Friday, June 12, 2009

The Sad Story Of The Quick Trigger On The Television Remote

Everyone remembers the feeling - eternal optimism. No matter what the score, no matter what the situation, you always felt like your team was going to do something amazing and win the game. Before the negativity of life inevitably took over, you always watched every game until the bitter end - until the last out was recorded. A family member would urge you to head for the gates early, or switch the television station, but you always held out hope that something unlikely would occur.

Tonight, when it appeared that all hope was lost, that miracle happened for the Yankees as Luis Castillo dropped a game-ending pop fly, handing them an unlikely victory... And I didn't see it.

This is a sad story, and it starts out with a bit of a money grab. You see, I split my season tickets with my father, and we have both been seeing out opportune times to sell some games, and get back some of our initial investment. Out of town for a graduation? Sell our tickets. Have a Friday and Sunday game against a hot opponent? Sell our tickets to one of the games. Tonight was an example of the latter, as we have tickets to Sunday's game against the Mets.

All things considered, staying home from the game wouldn't be too bad. I had my 48 inch television screen, my girlfriend, and my cat to keep me company while watching an exciting see-saw affair. Even after the girlfriend retired to bed, and the cat had tired himself out from too much catnip, I was still fixated on the game, thinking the Yankees would right the ship and get a big win.

When A-Rod came up in the ninth inning I was sure that he was going to pull off some classic A-Rod heroics - with the way this game was going, there was no way things would end quietly. Much to my chagrin, A-Rod popped up weakly to second base, and Luis Castillo camped under it. Game over, Yankees lose, theeeeeeeee Yankeeeeeeeees lose.

As always, I had the television remote in my hand, ready to flip the channel so I didn't have to see K-Rod's fist-pumping antics, or hear Michael Kay's asinine dramatics. Luis Castillo drifted back onto the outfield grass and I pulled the trigger - the channel up botton was depressed, and somehow AMC was on the television. In the blink of an eye (or the drop of a pop fly), I had made the biggest mistake of my channel-changing career. Minutes later I would head over to Twitter and instead of "A-Rod is unclutch" and "Joba should be a reliever," I saw comments such as "the ghosts have finally made their way over to the new Yankee Stadium."

As my father said after tonight's game, "in over 50 years watching baseball, I have never seen that happen." I'm sure what happened in tonight's game has happened before, but like my father, I've never seen it, and at this point, probably never will. For most of my life, tonight's situation was in the back of my mind, and because of that, I would only give up hope once the last out was on the board. Sure, during blowouts I'd be channel surfing and landing on The Dog Whisperer, but in close games, the channel doesn't get switched until the ball is in the glove for the final out. Tonight I had a quick trigger finger and I paid the ultimate price - missing one of the most unlikely and unique Yankees wins of my lifetime.
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