Even someone as clueless and indifferent to baseball as me can't help but get somewhat sucked into this big Red Sox/Yankees playoff thing. I went to a dinner party on Saturday and we all ended up watching the game and the mood went from gregarious to angry, desperate, and frustrated. Then last night I was out with a friend to get a pizza and the TV was on in the 8th inning. We had to walk to the cash machine after we ordered the pie and we stopped at a group of people smoking beside a cab with the radio turned all the way up to get a score update. We stopped outside a bar and stuck our noses to the glass to watch a little more of the game. We weren't the only ones. Back at the pizza place we watched through the 10th inning. And I started to see why people like baseball so much. For a team sport, it is excruciatingly individual. At any moment, one individual from each team has the entire pressure on him. It's a pressure cooker. Players can be heroes or complete jackasses but when it's their moment the whole weight of the game is on them. I've always thought baseball was incredibly boring -- just a bunch of standing around, and this artificial separation of defensive play and offensive play with no hope for the defense to intercept or turn things over and change the direction of the game. I still am not likely to devote much time to baseball but I now see how it can hold you spellbound and hopeful, building up the tension and wondering whether a player will do something masterful or bungle his chance and crush everyone's dreams in a split second. It's not basketball, for sure, but I think in its own way there's something kind of neat about the game.