The Reds are the ultimate tease this year.
We all know better. Still, we allow ourselves to be lured back in with their siren song.
We know we're gonna get smashed to bits on the rocky shore. We know.
Doesn't matter. Show us a little leg and we're right back in there, imagining the incredible long shot just may be within reach.....
We know better. We know Lucy is gonna' pull that football back just like she always does. Just like she's done a thousand times before.
We know. And we still try to kick it.
We can't help ourselves, poor pitiful wretches we've been reduced to.
Our odds of really contending before the Cardinal series were about as good as our odds of hitting the lotto. Our odds of hitting the lotto wouldn't be much different had we never been born. But hey, you can't win if you don't play, right?
There we were, checking the standings, imagining that we still could catch lightning in a bottle, the impossible dream, the year choses you.... yadda, yadda, yadda.
We don't think it could happen, really. We've all read more than enough logical explanations as to why it isn't possible. We all know better.
But there's something about baseball that speaks to hope.... hope that the impossible can happen... hope that the world isn't really cold and cruel and the good guy always wins in the end and David really can slay Goliath. It's our better nature that hopes. It's the ability to suspend reality and imagine the unimaginable that makes us this way.
So, that part of our fantasy life that baseball fuels is allowed to run amok a few days, or maybe a few weeks a year.
It's a good thing, really. It's good for the soul. We hone our hope like a sharp sword on the whetstone of cold, cruel reality as Reds fans. I dread the day that I ever give up hope. I don't care what I know, or what I'm told, or what I see. The day I give up hope is the day I really do get old, and that's a day I'll fight until my dying breath.
I've often heard it said that baseball is a metaphor for life. I believe that with all my heart.
That's why it's not wrong to hope. That's why you're not an idiot when you check the standings until the day you're mathematically eliminated.
That's why you allow yourself to be sucked back in after you're sure it's over, even knowing what you know. It's what makes us human, the denial that the entire human experience can be reduced to a formula.
To sleep, perchance to dream.....