People like me have no business being baseball fans. I'm so loyal, I'm stressed out all the time. My team, the NY Mets, just lost the World Series. It took me eight minutes to type that last sentence. I knew once I put in the period, I could live in denial no longer. I even debated whether I should use the word "loyal" because it rhymed with the team they succumbed to. And I'll be the first to say right here: 1) The Mets can hold their heads high. They got a whole lot further than anyone ever imagined. 2) All the credit in the world to the Kansas City Royals. They're more than a team of great players. They're even more than a team of great clutch hitters. You could feel their energy and momentum dominate each of the four games they won. In the last two games, every Mets fan in the world held his or her breath at the start of the seventh inning. The Royals might have been down by two runs, but you wouldn't have known it by looking at the dugouts. They were confidence personified while we embodied the unnerving rumble of a stomach cramp. They could taste the sweet tang of victory. We could taste the stale- whatever we ate yesterday that we shouldn't have eaten again today that was going to end us up in the exact same place tonight that we ended up in last night. Call me a lousy fan, but out of sheer exhaustion (changing the clocks didn't help) not boredom, I assure you, I was already dozing off between pitches all the way through the seventh inning stretch of the last game. But when "things" started to happen: Bases were loaded and our hitter hit himself in the knee cap... and inexplicably finished the at bat even though he couldn't stand on his left leg. (I wondered: What would happen if he got a hit? Would the bat boy and the third base coach run over and carry him to first base?) Then our pitcher who begged to stay in for another inning walked the first batter... I had an eerie premonition of the night before. It was already the eighth inning and we were winning, but it didn't feel like we were about to win. I told my husband when the game was tied at two: "If this goes into extra innings, I'm going to sleep." And it did, so I did. Okay, I'm a sucky fan but I was not about to relive game one: Freak out for fourteen innings, only to have my heart broken...again. I woke up the next morning with my Mets ring still on to find out the Mets' fingers would end their season bare.
I've read a lot of negative posts about the TV coverage of the World Series so let me climb on that bandwagon for a sec. From comments made by the commentator (and his immense forehead) to shots of everything while a guy was at bat except the at bat: A split-screen of what his swing looked like two years ago compared to what it looked like last year (can we see what it looks like right now?) to angle views from behind the umpire which is a perfect position if you want to block us from seeing everything going on at the plate, to overhead shots in case you ever wanted to watch a baseball game from a helicopter, to my personal all-time favorite: A close-up of the Mets' former general manager talking to a guy next to him while the guy on the other side of him noshed a pretzel.
Besides repeating stories about players over and over again... trade deadlines, short-stops crying... they choked us with "who gives a fk?" statistics:
"The team who rearranged their collective balls and said the word 'contribute' the most during interviews have won 19 of the last 23 World Series."
But then up on the screen came "The Statistic". It was meant to boost Royals' fans, but it ultimately provided me with the strength to keep me from taking sleeping pills and hibernating until Spring Training:
"13 teams who have lost in the World Series, returned the very next year to win it, (including Kansas City.)" Of course, 12 teams also returned the next year and lost again... but I can only handle half of the stat right now. I hope you understand.