Monday, September 18, 2006

World Series Hopes Fading

There are 14 games to go in the major league baseball season, and while it's not mathematically impossible for my team to make the playoffs, our hopes are fading fast.

We were in a position where our wins sort of counted double because our wins could also take away wins from those teams we were battling. But this past weekend we were swept in a three-game series.

Being in the (this year) weak National League, a team playing below 500 percent has a possibility of making the playoffs.

It's nice to have hope. Last year my team clinched the wildcard spot in the playoffs on the last day of the season. In many recent years we've been in the wild-card race up to the end of the season.

It's good to have hope. I feel so sorry for the hometowns -- and especially the players -- who are out of contention early in the year. Understandably, their play has to lack intensity, their games excitement.

Mid season this year we acquired a player from the always-out-of-the-race Tampa Bay team. He was so thrilled to finally be playing second-half games that actually meant something.

Have I told you I'm down? For the past several years, I have watched my team play every night. Even though there are 14 games left, I suddenly don't want to watch them anymore. They've got no fire in their play. I feel as if the manager has thrown in the towel.

Winning's fun.

The only good thing about being out of playoff hopes is that I can reclaim my evenings. Maybe now I can attack my monstrous 2b read pile.

Of course....if my Astros could only get hot . . . you know what I'll be doing come October!


Nancy Herkness said...

Cheryl, baseball is my least favorite sport in the world. Well, maybe it's second to cricket on the Bottom Ten list.

However, my husband is a rabid Yankees fan so I end up at least listening to games on a regular basis and evidently information does filter into my brain. So I actually understand everything you said in your blog. Wahoo!

I just wanted to express my sympathy for your baseball blues and suggest that you switch to watching ice hockey which is a much more interesting sport anyway. :-)

Cheryl Bolen said...

Ice hockey in Texas? Ya gotta be kidding, Nancy.

Susan Vaughan said...

Cheryl, I can sympathize. My hopes for the Red Sox faded at the beginning of August. They've had so many injuries and new players that I don't even know who the team is now.
For both of us, there's always next year!

Nancy Morse said...

My husband is also a lunatic Yankee fan since boyhood, so while baseball isn't my favorite sport, when the Yankees are on, I'll watch. And going to a game at Yankee Stadium is actually kind of fun. Great for people-watching. If we can't watch the Yankees, the Mets will do. Ice hockey isn't for me, and I don't understand a thing about basketball. But I am a football fan. When I got married all those years ago, our home was always filled with a bunch of guys on Sunday (lucky me), so I learned real quick to appreciate football. I also learned to deal with the raunchy humor and the foul language. That's where I learned to cuss like a truck driver which, over the years, has come in handy from time to time.

JoAnn Ross said...

Given that your Astros are in the NL, I can wish you grand luck! I've been a die-hard Yankees fan since I was seven, during the boom and bust years. I even once, during the years CBS owned them (and seemed to be trying to destroy the franchise) wrote a time travel book, where the heroine asks the hero who's come from 200 years in the future if the Yankees have won a series yet, and he tells her no, but the fans are hopeful. LOL

We went to Phoenix Suns games for years, though basketball now bores me for some reason, and I always watch hockey during the Stanley Cup playoffs, but now that I'm living on east coast time and baseball games last until after midnight, my fave sport is football, which has started really tying up my weekend.

My Saturday team is UT (Go Vols!), then Sunday was easy because it was the Titans. Or the Colts, if Peyton Manning was playing, because he was, after all, a former Vol. If the Colts were playing against the Titans, then the Titans got my support. (Did I mention I also have team house and car flags?)

Now McNair, the former Titan quarterback, and the real reason I loved the team because he's such a gladiator, has gone (sob) to the Ravens, who have to have the best team name, being that Edgar Allen Poe is buried in Baltimore.

So, I have to now watch the Titans, the Colts, and the Ravens. And that's before I get to New England, which, although they have this bad habit of usually beating both the Titans and the Colts in playoff games, still has a way cool team and Tom Brady, who epitomizes that old playing 110% cliche. And suddenly my old 70s fave team -- the Steelers -- has gotten popular again. (Talk about retro!) Which is making me think that 1) I'd best make sure, when I sign a new contract, that I have no deadlines until after the Superbowl and 2) I really need to sign up for that NFL package on Direct TV. LOL

Cheryl Bolen said...

If you'd have asked me 10 years ago what my fave sport was, I'd have said NCAA basketball. I still adore watching the March Madness frenzy.

But somewhere in middle age I became a die-hard Astro fan. My husband (who grew up in awe of the Yankees' Mickey M.) has always totally loved baseball. He was at the Astros first game at the (now dis-used) Astrodome in the 1960s. Since we got cable TV in the 80s, he's watched every game.

For some reason, I didn't start joining him until about six years ago. Maybe it has something to do with the empty nest.

Both my boys played baseball. In fact, I went to hundreds of baseball games. Youngest son played a mere 8 years. Number 1 son played much longer. He was MVP of his high school baseball team and had a shot of playing college, which he declined because he had a football scholarship (something he now regrets). During his senior year of high school he played in over 100 baseball games--including summer leagues. You would think I'd have learned a lot about the sport. But I was mostly yakking with other moms.

After all those years of youth baseball about the only thing I learned was that the home team sits on the first base side, and the home team bats last.

