If you’re anything like me, the last thing you wanted to do was talk, think, or pretty much even acknowledge baseball’s existence after the A’s came up short in the playoffs yet again.
However, after a month and a half of trying to block out all the heartache of another playoff flop, I’m finally ready to move on and start thinking about next year.
Even though being an A’s fan means being accustomed to varying degrees of disappointment (losing homegrown stars, playoff failures of the early 2000s, Daric Barton, etc.) the fizzing out of this season was absolutely devastating for me.
Despite having finally achieved one of my dreams by graduating from college, 2013 has been a challenging year. Getting my degree was enough of a hassle, but I’ve also been dealing with a contentious breakup of a long-term relationship, the shame of having to move back in with my parents for the third time in my life, and the strange transitions of moving on from college and turning 30 years old (this past Tuesday), two events normally some time apart that are hitting me like a double barrel of bittersweet emotion.
After the astonishing, meteoric rise of last year and the continued success in this year’s regular season, I was convinced the A’s would finally capture another championship. They had the talent and the experience to win. I couldn’t see it any other way.
I guess fate just had a different vision.
Assigning an adjective to the way I felt when Justin Verlander slammed the door shut on our title aspirations for a second straight year is nearly impossible. Depression. Dejection. Hopelessness. Misery. Sorrow. None of those words can fully convey the pit of emotional despair I was hurled into. It felt like having a friend tell me he accidentally ran over my dog because he was distracted by my fiancé giving him a blowjob.
As the Tigers celebrated on the field I sat in my seat in the bleachers and blubbered like a baby for at least 10 minutes. It could’ve been longer. Even if it were only for 20 seconds it still wasn’t a pretty scene, and I’m pretty sure I lost a shitload of street cred.
Afterward, I watched about maybe 10 minutes of the remaining playoffs, and that was mostly because it happened to be on in the background at a friend’s place. Even when it was all over I declined to pay any attention. I neglected to update my blog. I refused to scour the internet for baseball news and content. I shooed away friends when they tried to engage me in any conversation about baseball. I just didn’t want to do anything remotely related to baseball. Doing so immediately brought back all the feelings of disappointment I was trying to forget about. I still wore my A’s gear since my wardrobe is 90 percent green and gold, but I just didn’t feel normal.
Deep in my heart, I knew this was just my way of dealing with the single most painful experience I’ve had as an A’s fan. When things in my life go astray I have a tendency to try to block it out like a visit to Lacuna, Inc.
I can’t really pinpoint when it happened, but in the past few days I’ve found myself subconsciously thinking about baseball. Thoughts of how next season will be different, both on the field and in the bleachers, have begun to slowly creep into my brain. Good memories are floating around as much as the bad ones.
Time has not yet healed the wounds and scars from last season, but at least now I’m ready to look forward at what could be instead of looking back at what should have been.