I find myself in Unknown Territory. I'm not a big baseball fan. I am however a big San Francisco Giants fan. The Giants played their last game of the 2011 season Wednesday afternoon...of course they lost...
Last season was a glorious one for Giants fans. The scrappy "Band of Misfits" surprised the league by winning it all. Those were heady days in September and on into October, as the Giants found a way to win against all odds. Their style of play became known as Torture! because they played so many nail biter, come from behind games.
On November 1st, the Giants won the last game of the World Series, becoming the World Champions. A few days later, more than a million of the faithful lined Market Street for the Victory Parade. The Giants came to San Francisco in 1958 and this was their first title as the SF Giants.
COMCAST's local sports network showed all four hours of the parade and celebration LIVE. They repeated it for a week at least. I watched it twice, and burned a couple of copies on DVD to share with some friends who don't live in the Bay Area anymore, but still love the Giants.
Last year was a new experience for me. I usually watch playoff baseball and the World Series because the best baseball is played in the post season. Last year is the first year since 2002 that My Team, the Giants were in it in October. They lost a heartbreaker in the World Series to the Anaheim Angles that year. SF Giants' fans have endured a lot of heartache since 1958. We lost the World Series in 1962, 1989, and 2002, before finally getting the title for San Francisco.
I'm probably just emotionally tired. We Giants fans have endured a season of Death by a Thousand Cuts. That the Giants weren't eliminated until the last week of the season is really an accomplishment, considering the season-long string of injuries.
In Wednesday's game relief pitcher Dan Runzler strained his left lat muscle -- near the top of the back of his shoulder delivering a pitch, and left the game with his throwing arm dangling uncomfortably...I felt nothing...those nerves are callused over after this year's bloodbath.
I'm sure I'll watch the playoffs and the Series...I do love the Game. Then Winter will come...and the painful memories of the Giants travails will fade away into memoryland.
In 150 days the first game of the Cactus League will be played. The first game of Spring Training down in Arizona.
Until Opening Day in early April, every baseball fan's team is going to the 2012 World Series.
Baseball begins in earnest just when grooming turns from fun into a chore. That Springtime Hope for my team buoys me enough to finish the season when Hero Snow is only a memory.
At the risk of sounding like a Chicago Cubs fan ...I can't "Wait 'till next year"!
The Cubs last played in the World Series in 1945. They last won it in 1908.