Wooden's World of Baseball

Sunday, May 13, 2007

And THAT's why you never leave a ballgame early

OK, I'll admit that I've done it — probably more often with the 7:35pm starts when you can smell a game going past the 3-hour mark, which it shouldn't with neither TV nor radio commercials to "get in." But I usually do it only when there's a substantial lead on one side or the other.

Then again, I like to tell the story of the Eugene Ems game I saw in 1994 when the Ems scored eight times in the bottom of the 8th to turn an 8-3 deficit into an 11-8 triumph. The icing on the cake? No home runs -- just double after double as I recall it.

Which brings me to this afternoon's game in Boston. I sat down to see if this kid (Jeremy Guthrie) could get a shutout. He'd gone 8 1/3 innings and let up just three hits. Then an error on a infield popup. Big Papi's coming up, so to the bullpen goes Baltimore. Double off the monster = bye-bye shutout, but at 5-1 with 1 out, O's should still win, right?


Another single, two walks, a double — now it's 5-4, with the bases loaded. Chopper to 2nd, but the throw home gets him, so the lead is still intact. But a grounder to 1st and a bad throw to the pitcher covering and there's your ballgame, kids: a 6-5 Red Sox win. A debacle for the Orioles.

And the thought that goes through my head is: I wonder how many were left to actually see it?

Answer: Probably less than 20,000 (out of the 36,379 reported in the official boxscore). Just an educated guess, based on years of watching Fenway empty in stages after the 7th inning when the opposition is leading. But I sure hope those who left early heard about it on their ride home. And maybe, just maybe, they'll think twice about leaving early again.


Post a Comment

<< Home