Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Seasons, They Do Pass

Long time, no write.
It's a funny thing. The baseball season, beginning with such light and promise, gradually fades into oblivion. In April, you're glued to every pitch. In June, you're tuning in not so much for the game itself as in hopes of seeing a no-hitter or yet another walkoff. Things change, players move on, and by September, the drudgery of yet another season gone by can only be alleviated by the promise of seeing some new faces. (The real reason for September callups: so shitty teams can offer some kind of appeal to their fan bases through the last 30 meaningless dates of the season.)

Yeah, I watched the Jays eke and fluke themselves to a .500 record this year. But it was with little joy and even less fanfare, my enthusiasm growing more and more hollow as the days accumulated. In spite of myself - in spite of my belief in Anthopoulos' skills and ownership's intent to build a winner - it's hard not to look at a team like this year's and not feel like it's deja vu all over again. Remember the Pirates? The first-place, division-winning Pirates? Well, when Milwaukee beat them on the last day of the season to "clinch" home-field advantage, they reached 90 losses for the seventh year in a row. That's consistency. The Blue Jays, though, have won between 75 and 87 games 14 out of the past 15 years. That's consistent mediocrity - it's hard to slice any other way - and it does wear on a fan, whatever may lie on the horizon.

And so we drift into October, clinging to former allegiances to neurotic bearded changeup artists or cyborgs in lieu of a true playoff team. But in truth, watching Shaun Marcum's shell get repeatedly shelled wasn't so much soul-crushing as mildly irritating (You're making me root for George Bush in the World Series? Really?!) and if it weren't for a terrific World Series caught in thirty-minute flashes and occasional scoreboard updates from work, I would have all but given up on baseball season already.

Which isn't to say I'm going away, exactly...just that multiple posts a week over the offseason won't be forthcoming. I still plan to weigh in on whatever relatively minor offseason moves may be made  (for the record: I don't think Johnny Mac is or should be coming back, and the same goes double for Aaron Hill), and there will be more sanguine reflections on the season that was. But in the meantime, I'm going to let my stomach settle a bit as I immerse myself in the first NFL season of my life. I've seen far too many awesome blogs simply abandoned, and I don't intend to do the same with my own. (I don't often buy it, but to excuse myself for now let's just say I'm invoking the "quality over quantity" cliche.)

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