Saturday, July 9, 2011

It doesn’t get much worse than this

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one here listening to the Jays game versus Cleveland on Thursday evening. Villanueva had made another damn fine start with six shutout innings. Going into the bottom of the 9th, the good guys were up by four runs, thanks to yet another blast by JoeyBats. Things should be good to go, right?

Sadly, a victory wasn’t to be. Francisco, the team’s supposed closer, came out, and instead of bringing the heat, he poured gasoline all over the game, loading the bases with no outs. Perez, who is generally pretty reliable, came in, gave up an RBI single and than left a pitch out over the plate to Travis Hafner, the next hitter (admittedly on a tear of late), and the Indians’ DH made no mistake about where he sent it. The game ended with a totally deflating walk-off grand slam.

In my younger days, I might have thrown the radio at the wall. After all, the radio had been the bearer of the bad tidings, hadn’t it? In my more sanguine maturity, I just shut the thing off – rather forcefully.

Yesterday, I couldn’t bring myself to read any coverage of the game, look at the Jays website and so I completely forgot about doing my blog posting until a short time ago. During my time “away from the game” – all thirty-four hours of it – I spent some time reflecting on why we care so much. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, is history going to remember a completely blown victory by one team that’s not even in the playoff hunt? There was nothing historic about the loss. The back end of the Jays’ bullpen, which hasn’t been all that good this season, had their worst night yet, but it’s not like it cost the team a spot in the playoffs. It was all no big deal.

But if you’re anything like me, you probably suffered from a bit of depression yesterday because of your team’s loss. That’s all part of being a sports fan. Teams are going to have great games, horrible games and a whole bunch of games in between those two extremes.

Thursday’s crash and burn stung because the Jays were so close. They could see the finish line and all they had to do was lurch over it. They could have even given up three runs and still put up a W. That’s what made the final outcome of the game sting so much.

But the question remains: why do we care so much?


Rick Blechta said...

A salute to Derek Jeter, Captain of the Yankees and class act on his 3,000 hit this afternoon, a not bad day at the plate, too: 5-for-5 at the plate. Bravo, Derek!

Rick Winslow said...

Travis Hafner is one guy you might even consider walking in that situation, even though it would force in a run. The guy has immense power.

Larry Toman said...

Hi Rick, yes a devastating loss for sure. The Jays are not going to the post season this year.Closer by committee is a risky roll of the dice at best, but after Francisco being a dickhead with the media the other night...moving him back in the relief rotation just got easier.

Watching historical baseball from the Bronx today with the Captain was very special.

Why we care is because without doubt, it is the greatest game of any sport period. Cheers!!

Rick Blechta said...

I'm with you, Larry.

Rick, you make a very good point, especially considering the number of slams Hafner has. I wonder if the Jays' brain trust even considered that. Based on the outcome, I wish you'd been in their dugout on Thursday night!