I have been a passionate baseball fan my whole life; my grandfather played in the minor leagues, and I was a pitcher through college. I grew up with the Dodgers then gradually shifted my allegiance over to the Indians after we moved to Cleveland.
What began with a glorious, ballsy 30-15 record, ended with the team 17 games under .500 the rest of the way. They had a chance to finish the season at .500 with a win against the playoffs-focused Tigers last night, but they played just well enough to lose - AGAIN.
When the season finally petered out with another come-from-ahead loss last night, I literally felt physically ill. This was a team that had promised much, delivered little, and had gone out with a weakness and timidity that can only be rewarded with contempt. It's the morning after and I still might puke.
Sure, the team was overachieving at 30-15; sure, they had injuries; sure, both the Tigers and White Sox had more talent. But this team had a spark, inspired confidence in its fans after an exceptionally difficult decade of loss and despair, and suffered a collective loss of nerve, heart, and will that I will never forgive nor forget.
Congrats to the Rays and Cardinals for rising to the occasion and clinching their respective league Wild Card spots, and I do take some solace in the September collapse of the bloated and entitled Red Sox (WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP, losers), but this season is a bitter pill I may never fully digest.