Okay, there is a lot of talk about Adam Wainwrong's post-game comment that the white towels may have distracted Roy Holliday, causing him to botch what would have been the game-ending, win-clinching catch of a James Loney fly ball. Here's Wainwright's quote:
"He lost the ball in the 50,000 white towels shaking in front of his face," starting pitcher and would-be hero Adam Wainwright said. "It doesn't seem really fair that an opposing team should be allowed to shake white towels when there's a white baseball flying through the air. Dodger blue towels — how about that?"
Let's dispel this argument, once and for all.
- 1. As Jon "Zapruder" Weisman pointed out over on Dodger Thoughts, towels were not being waved during the play, but rather, started waving after Holliday's groin shot gave us new life. I mean, let's get serious, what rational Dodger fan would be waving a towel during what would appear to be the last play of the game (besides the insane wannabe Dodger fans who insist upon standing up and doing the wave during a rally, of course)? Everyone was either watching the play unfold, or hanging their heads in sorrow, or praying for a miracle. But waving a towel? We're simple, superficial people out here in Los Angeles. We can't multitask. We weren't waving our towels.
- 2. Homer Hankies have been part of the baseball giveaway tradition at least since the Twins won the World Series in 1987, if not earlier. And this excuse only comes up now, rather than any other time in the two decades since? Impossible.
- 3. If the towel thing was such a good idea, Dodger fans would have been doing card stunts all year long. Instead, we're too busy hoping we get on the Kiss Cam and preparing to sing along with Don't Stop Believing. Not to mention that holding a card or waving a towel above our heads would prevent us from blackberrying our agent at the same time.
Holliday, to his credit, has not tried to put up the waving towels as an excuse. Holliday said he lost it in the lights, and he obviously feels terrible. And any rational Cardinals fan can't really come down too hard on Holliday, whose addition to the team late in the year basically propelled St. Louis to the divisional title, not to mention that his home run earlier in NLDS Game 2 put the Cardinals on the board in the first place. He botched a play, but closer Ryan Franklin let four more batters come to the plate, adding a passed ball to boot. Let's not try and defend Holliday with a bathroom fixture, and forget the real reason why the Cardinals' ship sank in Game 2.
The Cardinals won't be waving (or throwing in) the towels for Game 3, either literally or figuratively. So let's just hang up these implausible towel excuses once and for all.