So the Major League Baseball pennant crunch is on and, as has been the case for nearly the last ten years, my team, the Baltimore Orioles, was mathematically eliminated from the playoff hunt back on opening day.
What a season it’s been for the Black and Orange – first they go out and earn the dubious distinction of being the losing team in a 30-3 affair (I can’t even call it a game) that featured the most runs scored by one team in 110 years. Not to be out done, they headed to Boston just a short, two weeks later on September 1 and let Clay Buchholz (just called up from Triple-A Pawtucket) no-hit them in only his second major league start. With the end of the season drawing near, my boys have mentally packed it in, envisioning themselves on the golf course versus the baseball diamond.
And I thought the Orioles who opened the '88 campaign 0-21 couldn’t be topped, boy was I wrong.
Where does this leave a baseball fan well into September, his team out of it, wanting desperately to have a stake in the thrilling pennant race andpost season? You do what I’ve done for the last few years; you adopt a “late-season” team. For me, that’s the Boston Red Sox.
Now you might ask, how can I adopt a team who makes a regular task of embarrassing “my” team? There's no easy explanation, except to say I’ve had a soft spot for the Beantowners for as long as I can remember. Boston, like Baltimore, is a baseball town and their fans are some of the most rabid out there, and I love that! Add to that the storied history, the finally winning a World Series, the cast of characters that are true gamers and you’ve got a baseball team any fan, except New Yorkers perhaps, can get behind.
I sure as hell am not going to go with the despised pinheaded Yankees. The fact that the Sox have done a pretty job sticking it to the Bronx Bombers recently only strengthens my position of jumping, late-season, on their bandwagon.
Be sure, when spring opens, the 2008 season I’ll be right back where I started, bleeding black and orange. But for now, even while I keep an ever vigil eye on the Orioles' box score, my eyes drift upwards for the word "Boston."
How do you do, Red Sox nation? There’s a new, although only here for a visit, citizen amongst you.