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Posts Tagged ‘Washington Nationals’

Game 7 of the World Series last night.

What was there not to like?

For me, the shocking victory by the underdog Washington Nationals over the Houston Astros seemed like the universe was setting things right in a karmic sense.

The Nationals, the oldest team in major league baseball with the youngest superstar in Juan Soto, made an improbable run through the later part of the regular season and into the playoffs, becoming the first team to win all of their World Series victories on their opponent’s home field. That in itself goes against all the odds.

Just like the odds in May from the bookmakers in Las Vegas that had the Nationals chances of winning the series as 1.5%.

Maybe it was a gift from karma for them getting rid of Bryce Harper?

Or maybe it was a nod from karma for the Nationals crowd loudly booing the president* both at his appearance in game 5 and at a viewing party at Nationals Park in the rain last night?

I believe that was just a case of the crowd adhering to the old baseball adage that says: I calls ’em like I sees ’em.

And they got that call right.

Or maybe the karma came in the fact that the pitcher who got the final three outs was the Nationals’ Daniel Hudson and not Robert Osuna, the controversial Astros closer.

Hudson missed an earlier playoff game so that he could be with his wife as she gave birth and Osuna was arrested last year for domestic violence for beating the mother of his child. He was passed over by a number of teams but the Astros picked him up.

But the karma payback might have come in response to the Astros’ earlier defense of one of their executives, Brandon Taubman, who, in the clubhouse after the Astros won the American League pennant, taunted some female reporters, one who had written about domestic violence in sports, with an expletive filled rant that invoked Osuna’s name. The Astros’ management at first defended Taubman and said that it was totally misrepresented in the public accounts. But the Astros were later forced, after several witnesses to the event came forward, that they had been wrong and fired Taubman.

That might have been too late for the Astros– karma was already in motion.

My faith in humanity might not be fully restored yet but my faith in baseball and karma certainly has returned. It makes me believe that karma is now ready to move on from baseball and clear up some other pressing matters.

And it’s coming with a heavy hammer…

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Baseball The First 100 Years Album CoverBaseball season has snuck upon us again and it remains one of my favorite times of the year.  I had my first taste yesterday, watching the Mets squander a lead then lose in extra innings to the Washington Nationals as I worked in the studio.  It felt pretty good. I have written many times over the years here about my affection for the game and how its history and its folklore is woven into the mesh of our country.

One of my favorite things to listen to when I was a kid was an album called Baseball: The First 100 Years .  It was from 1969, the year that marked professional baseball’s first century, and I can’t remember if I got it in Cooperstown or at Shea Stadium.  But I would play it over and over, listening to the calls of the great plays and great games of the past.  Willie Mays’ over the shoulder catch.  Bobby Thompson’s epic 1951 home run that ended with perhaps the most famous sound clip in baseball history– The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! 

Mighty Casey Has Struck OutIt had Abbott & Costello with their classic bit Who’s On First?, which still makes me laugh even though I’ve heard it a thousand times.  There were songs about Joltin’ Joe and Say Hey Willie and  the classic Take Me out to the Ballpark. And, of course, there was a recitation of Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s poem Casey At The Bat.

I’ve heard many versions of Casey At The Bat over the years.  Some are goofy, some are dead serious and some are emotionally overwrought, especially some of the earliest ones that featured stage actors who exaggerated every feeling and syllable in the poem.  They are all good fun but I prefer a more straight approach.  Today I am featuring a version with the wondrous voice of James Earl Jones followed by a version from another wonderful voice, Garrison Keillor, giving the other side of the story, speaking in a strong Bostonian accent.  Casey was obviously a Yankee in this version.  It’s pretty funny and sends me into the season with a smile.  Hope it does the same for you.


 

 

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