Thursday HaloLinks: 2012 MLB Playoff Status Report

The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

How one man is forced to face the fact that when his own team is not in the playoffs all that is really, honestly, left is to extract joy and humor as his foes fail in battle.

I sat back up on the couch a complete mess, as my therapist handed me a box of tissue to clear my raw eyes and running nose.

"I can say without any reservation, Stirrups, that you are one seriously disturbed human being."

"Thanks, doctor, but I do believe that the courts made that perfectly clear last year. Nothing new there."

"Whatever. My secretary tells me that we do still need to get some notary work done on your mortgage transfer to pay my fees, but I know I can help."

"Sure…sure….how’s my first-born working out, by the way?"

"Never mind that. I want to review with you your inner turmoil. We need to cleanse your karmic balance sheet so that you don’t carry this debt out into eternity. If we fail here, you will be suffering for lifetimes to come. And that’s a lot of baseball!

"First and foremost, it is painfully obvious that the only reason you follow the playoffs at all is to derive a perverse sense of joy out of every little failure on the playing field."

"Yeah. So?"

"That’s wrong, Stirrups. Marco Scutaro is a feisty and plucky ballplayer and his playoff success in the face of tense and challenging situations should be celebrated. Just because he has always been a pain in the ass towards favorite team doesn’t mean you should smile when he gets clocked by Matt Holliday. And you shouldn’t be focusing on how much more delicious it all is because it was Matt Holliday, whom you think is a knucklehead anyway. And you shouldn’t be cackling inside as the managers and players go back and forth bickering about unwritten rules and crap. No. You should be concerned for the welfare of a fellow human being. He might have gotten a boo-boo or something. Then how would you feel?"

"Pretty damned great, actually."

"No! You feel empathy. You hurt for him, and wish for him to overcome all obstacles and limp back out onto the field and inspire little boys and girls everywhere and teach them that nothing is impossible. Not even Scutaro becoming a good baseball player. Eventually.

"You do realize that Scutaro in the lineup means absolutely nothing with respect to the outcome of the 2012 playoffs, right?"

"That’s not the point. The playoffs are about Great Human Drama unfolding before our eyes in real time. But all you are getting out of this inspirational moment in history is how much fun it is that Curtis Granderson is 3 for 29 in the playoffs, with 15 strikeouts...."

"Is he available?"

"...You cheered when the Legend Of Jeter was wrenched from the loving breasts of Yankee fans everywhere…"

"Yeah, well, it was probably because he failed to treat an earlier injury so I couldn’t care less about the MFY story book version."

"No? Truly? We’re talking Mr. Baseball here, Stirrups. A good man and decent human being. And a guy who always thinks of others."

"Yeah, doc, I did notice that lovely gift basket you keep on the side table, there."

"Let’s move on. Why do you think it is that you took delight in the fall of the Nationals?"

"Because Bryce Harper is an assclown? Because Buck Showalter had his pitchers throw at Angels hitters when he managed the Rangers? By the way, if Jeter isn’t calling any more I hear A-Rod has some time on his handsbut you better hurry because a line is starting to form!"

"Why do you smile as Texas, the Baltimore, then Oakland all collapse?"

"Uh…because every one of them kept my favorite team from these playoffs, where all the teams that are playing would have been clocked by my team and we would have cake-walked to another World Series title!"

"Wouldn’t you rather see Miguel Cabrera rise to heroic levels? Isn’t that what should be your interest rather than how he is batting in the playoffs 40 points below his season average? You should applaud at his record LCS hitting streak, for example!

"Have you listened to what Handsome Dick Manitoba has to say lately? And Doc, it's a lot better..."

"...worse..."

"...than you expect. Last night I was giggling uncontrollably at the thought of Bud Selig's misery should the Cards and Tigers both get to the World Series, and those rain outs become chronic with some mid-west storm. Imagine Selig being forced to choose between postponing the World Series until the Spring thaw, or move it to Miami where the home fans are shut out and baseball is such a huuuuge draw!!"

"You are spending all your time on these playoffs pulling for tragedy, hoping for failure, worshiping the misery of others."

"What’s your point?"

"The point is that you only do this out of spite and jealously. This is why all the fans of the other AL West teams hate on the Angels: because they have been so successful. Nobody cares about the Padres. Nobody cares about the Astros. Why not? Because they don’t matter. The Angels matter and people care, and a lot of them care to hate. You care to hate on the playoff teams because they were successful and your team was not. That road leads to a very dark place."

"Look, Obi-Wan, I am not alone here. The whole world celebrates falling down. In fact, we glorify he who falls down the best."

"Not funny, Stirrups."

"Yeah it is. And it's even funnier with Legos! Sorry, doc, but I gotta jet. I have to get cranking on the Weekend Halolinks!"

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