Hope is a part of baseball. One of my favorite things about baseball is that there are games almost everyday year-round and for all big-time baseball fans that accounts for about six to seven months of the year, for some much more. Even when your team is eliminated in the playoffs so close to the World Series, every fan can take solace in the fact that there will a new season just six months away. Some fans, Season Ticket Holders (STH) especially, take that hope for a new start and go to fall ball to watch the prospects play in Arizona, keep track of winter ball in other countries and countdown the days to that next trip to Spring Training. It’s something I especially love about being a STH. Your team loses one night, you will always be there the next day with a chance, a hope for your team to be victorious.
What happens though when the upcoming season looks so bright that it’s almost unreal how much, as a fan, you can practically taste that World Series coming to your town and something happens that almost makes lose the feeling of that dream all together? How do you as a fan feel? Disappointed, saddened, hopeless? I won’t lie, even baseball isn’t perfect, it does happen. Those feelings hit a lot of fans this week as five, no wait, now six, starting pitchers went down to serious injuries in just seven days. That is what happened for a lot of fans this week but especially for fans and STHs of the Atlanta Braves and the Oakland Athletics.
Yes, I did say that. Six pitchers, all starters, went down to elbow and/or forearm soreness this week including two A’s and two Braves, a New York Met and an Arizona Diamondback. Losing a starting pitcher for any amount of time is devastating and can greatly impact the path of the season. Losing a starting pitcher to Tommy John surgery for a year? That can be catastrophic.
Does something like this mean all hope is lost? Absolutely not, and, as the many fans, players and coaches of the game will tell you “IT’S A LONG SEASON.” It is 162 games to be exact and many, many things can happen before you reach game 162. Players can come off the disabled list, a young call-up from the minors can have a breakout year, your team can make a trade for a guy who lights up the team or is just so on fire that he carries the team back to the greatness you expected before the beginning of the season.
So don’t wallow in despair if your team was one of the ones to lose a starting pitcher this week. Game 162 is a long way off. I can say from my own experiences in Oakland in 2012 that it doesn’t matter how many days your team is in first place. Even if it is only one day. The day that matters is where your team is on the last day of the season, game 162. That year Oakland was predicted to lose 100 games and finish last in the AL West, yet, they came around and won the American League Western Division Title, being in first place on that last day. The beauty of the game is that anything can happen, the season is long and things can and will change sometimes for the better sometimes for the worse. No matter what the critics may predict the season never ends that way and it is never over until it’s over. I mean, who saw the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series last season? It goes to prove that in baseball there is always hope ….
Have a great week and smile because Opening Day is two weeks from today! (not counting Australia of course!) xx ~ Jen