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Friday, September 26, 2014
Bright Days in the MLB

            What are the odds? Baseball’s most beloved hero is playing his last game in the media capital of the world and America is watching. His team is ahead by 3 runs in the ninth. On the mound is the Yankees All Star closer, David Roberts, the heir apparent to Mariano, who has given up just 5 homers in 63 innings. He grooves a high fastball to Adam Jones, a high ball hitter, who hits a moon shot over the left field fence to bring the Orioles to within one run. Then with two outs, he grooves another down the middle of the plate to Steve Pierce. Game tied.

            Bottom of the ninth. The Orioles need the win to secure home field advantage in the playoffs. Nevertheless, two time manager of the year Buck Showalter (and a clinch to win his third) calls to the mound aptly named Evan Meek,  O and 4 for the year with a 5.79 ERA. Yankee Jose Pirela, first up,  strokes a single to left. Antoan Richardson, called on to pinch run, reaches second when Brett Gardner lays down the perfect sacrifice bunt. Now Jeter walks to the plate with the crowd on its feet and Jeter’s long time mates Jorge Posada, Andy Pettit and Mariano Rivera waiting stage left. First pitch right down the middle and the Captain slices a ground ball into right field. Nick Markakis plays it perfectly and fires a strike to the catcher who cannot take in the throw. Ball game over. The hero is rushed by his teammates. The perfect ending to a perfect career. Almost too perfect.

            Sources close to me are convinced this was all some elaborate conspiracy. Just Google “Derek Jeter conspiracy” and browse through the 10s of thousands of hits. Others say Jeter has made a career out of being in the perfect place at the perfect time. He does have nine other walk offs including one in game 4 of the 2001 World Series.

            Let’s just say we all needed a feel good moment at a time when the news lately, including the sports news, has been rather troubling. And it happened on Rosh Hashanah, the birthday of the universe. So what was one more miracle for the maker of miracles.


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