Friday, September 26, 2008

Being A Recovering Alcoholic And A Baseball Fan Couldn't Be Easy

On Wednesday, I wrote about how the Mets game from Tuesday night felt like one of those turning point games that might be the driving force that pushes the team. I don't think this team is winning a World Series unless the bullpen starts to channel John Franco (that is to say, loading the bases is up a bases-clearing triple is not). But it did look like they would at least overcome the September 2007 demons and get back into the playoffs.

Then on Wednesday night they came out and blew a four run lead and left the winning run on third base after he hit a leadoff triple in the ninth. In fact, they had men on third with no outs in each of the last three innings. Ouch. And of course the Brewers won on a walk-off homer to tie up the Wild Card race. Ouch! To say the least, I did not want to acknowledge that any of this happened, let alone write about sports yesterday, so I took a day to regroup.

And the funny thing is that now that the Mets and Brewers have both played one more game, and each won theirs in spectacular fashion, it is painfully clear that all this magic and heroics really do have nothing to do with what happens the next day. Sure they make folks feel more confident, and confidence is crucial, but so it hitting and pitching and fielding.

The Brewers had a come-from-behind win and won it on a walk-off grand slam in the 10th. Their second walk-off homer in two games. You don't think they feel like a team of destiny? The Mets had their amazing win on Tuesday and then last night had Ryan Church score on the strangest play at the plate in history to complete a three-run comeback. As a rainstorm that had already causes a game in DC to be cancelled water-logged Shea Stadium, they played on into the 9th when Carlos Beltran hit a game-winning shot off the glove of the first baseman that stopped dead in the soaked grass that the right fielder couldn't get to before the winning run scored. They earned a split with the best team in the League. You think they aren't feeling good about themselves? Does Destiny have a favorite?

This is all kinda like how fans pray for their teams, or athletes pray for themselves before events - like God is only listening to one side of the argument. Granted, when it is Boston College playing Miami, God clearly has a side. And He apparently does not like Arod either so whatever team he is on, God's on the other team. (greatest player ever perhaps...not a sniff of a World Series title).

There is only one way that the idea of Destiny intervening can be upheld this season. And that is that the Mets and Brewers both make the playoffs, meaning the Mets have to make up a game on Philly in the last three days. After all, the Rays are the AL East winners, the Yankees are playing golf, and the Twins are about to complete a miracle comeback to win the Central despite having traded away Johan Santana among others in the off season. So amazing things happen. Of course, God doesn't watch American League baseball, so you can't blame it on Him.

The funny thing in all of this is that as a fan, I have no idea what to do with myself from day to day. Wednesday night I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach and yesterday I couldn't even watch ESPN because I hated seeing the ticker show that the Wild Card was tied. Now the Mets pick up one more win, and even though they are still in the exact same position - tied - I feel like they are sure to get it done. I guess the easiest way to calm myself on this rollercoaster is to take solace in the fact that I am not a USC fan.

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