Tuesday, October 18, 2005

That's Why

My girlfriend doesn't really get baseball. Sometimes she tries. Sometimes she just throws her hands up in frustration. She'll get into it when its her team (Twins) or when she recognizes the players (Pierzynski), but when it's two teams she's not familiar with, she doesn't understand.

Last night, as the ninth inning of the Astros/Cardinals game began, she asked me why I was watching it.

"Because it's an exciting game. It's an important game, and the Astros are just three outs away from going to their first World Series."

"Why do you care about them though?"

"I don't really care about the teams. I just like seeing good, exciting baseball, and it's fun to see the crowd this excited."

"Could you turn it down though? I don't like that noise."

After saying this, she went to the kitchen, but I could tell that she was half watching while she fumbled with the water pitcher. By now there were two outs and two strikes with David Eckstein at the plate. A single and a walk later, Albert Pujols came to the plate.

Now she knows who Pujols is, if only for the childish smile we all get inside our heads when we say his name a certain way. But she also knows that he's a good hitter, and that he's important -- if only because we saw the Hallmark Christmas ornament of him at the store over the weekend.

I was leaning forward in my seat, and I could just tell that she was paying even more attention (the fumbling with the water pitcher had stopped.)

Pujols' homer was as dramatic and mammoth as Roy Hobbs'. There are no-doubters, and then there's that wall-scaling, train-track-pounding monster.

From behind, I heard the kind of awed chuckle one lets out when they're impressed and can't really believe what they saw. You laugh at it as if to shake it into reality.

Now she knows why I watch.

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