Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The season's over. What am I talking about? Is this piece about the season being over for John Edwards whose zipper apparently got stuck in the down position a few months ago? No, and parenthetically, I will resist the admitted need to gloat over that latest incident based upon my personal experience with the moral integrity, or lack of same, of Edwards. What I am talking about is the end of the baseball season. While I graciously concede that there is six more weeks of the regular season followed by the post-season, it is over for me because of the Detroit Tigers. The hapless Tigers started this season with what appeared to be the greatest hitting lineup in modern history. The local media hyped the possibilities of the team on which Mike Ilitch, the owner pizza king, lavished big dollars reminiscent of the Steinbrenner approach. Tigers fans were caught up in the nearly orgiastic delight of these possibilities as we followed spring training and anticipated a lip smacking run right through the hearts of Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox fans. We were going to steam roll right through and past the rest of the central division of the American League. At first, the season progressed in a somewhat disappointing fashion. We lost, but there was always a feasible excuse, an explanation, that allowed my psyche whose primary defense mechanism has always been denial to patiently wait for the turnabout that would lead the team to glory. To be sure, these early losses were painful, but for those of us who are lifelong fans of the game, the pain is part of it; akin to the pain of ripping off a bandage affixed to skin. It's going to feel so good after the bandage is removed that it is worth the momentary excruciating discomfort. The problem at the present is that reality has finally set in for me. The bandage has been ripped all the way and the lesion underneath is not looking good. The early losses have led to a pattern of endless game after game lapses resulting in the conclusion that the team stinks and is going nowhere but backwards in the standings. The other central division teams have feasted on the Tigers and it is obvious, although tough to admit, that the season is over. Repeat, the season is over. Maybe it isn't. Let me see. My home in Florida is about 20 miles from the Devil Rays ball park. Does that make me a Tampa Bay fan?