Big Mo and the Baseball Gods
Posted on: October 19, 2008 12:50 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2008 12:53 pm
News Flash: You know that saying, “momentum in baseball only goes as far as your next starter”? Fuggetta bout it. Yea, that would be wrong. Its cute, as baseball sayings go. 100% wrong. There’s plenty of momentum in baseball. How else can you fully characterize the 2007 Colorado Rockies? Or the 2004 Red Sox? Or the ’03 Yankees. Morgan Magic? Teams do get on a roll and when they do, the factors that compel them are both tangible (bear witness the twenty first century Bash Brothers of Ramirez and Ortiz) and intangible. Momentum is intangible. You can’t pencil it into the three spot. You can’t acquire it in the draft. It’ll never negotiate a contract or take a swing in the batting cage. When it shows up, it hangs all around you like an unseen cloud. And every ball that gets hit finds a patch of green; bloop singles generate three RBI’s. And every line drive hit to your weakest infielder falls into his glove like a babe in arms. B J Upton hits less than his weight for the season and then becomes Reggie Jackson in October? Say what? You don’t coach that change in production. The Baseball Gods, and this is where we have to tread even further on the ice of intangibility, the Gods simply Will it. You can’t insert momentum into your call-up roster. But you pray to those Gods that it shows up. The second thing we know about momentum is that it’s fleeting. “Only goes as far your next starting pitcher” comes from is a well intentioned colloquialism but momentum is just as likely to be derailed by the next day’s starter as it is say, throwing a couple of baseballs three rows into the seats behind First Base, randomly, sporadically. Or leaving your bullpen full of lefties with a righty on the mound against Ortiz. Maybe the bench coach tells the right fielder to back up on JD Drew seeing’s how he beat you there 48 hours ago. Maybe he doesn’t. Because the thing is, when that old momentum goes, she goes fast. Ball is over your shoulder, momentum is gone. The only sport where you can lose momentum faster is boxing and that’s only because it takes 1-2 seconds for a fighter to drop to the canvas wherein it takes 3-4 seconds for Bucky Dent to hit a ball over the Green Monster. This is the final thing we know about momentum. When she gets lost, she also gets found. Yea, that’s right. The cruelty of it all. You rocketing along in your Teflon uniforms with all the momentum in the world when suddenly she’s gone. And not just gone but gone to your enemy. Now the other team has momentum. You have none. Momentum never goes away but she’s always willing to change sides. So, how do you steal back that which is fleeting and intangible? Well if I knew that, I’d be collecting a better salary. But has it been done? Oh yeah. Going into game 7, it would seem the Red Sox have the momentum. We’ll see how the starting pitcher does. Yes?