Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Divorce: A Tale of Baseball and Bitterness

I guess the World Series is happening. Go Phils. For me, finding out someone likes the Yankees is like finding out they thought Reagan was like a totally excellent president: so disappointing!

But, that said I can't bring myself to really care anymore. I used to care. Don and I fell in love over baseball, I think. But, then the 2003 Cubs happened and I. Was. Done.

Let me tell you the whole sad maudlin tale. What? You think you know? You have no fucking idea.

I'd spent most of 2003 trying to adopt a kid, filing paperwork, being told to be patient. Wait. Wait. Wait. I toyed with the idea of naming the child Godot (that joke achieved a level of pretension rarely seen outside freshman dorms). And then in August of 2003 my father died suddenly. The two or three of you reading this know that already and are probably also aware of how that colored my worldview for some time after the fact. But he died in August of 2003 and it sucked.

In October of 2003, I was sitting on the couch watching Game 6 of the World Series. I was scoring at home using the score book I'd made for Dad so he could score the Redbirds. On the front was a quote from Catfish Hunter I'd dug up. Catfish had just blown a big game (I think it was a World Series game) and when the reporters came back into the locker room he looked just the same as always. When they expressed their surprise, Catfish just shrugged and said "Sun don't shine on the same dog's ass everyday." I love that quote and it totally sounded like something Dad would say.

Oh for Catfish's equanimity! Because when the cursed inning happened, I scrawled through the pages and threw the book across the room.

I had a ticket for Game 7. But I couldn't go. Because I had a work trip. To Del Ray Beach, Florida. Yes. For Game 7, I was going to be in Marlin country instead of nestled in the bosom of the Friendly Confines.

Do you remember Game 7? The Cubs opened up a bottle of weak sauce and tossed it ineffectually at the Marlins. As this was happening, I was sitting at a bar in southern Florida in my sad little Cubs hat and the two or three other people in the bar couldn't have possibly cared less. It really chapped my hide to be losing to a team with such weak ass fans.

My mother called around the 6th inning in the throes of a freakout. I think the rule should be that after the death of a spouse, you should get a solid year to freak out whenever you want to. I talked to her on the phone through the freakout, standing outside the bar, watching the Cubs flail hopelessly through the window.

And then I went back to the hotel. And remembered how I'd felt the night before. I'd felt good. And then the Cubs went and peed in my cornflakes again.

Well, that was it. I was done. If after the year I'd had the Cubs couldn't even manage to maintain an eight run lead going into the 8th inning (do I have those numbers right, I've blocked it) to go to the World Series, I wasn't going to care anymore.

It's been revelatory. I can watch baseball and just enjoy it like the weakass fans in Southern Florida do. Hey, it's a nice day! Am I tanning evenly? I sure do enjoy the repartee between Pat Hughes and Ron Santo.

So, tonight Phils fans and Yankee fans, enjoy the game. Phillies, I hope the sun is shining on your dog's ass. But, all things being equal, I'd have preferred to watch Glee.

Edited to add: Any suggestion that I become a fan of the White Sox, not gonna happen. The same reason I'll never become a Mac person. Because then you become one of those people. Oh, you know what I mean.