EXTRA BAGGS: Thoughts from flyover country as Giants head home

October 13, 2012, 5:47 am
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CHICAGO -- You might have noticed the Chicago dateline at the beginning of the two previous stories I filed today. More likely, you skipped right past it.

Yep, I'm here and currently looking out my hotel window at a gorgeous nighttime view of the skyline behind the Chicago River.

Like the Giants, I didn't know whether to go home or fly to Washington. So I decided to take my original flight out of Dayton this morning, and then just skip my connecting flight from O'Hare to SFO. I knew I'd have to book something on short notice, and you'll have a lot more flight options out of Chicago. Besides, my flight this morning was already paid for.

And plus, Lou Malnati's >>>>> Skyline Chili.

So I traveled at 22,000 feet over most of Indiana, and something occurred to me as I stared out my ice-glazed window. Over all that farmland, whenever a little town would pop into view and slowly roll past, I would notice at least one baseball diamond. Every school, every park had that friendly, soothingly familiar bit of green geometry -- and if it were Iowa down there instead of Indiana, maybe I'd have spotted one embedded in a cornfield, too.

It reminded me that baseball is everywhere. It's a shared experience. It brings us back to our childhood. Even though we seem more fragmented than ever, it's something that ties us together. And when it's played by the best in the world ... man oh man, the drama! It's hard to believe all four division series went the distance, and every one was a thrill ride crammed with compelling storylines.

This was supposed to be the year we had the guaranteed tension of two knockout games, with the addition of a second wild card. Well, we got those. Then we got four more knockout games. And there are still four teams standing.

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What a great, great game.

Now if the good folks at United can just manage an on-time arrival tomorrow...

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