You’re out on a blind date with someone you met online. Through emails, you learn you both enjoy movies, going out to dinner, and sometimes staying home to enjoy a quiet evening watching TV. This wouldn’t differentiate Leo DiCaprio from Leo da Vinci (a creative guy like him would love movies and TV). So to learn more about him and because you are “tired of kissing frogs and are finally looking for your prince,” you agree to meet for dinner.
As you’re getting ready to leave your apartment, you text your BFF to call you 20 minutes into your date so you can always play the “My nephew just peed his pants at school so I have to bring him home and I know it’s 8:45 on a Saturday night, but it’s one of those special Saturday night classes for gifted eight year-olds who want to learn more about the subtle nuances of Finding Nemo” card if the date is heading toward catastrophe. Your friend agrees, but you say you probably won’t need it because you have so much in common and the one blurry photo of him in a hat and sunglasses was cute.
But you sit down and before you can even say anything, he tells the waiter that you’re splitting the check. And he starts to squeeze a lemon into his water and mixes in packets of sugar to save money on ordering lemonade. And he launches into how when he’s not arranging used printer cartridges into scale models of Canadian cities, he’s collecting rain water in his homemade reservoir to have enough for the impending national debt crisis.
You’re polite, so you chime in that there will probably be enough water for everyone but this only starts to make him wave his arms and shout loud enough for the cooks to hear. Yikes…
Your friend comes through with the phone call, you nail your excuse, and you are on your merry way to a bottle of wine in the comfort of your own apartment. That is a save.
And a save in baseball works the same way with just a lot less awkwardness. The pitcher is struggling in a close game and there are base-runners everywhere. The hitters coming up are scary and the coach really wants to win this game. So much like how you were rescued by a phone, the coach will call the bullpen with a dugout phone to let the closer know he’s coming in to pitch. And if the closer does his job and gets the hitters out, he records a ‘save.’ The closer saves the game when the situation is dire (the lead being three runs or less) just like how your friend rescued you from a sticky situation. Only the best relief pitchers are entrusted to save the game, just like how you wouldn’t entrust your getaway plan to your 85 year-old aunt.
So the next time you’re out on a perilous blind date, know that there are baseball closers everywhere, along with your BFF, ready to save the day from terrifying hitters and equally terrifying online acquaintances.