Tuesday, January 22, 2008

'93 til Infinity

This small corner of the interweb ostensibly revolves around the Toronto Blue Jays. They are the here and the now; but mostly the here. The Jays are "our team" because they were on our TV, the radio in our car, and in our newspapers as we came to exist and came of age. We grew up supporting them because that was all we knew.

I find myself hurtling through space and time, aging seemingly by the second. My sports fandom has changed along the way, and I've had a hard time pinning down it's nature. Not quite ironic detachment, for that would make my jeans 40% skinnier and my face 100% punchable. Nor is it as meta as the liberated fandom movement which breaks the game down to isolated bursts of greatness and other abstractions. It is something different. Much like my waistband, let's say it has "expanded."

I think it works out like this: there are no meaningless games, there are only meaningless games. I have a drawer full of old ticket stubs, but I'd have a hard time telling you the score of most of them (I'll admit, this one sticks out.) I appreciate the value of wins and losses, but I appreciate having seen Johan Santana (once) and Roy Halladay (numerous times) pitch that much more.

I'm hesitant to go down the "baseball is so swell, just like Mom's apple pie..." route here. I'm not suggesting we throw out the standings, and I'm not asking why we bother keeping score. I simply want to prevent myself from getting hung up on the part of the game that has the smallest impact on my enjoyment. The only thing worse than a "I won't see you for a month because the Sox are in the playoffs" lunatic is a "I'm a long suffering Cubs Pirates Rays Rangers fan and my life is terrible!" crybaby. Baseball is unique because each game represents such a small part of the season. There is another game to watch almost every day. New matchups and new hope. Fresh opportunity to see something noteworthy, something that will make a planeload of guys headed to Vegas shout and lose their shit. To paraphrase Blogging Overload Leitch: Every game begins as a no-hitter. Every pitch could be the one that leads to something you'll never forget. It is no coincidence that the blogosphere contains so much baseball. The agonizing minutia and statistics, the what-ifs and never-weres, the long history to draw from and the future to look to. In other words, baseball is fun.

The Blue Jays won back-to-back World Series titles when I was in high school. They haven't made the playoffs since. And that is fine by me. I still watch, I still cheer, and I still pour over boxscores and read the myriad of other better blogs. You'll never hear me shout "Wait til next year!" because I'll be too busy wondering why this year has to end in the first place.

1 comment:

  1. If baseball had no offseason (ala golf's silly season) I wouldn't care.


Send forth the witticisms from on high