Monday, October 29, 2007

When does the next World Series start again?

Last night I did something I had not done in front of a baseball game in 20 years.
I paced.
I also walked rapidly around the room, punched a pillow or two and said “Come ON” a few times under my breath and through gritted teeth.
My wife would tell you I act that way all the time, but only during Kansas basketball season and occasionally when the Kansas City Chiefs are playing in a meaningful game, which happens about once every five years. Yep, during a Kansas hoops season, that’s about the usual play around the house, cursing under my breath (Jayden imitates me now after all) and swatting a pillow after yet another turnover.
But last night the Colorado Rockies were swept by the Boston Red Sox, and that means a couple things. It means I owe a Boston blogger or two a Colorado beer. Worst of all, it means the fun is over.
I had forgotten how much fun that was.
I was a Kansas City Royals fan. I still am, actually. Years ago, as I grew up in Kansas City, Kan., it was good to be a Royals fan, as they won a lot and had players such as George Brett and Frank White and Bret Saberhagen. They won the World Series in 1985. Then they didn’t go the playoffs again, like, ever.
The Rockies were my national league team, but I wasn’t a serious fan until, well, that little streak. The one where they won pretty much every game for two months. That was fun. Really, really fun. And now it’s over.
Bummer.
This is not to bash the Rockies. No way. This is a love letter of sorts. They helped me rediscover my love for baseball. There’s a reason all those books sit on my top shelf and I own Ken Burns’ PBS series that made the game seem like God chose it as his own. I really used to love it.
But then economics played too much of a part in the game, and it started to turn me off. The NFL, for instance, would not have a team make the playoffs 14 straight years (although I’m starting to wonder about the Patriots) like the Yankees because all the teams share revenue and have a salary cap.
The unfairness of it all hurt teams like the Royals and later the Rockies, even if Colorado did give $374 billion to Mike Hampton, who thanked us by giving up only six runs a game. That and the fact that those two teams sucked for many, many years, while my Kansas basketball team continued to win, helped convince me that baseball was somewhat of a waste of time. I followed it always, but only the way you might follow a girl in the park with your eyes: You look, smile, linger a bit and then move on.
Well, that was then. This postseason, maybe, convinced me otherwise. The Rockies should be good next year. I’d be shocked if they weren’t. And if they aren’t that great, well, I know now to just hang in there, until August, and they’ll win 30 in a row and take the division again.
Only this time, I’ll be waiting until that streak happens, on Opening Day, counting the months until September and wondering if Holliday can win another battling title.

Edit: Speaking of Kansas, the football team, not the basketball team, is 8-0. That hasn't happened since 1908. That's right. 1908. My GRANDFATHER wasn't even born yet. Was the car around yet? I think Ty Cobb played back then. Indoor plumbing was still a dream (prompting me to never complain about diapers again; can you imagine fighting over who had to clean out the hole in the ground?).

2 comments:

Chipper (Dave) said...

I'm still crying in my beer. It just seems to quick for the World Series to be over. And I can't handle the fact that after the Rox swept both the Phillies and the D-Backs that they, too, got swept. Arrrrrgggg!

I don't suppose the Broncos will give us our championship fix we need this year though. Too many issues with this team. I guess it's Go Avs, Nuggets and Broncos for the next several months.

Still, Rockies are the NL Champs! We get to hoist a banner for next year!

Shane said...

I didn't watch the clinching game start to finish, as I am one of the loathsome Yankee fans (have been since I was 5 years old sitting on grandfathers knee when Reggie went back to back to back in 77 and my mom, grandmother thought that he was going to have a heart attack), and I didn't want to see the inevitable.

Col made a great run, but just ran into a monster team. Nothing for them, or their fans to hang their head about. 5 months to pitchers and catchers report.

Shane