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I wanted to see some good baseball on Saturday.

Obviously, this ruled out Yankees-Red Sox. As it turned out, Orioles-Blue Jays was something of a stinker as well. But none of this was my concern, for I was at Smythe Park.

Saturday night's struggle between the Reds and the White Sox, at a minimum, offered better pitching than the home side has given the fans at Fenway this weekend.

The Reds surged out to an impressive early lead, if 14-1 is your idea of an impressive lead.

Were the White Sox discouraged? Well, probably. But they kept pecking away - five runs here, four runs here, and by the sixth inning they had closed the gap to five runs and had the bases loaded. Could they complete the comeback?

No, they couldn't. The Reds' bullpen ace slammed the door in the seventh - they say he was throwing a screwball, which hardly seems fair. But the Sox did make it interesting. And a good time was had by all.

We didn't see a starting pitcher walk nine batters - we leave that stuff for the teams playing at Fenway. We did see home runs and strike outs. Doubles galore. And some extremely interesting base-running, the likes of which I haven't seen since Willie Mays was in his prime.

Consider this play, which was surely the evening's highlight. The Sox had a runner on first. The Reds pitcher threw over and caught the runner napping. Rather than stand there and be tagged out, he lit out for second base, dashing past a startled second baseman as he did so. The Reds shortstop hurried over to cover the bag, the third baseman hustled over to back him up, and the second baseman scrambled to get back into the play. All seemed to arrive in the vicinity of second base at roughly the same time, as the first baseman threw the ball and... well, I'm not really sure what happened. But anyway, there was the baserunner standing safe at second, and there was the baseball lying on the ground.

At which point, the runner then looked up, noticed that no one was covering third base... and away he went, with the third baseman in hot pursuit.

Another infielder picked up the ball in hopes of making a play at third base. This involved hitting a moving target (the third baseman, running along the basepath in tandem with the runaway baserunner.) Moreover, the moving target was running away from the ball, which meant that this gambit somewhat resembled a quarterback leading a receiver. In addition, this was a moving target whose attention was mostly occupied by trying to keep up with the by now gasping and wheezing baserunner.

It didn't work.

The throw went astray into left field, and the runner headed for home. He seemed on the verge of collapse as he neared the plate, but he arrived safely, to appreciative roars and huzzahs from the assembled multitude.

Now that's Entertainment!

If I'm making this sound like the 1962 Mets, I'm sorry. But that was so cool... a little poetic license seems appropriate.

Actually, it's pretty obvious that the quality of play has steadily improved as the league has gone on. The fact that I myself haven't actually played in a couple of months probably has something to do with that, of course. Oh, if I could turn back time...

So yes, a good time is being had by all. Check it out. Pick a team, and cheer them on.

White Sox vs Reds: Le Rouge et le Noir | 4 comments | Create New Account
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John Northey - Sunday, August 20 2006 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#153644) #
So, that is what happens when I miss games.  Crazy baserunning, the Reds winning.   Got to get to another game but Saturday nights have been heck to make.  Will there be a game on the long weekend?  That one (strangely enough) I might be able to make.
White Sox vs Reds: Le Rouge et le Noir | 4 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.