Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Game The League Can Not Destroy

I have to tell you, folks, as an A's fan, the last few years haven't been fun at all. Every other franchise gets a stadium that you'd want to go to, or at the very least, the hope of one coming soon. Every other franchise either gets to sign a free agent or two; we shop from the remainder bin for the broken down and the never was. We've lost hope of good everyday position players coming through the minors, and the young pitchers are clearly just here on loan. There's no more than a few guys from the team that are fantasy relevant, and seeing them on highlights or television just doesn't happen.

So I don't really have a team anymore, and going to a game now is a major hassle and investment. I've gone from 20 games a year to maybe 2 or 3, for roughly the same money. And a few weeks ago, the pennant race looked to be as dead as a doornail.

And then... the game overcame the league, as it so often does.

Tampa started winning games and looking frisky. St. Louis swept the Braves to give themselves hope. The DiamondBacks ripped off improbable win after improbable win. The Angels refused to give up the ghost, and had jackrabbits all over the lineup that were fun to watch. Even the Giants made a move. And the Red Sox and Braves went into swoons for the ages.

So tonight, with more or less four straight hours of back and forth and craziness going on, was just all kinds of awesome. Oh, and the fact that it wasn't for certain spoiled children? Here's a tweet from four hours ago:

This isn't fun. You can't tell me this is fun.
And, um, is there anything more off the mark than that, really? I was bouncing from channel to channel all night, feeling so happy for Dan Johnson, so bad for Marco Scutaro, so amazed that the Rays just wouldn't quit when down 7-0 in the eighth...

Well, let's just call a spade a spade on this, shall we? Boston Fan isn't a baseball fan; Boston Fan is a Boston Fan. I don't care how much you love your team, tonight was an awesome night for baseball, and the capper of an amazing month.

Next year, the Rays will lose more young talent. The Cardinals will watch Albert Pujols walk away to greener pastures. (Maybe.) The Yankees will make the playoffs for the 17th out of 18 years, an absurd achievement in a league where only 8 out of 30 teams make the playoffs, and injuries can decimate any team in a heartbeat. Eight teams will create 80% of the revenue, and MLB- teams will have to make the all-in or fire sale decision.

But the bases will still be 90 feet away, the mound will be 60'6. Some young guys that you've never heard of will dominate; some superstars will fall off the planet. No matter how bad the powers that be try to game this to the big teams, no matter how slow and agonizing some games will be, no matter how obnoxious the telecast crews or analysts... they can't ruin this game. No matter how hard they try.

So, yes. Tonight was fun. And with any luck, the playoffs will be as well. (Go Rays.)

No comments:

Ads In This Size Rule