World Series thoughts today. Crushing, draining loss for the Astros in Game 3 last night in every sense of those words. I don't think I'm going out on a limb when I say the Astros are dead. Literally. I think they all passed away after last night's game. They have now played, in the span of three weeks, both the longest postseason game ever (an 18-inning win over the hur-ting Atlanta "Mama Cass" Braves) and the longest World Series game ever (last night's 14-inning, almost six-hour-long, 7-5 loss to the White Sox), not to mention the Pujols and Podsednik home runs and everything else. They couldn't be losing (or winning) these games in any more exhausting ways.
In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that as a kid I lived in Texas for a few years, and the first pro sporting event I ever attended was an Astros game at the old Astrodome. I also attended plenty of contests during their 1986 playoff run (a team co-anchored by third baseman and current 'Stros manager Phil Garner). So I was definitely rooting for the Astros. But they're done. I'll give it up to the White Sox, though, who scrap, fight, and even bend the rules (yeah, that's right - A.J. Pierzynski I'm looking at you) to do what it takes to win. They just don't die. They're like the Hydra of Greek mythology, a (fittingly) nine-headed dragon monster who would only die when Heracles cut off each of its heads and burned the neck stumps. (This didn't even work with the last head - Heracles had to bury it). So you get the picture. They're a scrappy, resilient, gutty, nasty team. Let me be one of the first to prematurely congratulate them on their World Series championship.
Also, while I'm here, just a couple more things on this Series in general that I find interesting. Both are highlighted to an extent in the linked story below from Cox News Service (Lindsey, that one's for you!). One, Garner essentially admits that he's happy just to be at the World Series, and he's already saying that no matter what, no one can take away his 1979 World Series ring. Great, Phil. Way to keep your eye on the prize. You're being devoured by a freaking Hydra, and you're just taking this opportunity to pause and smell the roses and remember the good old days and just be grateful for all of life's wonderful great blessings. Hope you can still do those things when the Hydra is passing you through its large intestine. Better luck next year, Phil.
The second (and final) interesting Series note is related to Minute Maid Park, the Astros home field. I hate to beat a dead horse when it comes to celebrity jokes (and at this point it feels like all celebrity jokes are an exercise in dead-horse-beating), but isn't it easy to picture Minute Maid Park as having been designed by Michael Jackson? I can just hear him:
"Wheeee! I want the outfield stands to look like a castle, and I want the foul and home run lines to be all funky! And ooh! Ooh! I want there to be a random hill in the outfield, and I want there to be a little choo-choo train going all the way around everything, with a real live conductor! Weeeee! A traaaaaaiiiiiinnnnn!!!!!! And everytime the Astros do something - a win, a loss, a home run, a single, a bunt, a strikeout, a balk, a ruptured achilles tendon - I want there to be fireworks! Big, glorious, super-cool fireworks! Yaaaaaaaayyyyyy!"
Shamon, Michael. Your park's a little wacky there. But hey, the White Sox seem to like it.
Cox News Service story.