Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Moment

Baseball has something that the other major sports don't.

Baseball has a moment.

The moment. The moment when the whole season, the whole series, the whole game has built to.

It's the moment the game ends.

Now, you might say that every sport has a moment where the game ends, and while technically true, in practice it's not. Sports ruled by a clock nearly always "end" before the last second ticks off.

Because the game will end at a specific time, you can plot a graph that shows what lead is insurmountable for the amount of time left on the clock. Even if it's a close game that comes down to the closing seconds, they still usually end with the winnning team storming the field or the court and the coaches shaking hands as the final seconds tick away. The game peters out. It fades away. It has no moment.

Baseball has no clock. Any amount of runs can be scored at any amount of time. Sure, that's not always likely, but it is possible. Baseball fans and players being the superstitious lot that they are, respect that. A team can score 5 runs with two outs in the 9th inning. A football team can't score three touchdowns with 30 seconds left.

Last night, with two outs and two strikes on Nelson Cruz, the Rangers were just a base hit and a homerun away from a tie game. That was certainly doable. After all, the Giants scored 7 runs in the 8th inning of Game 2 with two outs and nobody on base.

No matter what the lead in the game or the series, it isn't over until that last strike or that last run. Then everyone, the players, the coaches, the fans, can explode and release all that pent up joy just waiting to escape.

That gives baseball the best "moment" in sports.

You can watch the Giants' moment here.

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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.