Everyone sees who you really are

Hope for the future (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor and used with permission)

Hope for the future (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission)

I have plenty of friends and relatives who, while supportive of my choices in life, don’t really understand why it is I love baseball and follow it so intently.  For quite a while I’ve been trying to make those who don’t “get” it understand what it is that draws me to it every day and night from April through October (and, if I’m being honest, a lot of the time year-round!).

Sure I enjoy the sport.  It’s fun to watch what the teams do to win – to see the strategies needed to win – and I’m fond of the players – no kidding, huh?  I like to see the players achieve personal goals and it’s always great to see which teams will surprise us.  There are a lot of (gasp!) intangibles that bring me to baseball as well.  One of those intangibles struck me tonight.  I mention it a lot when it comes to the Red Sox but I don’t know that I really ever applied it to other teams.  Baseball gives me hope.

Okay, the Phillies lost to the Yankees in 6 games…but for each of those games, or at least leading up to each of those games, we had this hope that they could beat the Yankees.  I know I did, anyway.  Even the nights I swore I wouldn’t watch, I ended up tuning in because there was this nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me I could witness something great.

And I did.   There was a lot to like about this series (as long as you weren’t a Mets fan – I can’t even begin to feel their pain for this one) even if you don’t like the outcome.  I enjoyed watching most of these six games and I’m a little sad that it’s all over not just because I didn’t want the Yankees to win but because baseball is now, officially, over.  That’s always tough for me to take.

At least 3 people have already tweeted that pitchers and catchers report in roughly 101 days.  This too gives me hope.  Once truck day arrives, we start with a clean slate.  Yes, the Yankees will be reigning World Series champions, but we get another season to hope that our team will make it to October again.

I’m in a weird place right now.  I stopped watching the game in the sixth inning.  I’m coming to terms with the Yankees being the champs and I actually don’t feel any physical pain.  Yeah, I’m annoyed but I figure if I’m not watching the end of the game, the celebration or the days and days of coverage to follow, well, then I’m okay.  I didn’t want to follow a sport in which the likes of Slappy gets rewarded for being a cheating, lying, POS, but there isn’t much we can do about it now, is there?  The sun will come up in the morning, there will be other things to annoy and please us over the winter and come April we’ll all be ready to hate the Yankees even more!  (And many of their fans.  Like the ones trying to post gloating comments while I’m writing this.  Seriously?  Your team just won the WS and you come HERE to celebrate?  Sad.  Very sad.)

Yet again, I have to invoke the ghosts of 2004 and 2007.  I know there is absolutely no way I’m this “okay” with the outcome of this World Series without having those in our back pocket.   Congratulations to the Phillies for getting as far as they did two years in a row.  No, the Yankees don’t get congratulated for accomplishing what they did.   They were supposed to be this good.  You don’t spend the money they did on the players they did and somehow become underdogs.  I’m unimpressed (well, relatively speaking.  They were definitely the best team…but they still don’t impress me!).  As someone pointed out elsewhere, the team we should really be impressed with is the Minnesota Twins who made it to the playoffs with their $68 million payroll (placing them 24th out of 30 in payroll in 2009).

101 days, people.  Pitchers and catchers report in 101 days and we get to do all of this all over again!

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