Thursday, September 29, 2011

When Do Pitchers and Catchers Report?

So the "Greatest Team Ever Assembled" turned out to be, well, not that. In April we had too much pitching and one by one they fell to the wayside; Daisuke, Typo, Hill, and Jenks. And the ones that didn't get hurt were at best inconsistent and at worse "drive you to consider drinking Drano" horrible.

One of our prize off season moves was spectacular for the most part but seemed like he hit into an inning ending double play at every crucial moment and the other one played like a guy trying desperately to live up to a huge contract and failing miserably. The nuttiest guy this side of Julian Tavarez ending up being the best relief pitcher we had, Wakefield suddenly got REALLY old right before our eyes and John Lackey may be in over his head in Boston.

Youk played the whole year seemingly in pain or trying to pass a kidney stone, Scutaro was dinged up, and due to age and injury a philosophy major from Yale ended up catching in the last two games of the season.

However, Ellsbury turned into an MVP candidate, Pedie continued to dirty his uniform every day and play like every at bat was Game 7, Beckett became Beckett again, and we finally may have found a worthy successor to Trot's "Dirt Dog" status in Chronicles.

I can't sugarcoat it; the season was a disappointment to the players, the front office, and especially the fans. We ALL had expectations, and even after starting 0-6, after they climbed back from the abyss it sure felt like destiny to me.

But it wasn't.

And you wanna know something? That's OK. Because for 6 months my team, except for April and September, played the game of baseball at it's highest level. Even with all the stuff I mentioned above, they STILL were one of the best teams in the game. And I yelled and I cheered and I cursed and I hoped that this was going to be one of those years where I got no sleep in October and loved every minute of it.

Didn't happen. And that's OK. Because for all the ulcers and irregular bowel movements and splitting headaches that made me worry I was about to stroke out in the end?

It's just a game. A game I love and obsess over and cherish, but still just a game. It's not more important than my faith or my family or friends, even if sometimes it seems like it. It's an escape from a world that has war and recession and terrible crimes against humanity and gives me a reason, every night from April through September, to forget about all that. Even if it is just for a little while.


I COULD be a Cubs fan.


Cardsplitter said...

Got to see them once this year, in Pittsburgh (2 hours from home) and they managed to win by scoring 2 runs on no hits against the then first place Pirates. If they could pull it together while making 3 errors and still do it, I thought it was a team of destiny too.

It got so bad I wouldn't look up scores before bed because it would just piss me off and I wouldn't be able to sleep.

As a result, my kids learned all sorts of new words when I checked the scores on my phone in the morning. And 2-year-old little boys repeat EVERYTHING, as you well know.

Next year. And Thursday was the first day I wore my Red Sox hat in a while. Always and forever Red Sox.

fla beck said...

I really enjoyed this post. You summed the season up perfectly. I've been down in the dumps too. The Rays getting knocked out today almost singlehandedly by Beltre made it a little better. Can't wait for Spring Training at Jetblue Park!

Ted D said...

Nothing better than Spring, Becky. I've got a feeling this team is gonna come out with a lot to prove next year.