We've all had wives, girlfriends, husbands boyfriends, moms, dads, and friends who are simply incapable of wrapping their heads around why we care so much about our sports teams. My girlfriend, whom I have been dating for about a year now, had never seen an entire baseball game when we got together. Naturally I took her to opening day and 5 other games this year, including game 4 of the ALDS.
She fell in love with Sogard and his glasses and she got a kick out of Cespedes' disproportionately large butt (who didn't?) and as the season went on she watched more and more games with me as the appeal of fandom slowly revealed itself to her. We went to Straily's first start, which culminated in a walk off sac fly off Coco's bat in the 15th inning, a team-wide bernie-fest, Spider-Reddick, and fireworks to boot. We went to the Friday game against the O's that ended with a caught stealing in a 3-2 victory in front of a packed house. She learned the lyrics to take me out to the ball game (my personal favorite aspect of attending games) and she played dot racing with me. She learned what a balk is, and why guys bunt. She was genuinely interested in every player transaction and was ever so sad each time her beloved Sogard was sent to Sacramento. And perhaps most endearing of all, she learned to hate the Giants.
When we went to Wednesday's game, game 4, she was into it as much as anyone in the stadium. She said bad words when the tigers scored and lost her mind with the rest of us in the 9th. She must have high-fived 50 people and screamed as much as I did. Once we finally made our way back to our car I told her that this is why we do it. This is why we listen to spring training games on the radio and stay up until 3:00 AM when they're in Japan. This is why I DVR every game that I can't catch live and why I read every article posted on AthleticsNation. It's like a drug. And this, what you're feeling right now, is the highest of highs.
She came over the next night excited as all hell to watch game 5. She did not take it well. Once Prince Fielder's shallow fly ball landed in center field giving the Tigers a 5-0 lead she started to cry. She pulled herself together ever so temporarily as we woefully finished the game. After the final out we heard the crowd's ovation for our boys in defeat as players came onto the field and tipped their hats. And in that moment she lost it. She cried hard for at least 10 minutes. I'm usually so good at cheering people up when they're really down. I ordinarily know exactly what to say, but the one time I truly knew how she felt I had nothing. All I knew was that she was one of us now.
This girl is a keeper.
And F*** the Giants