We all know about Manny. It’s sad. It’s disgusting. Yet another Hall of Famer to be is now just another cheater. It makes it hard to watch baseball anymore. Now, all we do when we watch a game, and see a 450 foot homer, or a 98 mph fastball, is wonder if that is indeed God given talent, or is it another case of drug induced cheating. Stop. Just stop. Baseball is STILL PURE. Don’t believe me?
The other night, I went to a Mariners-A’s game in Seattle. I went with a few friends and we sat in the upper deck of Safeco Field. After the second inning, the M’s were down by five runs, and most people were growing increasingly agitated with Carlos Silva. Not everyone though. Seated one row behind us were a group of children, none older than 12 years old. From about the bottom of the first on, all these kids wanted to do was to get “the wave” going. You, know, where a “wave” of people simultaneously stand up and raise their arms, and it is supposed to continue around the stadium. Well, being down 5 runs, no one was really in the mood to partake in the wave. As the game went on, the M’s fought back, and come the 7th inning, were down by two. Russel Branyan’s long homer to center made it a one run game. And then Franklin Gutierrez gave the M’s the lead on a two run shot to left, and inning later, they would give the lead back, making it 7-7 going into the ninth. That is when the most magical moment of the evening would happen.
I am not talking about the winning single Jose Lopez hit following a tough 14 pitch at bat. No, before that something happened: it worked. It finally worked. After about 3 hours worth of trying, it worked. The prior mentioned children got up as the had a dozen times before, and with the same enuthusiam with every other time, yelled to everyone within earshot that they were starting the wave. Only this time, it was different. Momentum slowly grew, section by seciton, and by the time it reached the first base line, the wave was in full force. And it continued all the way around. The reaction was priceless. You would have thought the M’s had just won the World Series, yet, this happened between innings. These kids were so happy. Each one of them had a smile from ear to ear, faces just glowing. And as I turned around to congratulate each one of them with a high five, I saw their smiles, and thought to myself: No matter what happens, this is what’s right with baseball.