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Jim Furtado
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Beards Newsbeat

Friday, October 20, 2017

Angell: Bringing the Yankees Home?

Wednesday’s game, at the Stadium, allowed me to continue work on my monograph about Keuchel’s whiskers. Mr. Weirdbeard shows a dense mid-chest curtain of hair depending from spaghetti-strap sideburns that might actually hook over his ears. Further observations offer a different possibility. His long, pale neck is smooth-shaven and stretches up to a high haircut trim close to his cap. The effect, seen from a slight angle astern, suggests a silken Dolce & Gabbana evening bag or, more likely, a black chemise or bit of underwear hanging on the far side of your closet door.

The box score shows that the Yankees struck out thirteen times in Game Five, contributing to their forty-nine strikeouts in the games to date. Shifting to the other league and the other side of the ledger, we come upon the Cubs’ 3–2 win in Game Four, at Wrigley Field, in which all five runs came on solo homers. Amazingly, these were also half of the hits in the game. Totals like this should no longer startle us. Baseball has irremediably altered, accumulating homers and strikeouts in ever-ascending numbers. Aaron Judge’s new rookie record of fifty-two home runs comes along with his record two hundred and eight whiffs. Major-league players hit more home runs this season than ever before, and more of them struck out as well. It’s all about size. At six feet seven and a tautly proportioned two hundred and eighty pounds, Judge is the avatar for this new generation of towering sluggers, while the pitchers, in their leaner and longer fashion, are also stronger than ever before. Launching has replaced hitting, and the batters walk away unflustered when they swing and miss at another hundred-mile-an-hour heater. This altered game is here to stay, and may even suit the distractible, phone-attached modern audience. Almost no one keeps score nowadays, and folks in the seats rise in numbers, shouting for the coming K or wowing for the departing dinger. I’m not a yearner for the past by nature, but maintain a secret fondness for a different baseball moment—a hard single up the right-field side with a man aboard, the baserunner and the relayed white ball now converging on third, and the fractional moment in which we await the call.




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