Watching some bae-bol!

If it’s the only thing I teach Phoebe in life, I’m content.

She’s successfully learned to say and recognize "baseball."

Only she says “bae-bol.” … So, OK, we have some more things to work on, but it's a good start!

Kates and I caught her saying the beloved word last weekend as we were watching the playoff games … Then, yesterday afternoon, we arrived home from the daycare. I unpacked our belongings and set her on the floor to play. I grabbed the remote, turned on the TV and switched on the Yankees-Angels game.

Phoebe immediately skipped in the air and pointed at the TV, shouting, “bae-bol!” She knew exactly what we were watching.

“Yes, Phoebe! It’s baseball!” I shouted back … I can’t explain the pride that filled my heart. After all, she did sit on the couch with me for a whole hour the other day while I watched a ball game.

And how ‘bout them Angels! … After watching them freeze their butts – and their bats – in New York for games one and two, yesterday’s game was a much more thrilling, enjoyable affair.

With every solo home run the Yankees hit yesterday, I was becoming less optimistic of the Angels’ chances … My hope was redeemed when Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run home run to tie the game in the sixth inning … And then I lost it again in the eighth inning when Jorge Posada hit a home run to tie the game at 4-4.

As we watched the game over dinner, I was musing to Kates about how much I'd like to see the Angels take the series, but the more recent Angels teams just don’t have the same post season fight that epitomized the 2002 team I adored. They don’t have that Rally Monkey spark …

They don’t have the Troy Glaus, the Tim Salmon, the Darin Erstad, the David Eckstein, the Bengie Molina, the Scott Spiezio, the Garret Anderson. And the pitching of Jarrod Washburn, Brendan Donnelly or Troy Percival.

Nowadays, it seems, Bobby Abreu and Vladimir Guerrero are the only sparks.

And yet, when Abreu overran second base on his leadoff double in the bottom of the eighth and got thrown out as he dove back to the bag – I was ready to throw in the towel. … Seriously, I was pacing in front of the TV with a dish towel while I tried to wash dishes.

Still, as the game moved into extra innings and Kates moved to get Phoebe – who was happily playing on the living room floor in front of us – ready for bed, I prodded her to let Pheebs stay up a little longer.

A few minutes later, it happened. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Jeff Mathis ripped a shot to the left field wall and Howie Kendrick sprinted all the way from first base to score the winning run.

With the three of us standing and huddled around the TV, I pumped my fists in celebration. And before I realized it, Phoebe was bouncing beside me, her little hands in the air, shouting “Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay!” … I whisked her in the air as we laughed and shared high fives.

I’ve created a baseball fan. (Yes!)

Can’t say we shared the same excitement over that Dodgers-Phillies game

I started dozing off in the sixth inning and, with the Dodgers clinging to their 4-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, I turned off the TV while saying a little prayer that they held on.

Apparently that didn't happen. ... My heart sunk when I saw the score scroll by this morning on ESPN's bottom line: Dodgers 4 Phillies 5. ... That blasted Matt Stairs!

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