Friday, April 13, 2012

Rivalry Redux

Well it certainly has been an interesting first week of the MLB season in terms of ups and downs, particularly within my household. By the time we were three games in, the Yankees had yet to win a game and the Orioles had yet to lose. I referred to Baltimore as “the 3-and-O’s” and my wife enjoyed that very much, but then almost immediately reverted to maligning April as the cruelest month, because so many times in the past the O’s have gotten her hopes up at the outset by playing sharp and showing promise, only to slouch ever-basementward as the summer rolls along. As always, I know there is no way to remotely approach this topic without sounding monstrously condescending, but I’ll hazard it: I feel bad for my wife. At times she seems as forlorn as a Cubs fan, without the institutionalized sympathy one gets as part of the Cubs fan package. I can relate to the absurd helplessness of having your heart broken by a professional sports franchise on a game-by-game basis, because it happens to me multiple times each year, too. But I can’t entirely empathize with the waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop dread tainting a season-starting sweep. All I can do is sympathize, and wish for some expansion teams and division realignment which would put the Yankees and O’s in different groupings such that I could root for my team and her team almost all the time (see: Giants and Steelers) instead of running the gauntlet of BAL vs. NYY eight times a year.

The first instance of which, for 2012, came right on the heels of those respective perfect and 0-fer starts. I was pretty sanguine about the stumble out of the gate, Mo blowing a save and the Yankees getting swept by another AL East team and everything, but at the same time I feared I’d be a little more unhinged about 0-and-6. I didn’t want the solution to come at the Orioles’ expense, or the expense of my domestic harmony, but I wasn’t given any choice in the matter. At any rate, here’s a brief rundown of the week at home:

MONDAY – My wife and I watched How I Met Your Mother, then flipped over to MASN, saw the Yankees had a fairly sizable lead, and proceeded to pop in Game of Thrones to watch episode six. (The Yankees ended up winning.)
TUESDAY – My wife worked late, I turned the game in the background on while straightening up around the house, the game was tied when my wife got home and when we got ready for bed, and when it was still tied after 9 complete innings we just shut it off in favor of sleep. (The Yankees ended up winning in 12.)
WEDNESDAY – Almost exactly the same as Tuesday! (Except the Yankees ended up winning in 10 after we turned off the game in our bedroom.)
THURSDAY – An off day for both teams, which very conveniently allowed us to watch Community and the rest of the Thursday night lineup without distraction.

Obligatory Community reference!
So now both our teams are 3-and-3, and generally in our family you do not complain about .500 ball, so there you go. My wife was certainly not pleased about being swept, but I give her all the credit in the world for not punishing me too harshly (at all, really) over that turn of events. And there are other bright spots, as well, most notably that the Red Sox are not only in last place in the AL East but have the worst record in the majors at the moment. Every time I gloat over Boston in a post like this, I usher in some regrettable reversal of fortune, but I can’t help it! If I can’t enjoy being on top of the Red Sox rivalry, however fleetingly, I really don’t see the point.

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