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The Breakdown: Luck of the bounce

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado
Sports editor Bryce Evans
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Some things in sports are simply inevitable. Whether it’s the Yankees thrilling their fans with titles or the Cubs filling their fans with bitterness and rage, there are just some things that seem predetermined, things that no one – not the players, the coaches, the owners or the fans – can do anything about.

As a fan, it can leave you feeling hopeless, frustrated, lost and, on the bad days, with the urge to swear off sports all together – at least, if you’re a fan of one of the oft-struggling teams in sports like I am.

Anyway, what I’m getting at here, is that everything in sports feels as if it’s out of the control of anyone involved.

A recent example: Monday night, reigning American League MVP Joe Mauer went 5-for-5 at the plate with seven RBI in a 19-1 blowout over Kansas City. If you saw the highlights of the game, you’d have seen that at least three of Mauer’s hits were inches away from being fielded for outs, and another found a hole in left-center by only a couple feet. So, for some reason, Mauer had a “slump-buster,” as everyone on TV was calling it, break-out game rather than having a frustrating 1-for-5 night which could have left his team in a nail-biter of a game.

Some people refer to these types of happenings in mystical speak about sports gods and the stars aligning just right to ensure an outcome.

Others just call it luck.

Either way, there’s some things we can’t explain, no matter how hard we try to.

Tuesday morning, while watching some talking heads discuss the no-hitter thrown by Tampa Bay’s Matt Garza on Monday, the fifth of the season (counting perfect games), my wife asked me the simple question of why there have been so many this season.

I had no answer. None. And as a perpetual know-it-all, that’s not something I enjoy.

But the truth is, there is no answer to that question.

Some people are trying to say that it has to do with the current testing for steroids and the presumed lack of juiced sluggers with comic-book bodies. Although, that doesn’t make much sense, seeing as pitchers were popping PEDs just as much as hitters, and if everyone’s “power” was dipping back to actual human limitations, that would go for pitchers, too. And, it’s not like we’ve ever had seasons like this before, even when steroids weren’t even invented yet.

Other people have tried pulling out the whole “expansion has diluted the talent level” excuse. Again, it doesn’t hold much water, seeing as pitching has been hurt more than anything by having more teams and more players. There are many more players with the ability to hit .300 than there are who can win 15 games as a starter.

What it all comes down it is, well, all the things a no-hitter comes down to. In each of this season’s 27-out beatdowns, there have been a handful of no-no-saving plays, whether it’s a diving catch, an unbelievable throw or even a call on a strike.

Simply put, things just have to go your way.

And that’s how it is with basically everything in sports. It’s why jump shots stroked perfectly can rattle in and out of the rim, why a perfectly hit golf shot can hit the pin and bounce off the green.

Sports aren’t an exact science, and although we can’t predict what happens, it seems the outcome is always inevitable.

All we can do is hope that everything bounces our way.

Bryce Evans can be reached at (970) 668-4634 or at bevans@summitdaily.com.


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