You know you’re in a pennant race when…
…you are passing the peace during a Sunday service, and all of a sudden you find that two other parishioners around you also check the west coast baseball scores when they get up in the middle of a night for a bio break. (And no, I was not the person who started this conversation.)
…you curse the schedule makers who put so many of your team’s games on the west coast during a period when you’re trying to catch up on sleep.
…you turn to the sports pages (on your iPad, of course) to find the latest Tom Boswell column about – what else – pennant races.
…magic numbers seem to grow instead of shrink.
…you want to call everyone you know to ask them if they saw Bryce Harper barely miss the “Hit it Here Cafe” target at Safeco Field on Sunday – a monster blast off the cafe windows.
…you curse the schedule makers who obviously gave the other team you are battling in your division (I’m looking at you, Atlanta) an easier September schedule just to make it tough on you.
…you are thrilled that because of extensive travel in the early part of the year, you have three home games in September in your season ticket group.
…you begin to wonder if you scheduled too much travel in October, not thinking about the consequences of your getting playoff game tickets as part of your season ticket group.
…the Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds Report becomes your most visited website.
…what? There’s an election coming up?
…you hope that the St. Louis Cardinals don’t make the playoffs. Then you wonder if the Nats have to go through St. Louis to exorcise their 2012 demons. Then you stop thinking.
…you fret about whether Ryan Zimmerman can return in time to get his timing back, and whether his insertion into the lineup will disrupt what has become a pretty efficient team.
…you actually begin to think you’d like the DH in the National League, so the Nats could put Zimmerman there most nights. (NO! Banish the thought! It isn’t real baseball.)
…you wonder if Gio is ever going to win again.
…you are glad that you have something to watch the first part of the season when you’ve sworn off NFL football.
…you wake up thinking about which pitcher you would drop to get to a four-man rotation for the playoffs. (See previous note about Gio and you go back to sleep pretty quickly.)
…you worry that you’ll jinx your team by thinking about a four-man rotation for the playoffs, the St. Louis Cardinals, and other teams this early in September.
…basically, you worry about everything. As Boswell says today of the Nationals and Orioles:
…losing your mind, screaming and booing, sacrificing sleep to watch West Coast games, second-guessing managers and consulting oracles — all the manifestations of late-season baseball insanity as the Sept. 1 bell-lap arrives — that’s not a player’s task. That’s our job. So let’s get started.
I love it! Let’s go Nats!!
More to come…
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