It’s Just a Ride
It wasn’t actually meant for this particular string of heartbreaking one-run losses, but this post by the Southpaw struck me the same way as when you hear a song/read a book/watch a movie and suddenly realize that maybe those thoughts and sentiments you keep locked away aren’t really so unique and bizarre as you think just because you don’t encounter them in the MTV/Oprah book club/Hollywood mainstream.
Ok, that’s a little much. But look. The Jays lost one-run games really badly for a month (luck), then won them at an incredible pace for a month (luck) until everything evened out and they were right back in the mix. Now they’ve been losing them all for June (luck) and apparently it’s time to give up on the season.
Not to deny the mind-boggling, insanity-inducing sensation of losing a series to the worst team in baseball, (largely due to Miguel Cairo, the worst @#$@#$ player in baseball) but I’m with the Lefties in attempting to tune out the inevitable emotional hysterics, irrational hatred for the player who has been a letdown this week, theories that the Jays can’t handle success, questioning of the Jays moral fiber and cojones, sweeping statements that they are a .500 team for all eternity, and urgent demands for a fire sale/new batting coach/manager/attitude/mascot blahblahblahblahblahblahhhhh….
I think part of it is because I used to play poker full-time. And when you do, eventually you realize that no matter how good you are (even though in the long run it is unquestionably a game of skill) there’s enough luck involved that crazy, seemingly impossible runs happen. You sit down at a table full of monkeys one night and lose 2 grand. You lose every coin flip for a week. Sick, twisted, gut wrenching things that tear your heart out happen again and again until it seems the universe must be conspiring against you and only you.
And then you hit a good run full of river cards and suckouts and end up right back where you should be, and in that blissful, universe-comprehending state suddenly realize that despite all the noise this entire time you’ve actually been on a straight line directly related to how good you are, and have a good chuckle at what a crazy game it is and the deep existential torture it inflicts on those who are unable to handle the reality of the game. About a week later you’re back to throwing cards at the dealer and cursing, but repeat the cycle about 10,000 times and eventually you get used to it and just smile and say “nice hand” (or “good game”) when the frat boy next to you makes some moronic play and takes your lunch money because you know it’s coming back eventually.
I’m sure that makes me a pretty damn uninteresting commentator because most fans just want to go bezerk or watch someone go bezerk on their behalf to let out their frustrations every time baseball does what it does, but that’s where I’m at now, shrugging off a seemingly endless streak of 1-run losses like a string of bad beats.
Is the Jays’ pitching good enough to carry a weak offense even if it starts breaking even? Who knows! But it’s amazing- the best in years, and fun as hell to watch Shaun Marcum tie batters in knots on a nice summer day. Will the inevitable batting average with RISP/1-run game record/return of players to career averages turnaround come in time? Who knows! But that’s baseball and there’s plenty of it left to play.
The Jays are in the pack and the Rays are about ready to start their collapse, leaving New York as the only real team to fight for the wildcard. As it should be! So please, relaxxxx and try not to tear too much hair out until the next euphoria-inducing, they-should-not-be-winning-all-these-games month comes along…because it’s alllll just a ride.
Edit: This rant wasn’t supposed to have anything to do with Tothlinergate (which I just read) but I guess just goes to prove that all Bloogers are Wilner sycophants who love to watch .500 ball and are apologists for mediocrity. Guilty, guilty, guilty!