Thursday, October 4, 2012
Requiem For A Season
It was the summer after I graduated from high school and I had met some new friends who I'd be going to college with in August. These two ladies told me they had a friend from their high school who I just had to meet. Being a 17-year old male, there was always only one thing on my mind anyway, so I was open to the idea.
I had been with a few different girls in high school, but never in anything you could call a relationship. I expected nothing different with this girl. I figured we'd hang out, have some fun and then I'd get on with the rest of my life.
So one Saturday night my high school buddies and I joined my new friends and their friend from high school. In an uncomfortable manner only teenagers are capable of, steps were taken to assure that this girl and I would find ourselves alone.
A funny thing would happen, though. We'd begin to talk, and the conversation flowed. It wasn't the kind of conversation I'd had with other girls. I wasn't just chatting to fulfill a goal, I was talking to this girl because I genuinely found her interesting. Don't get me wrong, I was attracted to her physically too, but I was more than happy to just listen to what she had to say. We actually talked.
We had been talking for an hour and I hadn't even tried to move in for a kiss. Then, out of no where, I found myself asking a question I had never asked a girl before.
"You want to go out some time? I'd really like to hang out with you again."
She said yes, and that date happened. Then a second date -- we went to a White Sox game, actually, and she enjoyed it -- and before I even realized what had happened I had myself a bonafide girlfriend. My first real relationship with a girl.
Eventually I even fell in love for the first time. The relationship lasted for over a year -- an eternity when you're that age -- and it had its highs and lows, with far more ups than downs. When it finally end ed, it ended badly. Small little problems were magnified and blown into huge ordeals and we broke up, with the bad last few weeks of the relationship seeming to outshine all the good times we'd had up until then.
However, after a little time, the bad parts started to fade away, and eventually I looked back on the relationship as one I was grateful to have had.
Is any of this sounding familiar to you?
In 2012 I wasn't expecting much of my time with the White Sox. Maybe a few cheap thrills here and there, but nothing serious. Before I knew it, though, the White Sox were in first place, and they were staying in first place. Suddenly I was in the middle of another relationship that I never expected to have.
The end of this season was extremely painful. Little problems that had been simmering all season long became huge obstacles that couldn't be overcome in the final month, and like the last month of that relationship, those problems seemed to block out all the good that had happened.
Like the affection I feel for first girlfriend, I know I'll feel the same way about these 2012 White Sox. In fact, I probably already do.
Yeah, I'm disappointed with the end. We all are. But this was still a season that gave me more than I ever asked of it. I didn't have high expectations for this year. Frankly, my goal was for the Sox to finish at .500 or slightly better and just keep things interesting for a while.
What I expected was this team to continue to underperform and see players like A.J. Pierzynski and Jake Peavy traded in July for prospects, and for a whole lot of youngsters to make their way to the south side for the final months of the season.
Well, this season had plenty of youth, and the White Sox did finish slightly better than .500, but they also spent 117 days in first place and gave me a pennant race to pay attention to in September. Yeah, that pennant race nearly killed me, but I don't regret it at all.
Now that it's over, I miss it.
So before we bury the 2012 season and get ready for what will likely be a winter of change, I'd like to thank the 2012 White Sox for defying my expectations.
You were more than I expected or even hoped for. May you rest in peace.