I'm not ashamed to admit it: January has kicked my ass. Between work and finances, and especially the please-god-will-it-ever-stop-snowing weather, it's been a pretty thorough beat down. The only common winter occurrence that hasn't happened this month is illness, and, man, I probably just jinxed myself because there are still three babies left in this 31-day fiasco.
I'm feeling a little bit like the Braves did after Game 4 of the 2005 National League Division Series. As you may remember, it was an 18-inning ball game that started in the day and ended at night -- a day-night doubleheader folded into a single game. The Braves lost the game, 7-6, and the Astros advanced to the NLCS on Chris Burke's home run in the 18th. It was the longest game in postseason history, at five hours, 50 minutes.
I didn't see very much of the game. I had to work that night, so I caught the first few innings at home, and then tried to watch the rest of the game over my left shoulder (that's where the TV is in the sports department) as I tapped, tapped away on my computer.
Because I didn't get to absorb much of the action, I'm hoping that the MLB Network re-airs this game in its entirety, because I absolutely love watching extremely long games. Every time I attend a game in person, I hope it goes into extra innings. A lot of people bitched and moaned about the length of the All-Star Game last year. I loved it. Fifteen innings of fantastic, suspenseful baseball! Watched it from beginning to end.
In fact, the awesomeness (I hate that I just used that word) of this night card comes from the game it depicts, because it really isn't all that great of a card. There's way too much going on (I guess when a game features two grand slams and a walk-off HR, there's a lot to include). And that brings up the question: what is the record for most players featured on a single card? Excluding team cards, that is. I count 20 players on this card, and I might've missed a couple.
The Astros eventually endured their own "January" against the White Sox in the World Series. There's only one winner, as they say. Almost everyone knows what it feels like to get kicked in the teeth.
But February's just about here. And the month comes with new baseball cards! Here's to that first pack or blaster in which every card you pull is one you need. Now that is a month worth celebrating.