I used to be a real fan.
I don't know what happened, but I've lost my mojo.
I was a fan's fan. I never missed a game, which is saying something since I live in Maryland, far outside the Tribe's television market, where my only choices are the Orioles and the Nationals. Honestly, I'd rather gouge out my eyes than subject myself to...well, let's just say I'm not happy with my lack of local choices.
You might call me fanatical; I say I'm devoted. Missing any of the action was anathema, a grave sin. I went to confession every day, except for travel days. I was good then.
"Bless me, father, for I have sinned. It has been 18 hours since my last confession. In that time I missed Grady pop out to the shortstop in the fourth, but I've been nursing this bladder infection, and I just had to go. Also, after Jhonny launched another throw into the sixth row, I fantasized that Steroid Pronk pulled Peralta's arms off and beat him to death with them. Was that wrong of me, father? Oh yeah, and I took the Lord's name in vain roughly 57 times. In my defense, that's fewer than yesterday."
I'm pretty sure my parish priests hated me.
When C.C. was traded, I didn't eat for a month. Of course, I'm sure C.C. maintained a stout diet during that troubled time. I think he eats when he's upset.
When Cliff Lee was shipped off, I sacrificed a propitiatory hecatomb of brats and PBR to the baseball gods knowing I must have done something to offend them. Why else would they subject me to these horrors? We went on to just miss losing 100 games. I want my brats and PBR back.
In the off-season something happened, something more embarrassing than talking to one's doctor about erectile dysfunction.
You see, I...I...
I can't stay up for the West Coast games, alright?!
There I said it.
When I was younger, I would watch the 10:00 game, go out drinking afterward, go straight to class from the bar, and do it all again the next day. I wouldn't sleep for nine days in a row. There's always time to sleep in the off-season.
I was in my prime then. Now? Not so much.
That's not to say I don't try. I still tell myself I'm going to make it, but I never do. Maybe it's because I'm older. Maybe it's because I have a wife and kids. Maybe it's because I have a job. Or maybe, just maybe, it's because I'm a weak. I was a great fan, but now, like poor Lane Meyer, I'm nothing more than "a study in mopishness."
I did manage to catch one of the recent games with Oakland. I was so proud of myself for staying up for the first pitch. In all my excitement, I think I fell asleep. I remember waking up and seeing the score was something to nothing. I wiped the spittle from my face, rolled over, and went back to sleep.
There are times when the Tribe is at home or on the East Coast when I can't sleep at night. I lie in bed wishing that they were on the West Coast so I could at least watch a game while I'm awake. Then I ask myself, "Why?" Do I want to watch the game so I can spend my valuable sleep time watching Jhonny boot another ball? Maybe I can't get enough of Lou Marson's dramatic bid to hit .100. Of course, Chris Perez's flowing locks of glory are reason enough to stay awake.
Then it hits me: I might want to use them to help me fall asleep, like 25 little doses of Ambien. I'm not sure. I'll repress that thought until my next therapy session.
Whatever the reason, the baseball gods have seen fit to tax my passion and my patience this season. It's probably because I mentioned that I wanted my brats and PBR back. They're fickle like that. I'll have to find something better to sacrifice to them. But what? I guess I'll have to sleep on that one.