It’s a thin line

At the very least, this man deserves a bit of a rest (and a stiff drink!).  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

At the very least, this man deserves a bit of a rest (and a stiff drink!). Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/ and used with permission.

May I just tell you how much I hate this weekend?

I don’t hate it solely because the Red Sox won’t be in the post-season.  You win some, you lose some and I can deal with that fine.  And it isn’t that I don’t like the playoffs.  I do.  Even when the Sox aren’t in them they are usually compelling and fun to watch.  Especially this year when there is really only one team I absolutely don’t want to see get past the first round.  It’s nice to have a bunch of teams to watch that you know you’ll enjoy watching.  I’m hoping for a Reds/Twins World Series but, really, as long as it doesn’t involve the Yankees, the World Series won’t be a disappointment for me this year.

The main reason I hate this weekend is because of the loss of every day baseball.  During the season, there is almost no weekday evening where I don’t spend the majority of it watching baseball.  If I’m home, pretty much from 7pm until at least midnight, there is a ballgame on somewhere in my vicinity thanks to the Extra Innings package.    I just love baseball and I want to watch as much as I can.  So marking the end of the regular season always makes me a bit melancholy.

There’s also the off-season to think about, which always gets me a bit emotional.  Players we’ve grown to love (or at least really want around) might not be coming back, so the last weekend of the season turns out to be a longer goodbye for some of us and the players than others.  I wonder if next season we’ll be witness to more dugout tomfoolery with Adrian Beltre and his head or if we’ll get to see Victor Martinez and his son playing on the Fenway grass.  I wonder if we’ll be clapping and singing to “Shipping Up to Boston” in the top of the ninth or if it’ll be “Strange Hold”  (is that even still Bard’s entrance music?).   Come December, I’ll be a lot more eager to find out the answers to these and other questions but right now I’m a little blue thinking about them.

As a gift to we fans who have stood by this team all season long, the baseball gods have given us a final weekend of baseball at home…against the Yankees.  Really, baseball gods?  We haven’t suffered enough?  Oh well.  The bad news is that along with my boys, my last visuals of Fenway this season will include the likes of Slappy, Captain Intangibles and freaking Mark Teixeira.  The good news is that the Red Sox could end up being the reason that the Yankees go into the playoffs on the dreaded (only by them) Wild Card instead of winning the division.  The thought of this gives me joy-filled goosebumps.

I think it’s fitting that the two pitchers I’ll be seeing (if the weather doesn’t mess things up) are Clay Buchholz and John Lackey.  Clay because he’s my guy in that rotation and Lackey because I feel like I’ve been one of his only supporters all season.  I know how he’s pitched and I still think, when that contract is over, we’ll have gotten more good than bad from  him.  So I’m excited for the pitching this weekend and I’m excited to be able to be there to say goodbye to Mike Lowell (although not excited about saying goodbye).  My hope is to shoot video of the tribute to share with folks but I can’t guarantee I’ll be in a good position to do it (nor can I guarantee my hands will be steady enough to shoot it!) but I promise I will at least make the attempt!

How is it possible that I’m dreading AND looking forward to this weekend?

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