But since I've been avidly watching major league baseball I've really learned a lot. Mostly from my very knowledgable husband. I know when, why and how it makes sense to do a double switch. Likewise for bunting (and "small ball" -- which I just learned about a couple of years ago) and pitch outs. Etc.

How many of you know these things?

BTW, I said I wasn't going to watch the Astros last night. But our wonderful Roy was on the mound. And we won! Still...I don't think we can win 13 straight when we haven't strung together more than four wins all year.

Looks like those of you near NYC will get a lot of playoff action with the Yankees and Mets both extremely hot.

JoAnn, I too adore UT football games, but mine are the defending national champs. Yeah, Texas! (But I gotta admit Payton's a doll.)

Trish Ryan said...

I feel your pain - I'm a Red Sox fan. They had a series against the Yankees recently and no one even cared.

Go Patriots!

Nancy Herkness said...

Hey, Cheryl, they play ice hockey in Florida so I see no reason why Texas should be left out.

JoAnn, you bring up something that bugs me about pro sports: they insist on trading personnel to other teams. I get very attached to certain players and it breaks my heart when they get shipped off to Long Island or Atlanta or California!

And I have a license plate cover that reads "Go, Devils!" My husband is embarassed.

Cheryl Bolen said...

I can't think of "Go Devils" and not remember a certain Seinfeld episode. Of course, rarely does a day pass that I don't remember a Seinfeldism.

JoAnn Ross said...

Nancy --Unfortunately, a lot of those trades these days have to do with the salary cap. As a writer who wants to be able to move to whatever publisher I want, I approve of free agency, which was, btw, for historians, brought to being by Howard Cosell's lawsuit.

These days, players just as often follow the money. Or the chance to be superbowl champ. (As McNair did when he moved to Baltimore, since it was obvious that he was going to be replaced here in TN.) Sort of like writers going for higher advances, or a better chance at making higher spots on the lists. So, who can blame them? But it's sad to see teams broken up.

Cheryl, Tell your sweetie that I have, on my credenza -- next to my Dept 56 model of Yankee Stadium and my Yankee Barbie (who holds her mitt when my boys in pinstripes are in the field, or her tiny Louisville Slugger when they're at bat) --an autographed, officially authenticated Mickey Mantle baseball. Also, a blue mug from Mickey Mantle's restaurant in NY. They're my treasures.

I also, growing up, had a shoebox of letters and postcards from the Mick in response to childhood fan mail. Unfortunately, when I got married and moved to AZ, my mom -- a Brooklyn Dodger's fan -- threw them away before I could send for them. You've no idea, how many times, during the days I was paying for my kid's private college and Oxford tuition, I mourned the loss of those letters. LOL

Oh, funny thing. . . years ago, Mira had me doing interviews with papers, tv and radio stations in Ireland. This one guy's first question to me, hearing I was from Phoenix, AZ, was, "Oh, you now have all four major sports!" (We'd just landed a hockey team.) I was, quite honestly amazed that an Irish DJ would know such a thing. We also, btw, have hockey here in east TN, but it's not a major league team.

Sharon Schulze said...

Cheryl, as a life-long Red Sox fan (hi, Susan and Trish :-)), I feel your pain. As Susan pointed out, there's always next year.

I grew up in a baseball household (my dad played on several baseball teams when I was a child), and went to a ton of games before I even started school. Fortunately for my sports-fan hubby, I love the game--most sports in fact--and we've raised a family of sports nuts (our son has his dream job--he's an accountant for ESPN). Our SIL and DIL are just as enthusiastic.

One thing I can say about being a Sox fan is that it teaches you about being persistent--which is applicable to writing, too. You don't succeed this time? Do a little ranting, then buck up and give it another shot. Keep trying.

Hey, the Sox finally won the World Series after way too long--anything is possible!

Nancy Morse said...

JoAnn, when I read your comment about the letters & cards from the Mick, it brought to mind when my husband's father worked for the Topps Co. in the 50's. He was the creator of the Bazooka Joe comics. He based his rendition of Bazooka Joe on my husband who was just a boy at the time. (Yes folks, I'm married to Bajooka Joe.) Anyway, Topps did all the baseball cards, and my honey's dad used to bring home sheets of the cards before they were cut into individual cards. He had sheet after sheet of the Mick's card. When he died, a lot of stuff got thrown out, including all the sheets of cards. Years later I saw an ad in the NY Times offering an original Mickey Mantle card for sale at $9,000 obo. When I think of all those sheets of cards that got thrown out, I get a little sick. Also years later, my husband was doing a TV commercial right outside of Yankee Stadium with the Mick. They needed a branch from a tree so my honey tore one off a city tree. A cop tried to arrest him for it, but the Mick came to his rescue and talked the cop out of it. What a thrill that was for him. It made losing all those cards a little easier to take.

Michele Dunaway said...

Ah, and see Cheryl, I'm in St. Louis and that means I'm a Cardinal fan. But trust me, I feel your pain.

I found it interesting that we got knocked out by the Red Sox, and then a year later the White Sox knocked out the Astros.

Right now I'm really into NASCAR and the race for the Nextel Cup. I never thought I'd be into it, but I'm hooked. I just thought I'd do a book, but this is actually turning out to be a sport I really like. I try not to miss races. Me, who never watches anything and only sees the superbowl because it's a chance to see friends.