In case there's anyone on Planet Earth who hasn't seen it--
Do NOT click the above if you are squeamish!
Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age, or maybe it's just because I have respect for Hideki Matsui in general (more than for, say, Giambi, although that's not difficult), but I felt physically ill after watching the multiple slow-mo replays of Matsui's left arm SNAPPING in left field. After the initial stomach-turning fracture, an even more traumatic image followed for those of us watching at home: Matsui's glove hand dangling loose from his mangled limb as he felt around for the ball and threw it weakly back to the infield.
Shudder. Disgusting. Just gross, on a human level.
Preliminary reports are that Matsui's arm was fractured badly enough to require surgery tomorrow, and that he will be out a minimum of four months. Even though Matsui is a beast and I have nightmares about him like Joe Torre does about Big Papi, I can't even be glad about that, because SERIOUSLY his arm went CRUNCH RIGHT THERE ON TV. BLAGGHHHH.
Undoubtedly the most horrific injury I've ever seen as it happened on a baseball field (only because I wasn't watching live when the Mets' Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron had their grisly collision last year).
Anyway, so! HOLY SHIT THIS WAS THE LONGEST GAME IN HISTORY, HUH?
The definition of a grinder - as grotesque as the Matsui thing was, at this point, it feels like it happened last week. This game was an EPIC. (My brain, perhaps predictably, is down to a quivering nubbin of cerebellum controlling my breathing and typing functions, but otherwise, I'm pretty well fried at this point--so please chalk up any further incoherence in this post to those factors.)
The first, oh, six and two thirds innings were, as Annette put it, "hair-ripping frustration", plain and simple. THREE TIMES the Sox had the bases loaded and THREE TIMES they left 'em just like that. THREE. TIMES. Holy God, I need to find a healthier addiction. Like chewing lightbulbs. Or extreme body piercing. You know, the kind of piercing where they hang themselves up by...well, you know what kind I'm talking about.
Suffice to say, somewhere around nine o'clock, I found to my astonishment that it was only the fourth inning. I've seen footage of neurosurgeries on the Discovery Health Channel less painstaking and tense than this.
And then all of a sudden Jeter floundered around like an old fish in the hole at shortstop while the rain came down and Mark Loretta was safe at first and we actually scored some runs--
--and then just like that...we were ahead?
Then just as suddenly, it was back to the grind.
Timlin had a studly strikeout of A-Rod, and Foulke managed to get some outs despite a lead-off double from "The Hastily Renanimated Corpse of Bernie Williams" (tm Amy in the South). By then, I don't know about you, but it was paper bag time once again in my household.
Because Papelbon was brought in to get Miguel Cairo, and Miguel Cairo proceeded to foul off approximately 1,523 pitches before Papelbon finally got him on a FILTHY, NASTY split, the kind you can only fully describe using profanity and various gestures of macho enthusiasm such as fist pumps and pelvic thrusts and, if you are so limber, flying helicopter ninja kicks.
It was...it was...
Home runs robbed. Sure-thing outs thrown away. A small village stranded on base. A rainstorm. Dozens of stolen bases (or so it seemed). Curt Schilling leaving, in full uniform, to be attended to "at a medical facility" for a "non-baseball-related issue", and shuttled there in an official Yankees vehicle (for the sake of my sanity, I have decided he had a toothache). Matsui terribly hurt. Johnny Damon reinjuring his shoulder. Willie Harris getting a double off Mariano Rivera. On the CUTTER.
Four hours and fifteen minutes. 21 hits, eleven pitchers, eight runs, one error and a partridge in a freakin' pear tree.
...it was Red Sox-Yankees baseball, c. early 21st century. Nothing more and nothing less.