Ms. TR is a baseball fan. I mean, a Baseball Fan. I keep score by hand and explain the infield fly rule to my friends that don’t care. I’ve gone to games alone on the way home from work when Mr. TR had to work late. Furthermore, I am a Pirates fan. Because no girl has enough heartbreak in her life until she cherishes a sports team that disappoints its fans in new ways every season. So inevitably, this time of year is bittersweet to me – the baseball playoffs and the World Series are a source of joy and excitement. Without exception, even when I couldn’t possibly care less about a single participant, I’m spellbound. All that titillation is accompanied, of course, by the same sort of feeling I get looking in the window at Tiffany’s: “That’s lovely, but not for me.”
This year adds a whole new dimension to the strangeness. Now the Phillies are playing in the WS. Not just playing, but at least for now, winning. Crap. I’m very conflicted about the Phillies. I want to cheer them to Pennsylvania glory, but what I really want is for the Buccos to be representing the state in October. The Phils are almost as pitiable as the Bucs, but hardly as pitied. A Rays win this year would leave a tantalizing subtext: the impossible season is possible. Keystone State loyalty, or symbolism? What do you wish for when it’s not worth wishing for your own team to triumph?
Regardless of who wins and how I end up feeling about it, next year I’ll still root, root, root for the home team, but if they don’t win it’s no surprise. (I happen to know a secret about the Bucs, however… stay tuned)