Sunday, October 5, 2008

Playoff Heartache

There's a lot of heartache going around the MLB playoffs right now, and a little left over for me, even though my Detroit Tigers didn't make the playoffs.

I'm not going to lie, I'm feeling for the lovable losers the Cubbies right now.  I'm really feeling it for their fans.  At least the current players haven't been pining for a World Series title these past 100 years.  I'm not sure who their oldest player is, but it's a safe bet he's not much over 40, if that.  And how many of their players grew up as Cubs fans?  I'm sure there are many elder Cub fans who have suffered through this drought with untold agony.

I also feel a slight pang for the Brewers, although they were always my arch-rival team in some respects.  I grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and people there are either Brewers or Tigers fans, but never both.  So loved to loathe names like Paul Molitor, Robin Yount and especially Rob Deer.  Mostly, I feel for Corey Hart, who looked like he was going to burst into tears when the ball popped out of his glove last night after he banged against the outfield fence and then fell to the ground.  He hadn't had a good series at bat either, so it was all going so wickedly wrong for him.  There was no gloating in my heart over their loss.

Now, the Angels are still in, and have tied it up as I write this post (at least last I checked).  However, when three players converged and failed to catch the blooper off Ellsbury's bat, allowing 3 runs to score for Boston, the looks on their faces said it all.  Mike Scioscia had to send in some signs afterward.  The camera was zoomed in on his face and I swear the dejection was palpable.  His finger looked like it was in slow motion as it went through the crazy nose to ear to nose to chin movements.

Finally, to my little heartbreak.  This goes back to the White Sox/Minnesota play-in game.  After Thome's solo shot, A.J. Pierzynski stepped to the edge of the dugout, raised his hands in the air, and hyped up the crowd.  Something in that moment shot straight to my heart.  The jealousy and the heartbreak of "they are there and we are not."  The energy, the electricity, the jubilation of the Sox and their fans reminded me only too well of the taste of playoff baseball, while I sat with the bitter taste of what people are calling the biggest bust ever in the Michigan sports history.

Oh, well, all I can say is summed up in the clich├ęd baseball phrase "wait til next year."

1 comment:

Jake Lloyd said...

Think about this: Would you rather be a Cubs fan or Tigers fan right now? The Cubs put together a great season, gave their fans more hope than they've had in decade, and then let them down in the biggest fashion in a matter of four days.

At least with the Tigers, we had a pretty good feeling in late July that nothing special was coming out of the season.