And so 2011 ends on a sad note for Yankee fans around the country. It's incredibly difficult when your favorite team loses. We all get that, right? We adopt these players and they become ours. If we are well informed, we know their strengths and their weaknesses. We all glory when those strengths shine and agonize when things don't go so well. Until the very last strike, fans hope for something miraculous, something special. A few times in a lifetime it happens. More often than not, the wind leaves our sails in a hurry and we are faced with sudden reality. It's over.
As this writer commented on another site a few minutes ago, baseball is about failure. Failure is built into the system. Even the best teams rarely get to the feast. Look at all those Atlanta Braves teams through the 1990s. They were clearly the best team in their league year after year. But the best team doesn't always win. The best batters shatter their bat in the ninth inning and send a ball softly to the center fielder's mitt. Ace pitchers give up runs and yes, rookies who had fantastic seasons start games on the wrong foot. As fans, if your team can at least have a chance to make it to the final dinner table, then you are lucky. That doesn't lessen the pain when the season ends suddenly short of the objective. But it's still worth the ride.
It doesn't matter after the fact who failed and who succeeded. It's over. There's no sense in rehashing it or coming up with scapegoats. This writer was always taught that you win as a team and lose as a team. And it really does little good to speculate on whether your losing team was beaten by a lesser club. It's moot. It's over.
While acknowledging facts, there have been victory dances in the past. We share that as baseball fans. Since we know how good that feels, tip a cap to the Tigers' fans who get a little further along in their dreams. Enjoy the ride and enjoy the anticipation. Your season is something special and worth savoring for as long as it lasts. Good luck to you and your team the rest of the way.