Embracing the agony of defeat.
Neal hasn’t been the same and Alexi is a model of inconsistency and Robbie’s a starter and Tanner is hurt and so is Pedro and Neftali has been pretty much all the above and for some reason Jason, who’s been spectacular all month and who had thrown just 12 pitches in six days, sat and watched while Shawn and Alexi were asked to get six outs in the seventh and eighth to protect a Matt Harrison-built lead, one of them offered Kyle Seager 86 belt-high, and now opponents have scored 18 times in 25 eighth innings against Texas and I can see this July being another Mike Adams/Koji Uehara type of July.
There went a winnable series in Seattle, but the road trip ends up with a healthy 4-2 mark, and Texas still shares the American League’s best record — with a rotation that’s starting to look right, even if the bullpen isn’t quite there yet.
“Game Six” now infects the Dallas Stars lexicon too, along with the ugly numbers 2:10 and 0:24, and what appeared to be a sure countdown to a glorious Game Seven between a 1 seed and an 8 seed whose awesome momentum can be measured on two completely different levels instead led to that assembly line handshake on ice that, as a fan, either raises goosebumps or kicks you in the junk.
What a fantastic hockey season, even if it ended one game, or one series, or more than that too soon.
A trip out of state for your kid and his teammates is full of great baseball and a hundred great moments, plus some comments from a very cool umpire and some behavior from a coach in the opposite dugout that both gave us all something to learn from.
Your kids, on this brand new team, play five games over the weekend, every one of which was against a team in a higher classification, and they win three times. Plenty to be proud of, and to build off of.
Mavs-Spurs tonight. Who knows?
I guess there’s a mindset that sports can be so deflating at times that we’d be better off not caring so much. I’d be surprised if anyone who cares enough to read emails like this one is in that camp, but we’ve probably all had people tell us we’re crazy for investing as much emotion in this stuff as we do.
Especially when bad sports things happen.
But again, the bad eighth innings, the inability to close out in the final seconds against the odd man rush, the 9U loss that puts you on the highway back to Texas before the championship game — all those things, all that sports adversity, all the battles that sometimes go the other guys’ way and all the disappointments, those things can fuel better things down the road, and make overcoming the next challenges so much more cool when they come around, because when you do care that much, you know how difficult it is, and should be.
Give me Seattle 6, Texas 5. Give me Anaheim 5, Dallas 4. Give me a sixth-place finish in a 20-team Oklahoma Shootout field. I’ve got no use for the idea that sports agony isn’t worth it.