The Long Summer, AddendumPosted: July 9, 2011
This post is an addendum to “The Long Summer,” June 30th.
Today, July 9th, Derek Jeter gained his 3,000th career hit with a shot into the left field bleachers in Yankee Stadium, on his way to a 5 for 5 Saturday afternoon, which also included the game-winning hit in the 8th. Up in a private suite, Minka Kelly cheered him on, looking like the hottest woman in the world. It was a historic moment for one of the greats of our era, whom I have hated with a vengeance since “the Flip” (relive at the end of this clip – also note how full the Coliseum is).
In Texas, Josh Hamilton hit a towering walk-off homerun into the second deck of the Ballpark in Arlington, capping off a 4 for 5 campaign that came just two days after Hamilton flipped a ball to a fireman in the stands, who lunged across the railing over the out-of-town scoreboard in left field and fell 30 feet, suffering injuries that led to his death. He left behind a young son in the bleachers, and was heard to be inquiring after him as he was carted to the hospital.
The A’s were up 6-5 going into the ninth, with their shutdown closer Andrew Bailey on the mound, who had not given up a homerun this year. They have now lost 5 of their last 6 games, and almost all their games out of however many games you want to go back.
The baseball gods have spoken. As a baseball fan, you watch the game for moments like Jeter’s and Hamilton’s. They are perfect. They draw tears of joy. 50,000 people go mad with you in the stands.
Unfortunately someone is always on the losing end of those moments. The A’s are now in the business of making happy memories for other teams’ fans.
On a day that will be remembered for many other reasons, the A’s tipped from being a team that might, possibly, just maybe have a chance of contending to being one that is sure to have a losing season. With the loss, they fell 11 games back of the first-place Rangers – had they swept the series they would have been only four games back.
It is a day that means Billy Beane will be unloading the team’s best players for prospects, and not trading for successful major leaders who could contribute this year. It is a day that means you are once again rooting for laundry and not for people.
Today, the A’s are unimportant and irrelevant, and tomorrow too. Forsaken by the baseball gods, until their time.