With so many games coming thick and fast during a season, baseball perhaps more than any other sport has the capibility of throwing you from the top of the rollercoster back down to the bottom in an instant. Â One moment the A’s areÂ endingÂ theÂ Twins’Â seasonÂ inÂ threeÂ straight theÂ nextÂ theyÂ areÂ playingÂ fourÂ andÂ outÂ againstÂ theÂ Tigers.
Not long after I started watching baseball in 1998, I turned on a Sunday Night game and saw spectators waving brooms in the air. Â It goes without saying that you don’t get that sort of thing at a football match; brooms are too much of a potential smacking device for a start (it would be interesting to see what sort of reaction you would get from a steward if you walked up to a turnstile with a broom). Â Obviously a “sweep” can only really occur when you play a series of games against the same team, something that doesn’t happen in football. Â I guess the comparison to the sweep is “doing the double” over a team during a season. Â What could you wave in the air in this case? Â A double vodka? Â Alcohol rules wouldn’t allow that. Â Perhaps we should head over to a supermarket and then wave a two-for-one offer at the oppo? Â Much as I would love to see someone waving a couple of frozen lasagnes at Alex Ferguson, it doesn’t really convey the right feeling.
I couldn’t help laughing out loud when I first saw the broom waving, but it wasn’t long until I recoginsed the other side of the sweep. Â It’s a modern day act of publicly shaming someone; to gain joy by ridiculing the opposition. Â It’s extremely childish, which is why most of us enjoy it so much when we are on the right side of it. Â From the other end it just makes you mad. Â When the oppo can start sweeping having witnessed a two-out, walk off three run homer, well mad doesn’t quite cover it!
The Tigers undoubtedly deserved to reach the World Series and it is a great story to see them there, but do I want them to win? Do I have any allegiance to the American League representative? Ask me in a few days when the pain is starting to subside! One thing I am sure of right now: if I knew back on 16 August that Placido Polanco would play such a big part in the A’s downfall, I wouldn’t have been so keen for him to recover so quickly from his shoulder injury!