Thursday, April 29, 2010

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Baseball isn't football.

Yes, football is perfect for the mainstream, no-attention-span, ignorant masses, who are driven by pre-packaged, commercialized instant-gratification. And, yes, there is nothing wrong with football, per se, it's a nice little diversion during the months there is no baseball, but it's just not the same.

There is no ebb and flow in a football season. There are only 16 games. You lose the first four, and you are probably fucked. It's simplistic.

Baseball, however, is not. It's a 162 game emotional decathlon: Anger, joy, frustration, confusion, shock, dismay, euphoria, hope, hopelessness and...I dunno...let's say whimsy.

If you allow yourself to be overcome with every little feeling you will never be able to make it through. You have to be able to rationalize, and put each little moment in perspective. Pragmatic passion.

And that's the thing about a baseball season, you can't judge everything (or almost anything, really) on one game. One inning. One pitch. One at-bat. You can't do it, because a team with 100 wins loses 62 times. A hitter with a .300 batting average, gets out 70% of the time. And a guy as pretty as J.J. Hardy gets shot down at the bar...okay bad example. But you get my point.

Baseball is about choosing your team and sticking by them through the thick (Jose Mijares) and thin (Drew Butera's batting average) of an entire season. You can't bail out at the first sign of trouble, and you can't condemn them after a two-game losing streak.

Baseball is about patience and the ability to apply yourself to something without needing that instant, fleeting gratification. There is no clock to tell you when the game is over. There is no countdown to the conclusion. It goes on until somebody wins, and until somebody loses.

And somebody will lose.

And the team that loses, regardless of who they are, will lose, and lose a lot.

Maybe pragmatism has little place in the life a sports fan. Maybe it's silly to advocate for pragmatic passion, because, really, how can passion ever be pragmatic? How you feel at a given moment is how you feel, and trying to put everything in perspective one minute, one hour, or even one day after that moment can be next to impossible.

But it's when you allow yourself to be overcome those little moments that you lose sight of the big picture. Everything becomes jaded and you become sucked into negative spiral. You live and die with each little moment and become jaded by the insecurities that one failed step bring, and lose sight of the bigger, grand scheme of the entire season.

It's only one at bat, one pitch, one game after all.


  1. Just a quick comment to say I love your blog. This post is so awesome, and it actually cheered me up! Not that I was depressed over a two game losing streak. But it finally occured to me yesterday, we aren't invincible after all. Our bullpen may implode, on occasion. Our bats may indeed be silenced in the late innings, instead of making another amazing comeback. So I appreciate the pep talk, it was like a mini-counseling session for me.

    Twins junkie

  2. To help preserve my optimism, let's not call it a "losing streak". It's only two games....I think "losing blip" works better for me.