Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper

Not Dead Yet

I had promised myself that I wasn't going to pay attention to tonight's Cards/Astros game. But I was in the car after dinner and tried to tune in the game on ESPN Radio locally only to discover that they were doing Monday Night Football. I punched the button for 1120, KMOX Radio, to see if reception was worth a damn tonight. (50,000 watts clear channel doesn't mean diddly when trying to get into Chicago some nights.) There was Mike Shannon, calling the game, and the Cards had gone down 1-0.

I couldn't resist turning on FOX when I got home. Grudzielanek manufactured a bases-loaded single to put the Cards up 2-1. I went upstairs where daisy_knotwise was planning on crawling into bed early with a cold and kept watching. I watched Eckstein get picked off first by a Pettitte move that looked remarkably like a balk. (The FOX announcers referred to it briefly as a "liberal pickoff move", pretty kind given that he stepped more toward home than first on the replay. But I think the orders have come down not to dwell on umpiring mistakes.) And when Berkman hit the 3-run homer to give the Astros a 4-2 lead, I said something profane, switched off the TV, and went to work on the computer.

Except that the Cards are leaving KMOX after 50 years at the end of the season and the station that they're going to will never be audible in Chicago. And I've listened to Shannon for a long time, even though he's not half the broadcaster that his former partner, Jack Buck, was. So I turned the radio on to hear Shannon one last time.

There were two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and Shannon started going through the list of "last things" that would have occurred in Busch Stadium -- which is being torn down after this season -- if the game ended as it was. And Eckstein managed a single off the Houston closer, Brad Lidge. Then Edwards drew a walk. And Albert Pujols came to the plate. And he'd had no luck all game, although the FOX announcers had talked earlier of how he'd hit everything hard.

Lidge hung a slider. Pujols unhung it. The ball went a very long way. It would have left the park if the roof had been open. The Cards led 5-4 and I ran back to the bedroom to switch on the TV to watch the replay, waking Gretchen up.

And then I turned the TV back off and went back to the office to listen to KMOX. Because the deal was like this: if I watched the rest of the game on FOX, something bad would happen. But if I listened to KMOX, something good might happen.

It did. Isringhausen retired the side in order in the ninth and the Cards get to go back to Busch Stadium, down 3 games to 2.

It beats the heck out of losing.
Tags: baseball, cardinals, musings

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