Thursday, September 08, 2005

Brad Ausmus, shortstop extraordinaire

Yeah, that's one of my favorites. Brad Ausmus (pictured here), for those who don't know, is the starting catcher for the Astros. He's considered quite the heartthrob by most women, and an excellent defensive catcher by students of the game. He was the first person Roger Clemens thanked when he won his 7th Cy Young award. Well, August 14th, top of the 9th, we were down 8-0 to the Pirates, and Garner puts Ausmus in at short. And, he turns a 4-6-3 double play. Got the standing O from the home crowd (although, there was obviously not a whole lot else to cheer about). That's definitely one of my favorite moments from this year.

As I mentioned, kind of took a little break, if not so much from baseball itself, from blogging about it anyway. The terrible events of the last week made the pennant race pale. Then, as I started to find my interest piqued again, I felt guilty. But, an article by John Schlegel for, written after 9/11, helped assuage my guilt at enjoying my hobby. He wrote,

". . . like America, baseball will not be stopped. It cannot be stopped.
Without question, that tiny orb of horsehide with the red stitches on it, the object we spend so much of our time watching bounce around ballparks all over the country summer after summer, seemed so very insignificant this past week. That's because it is. In the face of a national crisis, nobody cares about a ballgame. Nobody should. Yet. . .baseball will be part of our lives again, part of what will help America get back on its feet after a daunting blow, and part of what brings us to our new version of normalcy. And baseball will be all those things simply by being baseball, not by being anything deeper than what it is: a game, a beloved pastime for generations in this country. . . .may we all soak in the life baseball brings, and appreciate it for the diversion it is. It's a place to escape from life's troubles, a place where the greatest concern is having the bases loaded with no outs and the cleanup hitter at the plate. When the more important aspects of life become so overwhelming as they did last week, baseball steps aside, as it should. . . .The lesson we know from the past and need to clutch to our hearts now is simple: America perseveres. And, right along with the country, baseball perseveres. . . .we can still turn our lonely eyes to baseball, one of many places we Americans will go to release ourselves from the sadness and grief an insane day of destruction and lost innocence brought to the fore. Those of us who have turned to baseball in peace can turn to it during these difficult times as well."

And so turn I have, appreciating all the more the fabulous moments that have made this season so special to me, no matter how the pennant race turns out.

Moments like Brad Ausmus, shortstop extraordinaire.


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