Sunday, October 14, 2012

Baseball Born Again

A weird thing happened to me this year.

Usually such an absorbed, diehard Red Sox fan (although lately I have taken to calling myself diehard "by West Coast standards", because I don't know that I could keep up with those Bostonians), I allowed myself to drift off, float away from the Red Sox and MLB in general, and, in a way, take a break from the game.

I think I watched only one or two complete Red Sox games.

I never made it to the Morrison Hotel, a local Boston bar (actually its a bar on SE Morrison that shares it's Boston theme with some Jim Morrison decor) to watch a game. I did manage to see one of the first Red Sox-Yankees matchups at the New Old Lompoc, before the building was razed.

And late in the season I tried to get in the habit of occasionally listening to the game on the Red Sox' Spanish-language broadcast - but even that I did more out of a desire for language maintenance and improvement than to quench an undeniable baseball thirst.

When the season neared its end, and I knew that the Red Sox were not going to make it, but I hadn't realized just how far they were from making it, how bad they actually were.

They finished the season in the cellar. That's how bad.

But then, as I tried to wrap my head around the new postseason and Wild Card qualification rules and setups, I ended up getting really excited about the game again.

So much so, that when the two Wild Card playoff games were played last Friday, I watched them both. Not in their entirety, but following on my phone when I wasn't around a TV, or listening to the game. And then the next day, I watched or listened to the majority of the games as well, catching at least a small part of each game.

And then on Sunday morning, I got up and listened to the game, before heading back to work at noon after a weekend full of baseball. This was kind of strange, as I had been living in such a bubble of baseball for a few days.

I continued to follow the games all week. It is kind of fun, to watch the postseason when your team is not involved. There are the Yankees to hate, and I'm fairly anti-St. Louis and anti-San Francisco.

And the quality of the baseball has been incredible! So close, so many extra innings, and, for the first time since the Division Series has existed, every single series went the full five games.

That's a lot of baseball!

But then came the disappointment. I was rooting for the A's, the Orioles, the Nationals, and the Reds, and one by one, after so many promising late comebacks and large, safe leads, they all succumbed to their opponents!

And that leaves me rooting for the Tigers.

If it comes down to a New York-St. Louis World Series, my dislike of these two teams will make me lose that draw to the game I have so recently rediscovered.

On the bright side... it's a short offseason. Because it's a World Baseball Classic offseason! And I can hardly wait.

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