Friday, April 08, 2005

Live by the 9th, Die by the 9th

Here's a lesson to be learned from poker that applies to baseball. Sometimes, you stay in a hand until the end and hit your flush, your straight or your set on the last card dealt (the river). You probably weren't rational when you held those cards to stay in (maybe you held a Jack and a Ten when there was an Ace and a Queen on the board), but you did, it hit, and you won. Sometimes, someone else stays in to the river when they shouldn't have and beat you on the last card.

Although it's frustrating, your best response is to shrug the loss away. You've won ones like that before. The key is not to keep staying in hands you shouldn't until the river - you'll lose many dollars for each time your card doesn't hit as compared to the few times your card does hit. Hence the phrase "Live by the River, die by the River."

So I won't take Thursday's 11-5 loss too hard. The Sox were playing with house money after Tuesday's thrilling 4-3, 4-runs-in-the-bottom-of-the-ninth victory. Of course, it is an odd juxtaposition to have two games like that consecutively, but the Sox were destined to give up a big lead in the 9th inning this year. Hell, if Mariano Rivera can do it, Shingo Takatsu can do it.

The problem is where the Sox either are consistently behind in games trying to put together a 9th inning rally, or where the Sox are consistently giving up the 9th inning runs. Shingo's pitches were up in the zone yesterday - it happens once, it's a bad game. If it happens a couple of times, then you start to worry. Of course, we are White Sox fans, so we do not need much reason to worry.

A Note On Black Betsy's New Slogan

You probably did not notice, but BlackBetsy's slogan (below the title) was recently changed to "Minnesota Twins Delenda Est." This, of course, is a reference to Rome in the days of the Punic Wars with Carthage. Late in those wars, Cato the Elder would end every speech before the Rome Senate with the phrase "Carthago Delenda Est" - "Carthage Must Be Destroyed." It was the raison d'etre of the Roman republic during that time. Similarly, I particularly feel that the Sox's entire efforts this season should be at beating the Minnesota Twins - indeed, "destroying" them. Send them back to whining-about-their-revenues-small-market-status. Three years of good hops and Twinkie Dome cheating are enough. The Minnesota Twins must be destroyed.

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