A colleague and I took a good client to the Braves game yesterday afternoon. Because my work and family demands are pretty significant these days, this was my first Braves game of the season. (I only made it to one last year, as well.) We were late getting down to the Ted, and the Braves were already down 8-1 when we arrived. The three of us had a great time sitting in the sun and yapping, but the game was not going well. Every time the Braves threatened to rally, they hit into a double play and further squashed their chances. By the top of the ninth, the client suggested that we bail on the game and I put up zero resistance.
In retrospect, that was a mistake.
This is one of the f***ed up things about sports. I've been to hundreds of baseball games in my life and I'll probably go to hundreds more. This was almost certainly my one chance to see: (1) a seven-run rally by my team in the ninth; and/or (2) a walk-off grand slam. I pissed it away by leaving early. Now, I'll never leave a baseball game early, which means my family and I will suffer through humdrum final innings of 7-2 snoozers because of the tiny chance that something amazing will happen. Sports sucks us in with the improbable, but we have to sit through vast quantities of the probable to be around when a journeyman hits a grand slam to beat a division leader.
One other observation on the Braves: as someone who first saw Chipper at the Diamond in Richmond in 1993, it's sad to watch him right now. I hope that he's just in a David Ortiz slump and he'll shake out of it, but I worry. My thinking over the past few weeks has been that he would be a good #2 hitter because his OBP remains strong, but if pitchers figure out that the Emperor has no clothes, the walks will dry up.