I feel liberated. Image via WikipediaA little over a month ago I wrote an impulsive little post describing some of my internal struggles with being a baseball fan, and especially being a fan of a particular team. Baseball is a game designed to break your heart. It builds you up, gives you false hope, and then crushes you. I mean, look at what the poor Pirates fans are dealing with right now with their 10-game losing streak. The point of the post is that investing emotionally in a team is a tough thing to do, and is usually a thing that will end up causing one anguish. But I pledged to keep trying.
The Reds have gone 10-12 since the All-Star break, with nearly a third of those victories coming in one series against the Giants. They've lost series to the Mets (swept!), Astros, and Cubs over the past two weeks. It's been a rough haul. It's only a couple of games below .500 in that stretch, but it feels much worse.
I think the one that finally broke me was the Mets. Part of it was that I was at a work conference that week, so I had the awesomeness of what's going on in my scientific field contrasting with the misery of fandom staring me in the face all week. And part of it was that it was the Mets, who I still haven't forgiven for 1999. And part of it, I think, is that it was just time. The Reds have done nothing to discourage me of this since that Mets series, despite the fun sweep of the Giants that weekend.
As it is, the Reds are 9.5 games out of first place. There are still two very good teams in front of them. They are, for all intents and purposes, out of the race.
I still think they are better than they've shown. I'm going to continue to root for them to get back to .500 by the season's end. And I will continue to try to do my little series preview bits for Red Reporter whenever I can. But at this point, I've decided that it no longer matters to me personally if they win or lose. I'm pulling my emotions out of it.
Instead, I'm going to watch the players I like, and enjoy some of the new faces we'll see. I'm looking forward to seeing Sappelt play (couldn't watch the game today, though I was glad to see he picked up a hit), and I can't wait to see Devin Mesoraco next month. There's still a lot to look forward to with this team as they build for a run in 2012.
If you haven't quite given up hope yet--good for you. Don't let me dissuade you from that. I'll be back with you next year.