Reality closes the book on hope as 2011 will be remembered as a season of could have beens, should have beens, as we look, yet again, to another year.
Endings are solemn things, causing one to reflect, to pause, to think. Whether it be the end of the day, the end of a story, the end of the season, it's that moment when you realize that it's done and never coming back. There is no longer a mathematical sliver of hope to make the post-season. There is nothing more than, well, nothing.
And so we do like we have so many times in our recent past; we look toward tomorrow, to another year, with hope and anticipation. Why? Because we must. It's all we have.
I am not here to give you a prediction or a projection of what may be next year. We have all winter to banter and prognosticate, to project and to ponder. No, I wish simply to reflect and to pause, to remember. Sometimes, healing and the ability to look forward can only begin when you come to terms with finality.
As the uniforms are packed away, the tarps rolled and stored for the winter, the concessionaires plying their trade in different venues, we are left to pick over the remains of our season, and to find a surrogate to cheer on in the post season. Some of us find solace in watching those who were once draped in green and gold, while others have alliances for geographical reasons or family ties.
Whomever you cheer for this post-season, I ask you to remember 2011 fondly. The living, breathing entity that was born of the parts will never be the same, but what will remain are the moments of triumph, of despair, of birth and of death. Jemile's first hit bore Ellis' last in green and gold. The smallest of ligaments derailing the biggest of hopes for our pitching staff. The end of a manager's career touching the beginning of another. All of these little deaths and births nothing more than a backdrop for the real, tangible reason we are here: the love of the game, the connection to something bigger than ourselves, the romance of baseball and the relationships we have together as fans.
Why such solemness OP? Why such heavy and dense words? If, in 2-3 months, you don't tangibly ache for baseball, the kind of ache as when you are missing someone, missing a part of your soul, then I am sorry, these words were not meant for you. Solemn words are our way of coping with endings, and it just felt like someone should say a few words over the remains of the season.