Two sick days and I've had my fill of Cliff Lee to the Phillies coverage. I am excited. I am baffled. I am happy he didn't go to the Yankees.
And I am once again absolutely terrified of the idea of a Red Sox versus Phillies World Series.
Oh why oh why can't I just be happy in the present without looking forward? Because that would be easy and sports like all the great things in life- Darren Arnofsky movies, Kanye West albums, or pickle backs, isn't something that's meant to go down easily.
Last week, before the Lee signing, the newly re-stocked Red Sox, fresh off the acquisitions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, were the league-wide favorite to win the World Series. Then the Fightin' Phils went out and nabbed Lee and all of sudden, the Phillies are World Series' favorites- poised to beat...the Red Sox. I've said it before it, I'll say it again- a Red Sox/Phillies World Series is my worst nightmare. If there were a WikiLeaks dump about me, it would be chalk full of emails, files, and notes about this worst case scenario and how it frightens the bejesus out of me.
It's lose, lose for me. It'd be the most bittersweet thing to happen to me since the week where Cinnamon Life went on sale at Target, but I also realized that it destroys my stomach. Life just isn't fair. You can't have it all. Send in the clowns, send in the cliches.
Why is a Boston/Philadelphia Series so terrifying? Because it won't allow me to be happy, it won't let me enjoy the outcome. I've been ridiculed since I've moved down here for liking both the Phillies and the Red Sox, as I'm somehow allowed to only like one team in every sport. But I like baseball, I like going to baseball games, and I like watching baseball games Wednesday nights when there is nothing else on TV (except when Modern Family is on.) So I took to the Phillies and have happily cheered them on for four years, which the Fedex guy pointed out, have been the best four years in the history of the franchise. But I'm not taking credit for that. Yet.
The Phillies have been the little brother to the big brother Red Sox. If they were my kids, I'd love them both, but would really be hoping the Sox go on to be a doctor and the Phillies just do something that keeps them out of prison. The Red Sox affect me emotionally. I feel their loses. I get text messages when Dustin Pedroia sneezes. When the Phillies lose, I don't take it nearly as hard. I had no problem going outside the day after the Phils' lost to the Giants in the playoffs this year. The Red Sox lose in the playoffs and I might as well only wear a bathrobe and grow a foot long beard. The world stops. It's devastating. I talk to my dad and all I can say is, nothing. I talk to my dad about the Phillies and I'm more rational, more level-headed. That's how I know. I've never once had a rational and/or level-headed conversation about the Sox. Emotion is too involved.
If the Sox were to beat the Phillies in the World Series, I'd be happy, but would also feel bad for the Phillies. If the Phillies were to beat the Sox, I'd be upset and would deep down, hate the Phillies. I hate every team the Red Sox play, especially in the playoffs. But if that opponent was the Phillies, how I could I hate one of my kids?
Kim will ask- why can't I just be happy with both of my teams in the World Series? I love her, but I can't make sense of that dream-like scenario. It's just not possible for me. Sports is about routing for one side, hating the other. It's about picking sides. In sports, as a fan, the goal is for your team to win, to beat the other team. So inherently, I can't be happy for both teams because one team has to win and one team has to lose and ultimately, if those two teams were the Red Sox and the Phillies, the Sox would have to win and the Phillies would have to lose.
So while I'm happy for the Phillies that they were able to land Lee and assemble one of the greatest pitching staffs ever and I will surely be stoked to see the Phils play next summer- I can't help but route for one of their arms to fall off.
Unless the Red Sox fall apart.
Then go Phillies go!
It's a delicate balance and a twisted cocktail, but it's life and like everything in life, it's not easy.
And that's what makes sports great.