September 27, 2011

Faithful till the end

Last night in the 8th inning when the Rangers expanded their lead to 4-2, Cheryl looked intently at the action on the field and said, “We still have six outs.”

When Erick Aybar singled in the bottom of the 9th, she gripped my hand tightly. She didn’t want the season to end just yet. When Russell Branyan came to bat, the intensity was too much for her. She let go of my hand to cover her eyes and said “I can’t watch.”

It was soon after that moment that the ball went sailing past Rangers’ catcher Yorvit Torrealba and the crowd let out a roar. She looked up, looking for the ball and asked what happened. I told her the ball got past the catcher and Aybar was now on second.

She was excited and nervous at the same time – but she was into it; boy was she into it.

Maicer Izturis flied out.

Then Peter Bourjos singled to drive in Aybar, Cheryl’s adrenaline was pumping big time. She let out a yell, clapped and pumped her fists. Her body language said “We can do this.” She still believed.

I wanted to believe too, but as I sat and watched the game unfold, I was already done. My emotional tank was empty and I was waiting for the inevitable.

As Howie Kendrick struck out to end the game and the Angels play-off hopes, I felt a little sad – not for me, but for my wife who was faithful to her team till the end.

Sure, she had her moments when she was utterly disgusted with the team and may have even verbalized the idea that she too was done at certain times during the season – but her actions said otherwise.

All season long, she didn’t understand how this team could not play better. She knew they were capable and her desire for the team to win never wavered. She saw the flaws in the team as clearly as anyone. She would often say, “We need a big bat! They keep saying they’re going to get one, but here we are again…” Never-the-less, she still believed they could get it done.

She never failed them, but unfortunately, the Angels failed her.

It took 160 games for the Angels to be eliminated, but they broke our hearts all season long. Time after time – they lost games they should have won. The team failed on so many levels; offense, defense, bullpen, front office…. It was hard to watch, but we watched just the same.

A tremendous season for Jered Weaver and really solid seasons by Dan Haren and Ervin Santana were wasted. Pitching this good should be in the post season. It’s a darn shame they’re not going to have that opportunity this year.

Now that the Angels have been eliminated – Cheryl and I will become Diamondback fans for the rest of the year. It is our sincere hope that Joe Saunders gets a ring – a championship ring. Who knows, we may even make a trip out to Arizona to see a game or two. We’ll see.

It’s a long time till spring rolls around. We are exhausted. We started this journey in Kansas City for opening day on March 31. We attended tons of games and even made trips to San Bernardino to see the 66ers and trips to Texas and San Diego as well. I even made a trip to Dodgers Stadium. I should probably count how many games we saw and at some point, I just might. We didn't miss many.

We tried our best to look at this season as a story unfolding before our very eyes and it was just that; only problem was there was no happy ending.

All year long I have written in this blog that the margin for error was ever so small. After 160 games, that really came to be true.

We’ve been season ticket holders for a short time; only since 2004 – but we’ve been spoiled with five post season appearance. Not going to the playoffs for two years in a row hurts like heck and as I said before – I don’t ever want to get used to this feeling.

I’m a lucky man; my wife loves Angels baseball and we get to share this great game together. When all is said and done – baseball has provided us with lots of memories and we have been blessed to be a part of this season and others. It’s all about the journey and we can’t wait till the next one begins.

In the meantime, I will still be blogging and Cheryl will still be right here by my side feeding my ideas and keeping tabs on the Hot Stove season.

1 comment:

  1. Great write up. Good to know I wasn't the only one with similar feelings