Monday, September 22, 2008

Virtual Redemption

Quick anecdote to start off the morning: I've sworn off my antiquated PS2 gaming system until I enter the modern age and either purchase a PS3 or Xbox 360. I'm not a huge gamer or anything, but it is something I do to pass up time rather than read another dorky book or shake my head at the asinine economic suggestions I hear on news talk shows. As a side note, I'm starting to totally become old. This comes as a realization during the week of my 25th birthday. I've noticed lately that while I watch the news I genuinely get pissed and have to turn the channel before my blood pressure starts to raise. I'm thinking I need a vacation.

So I guess I should clarify. I've sworn off my PS2 after I finish my career with #5 RHP Billy Simmons. He's now 40 years old and has won 9 Cy Young awards in a row. He throws an above average fastball to get ahead in the count early and then will throw in a mixture of sinkers if he needs a double play ball or a devastating slider for a timely strikeout. His out pitch is the changeup. He throws it sporadically but it seriously makes the rest of the league look foolish after they have been served up a steady diet of 95+ mph pitches inning by inning. Our virtual friend Mr. Simmons had a bit of a reputation however. He was always dominant during the regular season but for some reason could never put it together when it counted during October baseball. He either would get no run support and have a solo home run beat him or actually pitch well only to have his team fail despite his efforts and experience a disappointing post-season run.

Th 2029 season was starting to look like the same story that Atlanta Braves fans had seen unfold before. (Yeah, he's a Brave. They threw a lot of money his way and I accepted. I'm not even going to pretend like I wouldn't be a Scott Boras agent if I played in the Major Leagues.) They suffered a bit of a September collapse but still managed to win the Wild Card by 2 games. They made it to the NLCS and it ended up going 7 games against the Houston Astros. They lost Game 6 and Billy Simmons got his chance to toe the rubber in Game 7. In Houston. Ya know, that terrible stadium where a simple pop fly all of a sudden turns into a cheap home run? Well, anyway, after a solid performance and much-appreciated run support the Braves stole one away from Turner Field and advanced to the World Series against the New York Yankees. Mr. Simmons had only been to the World Series once in his career at a very early age. I'm sure he assumed that with his talent he would be able to carry his team to the 'ship every single year. Well, he was starting to feel redeemed with a second appearance to the Show in the twilight of his illustrious career. Since he pitched Game 7 of the NLCS he didn't get the nod until game 4 of the Series. The Braves already had a 2-1 advantage, certainly a little different outcome than the 1999 rendition of this match-up. Well, to curtail any kind of prolonged drama in rehashing the events, Simmons pitched one heck of a game. An eight inning, 2 hitter. The Braves won and ended up winning the 2029 World Series in front of their home crowd in five games. I can only imagine Simmons went absolutely nuts that night. I'm sure he made the rounds down Peachtree Street and was up all night only to call Mike and Mike in the morning to talk about his team's success. I bet he sat down the young kids on the team like up-and-comer Salvatore Huerta and told him to cherish the moment. You could wait your entire career and never reach this career pinnacle again. So, today, I just want to congratulate Billy Simmons. You'll probably play a few more seasons and rack up a few more records before you undoubtedly acquire an analyst position with a major network. But all of those individual milestones will never compare with the magical run that the Braves encountered in 2029. Well done sir. Well done.

No comments: