This is a super long read, and I apologize in advance for the run on sentences and stream of consciousness.
The Giants are overachievers. The Giants have been extremely lucky in the first 90 games of the season. Matt Cain is not as good as his numbers show. We are the 26th best team according to beyond the box score. I get that. I remind myself everyday in the morning that the first half is a mirage, to not get too attached to this team, and to enjoy the ride while concentrating on the big picture.
The big picture. The future.
Yet why is it that my heart sank to the bottom of the desk, my gut ripped out from my body, and my forehead dropped forcibly on the keyboards when Tim Lincecum gave up that 3 run bomb to Yunel Escobar? Why is it that I have hit refresh 800 thousand times on mlbtraderumors.com in the past week, and have my headphones on with my mlb at bat turned on as I walked 30 feet from my office to my car, not wanting to miss a second of the game that is in progress even though we are down 4-0 despite the fact that the Giants have not won a game in which they are down by 3 runs or more this year?
I woke up this morning at 7AM. My wife and my child are still asleep. My sister, who is staying with us for a couple of weeks befor moving to Boston, is awake because of jet lag, chatting on my computer with her fiance in Taiwan. I walked over and picked up my iphone. I clicked on that familiar link, mlbtraderumors.com. It's a ritual that I've been practicing the last 3 weeks. That's what I do the first thing when I wake up.
"Cardinals acquire Matt Holliday"
The funny thing is, I have known for months that we would never acquire Holliday. The Giants did not match up with the A's in a trade. The A's need corner infielders help. We have pitching. It makes no sense for Oakland to acquire pieces that doesn't fit their puzzle for a Matt Holliday deal. Billy Beane doesn't want to do business across the bay. It was never meant to be. I mentally prepared for this day. For months. I made myself believe. It didn't make it any easier. My heart sank a little bit. Then it sank some more. Then it disappeared. It hurts, doesn't it? All your dreams, dashed. Hopes down the fucking drain. And your fate? He's sitting right beside you. Another season wasted, another year spent rebuilding, just another 60 somewhat games more to go. It's not the end of the world, right? It's just another year before the cavalry arrives.
I really should be thankful. For the first time in years, baseball mattered again. I have gone to more games this year than I have in the last 3 years combined. I spent more time this year rosterbating than masterbating. (to be fair, my wife was pregnant the year before and my child was born last year, but I digress). I see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's great to be a Giants fan again. This is what it is all about, right? the youth movement? Playing 3 rookies in the infield and carrying 3 more in the outfield? Having 3 Cy Young winners on the same team? Right?
Yet something is missing. Something that has been in my head since, oh, mid june or so. Something that was familiar once and has faded away into the distance, but has slowly come back in my memory. It's feint, but if you get close enough, you can hear it. It is the voice of Jon Miller. What is it saying?
"swing... line drive base hit right field. Here comes Bell. Rounding third. Here is the throw..... and it's offline! Kenny Lofton! The man they love to hate in St Louis knocks in the winning run! And they come pouring out of the dugout! Kenny Lofton drive a stake through the heart of the Cardinals. The Cardinals are Dead! The Giants are the champions of the National league!"
I am now at work, but I just can't let it go. The magic has been missing for 4 years. That magic that may or may not be around this year, but damn it, I just can't give up now. The future is bright no doubt. A rotation led by Timmy and MadBum with Cain and Alderson brings thoughts of ecstasy in a steamy summer night. Buster Posey is in AAA now. The bullpen will be rock solid with more arms in the minor ready to step in. Neal might be the real deal before Zod. Victory is near! Just hold out for a little longer! That parade down market street has waited for 50 years, it can wait another year. Stay the course.
A somber feeling sank through my body as I slouch back into my chair. A sense of resignment. The Giants will hold onto their future and compete for years to come. It's great. It's comforting. Yet it feels empty. It's like a Blue Ray recording of the Phantom of the Opera. The pictures are crystla clear. The surround sound is fantastic. I can watch it whenever I want, and I can watch it a thousand times if I want to. Yet it feels surprisingly empty to me. I get the best seat in the house at home, but I want to go to the curran theatre instead. Even if it is the worst seat in the house. There is magic there.
I want that magic back.
A month ago if you asked me if I would trade Bumgarner+ for a Victor Martinez type deal, I would tell you to get the fuck out of here and go away before I hit you again. Now? I'm not so sure. In my mind I know it is not the right thing to do, but in my heart, I am so desperate for that magic, that I may be convinced to be blinded by passion and forgo logic. I am a fan, after all.
I will now wait 7 more days and click refresh another 800 thoursand times. If nothing major happens, I always have that future to look forward to, and I will cheer this team on for the rest of the year. Really, it's not a bad position. The future is bright, and this team, despite all of its deficiencies, has made me fall in love with it. If a major move is made and a piece (or multiple pieces) of the future is sacrificed, however, I will hold onto my seat and pray for that magic to appear in AT&T park. Either way, I can't lose. I am a fan. I have the right to put passion ahead of reason.
I am scared. Hold me.