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Not Easy Watching the Padres

     Boy it’s hard to get used to this new sport, baseball. Well it’s not new, but it’s been a while since last year and meanwhile I’ve been watching football: slam, crunch, boinggg!!!; tennis: unhhhh! unnnnh! unhhhhh! unnnnh! ; and basketball: slam dunk! Dribbledribbledribble swish! bounce bounce bop!

     Sure is hard to calm down enough to watch nine innings of baseball. Takes hours. Lots of time between pitches to go to the refrigerator, load the washer, check the plants. Too much time, I’d say. But if you’re missing “Dancing with the Stars” or “Cold Case” it’s fine, ’cause you can pretty much catch most of those programs without missing any of the game. Just need a quick finger on the remote.

     Last night our hometown San Diego Padres kept us hanging with bated breath, wondering if they’d make it to the bottom of the ninth without giving up more runs than they made, which wasn’t a lot.

     Of course they brought closing pitcher Hoffman in at the end. Adds to the suspense you know. How do you like his new long curly hair? Shaggy I’d say. And the scruffy whiskers? I liked him better when he looked old and stable. But he saved the game. What more can you ask?

     And then there are all the new guys. Who aren’t all so new. Ol’ Edmunds out in center. No curly locks for him. Iguchi, not so young, but looking okay at second. Sure miss those sharp double plays we came to love in years past. Hope he and shortstop kid wonder Khalil hit it off soon.

     Speaking of which, I think they both hit last night. Glory hallelujah! Catcher Josh threw out a runner at second! About the first time that’s happened. Credit to Iguchi, also. Was so-o-o embarrassing last year with the other guys stealing second at will.

     We watched with my niece – an ardent, committed, never-say-die Padre fan. A grade school teacher. A screamer. Ball flies out into center field – she’s off the couch with a shriek. “Get out there! Get out there!”

     The dog, Coco, looks up, frightened. Fear in her eyes. The guy I live with and I don’t yell much. Well, only when we’re discussing politics. Coco looks up at us as if to say, “What’s this? Should I bark at it or should I run fast?” We told her it’s okay, settle down.

      She did. Until the next scream. Then we let her go outside for the rest of the game.

     The game went on forever. I almost fell asleep, but I couldn’t do that. What would my ardent committed never-say-die Padre fan niece think of that? So I got up for drinks of water, went to that other place, got more water, sat down, stood up. When you have company it’s a little different. But then Kathy said she’s not company, she’s family.

     So I sprawled out on the couch. And didn’t fall asleep because it was the bottom of the ninth and curly-locked Hoffman was on the mound and the ball was flying up and no, not out of the park but close to it.

     I don’t quite remember exactly what else happened in the ninth, but I do remember we got out of it without a tie or a loss so that’s good.

     Really good, because it was after eleven by the time it ended and lately I’ve been going to bed at ten and we had to take Kathy home which would take another half hour going there and back and by that time I’d be wide awake and –

     Actually, I went right to sleep. Figured I’d wake up in time for the next pitch.

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