This was my first comment on TBLA which was an eyesore for the comments section, so I thought I would create a fanpost instead. The following is something I wrote quickly in between meetings this morning to memorialize yesterday's amazing walk-off.
Puig Walks Off
The count was 0-1, not 2-0. Baseball is mesmerizing: a mesmerizing picture. The score was 0-0: nothing, for 11 innings, just nothing…but good pitching…which is rendered almost invisible by strikeouts and undisciplined swings and “what could-have beens”. Reading the score on my phone, I expressed muted joy at Costco. “They won again!”, I yelped to my adoring significant other. And somehow I knew it…years ago…as I tried to identify myself as an American kid in the east San Fernando Valley, begging for every second to pass, so I could sit in front of the TV—my little slice of America where Vin graces the airwaves with incomparable elegance. I always knew a day like yesterday would come.
Puig is a star today, an unknown yesterday, a question mark tomorrow like hope for a happy eternity. Baseball approximates eternity in my eyes as the clock is finally shut off. Baseball just happens slowly but with significant crashes like a judge’s mallet. I thought it was a 2-0 count not 0-1. I would confess this to my darling but she would laugh at the idea that this meant anything to her. But the pitch was such a bad pitch to throw in that count. It was tailor-made to be walloped with glee. How can a game so filled with cyphers end so easily? Ending on a throw-away pitch that only a reliever could throw?
Baseball is a head-scratcher full of second-guessing, of sizing up, of repetition and agonizing frustrations. And in the Big Leagues, they all have a gift unlike any other. It’s a game where a lazy fly ball can be plucked from the sky with such ease it makes the recipient look like they never worked a moment in their life to get where they were.
He was born on the outfield grass. In Puig’s maiden game, he unleashed a throw that still has Baseball fans buzzing. He screamed that he will be grabbing your attention right now so if you haven’t stopped what you’re doing you should re-prioritize your life in that instant. The Dodger season was a dreadful carcass when Puig’s star was born. The bat, speed, and strength of a mighty young man. Even if his career doesn’t end magnificently (I banish this thought but I digress), we will be talking about his mythic first several weeks in the “Bigs” for a long, long time. I threw down my computer bag, and unpacked my computer. “He’s been through a lot lately”, I thought and followed it up, “Haven’t we all!” I wasn’t thinking about Puig but about someone else. Yet, it applied nonetheless as I thumbed my password and logged onto my spotty work internet connection. “Lots to do today”, I thought, “but I haven’t yet seen the highlight of Puig’s walk-off” (due to the busy business of helping run a household). My email had a link to the homer so I clicked as if my fingers where feverish. Vin calls the play “(silence)…(crack)…And a high drive into deep left field…and that will do it for Puig!” Puig flips his bat, pauses with swagger, and runs through the bases knowing that the game has ended with the Dodgers on top because of a meatball of a pitch that he ate with gusto. He slid into home causing bellyaches across the country. But oh will they talk, let them talk! Let the naysayers deal with it in their own way, there will be more days like this. They will be talking about the star Dodger right fielder for a long, long time I’m guessing.
And I watched the highlight over and over until I believed it, and relished it. And there I realized: it was an 0-1 count, not 2-0.