Summer has come and passed…
September is here (yes, I am aware that I am nearly two weeks late on that particular profound observation) and I have missed an obscene number of games, in the past week and a half, but I got to watch today. Other than today, they’ve been playing good ball, which is almost enough to lead me to believe that I jinx them when I watch/listen. Not really. I think fans who feel they can jinx a team are being self-centered. Barry Zito facing his shoes directly south in his locker before a start may have an impact, but what I eat for dinner is unlikely to.
Anyway. Through this pennant race I’ve been thinking… what really distinguishes one team from another? Good hitting, good pitching, good defense… they’re all hard to come by, but not that hard to come by. I’ve become especially aware of this since watching Little League games where you see plenty of physically talented kids but realize that attitude is huge. And team chemistry, which is tremendously corny sounding but strikes me as true. As Aubrey Huff said, “I thought last night about what Bengie said to us on the bus when he found out he had been traded and was saying goodbye: ‘You guys have something special.'”
What is the something special? Obviously not good fashion sense.
Aubrey Huff at the annual Play-Ball Luncheon in his famous (or should I say infamous?) purple plaid pants.
And Brian Wilson in his not-so-famous but equally hideous turquoise shirt at the same event. I commend him for his obvious knowledge that turquoise is the color of 2010 but… not on you, Brian. Sorry.
Tim Lincecum at the All-Star game. Three words for a hat at a press conference: it ain’t cool.
Not just a hat. Not just a white hat. A white hat on TV.
My theory is supported by the fact that the Yankees are a good team but don’t know how to dress. The sunglasses. The handkerchief. The pose.
So if it’s not fashion, is it something intangible? Or is it just who is bought with the cold, hard cash? What really distinguishes a winning team from a losing team and at what point does a team lose their “winning team” title?
I think money and acquisitions definitely play a big part but I think there’s also a big intangible part. I loved the part of the Stand Up 2 Cancer telethon where they talked about baseball as a miracle. It is. And we are watching something really miraculous unfold in San Francisco right now. (Other miraculous thing? I added the “cisco” part to San Fran. That’s a first.) I think the “It’s Magic Inside” ad campaign was remarkably on the mark.
I’m curious to hear all your opinions (not just on the clothes, on what distinguishes teams). And I want to be in San Diego for this final game of the series. Wearing something beautiful. Aviator Prada sunglasses are on the top of my list. I tried them on at Saks Fifth Avenue a few days ago and… wow. The design of those is miraculous, too.