Oh. My. God. I need a cigarette… and I don’t even smoke.
I’m just going to assume you watched the Phillies strangle the Braves to death, winning all six games against them in September. I’m going to assume you watched the Orioles resurrect the Curse of the Bambino. And I’m going to assume you watched the Rays give their extra 2% and fight back from a seven-run eighth inning deficit to simultaneously beat the Yankees and cut Boston off the map (for real, has anyone checked out the territory north of Connecticut this morning? Is it still there?).
I’m going to assume you savored every. last. thrust. of pure, mind-blowing, relationship-defining, job-costing, heart-pounding, epic, season-ending baseball sex.
What’s that? You did experience it in full? Good, because otherwise you won’t get this analogy (I'm also assuming you're a fan of late-90s pop culture).
I searched long and hard for the appropriate creative work to summarize last night’s unbelievable, synced-up baseball goodness. First, I imagined the baseball gods sitting in a room full of scantily clad winged angels drinking Blue Label and continuously tossing new wrinkles into the baseball universe as they got progressively drunker.
Too far fetched.
I thought about the very real and relatable scenario of summer love coming to a ceremonious end under the Wildwood boardwalk.
I thought about relating it to March Madness (too easy). A Coldplay song (too Sean Avery). The first eight minutes of the series premiere of The Good Wife (too complicated). The career arc of Mark Wahlberg (too hipster).
Then it hit me.
There’s one analogy so perfect, so tailored to mirror last night’s baseball activity, that you might swear there was some eery cosmic force aligning the two like The Wizard of Oz with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
The final day of Major League Baseball’s regular season played out exactly like the final 20 minutes of American Pie.
Let’s start with the Phillies-Braves game, or, for our purposes, Thomas Ian Nicholas and Tara Reid consummating their relationship in Stifler’s guest room.
The two teams had been linked with each other all season long. If there was one stable, genuine, sure-fire lock for carrying a relationship over into the postseason (or college), it was this one. When the schedule first came out, this was the night everyone had circled on their calendars. This was supposed to be – to borrow a line from the movie – the culmination of the past year… only it was awkward. It was almost too planned, too obvious. One of the teams had already moved on in their mind. They wanted to see new things and meet new people in the playoffs. Still, as if almost a way to validate their relationship, they gave it everything they had for one final night. And, quite frankly, it was beautiful. The Phillies conquered the Braves in an extra innings thriller and Tara Reid gave one of the best O-faces we’ve ever seen. When finished, both cut their partner like a string- they had bigger fish to fry.
The Cardinals and Astros are very clearly Chris Klein and Mena Suvari sexing on the deck. Respectable, mostly predictable, and sort of anticlimactic. A glimmer of moonlight flickered off Suvari’s chest as Klein kissed her anxious skin and Carpenter (both of our beaus are named Chris here) tossed a two-hit shutout. About what we expected. Nothing to talk about here.
Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan play out the Orioles and Red Sox game.
Biggs is our lead character. Like the Red Sox, this whole thing centered on his exploits. He put the most effort into getting laid. He setup web cams, planned out the whole evening, and signed Carl Crawford and John Lackey to combined $220 million contracts. On this night, however, it wasn’t about him getting his. It was about the dorky, slightly annoying, orange-tipped girl getting hers. She did what at band camp?
This was supposed to be Biggs’ show. He was just there to use the band geek. She was a means to and end. All part of the plan. Little did he know, she had a little fight in her. Say my name, bitch!
Last night, Jonathan Papelbon was the bitch.
Finally, we turn our attention to Tampa for the Rays-Yankees game. The Rays are the deceptively clever little guy who constantly irritates the big boys.
This is Eddie Kaye Thomas and Jennifer Coolidge, aka Stifler’s mom.
Earlier, Shitbreak fights back against his much cooler and popular nemesis by spreading rumors of his own sexual prowess and winning the division in 2008 and 2010, actions that severely cut into the territory previously occupied by the bully. The Red Sox and Stifler panicked. They looked for shortcuts to victory. The Red Sox bought Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. Stifler bought laxative. Both tactics worked. The Red Sox seemingly ran away with the Wild Card and Shitbreak was left without a date to the prom. The bad guy won.
Or so we thought.
Just as the evening was about to come to an end, when all looked lost, Thomas had one last trick up his sleeve. Down seven in the eighth, facing near impossible odds, he wooed Stifler’s mom. It turns out the one thing that made him an outlier, his sophistication, is exactly what won him the night.
I got some scotch.
Aged 18 years. The way I like it.
Not only did he pull out a last minute victory with Coolidge and the Yankees, but he also doubled his pleasure when his nemesis walked in and saw the whole thing unfold right before his very eyes… sort of like what I imagine happened to the Red Sox when they walked into their clubhouse and saw Evan Longoria rounding the bases.
Feels good, doesn't it, big guy?
Let’s celebrate the Phillies’ and Charlie Manuel’s record-setting win.
As I Tweeted before the start of the ninth inning, who didn’t have a feeling that the Phillies were going to rip the Braves’ heart out?
At first it looked like the Phillies were competing for the integrity of the game. It later became clear that this was all about winning their club record 102 game and making Charlie Manuel become the all-time winningest manager in Phillies history. You see the way Chase Utley goes out there and asks Justin De Fratus if he's "OK?" This team is full of winners. Just full of them.
Charlie talked about it after the game:
Jay Wright applauds him:
Phillies minor leaguer Jiwan James attended the game in Atlanta:
Some outstanding Phillies stats courtesy of Matt Gelb.
Bill Lyon, legend, talks about Funner.
Gary Thorne calls the Orioles’ walk-off win,
Tony La Russa compliments the Phillies: [via reader Pete]
"I've been a big fan," La Russa said. "Whenever I think about the National League I'm going to think about the Phillies. What they put into that series — the integrity, the competition, the manager, the coaches and the players — that is Major League Baseball at its best."
Good luck, Tony. Doctober begins on Saturday.