It’s Sports Wednesday today, and I have been thinking about the playoffs. More specifically, I have been thinking about baseball playoffs, and it makes me kind of depressed this year. Depending on the sport you love, the specific weeks each year leading up to the playoffs are exciting and special, especially if your team is in the hunt.
If you are a hockey fan, late March and early April can be stressful. Same thing if you follow the NBA. For football fans in the United States, December is a key month. If you are a fan of the Canadian Football League (CFL) that feeling of playoffs fever starts to rev up in October.
I love sports, and as I have written before, I am a huge baseball fan. Over the winter, I count down the days until spring training begins. I like to watch as many games during the regular season as I can. For me, each game is exciting.
But as every day passes during the long baseball season, which runs, from April 2 to October 1 in 2017, my excitement grows. I remember listening and watching the Blue Jays’ first game of the season, back on April 3 in Baltimore. The play-by-play team was already talking about the playoffs. It’s on our minds from the moment the first pitch is thrown.
If your team wins the first few games of the season and sits in first place, you start to dream about the playoffs. Could my team make it all the way, you ask yourself. Will my favourite player win the batting title? My favourite pitcher got a shut-out in his first game, so could he be up for the Cy Young Award this year?
As the season rolls on, from spring into summer, we all start to discuss the prospects of our favourite team making the playoffs. If you are a super-fan or an encyclopedia of statistics, you start to calculate the various scenarios that will either put your team or keep your team in the playoff hunt.
When we hit September, there is a special feeling in the air for baseball fans. Playoffs fever is in the air. A single pitch or at-bat can change everything. One loss or one win can be the difference between playing golf in October or going to the World Series.
That is, if your team has playoffs prospects. I was lucky the last couple of seasons, in 2015 and 2016, when my Blue Jays were deep in the playoff hunt. Our family didn’t miss a game. When I watched each day my heart beat so fast that I couldn’t sit still. I was torn because I didn’t want to miss a moment of the game, but if the Blue Jays were on the brink of losing a game I just couldn’t watch.
It was stressful, but oh was it exhilarating.
But not this year. The Blue Jays have had a rough season. This September they are focused on finishing off strong and looking ahead to next year. I will still watch they play and cheer them on, but that playoffs fever is just not there.
I am looking around at the other baseball teams in contention, and my mind quickly switches to the National League. Go Cubs Go!