TIME. Our final frontier. Time changes everything. Two illustrations from games played April 8 and April 9 are good reference points to this phenomenon.
Let us consider the examples of Bill Buckner and Jim Edmonds, then.
There’s maybe just a little crying in baseball after all. So it went at Fenway Park on Tuesday, April 8 as Bill Buckner threw out the first pitch.
Yes, that Bill Buckner. The 1986 World Series gaffe and pariah aftermath has been well-dcumented. Buckner faced a lot of challenges. ‘Nuff said.
Time and perhaps two world championships have sweetened the sour on the Buckner saga. He was a gritty high quality performer who could hit a ton and wasn’t that bad a fielder when his bad legs let him.
The Fenway moment was just south of a Lou Gehrig luckiest man to be sure, but the standing ovation and tearful pitch were just right..
Then, there’s the case of where have you gone Jim Edmonds? A timeless fan base bemoans your downfall.
The will is there, but injuries and time have done in the skills. It was painfully obvious at wind-swept AT&T Field, San Francisco. No disrespect to Edmonds who, too, is a gritty all-out guy, but turn him over, he’s done.
It’s been a great career. But injuries and age have caught up to Edmonds. He has been slow in getting to balls he routinely caught in the past. He’s been diving and coming up short. Going back back back to the fence and coming up short short way short. His power hitting numbers are now nil.
On Wednesday, April 9, Edmonds dropped a line drive. He struck out three times. And then, with the game on the line in the bottom of the 9th Inning, playing his traditional short center field, he failed to judge a fly ball that went over his head and scored the winning run.
Great career, but time has done in Lord Jim. And the Padres, who have a solid starting pitching corps, true, but not enough firepower or depth to compete with Arizona, the obvious frontrunner, Colorado or Los Angeles. And after losing two of three in San Francisco, maybe not even the Giants.
Time. OUCH. It changes everything. Lets go Browns!