On Sunday, my mother, my sister and I braved the withering sun to take in a game at the ballpark. Our seats were three rows behind the Tigers' pen. Apparently, Phil Coke made my mom's day before the game. I was elsewhere, and missed the following exchange, which my sister corroborated:
Mom: takes aim at Coke with her non-digital camera. No doubt, taking forever to center the shot, etc.
Coke: points right at my mom as she's taking the shot (I have no evidence as yet. This is a film camera, people.)
Mom: does a fist pump to Coke in a appreciation (!)
Coke: does a fist-pump/shaka combo back at her (Why do you have a film camera, mother, why, why, why? I could have posted the photo here in this post right now if you had joined the current century. [Love you mom.])
Before the game, my sister frets that this game will end in a loss, as all the games she's been to in the past several years have gone in the L column. I stoutly reassure her that we will win this game for her today (while also expressing mild concern at Porcello's recent struggles.)
In the bottom of the seventh, there we are, down 3-2, and the inning starts with a couple of easy pop-ups. More moaning from sis. Before Inge gets to the plate, I vow to stop calling him Binge if he comes through. He draws a walk, and my mom turns to me and asks "Does that count?" I waffle a little before grudgingly conceding that it does.
THEN, after another walk and an error, Mi Magglio rips a (two-outs, bases-loaded, down-a-run-late-in-the-game) two run single up the middle to give us a 4-2 lead, and we all go wild, but especially me, because after all, it is Magglio performing the heroics. Doubters, haters, "what have you done for me lately" morons, you are on notice.
Ryan Raburn moves from second to left in the eighth inning. I proceed to complain, out loud, about Raburn being a "butcher" in the field. Ryan hears me and does this. Sorrysorrysorrysorrysorry RYAN. I A-P-O-L-O-G-I-Z-E with sincere and abject groveling. You saved my dear sister from a shame spiral of self-accusation and candied almonds. She no longer believes herself to be a wretched curse upon our boys of summer. She is free to purchase tickets with impunity.
Just to shame me, Brandon Inge swats a two-run triple in the eighth. I am done. I have sanctioned myself from calling Brandon derisive names. For the second time in one sun-soaked afternoon, I found myself cooking up crow and choking it down whole. Well done, fellas, well done.
Check out the goods. We stagger out of the park, barely able to walk under all our loot--the W, a clutch knock from Magglio Ordóñez, a stretched out, wind-knocked-out-of-his lungs diving grab by Ryan Raburn, and an insurance-runs producing three-bagger from Brandon Inge. That, my friends, is why we love the game.