Monday, October 24, 2005

Chokin’ Dog Syndrome

I’m really into the World Series, especially with the Houston Astros making it there this year. I can’t say that I’m thrilled with the way the first two games have turned out; but that’s why it’s a best of 7, not a best of 3 series.

Last night I saw some of the wheels fall off the Astro’s defense. It started with a hot smash past Ensberg at third; a ball that maybe should have been caught. That was followed by a long fly ball that was playable and should have been caught in left field. Then, in the same inning, there was a short pop fly into medium right field. Biggio drifted back from his position at second while Lane was running in from left, all the while Biggio was calling for it. There was a runner on third waiting to tag and so I thought Lane should have fielded the ball since he would have the momentum along with the arm to make a play at the plate. Biggio ended up dropping the ball and the run scored easily. I found myself screaming at the television, “You chokin’ dog!”

Several years ago when I was playing softball with the police department we had some interesting games. We may all have worn blue uniforms while at work; but on the field we became fierce competitors. I remember a fellow patrol officer from one of the other teams running over to catch a pop fly, not unlike the one that Biggio had called for last night. Dale had a good bead on the ball when he got called off by another player, Lt. Driver. When the ball found a hole in the Lt.’s glove and fell to the ground, Dale let out his frustration, “You chokin’ dog!.... Sir.” There was just enough time for Dale to recognize that rank still needed a proper salutation. There was an awkward acknowledgement of the blown pop fly and the game continued. Things like that probably don’t happen elsewhere.

There’s a bit of the “chokin’ dog” in all of us, things we could have done better or would have been better off letting somebody else take care of only our blind driven need to do it ourselves got in the way. Maybe that’s why I enjoy the game of baseball so much; gives me a chance to see what could have been, what might have been with all the chances to have done it better and make it come out in our favor. Here’s looking forward to game 3 where the Astros get it done right.

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