It's September 11, and while last year I commemorated the event by heading out to the World Trade Center site, tonight I'm going to be watching baseball. For the first time ever, I'm going to watch an entire series. It's Braves-Mets, the Braves have no chance other than to run the table to go to the playoffs, but it's fun to go out to the ballpark no matter what. Last night, the Braves lost because of stuff that knocked them out of contention this year: bad fundamentals. I hate watching bad decisions play out on the field and cause losses. For instance:
In the 1st inning, after fielding a grounder, 3rd baseman Yunel Escobar, instead of tagging Jose Reyes, which was the correct play, decided to rely on the possibility that he might be called out for running out of the baseline and threw to second instead. First and third with one out, meaning any little hit scores a run. And next, Carlos Beltran hits a grounder that would not have scored a run, would have been the second out, and the Mets would not have scored. Ridiculous how easy it is, yet they didn't do what they had to do.
In the top of the 6th, Tim Hudson leads off with a single. Then Escobar walks. Renteria hits a ball hard, right at David Wright. Hudson nearly gets doubled up because he started running too far down the baseline. Not long after, he's getting picked off of second by pitcher Oliver Perez. What the hell are you doing?
In the bottom of the 6th, with Reyes at third and one out, the Braves decide to pitch to David Wright, who is a major MVP candidate mainly because of how hot he's been down the stretch. They've been getting the next batter Beltran out all night. YOU WALK DAVID WRIGHT. Instead, Hudson gets to a 2-0 count and it looks like Wright plays possum by fouling off the next two pitches, playing the "I will not be walked" game. Next pitch, gone. 3-0. It didn't have to happen.
In the top of the 7th, the Braves special: a home run that gets them within 1 run and therefore they have no chance of tying. Brian McCann drills a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall. It's 3-2 with two more innings left, but you can forget about it. With no Chipper Jones (who I saw take batting practice and looked OK...what the hell?), no Andruw Jones (well, I guess that's not a huge loss this year), I have to watch some youngsters play pepper with the infielders. There was some hope with Mark Teixeira leading off the ninth against Billy Wagner, but the Braves' longtime love of the long ball gets them in trouble every time. No one tries to start a rally anymore with a single.
They've lost a lot of games this year because of crap like this. You ever wonder how a team that is terrible, with very little changes for the next year, turn awesome the next season? It's cutting down on the nonsense. The Braves have the elements of a playoff team, but they make terrible decisions, and this includes manager Bobby Cox, who seems to play recklessly at times.
As for work life, it's the status quo since July: I'm still getting people trained; I have 13 "students" from three different theatres, spreading wisdom everywhere I go.
I think by next year (hopefully around January-February), I'll have paid off debts and maybe move to a new place, maybe get my car back. Everything will be great when that happens. It's something in which to look forward.