Never thought I’d call an August win over the Royals “big.” But, there it is, in black-and-white.
I know it’s been a while but my absence hasn’t made me crazy. I was in Phoenix last week reveling (and crying) in the Rays’ west-coast swing. The four days in Anaheim were so good I couldn’t offer any analysis to improve them. I was also terrified about last night.
I was scared for a few reasons. First, the last time I wrote something positive about the club…well….you know what happened. Second, we were 11-16 against the Central entering last night’s game. If we played those teams like New York has played them, we’d be tied for first. But, most importantly, I was terrified because the flight from Anaheim to Tampa is long, the arrival is late, and yesterday felt like a prime letdown opportunity.
I absolutely expected our young, boisterous bunch to have spent all 5+ flight hours celebrating a huge weekend sweep in Anaheim. I expected them to come to the yard hanging pretty hard after that all-nighter. I expected a thin crowd (it was Monday, it was Kansas City, it followed a west-coast swing that feels a little out-of-sight-out-of-mind, it was the first school night of the year for most of the market, and we were expecting thunderstorms). And I expected them to be overlooking the lowly Royals.
I have no idea how to research this but, based on my memory, we have never won that game in the history of the club. They should put that ball in a trophy case somewhere. ‘First Win After a Long Flight in which the Players Were Definitely Drinking and/or Celebrating.’
Kidding aside, that seemingly meaningless win might be evidence of maturity. We’re in the home stretch here (we’re at least at the final turn) and the stalking horse act needs to end if we’re going to make a run. We cannot afford to lose winnable games at this point in the season and last night was proof that our boys recognize the importance of this opportunity.
So, yeah, beating Kansas City at home on a Monday is a big win. Strangest sentence ever.