FanPost

Please, Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends


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The past week has been one of the best for the Oakland A’s and their

nation of fans.

As a partial season-ticket holder the past several seasons, I would have loved to have been there for the exciting games down the stretch of the regular season and Wednesday night’s playoff game with the Detroit Tigers, which as I am writing this I am hoping will be only the first (and not also the last) for this postseason.

But as it turned out, the way I did see some of those games was even better. My wife and I have been on the east side of the country the past week and will be for a few more days, visiting our two adult sons.

Last week while in the Boston area visiting one of our sons and as the tension built toward the final week of the season, I bought the mlb.tv package, so I could watch the final A’s games online.

Most were on late at night when we were back in our room for the evening after seeing many of the sights with our son.

Then last Tuesday, we drove down to West Virginia with one of our sons to visit our other son, who is a longtime A’s fan (the other son’s interests are widespread but are only in passing when it comes to sports).

We got into town about 8 at night and had an enjoyable down-home dinner at a Bob Evans restaurant, and later in the evening tuned in on my son’s computer and watched the A’s next-to-last game of the season, a thrilling, taut 3-1 victory in which starter Travis Blackley came through big-time.

Then again the next afternoon (late afternoon down here in West Virginia), we joined the game with it 1-1 just in time to see Michael Young put the A’s on the ropes with that bases-clearing drive that landed on the right-field line.

Both games we watched together, cheering every great A’s play together. There many in that finale when the A’s stormed back from that 5-1 deficit.

I was thrilled to see the old Coliseum full and the O.Co a jumping on that final game to decide the AL West flag. While I would have loved to have been there, this was better, sharing all those very good moments with my son. Priceless.

We were prevented from seeing most of that ALDS Game 1 loss to the Tigers and Verlander because of a previous commitment. We had tickets set up weeks in advance to see what turned out to be a very superior performance of “The Crucible” at the theater where my daughter-in-law is the stage manager.

I had seen it many years before, but this time I had better knowledge beforehand on how McCarthyism in the early 1950s had inspired Arthur Miller to write the screenplay set during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. This performance was just as riveting as it moved inexorably to its finish as it was in the 1950s and may conjure up sobering thoughts about the political climate today as it did in the 1950s. Witch hunts, for those in power it seems, are just as expedient as they’ve always been through the centuries.

Our plan was to resume the game, which we had left at 1-1 early on to go to the play, on the DVR when we returned. But that was short-circuited, as my son’s home page on the Internet was programmed to give him score alerts on his favorite team.

So honoring Willie Nelson’s plea of “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends” was out the window in about the same way as “Please don’t tell me how ‘Moneyball’ ends.”

We were prevented from watching Game 2 live because of the cable provider in this small West Virginia town did not carry the MLB Network. And MLB.TV blacked out live viewing on its playoff games online in the U.S. and Canada. So I kept up with the game by CBS Sportsline’s game tracker on the laptop as we watched “The King’s Speech,” (which my son and his wife hadn’t seen). And for me the film is just as entertaining each time I view it.

Still, every few minutes (OK, seconds) I would check on the game, and it was surprisingly very good drama even in this form, sort of like going back to the days before my time when fans, I was told by my parents, would go down to the newspaper in town and receive blow-by-blow reports on the World Series out the windows from the news room above.

Of course, when I saw that Josh Reddick had homered for a 4-3 A's lead, at first I thought it had been a two-run blast. I had seen Cespedes had stolen second and third with one out but was back watching “King’s Speech” when he scored on a wild pitch.

In any case, we shall be back riveted to the screen tonight at 9 Eastern tuned to TBS (or TNT if there’s a rain delay and/or extra innings in Cincinnati) when the A’s battle to keep their storybook season alive.

Which brings me back to that Kris Kristofferson composition that the venerable Nelson still sings so well even after all these years: “This could be our last night together/We may never pass this way again/Just let me enjoy it till it’s over or forever/Please, don’t tell me how the story ends.”


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