Wednesday, May 17, 2006

May 17, 2006--It Isn't Over Til It's Over

Of the many Yogi-isms, the one I find most meaningful is “It isn’t over ‘til it’s over,” and though it is about baseball, the only team sport not ruled by time, it is thus also about life itself.

I was reminded about this just last night when I channel-surfed over to the Yankee-Texas Ranger game. It was top of the third inning and the Yanks were already trailing 10-1. Not very promising even for a game not controlled by the clock. So I switched over to MSNBC to catch the end of Countdown. But got so depressed listening to the ranting about immigration, the president’s poll numbers, and Brittany Spears again driving around with her baby not properly secured in his car seat that I turned the set off, read a little, rolled over, and went to sleep.

At about 2:00 I awoke from a disturbing dream and switched the TV back on to see if we had invaded any other countries while I was tossing and turning. Since we hadn’t and I was wide awake, I surfed back to the YES Network since I knew they present an “encore” version of the game, thinking masochistically, I would find out that things had gotten even worse for the Yanks and maybe, perversely, that would by comparison make the world situation look a little better.

Amazingly, I picked up the replay of the game in the bottom of the third inning when the Yanks managed to score two runs so they were behind by “just” seven runs, 10-3. Thus, I stayed tuned, in the spirit of Yogi.

You can get all the details from the linked NY Times article. But in summary, the Yankees proceeded to score two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and another six an inning later. So they took the lead 11-10. But as fate would have it, the very next inning, the top of the seventh, the Rangers scored twice more and recaptured the lead, 12-11. The Yanks, though, not to be deterred, when they came to bat in the seventh, bounced back and tied the score, 12-12. Neither team scored in the eighth; but during the top of the ninth, the Rangers, showing true grit, took the lead again. It was now 13-12. Time for the Yankees’ last licks with no clock ticking.

With two outs, just one more needed for the Rangers to lock up the victory, the Yanks managed to get a man on second base, the potential tying run. Their catcher, the dependable and stolid Jorge Posada, came to the plate as the possible winning run. But with two strikes on him and with the Rangers’ ace closer on the mound, it was not looking good up in the Bronx. Posada, though, took a mighty swing and sent the ball soaring into the bleachers for a two-run, walk-off home run, and the Yankees won, 14-13.

I turned off the TV, rolled over again, and like a baby sleep peacefully though the night. As I had hundreds of times many years ago during the era before TV when, in my darkened bedroom, I would listen to the game on the radio. Often very late at night, when the Yanks were on the road two time zones away.

Reminded then as now of the lessons I learned from those games-- about the power of time and effort and persistence.

That is, until it’s over.


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