October 13, 2005
The morning after A.J. Pierzynski steals first base, I walk into the office that I share with Chris. I met Chris at work two years ago, and we became fast friends. We share the same brain. Yes, he is a Cubs fan, but he respects good baseball and has been following the White Sox with interest this year. He believes in a shared Chicago baseball trauma, so is happy for me that my team is winning. [Note from the future: When the Cubs won in 2016, I was happy for three people and only three people; Chris was one of them.]
He is scowling. “What the hell was that? How do you explain that??”
I struggle to put into words everything I saw the night before. “Um, good teams make their own luck?” I shrug. It’s lame and I know it.
Chris’s scowl deepens. “Come on. You’re better than that.” He doesn’t mean this morally; he means that I am a better analyst and a better wordsmith. He means that I am being lazy.
“You’re right.” I pause. It was all so bonkers: the strikeout, Angels catcher Josh Paul starting to jog back to the dugout, A.J. running to first, the lengthy conversation between the umpires, the chattering by the TV commentators, the fact that Mark Buehrle had only given up five hits in a complete game and the Angels had three errors, and it was nonetheless tied in the bottom of the ninth, for crying out loud.
“How about this: Good teams take advantage of opportunities. Pablo Ozuna still stole second. Joe Crede still hit that double.”
Chris nods slightly. “That’s better.”
Later that day, I talk to my father. “It doesn’t matter,” he says. “The Sox would have won it in the 10th anyway.”