John has gone into mourning over the Angels’ elimination from the playoffs by the Kansas City Royals yesterday, so I am writing the Catch for him this morning while he tries to equalize his emotions. It’s much like a death, and John is in the Denial and Isolation stage where he is trying to convince himself and everyone around him that he doesn’t really care. He’s followed just about every out of every game this season from being present at spring training to yesterday’s loss, and he’s now saying he’s glad it’s over; it’s been taking too much of his attention. Funny, that wasn’t the case yesterday, or the day before that, or the day before that…
He’s already started to exhibit evidence of entering the Anger stage — mumbling something about Hamilton batting .000 and why didn’t Mike Scioscia play the young, eager Collin Cowgill instead. “They would have won at least one of the first two games if Cowgill was in left field,” he told me more than once. Then he went on muttering something about Scioscia saying it was worth playing Josh out now “to see where it’s going to lead.”
“It’s not like you’ve got the rest of the season to see where this is going to lead!” John screamed when he read that. “I can tell you where it’s going to lead; it’s going to lead to losing, that’s where!”
“Calm down, it’s just a game,” I tried to tell him.
“Yeah,” he returned, “just the last game of the season!”
So, John is now caught somewhere between Denial and Anger, with a little of the third stage, Bargaining, thrown in: “If they hadn’t played Hamilton…” So that leaves Depression and Acceptance as the last two emotions, and since we are moving through these fairly fast, I think we’ll have him back by tomorrow. The Depression has definitely set in this morning. In lieu of flowers, you may send your condolences by replying to this email.
My final attempt to snap him out of it will be to remind him of his own lyrics:
Losin’ is winnin’ if it turns you around;
It all looks clearer when you’re close to the ground.
If you know you’re lost, then you can be found,
And you walk out, a winner.
In Ernest Thayer’s classic poem, “Casey at the Bat,” the phrase “hope which springs eternal in the human breast,” means that we have to start this all over again in four months. But for now, we must conclude,
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.
P.S. Congratulations to all our Kansas City fans! We hope you go all the way!