One team has to win and one team has to lose. That is the nature of the beast. And perhaps many of you will think me soft for even caring what Orioles’ fans felt right then. Except I (we) have been where they are. I remember how it felt after Dave Roberts stole that base. I remember that Gonzalez bloop over a drawn in Yankees’ infield. It hurt, man. It hurt so bad that words cannot express the disappointment and shock. And so a moment of sympathy was felt for the fans of the Orioles and later, those of the Tigers. Getting to know so many people on Twitter and to see them dying a little bit inside at the results make those feelings stronger. The souls of fans in other cities become real people and not just nameless blobs of humanity.
Of course, there is no way I would trade places with them. That was a most satisfying win for someone who sips from his Yankees’ coffee mug every single morning. Look, we Americans are a funny people anyway. We are the first nation of people that feels bad about our national conquests. It is doubtful that the average French family with Viking blood felt much sympathy for the English people when the Normans overtook that island nation. Conquest is part of our culture too. We conquered the Native Americans to stretch the country from coast to coast. And we don’t feel good about that. I’m not saying we should feel good about that. But such conquests have been a part of humanity since the beginning. We are simply the first people to care about the victims.
And, naturally, there are probably some of you out there who don’t care about the Native Americans and are really thinking this writer is some kind of sissy-butt. Do I reap the benefits of that conquest? Certainly. Will I deny myself the benefits of that conquest? Certainly not. But I still feel badly about how it all went down.
The same can be said for my feelings about the players and fans on other teams when defeat comes after victory seemed imminent. Somebody has to win and somebody has to lose. That is part of the deal. But so is knowing that one fan base is glowing with euphoria while another is waking up this morning with a pit in their stomachs. And, it is not over. Heaven help us if it is the case, but that could be us in a couple of days if the Yankees do not take care of business. Winning and losing goes beyond a team and it goes beyond a manager or a player. The impact is felt on the soul of a fan base. And that fan base is made up of people just like you and me.
But it sure was a heck of a win.