The Joy, Misery and Oddity of the Late-Night Baseball Game

I, like many Americans, live in the Eastern Time Zone of the country. Games in the east start at seven, give or take. Central games start up at eight. The west coast games get started at ten. While I usually fall asleep by the time the West is done, I’m sometimes able to stay up through all of it if I want to see the game.

Last night was not a night where I was able to, even though I was interested in what would happen with the Orioles-Mariners game. I couldn’t do it though, I fell asleep. Sweet, sweet… sleep.

Until about 2:45 this morning, when my dog woke me up. And so, as I let the sleepless canine out to go to the bathroom, I turned on SportsCenter to find out what had happened in the Orioles-Mariners game… only to find out that it was still going on, heading into what I like to call “deep extras.” “Deep extras” is my term for any extra inning game that goes past 12 innings, at which point the bullpens are starting to become completely and utterly depleted and you start half-hoping the game would just end but also oddly wish it never will. It’s sort of the baseball version of Stockholm Syndrome.  I decided I’d keep watching… but quickly fell back to sleep.

Thankfully (or not), I was awoken by the dog- again- around 3:30. Maybe 3:45. As I sat downstairs waiting for the dog to finish his business, I turned on the game, expecting that the MLB Extra Innings would declare “HAVE A NICE NIGHT!” to indicate the game was over. But, nope, it was still going, and not only that, but the Orioles had taken the lead. By the time the dog was back in, the Orioles had won, 4-2, to pull even with the Yankees for the AL East title for a time.

It was, for lack of a word, surreal. And that’s the thing about late-night baseball games: there is the joy at the fact that there is baseball on, there is misery due to the fact you are up way too late… and it’s just odd when a game goes 18 innings, no matter when it started.

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