The Beginning of the Offseason

Just after the Yankees were eliminated and I was left without anything much to want for the post-season, some kind of unexplainable software glitch made it impossible for me to access my blog as an administrator.  I was reduced, against my will, to silence.  The freaky demons of the 2007 season were not done with their work. 

Now I’m back online. 

I like the Rockies.  I always like it when teams like the Rockies, who were mainly picked for last, make it to the World Series.  But family loyalties will have me rooting for the Red Sox if they manage to get past Cleveland.  

I’d also like to see the Red Sox win the Series because I am curious to see what will happen to New England if the Red Sox win two World Series in four years.  It will have to become some other place.  New England’s mythic sense of identity will have gone haywire.  Palm trees will start growing.  And bougainvillea.  Sidewalk cafes with accordion music will spring up in defiance of strict zoning laws and white clapboard churches will become glamorous nightclubs.   The Scarlet Letter will suddenly have a happy ending.  Emily Dickinson will leave home.  And Thoreau will invite Whitman and his buddies up from New York to go skinny dipping on the lake.  It really never could be the same dear old unhappy place again. 

Anyway, we are now at that particularly strange time when baseball is fresh in our minds, it’s even continuing, but the Mets are nowhere.  They’re out of sight and out of mind.  Did we dream them?  Here’s a short piece from my book that tries to describe the eerieness of this time of year.

THE BEGINNING OF THE OFFSEASON

If the season doesn’t ended with a ticker-tape parade, you feel, for the first few days, as if you were driving a speeding car that has gone off the road and is now on its back, with the wheels spinning. It takes a while for the wheels to stop spinning, for the adrenaline in your system to get back to a normal level.

Some fans, apparently, can start talking right away about trades and free agents and all that. I can’t do it. I need some time to get used to the fact that the season is finally over, that nothing more can ever be added to it. It’s as if someone you know has disappeared. Suddenly a constant background hum is silenced. You turn on the radio or the TV and the Mets are not there. It’s as if some evil conspiracy has managed to eliminate all evidence that they ever existed.

Every so often during the offseason, you’ll hit the WFAN button on your radio and hear the Schmooze talking about football, or Howie announcing a hockey game, or Gary announcing a basketball game. You feel as if you’ve caught them having an affair.

There is now the long, fitful, and boring night. You don’t want to be outside. Soon, you forget what it was like, exactly, to have leaves on the trees and baseball on the radio.

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