Here is how it feels to me: I packed my family up in the car and drove them across the country on what seemed like an endless road trip to our ultimate destination: Disneyland. At last, we are there and we wend our way through the parking lot to the front gates. Only to find that they are closed. That journey of hundreds of miles has left us standing outside the happiest place on earth, looking in at all that happiness.
It sounds a little like the Griswolds. I know. It's my family. Only it wasn't Disneyland. Or Wally World. It was the World Series. I packed my family up for one hundred sixty-two games of a baseball season. I got my wife and son on board even though they had both lived through the disappointments of years past. For the first few months, we cruised along, with the only danger in our path the ubiquitous walk-off pie. It was fun. We were winning. We had all those all stars. We were on top of the baseball world, looking down.
That's a dangerous place to be. That could be why the powers that be decided to climb even higher. Trades were made. Business decisions. The fans grumbled and scratched their heads. It was all for the best. We believed. That's when the wheels started to fall off the wagon. The pronouns changed from "us" to "them," but the faithful held on because that's what the faithful do. Even when first place slipped away and eventually we were left to play for a spot in the Wild Card game. Now it wasn't so much fun. Time had run out. The previous one hundred sixty-two games had become meaningless. If only we could get past the Kansas City Royals.
We sat in our living room after the marathon twelve-innings came to an end. I asked that the TV be turned off. I didn't want any of that Kansas City joy creeping into my dark mood. I know that the gates to Disneyland will be open tomorrow. I've already been there this year. I can go back again with my family if I choose, but I won't be going to see the A's play in the World Series. So for now, that's a wrap, and thank you all for coming along on this long strange trip. See you at spring training.