I discovered that the MLB AtBat app on my phone is still tuned to a page called “Season Scores.” It is dated Wednesday, October 29 and shows simply, San Francisco 3 – Kansas City 2. Final. SV-Bumgarner. I laughed at the understatement to describe what was one of the most thrilling performances in World Series history. We all know that in the 2014 World Series, San Francisco Giants’ Madison Bumgarner earned a win in each of his two starts (one of them a shutout) then came back on two days rest to close out Game 7 with five dominant scoreless innings. So, yes, MLB At-Bat app. SV to Bumgarner. Thanks for the memories.
The Divisional Standings pages of the app are now just columns of zeroes with teams listed in alphabetical order in their divisions. The magnitude of this clean slate makes me feel anxious because in just ten short days it will start to fill up with the numbers and the stories that will forever become part of the great continuum of baseball history.
It will start and end as it always does and always has. It opens with damp spring evenings and a stinging breeze still carrying that final bite of winter. Then comes the searing sun and the heat so stifling and inescapable that you feel like you are trudging under water. The heat yields to the crisp freshness and anticipation (or resigned frustration) of September. Then those final, dark fall evenings where the football fans have long stopped caring and we begin to mentally prepare for life without them on our televisions, our radios, our phones.
Just for these next ten days the standings remain at zero. At this point, I don’t think that I can bear any more hot stove analyses or predictions or conversations about who has to do what. Nobody knows – and that is why it is so unsettling.
It will take a long time until those zeroes turn in to numbers that mean something. At this time of year my son requests that I give a World Series prediction which he records and presents at the conclusion of the World Series. I generally do not like to do this for fear of jinxing a team, but on his insistence, I gave him my final pick today. Without going into too much detail, I will say that after much analysis I project a certain ESPN National League Team that bears a curly W on their caps. Anyone else care to share theirs?