The skinny is that the A’s lost Game 5.
We could leave it at that. We probably should leave it at that.
Because 2003 has nothing to do with 2013.
Well, of course not.
History, even when it manages to repeat itself, is not sustainable. History doesn’t help or hurt your cause when you are trying to win one game. History doesn’t matter to the players.
But to the fan…and you’re a fan or you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Actually, why are you reading this right now? Get back under the covers and don’t come out until March.
No, wait. Come back.
To the fan, hell yes, history matters. How can it not? Only the fans - and, of course, Mr. Beane - have been through every one of these Game 5 horror stories. Game 5 is Michael Myers methodically strolling through your neighborhood in search of the next Laurie Strode.
He found her last night.
None of my nephews and nieces in attendance last night had ever experienced a Game 5.
Maybe the sting of last night hasn’t hit them yet. Maybe it won’t until the next Game 5. Or the one after that.
Definitely the one after that.
I got a text from a good friend last night:
“When did we become the Red Sox?”
I wasn’t sure – nor did I ask – if he meant the team or its fanbase. Guess they go hand-in-sweaty-hand.
But yeah, when exactly?
The 1-12 record in chance-to-advance games is all very recent. Same as 0-6. And those 18 zeroes in back-to-back Game 5’s are very, very fresh in our minds. Too damn fresh.
But it’s not just that.
The A’s haven’t won a Game 5 of any kind in 21 years. They haven’t won a World Series in 24 years. They haven’t won a do-or-don’t game in 40 years.
Not quite Curse of the Bambino stuff but still.
As for the fans, it would be one thing if the A’s pulled a Kansas City Royals for a quarter-century. But they haven’t. Just a lot of almost’s and what-if’s.
Someone posted an image of Lucy swiping the football from Charlie Brown last night. Yeah, it’s exactly like that. We hope. We believe. We’re determined. We’re going to do it. We’re going to do it!
We don’t do it.
Little by little, with each punch to the gut, doubt settles in. “Well, they let us down before, why should this time be any different?”
Until finally, we come to expect – and embrace – the worst.
I want my HBO documentary.
I should have gone to Applebee’s.
Remember when that was funny? Good times, man. The best of times, even.
The ovation the A’s got after Game 5 last year was spontaneous and beautiful and perhaps a portent of things to come. It was a once-in-a-lifetime reaction that even caught the winning team off guard.
Last night’s ovation seemed contrived.
I am tired of cheering for effort. Yeah, 96 wins in the regular season mean something. And winning the West for the second straight year was awesome. And taking the Tigers to the limit was commendable. And all of this on a tiny payroll in a crappy stadium. And, and, and...
But we had them this time, damn it.
And we let them off the hook.
Damn you, again. Damn you, Game 5.
Damn it all.
Ten years ago, I watched the A's lose Game 5 with my oldest brother.
We ended up at a bar.
Last night, I watched the A's lose Game 5 with my oldest brother's son.
I ended up at a Walgreen's - alone - to buy a pint of ice cream. Salted caramel with pecans.
Ate it in bed. Then I fell asleep.
The A’s lost a Game 5.
Yep, should have just left it at that.