Sunday, October 27, 2013

World Series: Who's on Third?

"Who's on third?"

"I dunno, but I think we just won."

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell argues with home plate umpire Dana DeMuth after St. Louis Cardinals scored the winning run on an obstruction play during the ninth inning of Game 3 of baseball's World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in St. Louis. The Cardinals won 5-4 to take a 2-1 lead in the series

Let me preface my description of last night's slapstick ending to Game 3 of the World Series in St Louis by going back to the World Series of 1974. Game One was about to begin when, all of  a sudden, a message came across the screen that the broadcast was being interrupted. President Ford was giving a speech before the Future Farmers of America in Kansas City.

"Ah wunnerful, ah wunnerful, ah."

Yes. Instead of watching the first pitch, we were now watching President Ford standing in front of a group of bored-looking young men as he gave a speech in support of his "Whip Inflation Now" program.

As I and millions of other Americans screamed at the TV set, Ford droned on about getting  a letter from Myrtle Mayberry in Bullsnuts, Iowa about how much money she was saving on her electric bill by turning the lights off.

"And one more thing," Ford said. "Clean your plates."

It was about the fourth inning when we were returned to regularly scheduled programming.

Fast forward to last night in St Louis. I was lying on my living room couch as the game went into the 9th inning tied at 4-4. Being a Cub fan, I don't really care who wins, I just wanted to see a great series, right? So it's the bottom of the 9th, the Cardinals are batting with a runner on first with one out and a pitching change is being made. All of a sudden, the screen flashes that in 60 seconds, some show called "Cute Cats" or something like that is coming on.

My wife had programmed another show into the TV and the clock was ticking down to "Cute Cats' coming on. Sure enough, the next thing I knew I was watching the cutest little kittens rolling around on someone's living room floor.

Since there was a pitching change in progress, I didn't panic, but said, "Hey Honey. Fix this will you?" (I had no idea had to do it.) Well, it took her a good five minutes to accomplish the task. Finally, the screen switched back to St Louis, just as some runner was sliding into home and the announcers, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, were screaming and all bedlam was breaking loose.

What the Hell had happened? I had caught the final moment of one of the most bizarre game endings in World Series history, and had  to be content to watch it all on replays.

"Ah wunnerful, ah wunnerful, ah."

I can see this all now. Ten years from now, I will be laying on my deathbed, and the Cubs will be one out from winning their first World Series since 1908....

"Cute Cats".

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