August 16, 2002
Getting the call
As most of you probably know by now, the players met today and set a strike date of August 30th.
I enjoy writing and I would consider myself a pretty decent linguist, but at this moment I am unable to express how utterly disappointed and angry I feel.
The biggest reason for my disappointment and anger is that I am, and always will be, a baseball fan.
I love the game.
I love watching it, I love listening to it, I love reading about it, I love writing about it and I love talking about it.
I love the personalities, I love the statistics, I love the memories and I love the history.
But I hate what it can do to me.
I am only twenty years old and I have never been "in love."
So, I can only imagine enjoying everything about someone, just wanting to be with them every moment you possibly can.
You like to be with them, talk with them, tell stories with them and make new memories with them.
You've been with them for quite a while and, although there are some little things about them that might annoy you, as a whole, they are everything you ever hoped for.
And then one day, they call you up and say, "It's over."
That is how I feel right now about baseball.
Except that phone call won't be a total surprise, I know it is coming on August 30th.
Now, don't get me wrong, I will always come back to baseball.
They could go on strike for 5 years and I would just be waiting for another call, telling me they are coming back.
But it still hurts.
It hurts because this has been a great season and we are so close to the end of it, the best part of it.
It hurts because my team, the Minnesota Twins, a team I have loved and followed for my entire life, are having their best season in a long time.
It hurts because the Twins have a huge lead and they are going to be in the playoffs.
It hurts because I am going to be there, hoping for '87 and '91 all over again, because there is no way the World Series Champs are going to be contracted!
It hurts because I know that, bad stadium or not, the Homer Dome will be rockin' and the Homer Hankies will be wavin'.
It hurts because there probably won't be any playoffs.
It hurts because I want to see the Giants win the wild card after going toe-to-toe with the Dodgers down the stretch.
It hurts because I want to see Barry Bonds put up a .500/.750/1.500 series on somebody and see if he is suddenly a "clutch" player.
It hurts because I want to see Oakland win the Wild Card without Giambi and then watch them finally beat the Yankees and Giambi.
It hurts because I want to see a "small market" ALCS between Terry Ryan and the boys and Billy Beane and the boys.
It hurts because I want to see if Schilling and Johnson (or Johnson and Schilling) can do it all over again.
It hurts because if they can't duplicate their performance last year, I think there might be a duo in Boston that is willing to give it a try.
It hurts because I want to see October baseball.
To see Pedro being Pedro, and the look on the other team's faces.
To see Ichiro! beat some team with infield single after infield single after infield single.
To see Maddux and Glavine once again, this time handing it over to their old pal Smoltz in the 9th inning.
To see if the Yanks can win it all again, cause there is something great about those pinstripes, that stadium and that history.
To be there chanting "EDDIE! EDDIE! EDDIE! EDDIE! EDDIE!" with the rest of the crowd as Guardado closes out the 9th.
To see Percival squinting in to get the sign from the catcher and Erstad crashing into a wall and getting up with the ball.
To see Jesse Orosco cash his Social Security check on the way to the ballpark and then pitch his usual 1/3 of an inning against some lefty slugger.
To see Barry hit a ball and stand there and stare as it splashes into McCovey Cove and see Jeff Kent congratulate him when he finally gets back around to home plate.
To see ball after ball get hit up the middle and past a diving Jeter so I can point out how bad he is defensively and then just when people are starting to believe me, to see him make a flip to homeplate or a catch falling into the stands, so the argument can go on forever.
To be there watching as Cristian Guzman hits one into a corner and cuts second, like nobody else can, on his way to third.
To be there....
It hurts because even if none of that happens, I want the chance to see what does happen.