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Home » August 2007 Game CommentsAugust 2007 » Karaburi [空振り]

Karaburi [空振り]

Game 120: August 15, 2007
WinDevil Rays 6 W: Andy Sonnanstine (2-9)
H: Dan Wheeler (9)
S: Al Reyes (18)
46-74, 1 game winning streak
10-24-5 series record
Red Sox 5 L: Daisuke Matsuzaka (13-9) 72-48, 1 game losing streak
25-11-4 series record
Highlights: With the tying run in scoring position three Boston batters went down swinging. In Japanese one would say karaburi [空振り]. The first ideogram 空 signifies empty or open; it’s the same symbol used for karaoke, or “empty orchestra” and karate, which means “open hand.” The second symbol 振 is the same kanji used in sanshin (strikeout), but in this case it is pronounced bu. The final character is hiragana for the mora ri.

After I graduated from college I soon regretted doing so. Mundane, routine reality began to wear away at my psyche. You really don’t know just how good you’ve got it until you have to enter the workforce.

Still, years after I had graduated, on the anniversaries of the time finals and term papers would have been due I would often wake up in a cold sweat. Panic seized my entire body as a cascade of indistinct thoughts clouded my frontal lobes: Did I oversleep? Where is my final for Japanese 302 scheduled? Is it all the away across campus in some building I don’t know my way around?

Fumbling around my desk, clawing at my mouse, anxiously clicking away into my folders, shuffling through my backpack for my class notes....

Except there is no backpack. No syllabi, no crib notes, no drafts of theses on my computer. Just emptiness.

The mind recalls those panicked moments and forces the body to react. Back in the days of hunting and gathering it was easy to work off the excess adrenaline just trying to seize some sort of victuals. But now the closest thing modern humans have today in acting out the flight or fight response are through watching or playing sports.

It’s a razor fine balance between using that adrenaline and letting it control you.

In the bottom of the ninth with victory a stone’s throw away, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Manny Ramirez lost that balance.

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