Confession time. I’ve spent the past four days watching a little baseball. And I do mean little.
* Sunday: I saw somewhere — on my computer, an NFL game ticker, somewhere — that some guy I never had heard of was taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning for the Miami Marlins. So I flipped over the MLB Network — a channel I literally never had watched; didn’t even have the channel memorized — and sure enough, there it was.
And I was rewarded. I got to see one of the most stunning no-hitters in baseball history. Henderon Alvarez finished off the Tigers in the top of the ninth inning without a hit, yet the Marlins hadn’t scored yet. So the no-hitter wasn’t complete. Miami loaded the bases with two outs, which meant the next hitter would be the last of the inning no matter what. So Alvarez took the on-deck circle. Never heard of that before. Never even considered it. And when a wild pitch scored the winning run, Alvarez was the closest man to home plate other than the umpire and teammates Giancarlo Stanton and Greg Dobbs. Stanton scored the winning run, and Dobbs, who played baseball at OU back in 2001, was the batter.
Of course, I didn’t know Dobbs was the batter, because I wasn’t paying that much attention. But it was an example of how some cool things happen in baseball.
Like of the 282 no-hitters in major league history, this was the only one to end on a wild pitch. And it was the first walk-off, complete-game no-hitter — which meant a pitcher earned a no-hitter without being on the mound — since Virgil Trucks threw one on May 15, 1952. It was the fourth season-ending no-hitter ever, joining the Angels’ Mike Witt in 1984, the Athletics’ Vida Blue in 1975 and the Reds’ Bumpus Jones in 1892. Yes, that’s right. 1892.
* Monday: I taped the Monday night football game, went grocery shopping with Trish the Dish and when I got home, I flipped on the baseball game while putting up the food. Turns out I stayed with the Rangers-Rays, because I had a lot of work to do and you can watch a baseball game while working. Just work, and if something happens, you look up.
Something happened when the umps blew that call in centerfield, negating a Tampa Bay run. Glad to see the Rays survive it.
* Tuesday: I got home from a family dinner about 8:45 p.m. and watched the rest of Pirates-Reds. Even listened on the radio a little driving home. Again, I was working, but I loved the concept of Pittsburgh getting excited again. It’s been a long time.
I work all the time watching football, but truth is, I don’t get much work completed. I can read a little, but work? Not so much. Baseball, I get a ton of work done.
* Wednesday: I’m working again, which means baseball is on again. The Rays are beating Cleveland. You know, this could become an October habit for Tuesdays and Wednesdays. No football. So I can watch baseball late into the night, because the games last forever.
Of course, Thursday night, I’ve got two interesting college games and an NFL game, so baseball has no chance. I don’t even know if there’s a game. I’m assuming there is.
But I’ll have it on. Tampa, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Oakland. Even Detroit. There’s a lot to like about baseball’s playoff teams. I’ll watch. Or at least, I’ll have it on and look up on the rare occasions when something happens. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays.