- Baseball with Urgency – This video, written and narrated by Tom Verducci, will give you chills. Guaransheed. I long ago fell out of love with baseball but not its playoffs. As Verducci explains, in October, “we sit on a knife’s edge between fame and infamy.” And now think of why we watch college basketball. There aren’t 162 games and when it comes to its great stage, that knife’s edge is as sharp as they come. March offers no room for error, no opportunity to ‘get ’em tomorrow.’ The baseball playoffs are no doubt fantastic, my second favorite season’s end. But if urgency is what you need, you’ve come to the right blog.
- Sights, sounds from Arizona’s Red-Blue Game – Homer linkage? Perhaps. But this was produced by friend of the blog and friend of mine, Sarah Kezele. Who is she? SK is amongst the sharpest, brightest, most driven producers out there. Currently, she’s on Arizona Central’s video team, a group bringing new media to its dated paper model. Which is to say, SK is cutting edge. Give her a follow. Also – in case you were wondering – Arizona had some 30-stars worth of talent in attendance at their sold out Red-Blue game and five of those stars, committed.
- Youtube wants you to pay for premium video content – Well so too does HBO, Netflix, and Amazon! Tube sparked the change in digital consumption, offering us unlimited video content as well as a video voice. Talents have been discovered on Youtube, careers ignited, yet their model hasn’t necessarily kept up. I think part of Youtube’s business fault has been in distinguishing our content from theirs. Is this a first step in that direction? Will “premium content producers” have the same reach or be happy with that reach? If Youtube isn’t going to fund high production programming (like Narcos, House of Cards, etc.) will people be willing to pay for ad-less access to Charlie Bit My Finger (full disclosure, I’m not sure that’s the content they’ll be charging for but damn that thing has 830 million views). But maybe it’s not Youtube’s to solve? Google has its fingers in seemingly everything (and owns Youtube). Presumably, Youtube’s direction can/will be Google’s direction through the evolution of media distribution. This ‘premium service’ is a glance at that direction.
I’d just turned on my car after leaving a rec league basketball game when I heard the radio voice tell me, “And Jim Leyland appears headed to his second consecutive championship series.” This made sense to me. Scherzer had been utterly dealing and the A’s very well may have been over matched in the series.
Now mind you, at this point I knew nothing of the score, assuming the Tiger’s were rolling. It wasn’t until after the commercial break and half-way home did I learn it was still a 3-1 ballgame. “OK, the A’s managed to keep it close,” I thought.
Single. Double. Double. Parallel park. Traffic dodge. Bag toss. TV on.
I’d been yipping and shouting alone in my car – a pedestrian indeed gave me a weird look which I inherently returned because it was your typical SF transient doing something odd – as Oakland mounted its comeback.
Coco then singled in the game winner, the Coliseum erupted, and I danced in some manner. It was October baseball at its finest. Magic.
It reminded me of why we love this stuff.
I’m not particularly an A’s fan – I own their green hat and no other MLB paraphernalia – but is there anything better than a team with their back up against the wall and prevailing? Here was a team with no other option than to win and they did. A tale not specific to these A’s, just the universal appeal of fighting to survive.
Sure we all bitched about the one game playoff for the Wild Card slot but it gave us the one-and-done appeal. Win or go home. It’s like that 68 team basketball tournament in March.
Dammit I love this stuff.
I’ve long since fallen out of love with my first love of baseball; but I will never lose my love for October. Or March.
My favorite part in the terrific documentary Four Days in October about the Red Sox’ epic defeat of the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS is a snippet of an interview with Spike Lee. He’s asked about game seven and how this sorta stuff correlates to his job as a filmmaker (paraphrasing), “Movies are fake. This kind of drama you can’t make it up. It’s why sports are perfect.”
Indeed they are and when the work of a year winds down to a single pitch, swing, shot or to whatever other minutiae you’d like to break down the difference between winning and losing, it’s real and pure. As real as it gets.
And today we’ll be treated to it. A pair of games (A’s – Tigers, Giants – Reds) in which all four teams will be fighting for survival. It’s going to be a near impossible work day. It’s going to be fun.
Long live backs against walls. Long live one-and-done.
Oh, and the road to March begins tomorrow. No big deal.