Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Stage Two

I'm fairly certain that I passed staged one after I witnessed Madison Bumgarner mow down the Rangers like Jessica Simpson at a Chinese buffet. I couldn't believe it was happening.

After Nelson Cruz whiffed through a Brian Wilson fastball that was almost assuredly due to the magical powers invested in Wilson's beard, I didn't want to hear it from anyone. Reading Twitter, Facebook and all the blogs and papers, the "It was a great season!" line was not really working for me. I understand that it is. But I have to go through these three stages before I get to uttering that sentence.

Maybe it's because I'm a hyper-competitive guy. When I was cut from my 8th grade basketball team, I went into an uncontrollable rage/depression. I mean, I was cut for a reason: I sucked. I only played basketball for three years and only played because I was three feet taller than every other kid in our school. I grew to love it in 8th grade, but love only gets you so far. So I took that as a personal vendetta like my 8th grade basketball coach killed my parents leaving me only with my inherited fortune and a wise butler. Wait, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, basketball.

So I realized that even though I was a "big" guy, I needed to learn how to shoot. While the rest of my friends toiled around with toilet papering the jocks' houses and having Halo LAN parties, I told my Dad to buy me a basketball hoop so I could shoot baskets for two hours a day. (Note: let the record show that as soon as those two hours were over, I went and played Halo and participated in shenanigans.)

So yeah, that's me. I'm the guy who leaves the room and won't talk to you after losing in a "Madden" game in overtime. I'm the guy who kicks and throws chairs after losing in a pickup game at the local YMCA. I'm the guy who has single handily ruined dates because the Mavericks blew a 13-point lead to the Celtics in Boston.

(Note: Yes, sadly, these are all true)

So forgive me if I don't want to embrace the positive. I'm in no mood. The Rangers were in the World Series for the first time in their history. And it's never a lock, ever. For a local example, when the Mavericks made their historic run in 2006, the core group was still in it's prime with a head coach well respected throughout the league. The team even had a few youngsters that had room to grow (Josh Howard, Devin Harris) and the MVP of the league. How's that worked out? Oh, how about they've been done after the first round since except for 2009 playoffs. For a recent baseball example, remember the Tampa Bay Rays improbable World Series run of 2008? Fans didn't worry, they had one of the youngest teams in the league with rising stars. B.J. Upton looked like the next "it" guy. What's happened since? Missed the playoffs in 2009 and lost in the ALDS this season. Now their entire team might be scrapped to frugal finances and B.J. Upton gets as many hits as Amy Winehouse lately.

There are no guarantees. Win the championship while you can. The A's young guns are going to be a year older/better and the Angels will be a year healthier.

So, yes. Eventually I'll be able to say "Well, it was a great season!"

But that'll be another three stages first.


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