Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Duel in the Dome: Sox vs. Twinkies starts tonight

But this is not just about sports. In fact, it's more about the differences between fans and players.

As a lifelong White Sox fan just thinking about this week's series against the Twins gives me chills. It makes me nervous and irritable. (OK, more nervous and irritable than usual. Assuming you're willing to accept that this is possible.)

If it weren't for the fact that I've had children who've participated in sports, I'd think that the players would be feeling the same way I am -- only magnified immensely.

I'd have scoffed at the newspaper reports this morning of Ozzie Guillen playing golf on yesterday's off day, bad boy catcher A.J. Pierzynski going bear hunting, other players going off to hunt deer. I'd think that improbable macho bluster.

And maybe some of the players did fib about their whereabouts and actually hid out in their Minneapolis hotel rooms fighting nausea.

But I kind of doubt it.

Players at any competitive level can't bring the nerves on the field with them. Not unless they have mastered them, and are using them. Oh, sure, failure happens. The Sox may blow their slim 2½ game lead. Then again, they can clinch the Division title (and the last AL playoff spot) by sweeping los Piranhas. But it won't be from nerves. Kids somehow learn, at an early age, to get past the butterflies or they stop playing. And major league ballplayers are just men playing a kids' game. For lots of money.

When I get to a park district game or a high school game I always can identify the parents of the kid who is pitching. It's the way they pace. Or can't pace. The way they move on every single pitch. More than once, I've gone up to the mom or dad and told them, "It's harder on us than it is for them."

Some have believed me.

I've come to know it's true. It's really pretty amazing, isn't it?


Patti said...

Hi Curmy!
I came back to see you and what do I find? A post about sp-sp-sports.

I really don't do sports. Oh well.

Have a nice Tuesday.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I never know who's who, being in Britain.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

well since i am now a sports writer myself i read this whole thing. i didn't understand any of it mind you, but i read it anyway!

smiles, bee

Ralph said...

I think that the Sawx (Chicago, to differentiate between the probable Wild Card) should win. But, like the Mets locally, we don't want to talk 'choke' just yet. But the White Sox really need to sweep MN as the Sox are up by 2-1/2 with this 3 game series to yet be played. Kudos to the South Side if the Sox win the division.

Can a Cubs-Sox World Series be in the offing???

Dave said...

Think about it this way, you and Ralph have something to be nervous about, as opposed to me now several years into the desert.

My prediction: Phillies with Mets the Wild Card. Cubs have it. Sox? I'm not sure.