The Spectacle Blog

A Haymaker Home Run

By on 10.18.05 | 1:55AM

A friend's e-mail greets me as I open my computer:

I am glorying in Pujols' home run to extend the NLCS, though as the announcers pointed out, the real hero was David Eckstein for getting a two-out, two-strike, nobody on base single to keep the Cardinals' season alive. I didn't have much of a rooting interest other than, like you, a certain disgust at a 6-month season of dominance for the Cards going up in smoke due to the "wild card" format. Baseball is just not that kind of sport. It's a slow game that is all about the long haul, but we have footballized it, and football is best left for football.

I can't compete with his insights, especially his poetry about the slow game that is all about the long haul, but let me at least add my two-cents' worth. If Eckstein's a hero, which he is, so is Jim Edmonds and his ability to work the pitcher for a walk (after an unfortunate last at-bat the previous night -- proving these pros really do improve from day to day). But, my gosh, has there ever been a more smashing home run than Albert Pujols's? It KO'ed a team, a packed stadium, a city. One out away from the World Series! If Houston doesn't gets there now, it'll never forgive Hurricane Rita for sparing it in the first place.

I noticed that when Pujols came up that last time one of the announcers called him "one of the best hitters in baseball." The best hitter in baseball, I quickly corrected. There's never been a player with his thick statistics over his first five years. Anyway, I love it when I'm subsequently proved right.

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