On Sunday night, Sergio Romo struck out Miguel Cabrera to win the World Series for the San Francisco Giants, and in doing so, he brought an end to the 2012 baseball season.
For Blue Jays fans, the season has been over since August (or earlier, if you're as pessimistic as me), and thankfully so. Who knows what other terrible things would have happened if it had gone on much longer? Considering the awfulness of the 2012 season for me personally, I was surprisingly sad to see it all come to an end.
Here are the things about baseball that I'm going to miss the most this winter:
There were a lot of things about the Blue Jays, and baseball in general, that made me irrationally angry this year. The Baltimore Orioles come to mind immediately, with their good luck and their run differential that was almost enraging enough to make me cheer for the Yankees in the playoffs.
The Orioles aren't the only thing that made me mad, though. I was also angered by oblique injuries, elbow injuries, shoulder injuries, hamstring injuries, wrist injuries..and the list goes on. Bad defense caused a lot of yelling at my TV too, though that ended up working out quite nicely.
While irrational anger is, well, angering at times, there's something to be said about being passionate enough about a sport to get mad about it (whether that passion is misdirected is a topic for another post), and I'll miss that.
First it was Jose Bautista, and this year it was Edwin Encarnacion. We all know the story of how Bautista became amazing right out of the blue, but after this season I'm more thankful for what Edwin managed to do. Without his fantastic year, we'd have almost nothing positive to keep us going this off season. A quick look at Edwin's stats show how great he was, especially when compared to the rest of his career. As a matter of fact, the only first baseman who was better is Prince Fielder. I'll take that. He signed a three year contract extension during the season, so keep it up next year, Edwin!
Is there anything quite like a comeback victory? Just ask the San Francisco Giants, who did it twice in these playoffs. Watching your team slowly (or sometimes quickly) claw and scratch their way back into a game is truly exhilarating. The best comeback of the season, for me, was on the very first day; when JP Arencibia hit a three run walk off home run to win the game in the 16th inning, after the Jays had gone down 4-0 early and managed a tie in the 9th.
Comebacks can go both ways, of course, and be completely devastating. I'll never forget this game against the Mariners in 2011. Even now I feel the urge to punch a pillow when thinking about it.
I have a thing for strikeouts, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that Brandon Morrow is my favourite pitcher. There are many of his games I could talk about here, but I'm going to limit myself to two: this one, vs the Rays in 2010, is still my favourite Brandon Morrow game of all time. I don't see it ever being passed by another game, unless it's a no-hitter.
The other is this: a complete game shutout against the Angels, in Los Angeles. He threw only 102 pitches, and faced one batter over the minimum. It was a fantastic start for Morrow, and the first of three shutouts on the season. Looking back on it now just makes his injury that much more devastating--who knows what could have happened for him this season if he had stayed healthy?
The Baseballness of Baseball
I tried to find words to describe this, and I just couldn't. This is the feeling you get when you wake up on opening day, when you're full of hope and nothing's gone wrong yet. That feeling when you're walking up to the ballpark with your ticket in your hand, and the one you get when your team hits a home run in extra innings. It's the same, in a way, as the feeling you get when they lose a heart breaker, or when your manager leaves the starter in one batter too long. It's hope and devastation and heartbreak all rolled up in one magical game, and I'm going to miss it desperately for the next five months.
What will you miss the most about baseball?