by Gregory Pratt, Special to BaseballEvolution.com
October 29, 2007
Had I half the flair for the dramatic that Jonathan Papelbon does and a greater sense of demagoguery, I'd throw the Bible a mile into the air, tremble before the Lord and denounce all faith for lack of an explanation.
"How could God throw the Christians to the Lions as He did and then watch as they are devoured?"
"Why wasn't David armed against Goliath? He was put out there for crushing and that is sadistic!"
"The Lord told Noah to build an ark in Denver -- so why did he allow Boston to take it over? We had two of every Animal, and then it became One of One Animal in Four!"
The more faithful among us would tell me to calm down. "This was God's doing, yes, but with good reason: His. In fact, it was Prophecy! And not just the prophecy of the gamblers! Not just the fans! Not just the players! Not just Jayson Stark! But it was the Lord's prophecy." My heart would break to hear Jayson Stark so close to God, but before I could correct their blasphemy, they would point to the Bible as their Proof of the World Series.
2:22 So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.
2:23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
2:24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.
Clearly, this is a reference to Matt Holliday, they would argue. I would counter that, yeah, Matt Holliday played well enough in the Series, and he does have a bald head, but I don't think the Bible was talking about the World Series. "Two Kings!" they'd yell back. "Two Kings!" I'd shrug. "I don't see where the forty two she bears came out of the woods and killed forty two children on Matt Holliday's command."
I'd have them there. There was no killing of the Red Sox this Series, that's for sure.
The "God" idea came to me after a few friends of mine, who happen to be "Angry Atheists," rallied around the Red Sox in protest of the Colorado Rockies' prayer meetings. I thought that was ridiculous on its face, especially since the Rockies are a great team and only people without a soul would root against them in favor of the Red Sox. "But isn't that the point when we're dealing with Atheism?" I kidded my friends. "No soul?" They've countered that I put no thought into my support for the Rockies and that they were bound to lose from the beginning. "They were swept, after all, and they never had a prayer!" Yes, they were swept, but not annihilated, and I'm keeping the Faith.
The Rockies were outplayed, that is undeniable, but there are significant factors at play here:
Colorado definitely lost its timing with the eight day layoff. I don't want to make excuses for them, as they were beaten by Boston, but eight days is a long time to go without seeing a competitive fastball. After that consideration, Boston hit the ball more often when it counted and pitched better, but it's not like they destroyed Colorado. Like the 2005 World Series, it was closer than it might appear, with two one-run games and another that was a one-run game so late as the top of the eighth inning, until Brian Fuentes -- whose pitching motion I've never liked, as I think it betrays his "stuff" -- imploded.
Over the last several days, a few friends have ripped into me lately for believing in Colorado, and I consider their criticisms obnoxious, both because I think they are talking out of their glove and because none of my genuine Red Sox fans have given me a hard time. Only friends of mine who have adopted Boston for some reason or other (gambling, spite), have given me a hard time. It makes me laugh.
Everybody knows how obnoxious Red Sox fans are, but I haven't experienced it from them, yet. Although that might have more to do with the clear disgust I have for this Boston team and so my friends don't want to ruin the friendship by insulting my Colorado. I'd rather think they're just polite and decent.
All said, I'm proud of Colorado, and I'm happy for Boston (let's not talk about that anymore). I'm especially proud of Todd Helton for sticking with his franchise (and that goes for the fans, too), Aaron Cook for battling (and that goes for Ubaldo, too), the Colorado bullpen
(sans Speier, Fuentes, and Morales), the Rockies' defenders, Kaz Matsui, and Jeff Francis
(even though he really got bombed). Coors Field is an amazing place, and I hope to see the Rockies
in the World Series again next year. They're definitely good enough, and
they were for real. A few bad breaks, poor timing, and a good team were their undoing, but they weren't slaughtered and they have nothing to be ashamed of. They are still immortals.
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