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9.20.2005

His Career Flashed Before His Eyes 

For my headline I was going to use Jon Miller's description of the uber-tater Barry Bonds sent into the upper deck tonight:

"There's a magnificent drive, arcing high into the evening!"

I find Miller's bombast endearing, the same way I find old Parisian ladies who elbow their way onto crowded subways utterly charmantes. Ah, for those days of Malo youth misspent.

Back here in the U.S.A., tonight's headline instead is plucked from Mike Krukow's comment during the post-game wrap, toward the end of which the giddy crew began to discuss the game-ending play. For those of you who missed it, Todd Linden, defensive replacement and mouth-breather (Where have you gone, Lindenatoro?!), broke in on a Brad Wilkerson line drive instead of back as the tying and winning runs madly circled the bases.

It was about to be the nightmare capper to a nightmare inning, courtesy of Armando Benitez's continued stand-up act: "¡Damas y caballeros, iss great to be here! ¡Mierda, I got not'in'!"

Benitez got the first out, then double, walk, walk, sac fly, and finally Wilkerson, line-drive hitting lefty, even though Scott Eyre was warming up in the bullpen. (Felipe? Hello? Dormez-vous?)

So the ex-Lindenator raced back toward the left field fence, hurled his body sideways toward the warning track, and backhanded the catch for the final out. Krukow summed it up perfectly -- as Linden went back on that ball, his career flashed before his eyes.

Kuiper added: "Catch the ball, and the game's over; miss the ball, and the game's over."

He caught it, preserving a win that combined what could have been in '05 -- Bonds and Alou in the same lineup with stunning results in the top of the 9th, and let's not forget Wise Guru Vizquel's fantastic AB to draw a walk and prolong the inning -- and what may well be in '06 and beyond: Sweet Sugar Cain pitching like the cream in our coffee, and Special Agent Jack Taschner providing just the facts, ma'am, in middle relief.

But oh, what could have been.

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