The World Cup is great. Really is. But it’s still got nothing on baseball.
Yesterday, when the Netherlands scored to make it 3-1 in the second half, the commentators conceded that it was all but over and the Dutch were headed to the final. And this was with a good 20 minutes still remaining to play. Kind of takes the thrill out of things. (I will concede that one advantage that the World Cup does have over American sports is the quality of the commentary. We need more British dudes in the booth and less Dick Stockton and Kevin Harlan).
Just a few hours later on the other side of the globe, the Colorado Rockies faced a far greater hole than Uruguay could ever imagine, heading into the bottom of the ninth with a 9-3 deficit against the St. Louis Cardinals. It was as done as a game could possibly be. But because of the beauty of baseball, it wasn’t.
The Cardinals still had to get those last three outs. There was no way to play keep-away. No way to flop around and feign injury. You still have to get the ball over home plate. And they did that — only to have the Rockies continue to hit it. And with Seth Smith’s walk-off three-run homer — the same Seth Smith who made the first out of the inning — Colorado had a miracle 12-9 win. It was the first time a team scored nine runs in the bottom of the ninth since 1901
“Baseball’s crazy, even stupid sometimes,” he told the media afterward.
Yes it is. And that’s why it will always be the best sport out there.