One of the upsides to having a job that beats you like the rented mule of a red-headed stepchild you might have acquired is that sometimes you'll get home to find great baseball being played on FOX, and it's a surprise!
Ok, so in the case of the Angels-Chisox game from Wednesday night, it turned about to be a little anti-climactic within the framework of "great baseball", but still, what a week! Last night's Houston-Redbirds game was fantastic playoff baseball: great pitching, great D, some clutch hitting (although being a statistically educated man I am aware that there is no such thing as a clutch player), and guys playing hard and getting dirty.
Would I trade anything for 4 years of Jim Edmonds, even at his advanced age? Of course I would! I'm not a total idiot. Well, that's not true, exactly, but still, you've gotta love how Edmonds plays the game, unless you're his manager or GM, in which case you're probably waiting for him to do something to end his career. So, simply put, I'm not here to make cogent arguments, I just type things at random.
On the warm stove front, the big Boston news today (or rather, non-news) is that the ownership group and Theo Epstein are pretty far apart in the salary negotiations for Theo's contract. This is beyond my limited intellect. I mean, what more could you ask this kid to do? Are they waiting for him to sign an incentive-laden contract that pays him an extra $250K if the team wins two World Series IN THE SAME YEAR? Actually, if the winner of the MLB World Series were to actually play teams from the rest of the world thereafter, I suppose this would be possible. And, in fact, appropriate (for background, mockery, see: Eddie Izzard).
But that is something that we Sox fans will obsess over until it's done; we need Theo to keep this team moving forward. In some way this will nag at us all say long, as will the question of what happens with Manny, and whether or not Clemens will go straight to hell or spend a few millenia in purgatory signing autographs for fat kids. Hot stove, it gets under your skin. Let's face it; the offseason in many ways can be more fun than the season, in the same way that dreaming about that girl in high school that you never hooked up with can be more fun than actually hooking up with some skank in college that is far less attractive, but is, um, in season, as it were. So there's that.
All things being equal, 2005 has been a good year for baseball, even for Sox fans. Not a great year, but a good, semi-satisfying holdover year. I think in ten years time many folks will look back on this year as something of a watershed season in the modern game.
For myself, I'll look back on it as the time I grew to vaguely fear Edgar Renteria. But that too shall pass (I hope; Christ, we're on the hook for $30 Mil more).