For many fans of the remaining 26 teams no longer playing the game that began when the pitchers and catchers reported back in February, this is the worst of bad times. All of the hopes of Spring have evaporated into listlessness of Fall. Those teams we almost hate are parading around on our television sets as if they belong in the Fall Classic. They are all pretenders.
There are teams in blue, not Dodger Blue, but some kind of blue based in the Midwest or in Canada. There are teams who rarely if ever appear in post season events, outside of baseball card shows, who are not front and center night after night. Much of the land has no team to cheer for, only against. There is no team left west of the Kansas/Missouri border or two miles south of I-70.
There are moose antlers, for goodness sake. Someone hit an apple with a home run. There are vines in an outfield, never seen before in many, many decades. And there are fans who throw Molson bottles and cans onto a field as if it were octopus after a hat trick. Everything about this year is backwards. Opposite of groundhog day, this is the nightmare of ’15, something we have never seen before.
There is a team participating where the second baseman decided to stop running for a pop fly and it proverbially, opened the gates to defeat. There is another team that hasn’t been this high since a guy named Bartman decided to become infamous.
In other words, this is one messed up season of the year as the marathon comes near its end while all of the favorites, except one, are participating in something which has become a traditional classic. There is nothing traditional about this year’s happenings.
All you have to do is look at the stands to see why this is a different type of post season. There are a lot of young people in the parks. Look at Wrigley. They have never witnessed anything like this. There are a lot of guys in the New York ballpark. Women don’t like baseball in that part of New York? Seinfeld in post season? You’ve got to be kidding? They don’t even drink regular beer in one of the parks. After all, its been 20+ years since real fall baseball appeared in Canada. Then there is the guy in Kansas City who insists on wearing an orange Marlins jersey behind home plate behind the batter’s head.
Yup. This is some kind of post season, kind of like being invited to a Thanksgiving dinner from that aunt you’ve never been invited to Thanksgiving since you were a kid and that was because it was your parents who received it and dragged you along, probably for protection rather than enjoyment.
Now all you look forward to is your aunt standing up after tapping that water-glass and saying, ‘What a lovely tradition’.
OK. Play ball.