My five-year old son knows very little about baseball apart from the fact that Daddy likes it and writes about it. He doesn’t watch games with me yet because, hell, you can’t get him to sit still for anything. He was getting ready to take a bath as the Phillies-Reds game was winding to a close yesterday, and since I’m usually his bath-giver, he was wondering where I was. From down the hall I heard my wife tell him that “Daddy’s watching baseball. Something important is happening, I guess.”
My son came down the hall — naked as a jaybird — stood next to where I was sitting and asked me what was going on. He knows the general point of baseball — the pitcher is trying to get the batter out, the batter is trying to hit the ball — so he basically grokked that what has going on was special. When I saw that he was getting it, I said “you know Buddy, no one has done what the man with the beard is doing for 54 years.” I’m not sure he understands the significance of the playoffs, let alone how long 54 years is, but this seemed to impress him. My wife came in the room and put his bathrobe on him and we watched together in silence.
When it was over — I had to tell him it was over — he ran back down the hallway to where my wife was and he yelled “Mommy! The man with the beard didn’t let anyone hit the ball! No one has done that in . . . um . . . a lot of years!”
There were others besides my son who were impressed by Halladay’s feat. This is a sampling of what they had to say:
- Roy Halladay: “It was pretty neat.”
- Charlie Manuel: “It was great managin’.”
- Dash Treyhorn at The Fightins: “When Roy delivered that 0-2 pitch to Brandon Phillips and Chooch made
that definitely-more-difficult-than-it-looked throw to put the game in
the record books, I was elated, just not like the first time. I cheered,
I put a hand in the air. But more than anything, I just laughed.
Literally, I laughed, because what I had just witnessed was one of the
most absurdly awesome moments in sports, and I wasn’t even surprised,
because that’s what watching Roy Halladay for a season will do to you.”
- The 700 Level: “My, was it pretty.”
- The 701 Level: “hahaha YO GIL member wen DOC threw taaht NOHITER that was prety nSWETT SON haha YES” [sorry — personal weakness of mine; whoever writes that stuff is someone with whom I’d like to have a cocktail];
- Rob Neyer: “Letting Roy Halladay loose against the National League this year was like locking a hungry wolf inside a garage full of kittens.
We couldn’t have seen this coming, quite.
But we should have seen something like it.”
- Red Reporter: “OK, this is not how we wanted this to go.”
- Eno Sarris: “He produced a game of which everyone who watched felt unworthy.”
- Jimmy Rollins: “He was filthy. Filthy. Like just completely filthy.”
Oh, and Reds’ shortstop Orlando Cabrera had something to say too. But I’m saving that one for its own post — look back in about 25 minutes — because I don’t want to sully the awesome currently afoot with the lame noise he brought.