   It looks as if this season is about to go down the toilet.

But, what makes us so sure this is not a blessing?

I, for one, may be able to get some work done... and maybe make enough money to have that caviar and bottle of Lafitte without stressing about my team and the unusual ways they find to turn double plays.

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