Second Thoughts: Series shows why you can’t put baseball on the clock

Might have to break down and turn on the furnace. We always try to make it to Halloween before cranking up the thermostat, but my fingers are about frozen as I type this sentence. The heat coming off the TV during the Ohio State-Penn State game did help, though.

My kids were delighted that Game 1 of the World Series whizzed by faster than the time it will take for them to rake our yard next week. The Dodgers disposed of the Astros in less than three hours and everyone was in bed at a proper hour. Then Game 2 happened. And it was awesome. Home Run Derby broke out and Houston prevailed in an 11-inning nail-biter that took more than four hours to complete.

I stayed up for the entire game and paid for it Thursday morning. But Game 2 illustrates why people who rip baseball for “taking too long” need to chill. America’s pastime has its own pace, and, yes, sometimes it does step on its own toes. But when moments like Game 2 happen, it reminds us there’s still room for baseball in our menu of sports mostly designed for instant gratification.

Yasiel Puig is a different cat, but he's good for ratings. The Dodgers' right fielder likes to lick his bat, stare at opponents and hit home runs. He also has the most colorful hairstyle in baseball. He nearly made an amazing diving catch Wednesday night, but was entertaining just the same. The ball bounced off his glove into the stands for a ground-rule double. Puig responded by throwing his glove to the ground. I'm glad I'm not coaching him.

What's with that glob of pine tar on the label of Justin Turner's bat? Does he hope to make the baseball sticky for the defense? I'm sure George Brett is wondering how the Dodgers bearded slugger gets away with covering his bat with goo.

I'm guessing athletes from back in the day are ecstatic there was no social media to chronicle their every move as they let off steam a couple nights before a game. Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer learned his lesson the hard way when a video surfaced showing him out late at a club in Cleveland. Big deal. It wasn't the night before the game. And the video I saw shows him standing in a crowd talking to someone. True, the kid should've stayed at Notre Dame. Let him enjoy what little time he has left in the NFL.

Earl Watson must be an awful basketball coach. Who gets fired three games into a season? Watson. The Phoenix Suns gave him the boot after an embarrassing start. They lost their opener 124-76 and their third time on the floor was a 130-88 setback to the Clippers. The Suns celebrated Watson's firing by winning their next two games.

Trending up: Drew Brees, Carson Wentz, Mike Nugent. Brees became the fourth player in NFL history with 500-plus touchdown passes (regular season and playoffs). He joined Peyton Manning, Brett Favre and Tom Brady in that club. Pretty impressive for a short guy who went to Purdue. Brees can reach another milestone Sunday. Twelve completions will give him 6,000.

Trending down: Falcons, Dwyane Wade, Terrelle Pryor. The defending NFC champions have lost three straight to fall to 3-3. And the Falcons were lucky to beat the Bears and Lions. Their Super Bowl rematch against the Patriots on Sunday night was a snoozer, an uninspiring 23-7 loss. I used the fog that settled in at Gillette Stadium as an excuse to turn the channel.

Knucklehead of the Week

Joel Berry led North Carolina to a national championship last season and was named MVP of the NCAA Tournament. (The uptight NCAA calls the award the “Most Outstanding Player” because putting “valuable” in the name makes it sound like there’s money involved and we all know college basketball is a pure, amateur sport.) Anyway, Berry is back this season, but he’s out for a few weeks. No, he’s not spending extra time writing a term paper. Berry broke his hand on a door after he lost a video game to teammate Theo Pinson and a UNC team manager. I would’ve loved to see Roy Williams’ face when he heard about that.

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