Round 15

Game 7! I'm living vicariously.
Curt Schilling. Still the coolest player left in the playoffs. Gutsy effort, just like that of Randy Johnson when he pitched in relief in Game 7 the day after he'd started Game 6 for the Diamondbacks in the 2001 World Series. I think the word "courage" is thrown around too much in sports--it's just a game, after all--but you have to admire a guy who's fighting through some pain and trying to hold down the Yankees lineup with less than his best stuff.
I also admire that he pulled himself out after seven innings. There's a machismo ethos in sports that says it's admirable to play despite injury or fatigue that limits your effectiveness, but at some point it's just detrimental to your team. For example, pitchers who refuse to admit fatigue and leave the game, hitting astronomical pitch counts that lead to injury or ineffectiveness in their next start. It's a fine line, but Schilling knew where he stood relative to it. A veteran like Greg Maddux is not afraid to tell his manager when he's done for the day, and more pitchers should.
Contrast Schilling with A-Rod, who just may never be as beloved as a guy like Schilling. His slap at Arroyo didn't seem malicious, though it did remind me of Robert Fick's cheap shot tomahawk chop to the arm of Eric Karros in last year's NLDS (the Braves fined Fick for that play and benched him the rest of the series. Somehow I doubt the Yankees will do the same to A-Rod). Anyhow, A-Rod will never get the Schilling love for many reasons. His willingness to chase the biggest contract and his inability to change the perception that he's a mercenary for hire who chased money and then success but wouldn't tradeoff between the two. Who knows if it's true or not? For me to presume to know A-Rod would be, well, presumptuous. But he doesn't own a spot in the Hall of Fans' Hearts the way Schilling does.
I wouldn't object to some instant replay process in the playoffs and World Series to aid umpires on select types of plays when they're not sure about calls. They did get both disputed calls correct today, but what if they hadn't? Would it really hurt anyone to have some umpires in a booth reviewing replays for a minute or two, just as the umpires on the field get together for a moment to confer? Why don't they use that HawkEye system that CBS uses to draw digital replays on television to aid umpires with line calls in tennis? I don't understand the argument that human errors in judgment are part of sports. Would we be satisfied if 100 meter sprints were still judged by a few old men eyeing the finish line as runners blew past at 28 mph?
It will be a zoo tomorrow night at Yankees Stadium. I'd love to be there.