Sox It To Me
On the radio this morning, the local Cleveland sports guys were previewing tonight's Indians-Sox showdown with that mixture of excitement, tredipidation, hype and pre-emptive angst/regret that only Cleveland sports fans can muster: as Garrison Keillor says in A Prairie Home Companion, "We come from people who brought us up to believe that life is a struggle, and if you should feel really happy, be patient: this will pass."
Anyway, the radio jocks were chatting with a kind of nervous bravado (look, you simply can't talk about sports here without oxymorons), toggling between confident, homer predictions ("The Indians can't lose...They sleep with the angels, man!" Um, doesn't that mean they're dead?) and trying to stay focused and realistic, as if too much joy would jinx: "W-w-ell-- I-- I'll-- I'll tell you this-- If-- If I was going with my head-- in Vegas, if I were in Vegas-- If I weren't a fan-- I'd say 'Boston in six,' but I just think it's going to come down to pitching..." The one thing they were certain about was that, whichever team won, tonight's ALCS opener was going to come down to pitching: "[Red Sox ace] Josh Beckett will be lights out" and "It's going to be, like, a 1-0, 2-1 kind of game."
Well, at least one of those statements turned out to be true.
As a Tigers fan, I have no real dog in this hunt, and secretly hope both teams will find ways to completely injure and wipe out one another. Regional loyalty demands I pay attention to the Indians, but I find it difficult to cheer for them, perhaps because they knocked my team out of the playoffs. I like Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, if only because of his familial connection to my favorite movie, and I admire their excellence, but they've won a World Series recently, whereas the Indians haven't won since 1948. And I really can't get worked up about the Rockies or the D-Backs (Cubs aside, I much prefer the AL to the NL). If only the Cubbies hadn't blown it! So, I watch baseball now as an interested-but-objective observer, which is probably better for my heart rate (have to store all that energy away for Sundays, anyway).
And I imagine Sox fan Jonathan is happy.