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Sign Carlos Beltran!

Astros fan Ray Kirby's Sign Carlos Beltran Petition now has over 9000 signatures. Petitions can be fun. But what will make the difference once the season ends is cold hard cash, and George Steinbrenner (curse his dark soul) will come calling with a mountain of it. But those thoughts don't quell the joy of being one game from the World Series.

For those of you stuck with Fox and the Yankees-Red Sox last night, my condolences. As good as that game was (I kept tabs between innings), the battle between the Cards and 'Stros was one for the ages. Jayson Stark agrees.

There's nothing like a tight post-season baseball game to raise and maintain the tension in a sports fan. Every pitch or fielding play matters enormously when hits are as scarce as last night (one a piece through eight innings).

The eduring image from the game may be Beltran streaking like a gazelle from right-center to left-center, diving in full stride and just snaring Renteria's line drive before it hit the grass. Or perhaps it will be Beltran gracefully backing up Tal's Hill to snag a fly ball at the 425-foot mark, where everyone else seems to rumble, stumble, and bumble as if auditioning for a Chris Berman video. Said Bagwell, tonque-in-cheek: "He didn't just make it look easy. He went up the hill backward. In case you hadn't noticed, he's a decent player."

He's decent, sure enough. Then there was Lidge - lights out! Then Kent, then delirium. What a night for Astros fans.