Baseball, we all know, is beautiful down to its tiniest rituals and motions. The way the hitter steps out with just his front foot and blows out a long breath before swinging himself back all the way into the box. That pause, fraught with potential, when the pitcher looks down at the ball in his glove, his hands set, before his motion begins. The open mouth/closed mouth pantomime of the second baseman and shortstop with a runner on first. The umpire's hand on the catcher's back, a bit of courtesy demanded by close working conditions. That's four examples chosen at random out of a library of 40,000 or so. Baseball is beautiful, and come winter we'd give most anything to watch an inning or two of a slow summer game, the outcome be damned.
Well, remember tonight's game come January, because it'll be a test of whether or not you really mean it.
Baseball may be beautiful, but there are few things more maddening than watching your baseball team failing to get out of its own way. A misfiring team is a pathetic thing, all overeager swings and meaningless hits and very meaningful outs and bad body language and rotten luck. Tonight? That was a misfiring team, from Jorge Sosa's flat sliders and slumped shoulders (both of which have been far too much in evidence of late) to Ryan Zimmerman leaping to retire Reyes. By the time Carlos Delgado collapsed in the approximate vicinity of Brian Schneider's little bleeder, looking for all the world like a large piece of old, expensive furniture falling over, I wasn't even pissed anymore. I was just ready for it to be over.
Fortunately, baseball being baseball, there's a game tomorrow. Two games tomorrow, in fact. Now that is a beautiful thing.