It seems like only yesterday that spring training was starting. Back in March and April it was a time of hope. Anything seemed possible before the season started. Maybe the Padres really will win the NL West after all of their off-season moves. Could Miami, several writers’ dark horse World Series pick, challenge the Nationals? Would Boston take back the AL East after some prominent off-season signings? In March it all seemed possible.
As a Reds fan I felt this same sense of hope and optimism, despite it presumably being Johnny Cueto’s last season in Cincinnati. They had a great offensive core. We’re hosting the All-Star Game! In March I could easily convince myself that there was a chance the Reds would compete for a playoff spot.
Before I had much time to revel in my new found optimism it was gone. My hope that the Reds would contend hasn’t exactly panned out. As of today they’re 30.5 games out of first place. That’s a lot. That’s the deepest divisional deficit of any team in baseball. It makes me feel a little better to know that the only reason the Cardinals are good is because they hacked into another team’s computer, apparently unlocking all of the secrets of the baseball universe.
So my question for you today is, now what? Your team is out of it. There is no hope of a post-season run. The NFL and College Football will soon be upon us. What reason do you have, hopeless baseball fan, to care about the rest of the season?
This Should Be a Fun Postseason
This is setting up to be one of the more interesting postseasons in recent memory. The Cubs, Mets and the Astros are all going to make the playoffs. John Lester might pitch in ANOTHER wild card game! The Blue Jays offense is insane. The Royals are poised to make another run at a championship. Throw in traditional powers like the Yankees, Cardinals, and Dodgers and you have what should be a wildly entertaining playoffs.
The Young Stars in Prime Time
One of the overarching narratives of the 2015 MLB Season has been the rise to prominence of a number of young stars. It looks like a number of those players will be playing baseball into October, and for a lot of the country this will be their introduction to baseball’s youth movement. Carlos Correa will be on display. The Cubs will trot out Bryant, Schwarber, and Russell. Who wants to face that Mets pitching staff in a playoff series? There are young stars all over the game right now, and many of them will have a chance to make their mark in October.
Looking Ahead to Next Season
Maybe you don’t have much to look forward to this season, but there’s plenty to be thinking about for next year. Spend some time brushing up on what the top prospects have done in your organization. Look ahead and dream about potential free agent signings this winter (David Price would look great in a Reds uniform). One of the great things about baseball is that there is always a reason for hope, and if your hope is gone for 2015, look for it somewhere else.
Because It’s Baseball
This is going to be a pretty straightforward answer, but my guess is if you’re reading this blog you enjoy baseball. Why not take some time to simply enjoy the game for what it is the rest of the season. Let everyone else be nervous about the standings. Let your friends pace around the room as their team marches toward the playoffs. You can sit back, relax, and just enjoy the baseball. Maybe you’re better off then they are! Yeah, think of all the time and stress you saved yourself by rooting for a losing team this year. This is actually better for you! I feel bad for those people that have to care so much for another two months. Are you feeling better about this season yet? A little bit?
My team is out of it, but I’m going to enjoy baseball while I can. Soon the leaves will change colors, the snow will be on the ground, and all we’ll be able to do is endlessly hit refresh on MLB Trade Rumors. Enjoy baseball while it’s still here, because even if it hasn’t been a great season for you, it’s still baseball season. And any baseball is better than no baseball.
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