A Day After The Rainout
By Eric Reining
(I wrote this last night. So, typically, it’s not current.)
Rainouts aren’t fun. They suck. That’s all I have to say about that.
I’ve had a rough time of it lately in the getting legitimately excited watching a baseball game sense. I’m sure there are plenty of reasons, and I’m sure beyond this exact moment I probably won’t think about them again for awhile.
Don’t get me wrong, I like this year’s team. Pound for pound — sans Josh Hamilton and Michael Young and Roy Oswalt — I prefer it to last year’s squad. (Which is really to say I’ve absolutely no emotional connection to any of those three players.) So even though I liked Mike Napoli and Koji Uehara and Mike Adams, I’ll give them all up in the blink of an eye if it means Hamilton, Young and Oswalt are off with them.
* * *
We tend to remember most vividly the moments where we are under the greatest duress. Whether good or bad, we don’t forget our first fight, our first sexual encounter … our first a lot of things. Because in that moment it feels like the freshest, most brand new experience, ever. And that gets our blood racing, our minds churning. Those are the moments we live for.
Baseball isn’t any different. We forget the particulars of the game the night before, but we retain the clutch outs, the big hits — the moments that decide the game’s outcome. We remember almost ten years ago in late September, when David Dellucci hit a game-winning double to beat the A’s. And yes, it was still only a year and a half ago that the Cardinals transmogrified a two-out, two-run 9th inning deficit into one of the most memorable World Series games in the history of Major League Baseball. The Rangers, and subsequently all of us as well, happened to be on the wrong side of that history.
With all that as the preface to what I imagine is my biggest fan-related issue in 2013, sports have honestly never been the same since Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. Not the Rangers, not the Chiefs, not Duke basketball, not Virginia Tech football. I was 21 back then, so I’m not exactly an elder statesman right now, but at the same time, I’ve seen a shit-load of baseball in my life — both as a player and an observer. I’ve watched a lot of bad Ranger teams break my heart over and over again.
But that night — Game 6 — baseball nearly ceased to matter altogether. At least in the way it was supposed to matter to me. That night I was forced against my will to grow up as a fan; it felt like my innocence evaporated right out of my hands at the crack of David Freese‘s bat.
I know there’s one apropos quote out there, and it reads something like, “It’s not about falling down, it’s how you get back up,” or some bullshit like that. Anyway, in that moment I don’t know if I’d ever felt more comfortable just staying down. And where I’m getting at with all this is that I’m not entirely sure if I’ve ever gotten all the way back up, which might sound hyperbolic, or overly dramatic, but from my end it’s the simplest way of describing it in an intelligible way.
Some people might call it “burnout”; I just like to think of it as “thoughts fitting of a rainy day.”
I’ll still post as often as I can, but since this is my site, in a way it’s my journal. It’s the developing transition from subjective fan into more of an objective GM-fan. At this point I get far more intellectually aroused by front office decisions and non-decisions than I do about the actual games that are being played.