The baseball season isn't over yet, but God I miss it already. The World Series allegedly starts tomorrow- it's the Giants and the Rangers. But with the Phillies finally ending an incredibly frustrating season Saturday night and the Red Sox having been on vacation for a few weeks now, it all ultimately means one thing.
Basketball season. Go Celtics.
Oh wait, it's football season. Go Patriots.
Either way, it's no longer baseball season. In the World Series I guess I'll rout for...shit, I don't know and I really don't care. Whoever wins, I'll be fine with it. I like the Giants uniforms and I have family who bleed Rangers' blue. So it's win, win, lose. For the next couple weeks, weekday nights at Chateau Kimalicous and Ryno will consist of Mad Men and Modern Family, as well as cooking shows, HBO, Thursday nights on NBC, and failed attempts at finding good movies on OnDemand. One of the best things about baseball is the consistency of it and like with any thing you come to rely on, when it goes away it leaves you empty, confused, and watching reruns of The Office.
We saw the final at-bats of the once Fightin' Phils while looking through the windows of Urban Saloon after we finished Terror Behind the Walls- the haunted prison & fun house in the old Eastern State Penitentiary. Throughout the entire prison walk, old men in the group ahead of us clung to their phones, watching as the Phillies fell behind 3-2. As soon as we left, we hustled across the street, electing to watch the end of the game from outside instead of trying to muscle our way into the bar, which was packed wall to wall and also cripplingly quiet. People walking by on the street stopped and watched. They were quiet too, aside from asking how many outs there were. We all stood there in silence and continued to do so for a minute or two after Ryan Howard struck out looking to end the game.
Big White, down in South Carolina, seemed to take it especially hard.
"I just threw away my Howard shirt," he texted.
Shit. He loves that shirt.
Yet that was not a rash reaction. It was a sports reaction. It's why I love sports, because of the emotions it brings out in people.
Saturday afternoon, on a quick trip to Target to buy a set of Matchbox cars for Merrick for his awesome third birthday (man, I hope he has already opened it- because I'd hate to ruin the surprise and I know he loves blogs,) I loved the amount of people clad in Phillies' gear. There was no limit on age, no lean towards a particular gender, and no favoritism for just one player. It was like every Sunday during football season, when people bust out jerseys and t-shirts of their team and wear them until they get done watching Sunday night HBO programming. Sports are hope and passion and fun. They are fickle and unfair. They are a damn good time. Especially with cheap drinks.
When you think about it, baseball is a goddamn maddening sport and not the most of social sport to watch- especially playoff baseball when every pitch matters. But that doesn't stop anyone from searching out the bar with the best TV set up and/or drink specials. It's an event that can be better than a wedding or worse than a funeral. The only positive is that you can wear a t-shirt.
So goodnight baseball. I can't say it was all that awesome of a season, but it was still a good time. As for the Phillies, the only hope is that your laziness and complacency this season will result in a return to the fire and brimstone of 2008. I mean, you don't want Big throwing away any more Phillies t-shirts do you?
After the game and once most of the crowd inside the bar had sulked their way home, we all piled inside, carved out a nice area near the DJ and got to dancing. All of the TV's had been either turned off or turned to college football, which at the point was only there to be ignored by most and partially watched by a few. The music was fun, the dancing was funner. One speaker cut out and then another, but we kept dancing even though the music got quieter and muffled. We stayed until closing, until Kim and I were all danced out. Neither one of us mentioned the Phillies until the cab ride home, but it was after we talked about how much fun dancing was. When we brought up the game again, we then talked about pizza. There was no point in dwelling or lamenting the loss. It was time to move on and focus on other things- things that would make us happy and less hungover in the morning.
Sports incite fleeting and powerful emotions- for better or worse. The only ultimate positive is that these feelings won't last and soon they get buried deep down away in a place where the only thing that lets them out is one thing- more sports.
Go Celtics. Go Pats. Go pumpkin spice coffee.
See you in a few months baseball. Have a good winter.