The Only Game 5 That Matters Is The Next One

Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? - Rob Carr

If you have déjà vu this morning, it will probably pass. Until the next time it doesn’t.

There’s a baseball game in Oakland tomorrow.

This can make you feel uneasy for a number of reasons. 2000-03. Last year. Yesterday. Missed opportunities. Ghosts. Curses. 0-5 in Game 5. Stupid, stupid number 5.

So you search the haystack for a needle. “The baseball gods can’t be this cruel. There’s no way history will repeat itself. Losing to the same team in a do-or-die game in consecutive years?”

(The 2000-01 A’s say hi.)

Or, “well, the A’s won Game 4 last year in dramatic fashion, and still lost Game 5, so maybe the roles will be reversed this year!”

Last year…

Last year at this time I wrote how amazing it was just to get to a Game 5.

This year we are lamenting Game 5. Not another Game 5! Go away, 5!

***

The last time the A’s won a winner-take-all game, I was six years old. Reggie can still hit, right?

***

It doesn’t matter. None of it matters.

The experience gained from last year to this? Sure it helps. The day off between Games 4 and 5? It was a luxury that eluded the A’s last year after their stirring comeback expended every last drop of energy. So yeah, a day to regroup is probably a good thing. Could be.

Home field? They’ve won 53 games in Oakland this season. Gotta count for something.

Then doubt sets in again. But they had home field for Game 5 last year. And 2000. 2002. 2003. Too many numbers. Shut up, numbers.

Reggie can still hit, right?

***

You wait for the sky to fall. You wonder why this matters so much. You wait. You wonder. You worry.

You’re anxious. You’re desperate. You start to play the if-and-why game. If Melvin leaves in Straily that fan doesn’t touch someone just hits a fly ball they don’t score those insurance why Anderson?

Why, Anderson?

But you don’t stop there. Stupid first inning of Game 1.

Slide, Jeremy!

Are you finished? No.

Because it is not a blame game until you blame yourself. I wore the wrong shirt. I moved my chair. Should have gone to Applebee’s.

I should have gone to Applebee’s!

***

"Never (mess) with a winning streak."

***

There’s a baseball game in Oakland tomorrow.

Nothing else matters. Not the past. Not ten years ago. Not yesterday. Not your pre-game meal or attire.

It is not a sequel, a remake, or a rewritten script.

It is a baseball game. The field. On the field.

It will be won on the field.

Or it won’t be.

(Please be.)

Please.

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