I am a San Francisco Giants fan. For about four years now, they have been a terrible baseball team.
Then this year, they seemed only mediocre. And after almost two years in Sweden, I have started missing American stuff. For instance, I am eating oatmeal every morning, something that I have not done since I was, oh, seven. My peanut butter consumption has skyrocketed.
And I have decided to focus more. I want to go deeper into styles of music, to read deeper into authors, to really watch one baseball team, instead of taking the random smattering of ESPN America.
What do I care about the Milwaukee Brewers?
So I signed up at mlb.com to get every game streamed into my computer, both TV and radio. The games are all archived, but, see, this was the beauty — West Coast games are still playing when I get up early in the morning in Sweden with my two kids.
I love listening to baseball on the radio. And watching the ninth inning of a close game is always fun.
I remember standing outside in the Balkan winter to pick up scratchy in and out NFL playoff games from Armed Forces Radio. This internet thing is … well, revolutionary.
But there is a hitch. I am cursed. Forget Boston or Chicago that have or have had cursed teams. I am more like Cleveland or Seattle, cursed cities that never ever see a championship (and get no press for it either). And I like teams from Buffalo to San Francisco in four sports.
I signed up at mlb.com though, and the first day I got up at 5:30am and watched the end of a Twins-Tigers game. My parents are from Detroit, and I like the Tigers, even if they are not my team.
What happens? Some guy hits a walkoff grand slam for the Twins in the 13th inning.
Then I started watching Giants’ games. They are 1-5 since then.
And I missed the victory.
I saw the bullpen blow huge leads against the Mets. I saw starting pitchers get rocked. I saw lots and lots of weak pop ups and double plays from my weak hitting team.
And the last two mornings I have woken up only to watch some burly no name (yes, I know he is perfect his year, but so what, it is May) from the San Diego Padres – who are terrible – blow very fast but not unhittably fast fastballs past every Giant. It is like me in the 3rd grade out there (hint – I was hitless that year. I got better in the 4th grade).
I want to throw the computer against the wall. I am subjecting my children to borderline language and defeatist attitudes, and first thing in the morning at that.
Why do I watch?
I want to apologize to all San Francisco Giant fans for the recent losing spell. Maybe I should cancel my subscription or let it run out after a month.
But I have this craving for baseball. And I want to again get to know one team really well, like when I was a kid in the mid-80s.
And the Giants sucked then too.