We Have a Situation
"Let's not start sucking each other's dicks just yet."
--The Wolf, Pulp Fiction
Suppose you're an overwhelming chip leader on the Final Table bubble of a major poker event (live poker, of course; We here at The Obituarium, a blog about dead people and rodent fetishes, would never advocate playing socially useless online poker). You've played perfect poker for five days, have all of your opponents' backs against the wall and are dictating the tenor of the whole shebang.
Now let's suppose you turn into someone completely different, start to feel a little pressure, make a dozen idiotic moves, each more impossibly surreal than the last, and you bubble, heading to the rail before the klieg lights and Vince Van Patten get switched on. Hard to believe, huh?
Well, the Oakland Athletics Baseball Club has pulled a similar feat before. TWICE. Which is why I sit here today, even after they won the first two games of the ALDS on the road in The Metrodome, that marvel of modern industry and annoyance, scared to death of what happens next, what monumental fuck-up will fuel the collapse this time around.
The team is different, I'm told. Indeed, only two position players remain from the 2003 team that coughed up a 2-0 lead to the Red Sox. I'ts the Twins who are making the mistakes, they say. And so they have, Torii Hunter doing his best Terrence Long impression not only by not catching the ball, but by playing it into a two-run inside-the-park home run. The A's Game 3 starter, Dan Haren, shut out the Twins last month in the Dome to avert a sweep and will be opposed by Brad Radke who just happens to be pitching with a broken shoulder socket, making the line on him having a "Dravecky" moment at -240. The Big Ouchy Man (tip o' the cap to Randy G for that one) anchors the lineup and the clubhouse, seeming to will the A's to victory with his ferocious presence. Justin Duchscherer is so awesome that I'd have man-on-man sex with him right now if he simply asked. Even Milton Bradley cracked a smile today.
But I'm not convinced. Will not be until they stop the skid. Let me repeat: The A's are 0-9 since 2000 in ALDS clinching games. Oh-and-fucking-nine. Do you have any idea what that does to a psyche?
Nope. No happiness here. No visions of pitching mound dogpiles. All I see is me crying in the bathroom after Melhuse and Long took called third strikes with the tying run on 3rd to end the '03 season. Some people might be loading up on celebratory champagne. Me? I'm off to Costo for some tissue.