Thursday, July 9, 2009

How to appreciate the 17th of Tammuz

I was thinking this morning (shocking, ain't it?) about 17 Tammuz's of yore. Everyone knows what happened in the Middle East, right?

1. Moses broke the tablets at Mount Sinai — in response to the sin of the Golden Calf.

2. The daily offerings in the First Temple were suspended during the siege of Jerusalem, after the Kohanim could no longer obtain animals.

3.Jerusalem's walls were breached, prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.

4. Prior to the Great Revolt, the Roman general Apostamos burned a Torah scroll - setting a precedent for the horrifying burning of Jewish books throughout the centuries.

5. An idolatrous image was placed in the Sanctuary of the Holy Temple - a brazen act of blasphemy and desecration.

That was all, by the way, courtesy of Aish.com. Why was I reduced to using the competition? Because Chabad.org doesn't appear to know that some of these events happened, which is really quite embarrassing.

So anyway, as I was saying, I recalled going to a ball game eight years ago on the 17th of Tammuz with Levi Feller and Ira Tick. You want to know how good my memory for useless information is? Everything I'm about to write comes from my head, not the internet. Here goes:

The Minnesota Twins took on the Cincinnati Reds in a Sunday day game, I believe it was the rubber game of the three day series. Brad Radke pitched for the Twins, and ended up throwing a 3-hit complete game, retiring the final 22 batters he faced. The only run he gave up was a Ken Griffey Jr. home run. The Twins, meanwhile, scored seven runs in the first four innings, spurred on by Matt Lawton's big day. I remember being surprised that the attendance was less than 30,000, even though it looked like the good 'ol Metrodome was pretty full.

All right, how about for the truth? My memory was pretty good, but not infallible. Jason Larue hit that homerun, not Ken Griffey Jr. (who was hitless), and the Twins scored the last of their runs in the sixth. On the plus side, Matt Lawton did have a huge day, going 4 for 5 with a homerun. I had not recalled that Torii Hunter and AJ Pierzynski also had huge days, with three hits and two RBIs a piece. And my memory of the attendance? That at least was spot on- 28,507 souls saw that game.

And that, my friends, is the way it is.