John in mourning

th-16By Marti Fischer

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!

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24 Responses to John in mourning

  1. David says:

    John & Marti,

    My consolations. As a huge baseball fan and Christ-follower, I love you two! As I used to remind the little league kids that I coached while instructing them in what I believe is the world’s greatest game, “If winning is everything to you, then you picked the wrong sport.”

  2. Oh, don’t ya hate it when your own words (song, poem, blog, tweet) come back to try to prod you back into reality! I’m an ATL Braves fan… sigh… ’nuff said. I commiserate with you today!

  3. Carole in Midland says:

    Poor John. I feel your pain, Bro. Only those of us who are not mere fans, but are FAITHFULS when it comes to our ball teams understand the devastation of losing a game that could have, SHOULD have been won (even losing those that would have taken a miracle to pull off, hurt). I go thru this every year that my Carolina Tar Heels fail to win the ACC Basketball Tournament (last won in 2009). But in the end, after all the moping, screaming and yelling, the tears and then the silent suffering, I bounce back and declare, “Yeah, but just wait til NEXT year!” The Tar Heels are MY team, and I’ll stick by them, win or lose. I think John feels the same way about his Angels. I know it’s hard to understand, but to Faithfuls, it is NEVER “just a game.” My deepest sympathy, John…

  4. greg Krejci says:

    Sorry John. I remember when my kids started organised sports, scoccer, there was no official score keeping and at the end of the season, trophies were handed out to All players. Even the bad ones. My boys were livid. “What’s the point?” they asked. I agreed. That was the last of the organised sports my kids played. It does matter. Not to the extreme some take it but striving for excellance is a valid reason for doing something. Now we have all these people out there waiting for their unearned trophies.

  5. joAnna says:

    I was praying for you while I watched the Royals win. Sorry, John. Perhaps next year

  6. Mark Seguin says:

    Boy oh boy can i understand all too well Pastor John’s feeling let down by his baseball team – the Detroit Tigers are gone from the playoffs also… and we have 3 Cy Young Pitchers plus the Detroit Lions (football team) let a 14 point led slip by them yesterday… So sorry John, yet i can understand what you maybe going through.. :(.

  7. TimC says:

    Thinking of you in this time of loss. Thank you for being a real person with real emotions and ups and downs. Just be glad you’re not a Chicago Cubs fan. Is that one of the stages of mourning?

    • Brian says:

      I was going to say the same thing, Tim. Being a Cubs fan, Bears fan, and Illini fan – it’s my lot in life to suffer. At least the Hawks open on Thursday!

      • Kevin says:

        I’m with ya Brian, here in Springfield I not only have to suffer through Cub seasons; but the endless harangue of Cardinal fans as well lol.

  8. nmk says:

    Having been originally from Kansas City, and now halfway between KC and STL, I refer back to the Catch from a few days ago about the Royals being the scrappy low paid team that could. Since they haven’t touched the playoffs since 1985, I’m happy for my elderly mom who gets to see this, as well as happy that, if they progress, STL won’t be facing Pujols and Freese in the World Series!!
    But to put it all in perspective, I’d be a 1000x happier if the Ebola and the ISIL crises would come to an end and the Christians living in fear for their lives would be able to be relieved of that burden.

  9. johnhaak says:

    Marti you even sound fairly sympathetic which I think is a big step having a “Baseball Widow” in our house too. I won’t even mention “my team” that is still in it because I know that does not matter to one in grief. Try the Bogart-esque line, “You’ll always have 2002.”

  10. Peter Leenheer says:

    Although he deserves it , enough sympathy for John. The Edmonton Oilers ice hockey team won their last Stanley cup championship in 1990, we have had 24 years of hovering just above or being in last place in the whole league. My desire is that the Oilers win one soon. Do I get any sympathy????(lol).

    I am with you John, it drives me crazy how so much promise of a winning season can evaporate in playoff elimination. The players are right, playoffs are a new season. Elimination always starts with one shoulda been done, by armchair coaches and managers. I am one of the best armchair quarterbacks, so my kids tell me. It is tough to remember it is only a game.

  11. I’m a Montreal Canadiens fan (it’s now 21 seasons since Les Glorieux have won the Stanley Cup), so I feel your pain. Nothing like my fellow Vancouverites, though, who have watched 2 teams from CALIFORNIA win the Cup before them (and if the California Golden Shlemiels had stayed solvent, they probably would have won by now, too). At least you can look back with fondness on 2002. But since I haven’t really had a “my team” since Lou Piniella left the Mariners, I can enjoy a game for its sake — and use the pauses between pitches to contemplate the things that need to be prayed-for.

  12. KaT H. says:

    As a SF Giants fan, (since 1974–so it HAS been awhile!) I can symphathize. I was kinda hoping for a 2002 World Series rematch. Alas! It was not meant to be! I am certain that given time, John will heal.

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