(Wow, this photo looks like crap. Thanks, photo compression!)
Those who claim that baseball is boring and emotionless have obviously never watched a game that had playoff implications. More than likely, these people are also Marlins fans.
Next to soccer (which, let’s face it, sucks), there is no sport more emotionally draining than baseball. While football and basketball have rapid ups and downs, wild mood swings and other various forms of mental subterfuge, an epic-yet-losing game of baseball will suck the very will to live right out of you. The methodical pacing of the game lulls you into a false sense of security, then curb-kicks your teeth out with one crack of the bat. When a football game is down to one second, chances are that it’s all over. In baseball, it ain’t over until the final pitch, and even then, they just might have to play until Christmas to break the tie.
Watching a baseball game melt in front of your eyes is like getting a call that your pet was just hit by a car. The weight in your gut makes you feel like you don’t want to live anymore; everything was going so well up to that point. If losing a last-second basketball game is like a shotgun blast to the head, losing a last-second baseball game is like having your wenis carved up with a zesting tool. It’s never over fast enough, and you probably won’t even get the satisfaction of dying. With each passing day on the schedule, it’s just another step closer to your team’s ultimate doom, and there’s nothing you can do but close your eyes, hold someone’s hand, and cry until your wife makes you a salad to quell the pain. Oh, and a glass of wine would be great. Thanks.
If I sound melodramatic, it’s because I’m currently in a huge depression onset by the recent behavior of a certain Milwaukee Brewers franchise. If you’re just catching up, the Brewers had been in sole possession of first place in their division for the bulk of the season, leading by 8.5 games at one point. Now, with 5 games left to play, they are 2 games out of the lead and headed for the 25th straight year without a playoff appearance. What seemed like destiny has once again fizzled and flickered out over the course of the summer. I mean, if we can’t make that playoffs with both the league MVP (Fielder) and the Rookie of the Year (Braun), how can we ever?
Furthermore, when did the Cubs start winning games? Why are they so damn good, all of a sudden? When did they stop being a punchline in Jay Leno monologues? What is happening to the world I used to know?
Well, at least I have the satisfaction of enjoying my currently-overachieving Green Bay Packers. Sure, my wife thinks that Brett Favre is paying the opposing teams off so he’ll look good this season (possible, but not very probable), but hey, I’ll take what I can get. Hell, even if they lose the next 13 games, Mike McCarthy gets arrested for beating his kids and Donald Driver shows up on To Catch A Predator with wine coolers and a wheel of condoms, I’ll still think that they did better this year than they were supposed to.
Also remember that the Boston Red Sox, my Official Favorite Baseball Team, clinched themselves a playoff spot and should be losing to the Yankees right about……now.
Please explain this to me. Why do I invest so much of my personality and happiness in people that have no idea I exist? Why do I put emotional worth and schedule my life around wealthy athletes that couldn’t care less what city they’re playing for? In an organization where only one team out of 30 or so will win each year, doesn’t it make more statistical sense to merely be a fan of the sport itself and enjoy every victory by every team? Why must boundaries and state lines get involved?
Clearly, this is what ‘loser talk’ sounds like. I’m currently in the ‘bargaining’ stage of the grief process, and I’ve been there for most of the summer.
Dude, just driving through Milwaukee on Monday night pissed me off. I was screaming at random passerby, vowing revenge and swearing that I would never return to the city that has caused me so much pain. Due to constant road construction, a 60 mile drive took three hours. I didn’t think that was even possible until I experienced it first-hand; I had to stop at a gas station to shave halfway through.
I don’t know what the deal is with that city, but it needs to get its collective crap together and stop closing three lanes of traffic during a baseball game that has 80,000 spectators. If 50,000 cars leave Milwaukee at an average speed of 5 miles an hour for a total average distance of 80 miles, that theoretically means the last car in line will never get home. Ever. They will age, wither and eventually die in their cars, as orange barrels continue to block perfectly usable and uninhabited freeway lanes.
When your favorite team sucks from the get-go, it doesn’t bother you. Your defense mechanism kicks in, you graciously accept the fact that your team doesn’t have a chance, and the whole thing ceases to bother you for the season. When your once beloved team goes sour and betrays you, however, things get significantly more ugly.
Look at it in relationship terms. If you have a partner that makes no excuses about their irritating personality, lackluster fashion sense and non-existent diet, it’s not going to bother you too much when they talk too loud, wear mis-matched clothes and eat all day. You’ll get over it, or you’ll simply find another person to be happy with. However, when the sparkling, sexy and slim person-of-your-dreams starts slowly deteriorating into an embarrassing, annoying lump, it’s going to hurt you for a long, long time. All this time wasted, and for what?
So, to the Milwaukee Brewers, I have one simple request for you. Win out the remainder of the season. It’s the least you can do, and if it turns out to be not enough, I’ll try to understand and heal. Your fans don’t care if you get swept in the playoffs, we just want to be invited.
TOMORROW: THE MISSUS’ CAR IS FINALLY REVEALED.