Every time the media makes a big deal out of a particular match-up, I’m reminded of my sixth grade drama class. At one point during the school year we had to write and perform plays, and one group in my class titled theirs “The Big Game.” On the day of the performances, this weird, skinny kid who was in “The Big Game” group — who may or may not have had some sort of undiagnosed condition — ran around the room for about an hour saying nothing but “THE BIG GAME! THE BIG GAME!” over and over again, until the teacher completely lost it on him and told him to shut up.
This is pretty much how the press treats any especially exciting sporting event: they go into hyperactive, bug-eyed kid mode and make a lot of content-free, repetitive noise until people get annoyed. I’ve actually always been fond of hype — I know a lot of people hate it, and think that it sets you up for inevitable disappointment, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the fact that looking forward to big games is usually more fun than actually watching them. Fun in anticipation counts, too.
All of the pre-game stuff last night was centered on Smoltz vs. Maddux, which may have been good for Lerew, because he looked pretty calm out there and did a great job, despite the two homers. Since then, the AJC offers:
—An article where Maddux reminds us that he and Smoltz are “not 5 years old anymore.”
—Dave O’Brien recounting the snot story for the 190th time since it was first mentioned yesterday — I personally liked the version that was shown on the pre-game show last night best, with Chipper asking if he had to tell a “G-rated” story, and implying that most involving Maddux aren’t. What I wouldn’t give to hear the others — I’m sure he and Chip raised plenty of hell together during the Hooters years.
—A feature on the official site that is accompanied by a priceless picture of Maddux’s old hair.
So bring it on! The Big Game! I have to say, as cool as the first match-up between these two since Maddux left is (I can’t believe it’s only been four years) . . . I’m most looking forward to Smoltz’s prank. Which probably means it’ll be an extremely subtle, inside joke letdown, but hey. That’s part of the fun.
My notes from last night:
–I can’t believe, after such solid play all month, that Kelly booted a ball hit by Gilly! How embarrassing! Poor Scooter; at least we ended up winning, and he scored the tying run. And boy was he scooting around those bases on Rent’s triple.
–Salty is a hugger. It kind of cracks me up when he hugs Soriano, I guess because Raffy’s supposed to be such a hard ass.
–What was that little book Frenchy and Andruw were reading in the dugout? I turned on the TV audio and heard Joe talking about scouting reports, but it looked like a homemade birthday card with a toddler’s scrawlings across the front. I thought maybe it was a fake Padres media guide sent over by Maddux — because if anyone fell for a handwritten media guide, it would probably be Andruw and Frenchy. Well, it would probably be Frenchy. Maybe Andruw was in on the joke.