There were some readers that wondered why I decided to concentrate on the automobile writing than The Heirloom. Well…let me explain a bit more.
There is a feeling is adrenalin that you sometimes get in baseball. It’s a tight game, your team is behind by a few runs and your best batter is yet to come up. You’re on your feet with every pitch, as are 15,000…20,000…30,000…or more of us. Then, the bases are loaded…
Now, let’s switch to a Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible. Want to talk adrenalin? Try this. Drive a bit on a street with a 30MPH speed limit until you get to an entrance to a freeway. Then, you press the throttle down with your right foot. All of the sudden, there’s 420 pound-feet of torque from 6.2litres of V8 power at your disposal. As soon as you launch this beast up the ramp, your heart stops. It’s a millisecond long, but you feel it. You’re still breathing. You’re still in the car. You’re still driving. You reached freeways speed at a time so quick you hadn’t thought about the game tickets inside the center binnacle.
And, no one crapped in their pants.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the first pitch from one of the toughest relievers in the game was a strike. It was a pretty good call by the Home Plate ump. Then again, he wasn’t Angel Hernandez, Joe West or Hunter Wendlestedt. This came from one of the better umps in the bigs.
We’re still standing. We do not want to be disappointed because we know he’s a clutch batter. He’s been the walk-off guy for us all season long. What could possibly go wrong?
That was the sound of a Bridgestone Potenza tire that lost to a huge pothole in South Minneapolis. It was also the sound of a front driver’s side rim meeting the crappy tarmac on the same street. One thought…maybe it’s a run flat? Further inspection of the trunk of a Lexus IS250 C shows otherwise. A donut. An annoying Tire Pressure System light remains for several miles after a phone call with the press fleet manager to get that lovely coupe-convertible to the nearest Lexus dealer for a tire swap.
The news is that the rim’s fine. It returned back to Chicago the next morning. Thankfully, I’m glad we replaced the tire now than prior to setting off on a seven-hour run with a donut.
Could be worse. I could be the other local journalist who met the same fate with a run-flat tire on a Cadillac CTS-V coupe on a freeway near Plymouth. He had to wait a day for a new tire…
Ah, the life of an automotive journalist is never boring…
After recovering from a brush-back, Mr. Clutch is back in the box. The star reliever sets, winds-up…and the pitch. There is contact with the bat. There is trajectory of the ball. It looks good from where I sit. Everyone’s breath is collectively on hold. The ball just keeps on going…and going…
Do you know what heaven is like?
Until recently, I never felt the power of anything above 300 horsepower. If this were 15 years ago, then I would be a stud. Nowadays, you can’t simply have 300 horses at the top of the rev band.
The special thing about the Cadillac CTS-V sedan that I drove recently: It’s not the fact it has 556 supercharged V8 horses under the hood. It’s about how it is delivered. You’re riding along at 30MPH…so smooth and lithe. Then, you put the foot down. It was easy. It was quick. You did not feel a thing. You went from a calm, serene world to the realm of the Gods. You have enough power to race a Ferrari 458 Italia, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG or a new BMW M5 on any given piece of tarmac.
It is like a walk-off home run. There is no sense of time continuum. The lift off was not even felt. As you round the bases, you feel nothing. Then, you round third, headed to home. You see the multitude of players around the plate. The fans…regardless of the paid attendance…are on their feet cheering. No one’s left the ballpark.
Then, some idiot commentator goes ahead and makes a dumb quip on air. I won’t say if its Hawk Harrelson, Ed Farmer, Darrin Jackson, Mike Shannon, Tom Gordon, John Sterling or Mark Grace who said it. It’s just plain infuriating. Perhaps said comment would be left to another MLBlogger, journalist or a caller into a postgame show to chew on and spit onward.
Luckily, the Cadillac has a multitude of preset buttons loaded with XM Radio channels at my fingertips. I can easily change the channel. Maybe I’ll switch to BPM…
Adrenalin. Euphoria. Passion. Words that I hoped I conveyed in some of my work in The Heirloom. Adding emotion to a piece, whether it is about this game or any other subject matter, makes for good story telling.
I always strive to try my best to tell a good story. I’m glad you enjoyed that aspect of this work. Now, I encourage you all to elevate your stories to the next level. That way, the void I leave here will be filled by your chosen words. Your way to express your feelings about the game of baseball.
I enjoyed reading your work as much as you enjoyed reading mine. We convey the same passion for the game, but expressed in many different ways. Go forth and accomplish a higher plane of blogging. Make a new connection with an established MLBlogger – Pro, Beat Writer or another Fan. Take this to the next level.
How does it feel to elevate your game? It is hitting that curve’s apex perfectly. No yaw, no lack of grip and no chassis flex…just the right moves and sounds. And, there’s no resistance from man or machine.
My friend, Fred from Wisconsin, tweeted me on Sunday to “keep baseball alive on the current blog, if you can.” I will try. Besides, a lot of us automotive folks are sports folks, too!
With this, is my coda…my last walk down the concourse out into the exits. I hope to see you outside of this forum. Whether it is the SABR convention next year in Minneapolis, the Twins-Cubs series, working media at the Chicago Auto Show or somewhere else down the line, I hope we can reconnect.
My love for baseball is not dead. It will be there. It will continue to live on.
The Heirloom is Dead. Long Live The Heirloom!