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Soup of This Day #6: Go Go Today Rain Some Way Again Some Day

May 30, 2011

Rain falling over Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve, Northern Territory, Australia
Rain falling over Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve in Australia’s Northern Territory. They’ve probably called off the baseball then – Photo: Bidgee, 2007. Bidgee is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

Like Charlie Brown stubbornly stuck out on the mound I don’t like rain. As a football player I was the guy impatiently clapping his hands, yelling at my own team and the opposition alike to ‘get the game on’. I didn’t care if we had the right number of players or the right colour jerseys or any of that meaningless detail – I just wanted the game on.

Rain didn’t often stop the game but it most often stymied and stifled it. It muffled the feel of the ball, the touch and the accuracy. It levelled the playing field, drowning quality and intuition in a quagmire. As a keeper it made the ball heavy, imbuing it with a sense of momentum that turned ordinary palm slaps over the bar into broken fingers. As a defender it made heading the ball away a brain jarring explosion, with a stinging chaser for good measure if it was cold. Some days the rain can be heavy enough that it means no game and that is somehow worse.

Sometime last century I rocked up for a game on a day overhung with a grey sky and with a rain that had socked in, a steady and solid, if unspectacular, soaking. Our keeper, who like all keepers was batshit mental stared off in to the distance and pronounced that the sky was looking lighter in the west.

As a football floated by along the touchline.

The pitch was under a foot of water and we were all stupidly looking for a touch of lighter sky to the west. We didn’t get the game and I was a miserable sod for the next week awaiting a chance to get back out there.

Nowadays I’m much more of a fan on the sidelines but I’m still the guy impatiently clapping his hands. The whistle for kick-off, the siren at bouncedown or the cry of ‘play ball’ all have a magical quality for me. They’re the start of something amazing, like a Friday night is for a weekend.

Rain screws that up.

It delays stuff. It’s the Sunday of the weekend – The day that is ok because it’s not at work, but it has this negative vibe hanging over it because you know you have work the next day. Rain does that to sport. It might stop, but it hangs over you, ready to start again and meanwhile it’s made the grass wet and the ground muddy.

Nice work there rain.

The Red Sox faced a double-header today because of a washout yesterday. I don’t know the stats but it feels like double-headers most often get split – It’s hard to win both games and so it was for the Sox today. Clay Buchholz got the start in the first outing and did an ok job allowing 3 runs. Over the same distance the Sox had 3 runs but missed opportunities looked like they could haunt them. In the 1st they stole 4 bases, had a couple of walks and an Ellsbury double yet came out only one run to the good, Gonzalez with the RBI. The remaining 2 runs came courtesy of Pedroia (Signs of life?) and Cameron, both solo shots. In the end Papi made sure the Sox collected the ‘w’, knocking a full count fastball over the fence. Albers did his bit with some nice work over the last couple of innings in relief.

Game 2 was not so good. Nobody told Boston’s offence that they had double-duty or maybe they just forgot. Either way they managed just the 4 hits and on a day when Beckett got jumped out of the gate for 2 runs in the 1st that never looked like enough. To be fair he finished with 107 pitches over 6 innings for just those 2 up front and maybe on another night that would have been ok. On the bats side of things Varitek with a double was the highlight. Yep, the only highlight. 3-0 to the Tigers who avoided the sweep, going down 3-1 for the series. Thus the roadtrip through Cleveland and Detroit ended 5 and 2 to the side of the good. 30 and 23 now and I could be wrong but I think that makes 13 from the last 16?

Decent, but for that rain. Don’t like that rain.

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