October Baseball’s Emotional Rollercoaster

How’s your mood this afternoon, 18 or so hours after yesterday’s NLCS Game Three loss?

Mine is still bad.

Emotional+rollercoaster+_8bb60080880a1600ffe893b9a80a9efbIt wasn’t surprising I was angry about the outcome of last night’s game when I went to bed, even though it was tempered a bit after watching the Royals win. (No, I’m not a Cards fan who hates the Royals. I was a Cubs fan in 1985. I harbor no resentment, plus love a good story — and the 2014 Royals are a fantastic one so far.)

When I woke up this morning, I was still angry and continued to feel that way on my drive to work. My thought was the mood lingered because I knew I had to face the Giants fan at work — a lifelong, die-hard Giants fan who spent Monday and yesterday being mad about Sunday’s outcome.

Yet even after our talk — which literally was a water cooler conversation since he happened to be filling his water bottle when I was going to fill mine — my mood hadn’t changed one bit. I didn’t want to hear his concerns that Posey, Panda and Pence aren’t hitting — your team won the game! Gift-wrapped by Mike Matheny! And your team has had all kinds of gifts given to them this October — just be grateful!

Those were not my exact words — well, OK, some were, like maybe that last sentence. And maybe it wasn’t really a quiet discussion, since my friend in the office next to mine was laughing when I walked back.

But it’s October baseball.

What else can we do?

The further the calendar gets into October, as the NLDS turns to the NLCS, the intensity ramps up accordingly. Every win is that much better — I still want to talk about Kolten Wong’s homer from Sunday night!

Conversely, every loss is that much harder and more painful. I still want to yell at Mike Matheny, first for taking John Lackey out when he did last night and then for taking Seth Maness out. And for not taking out Randy Choate after he walked Brandon Crawford.

I can’t get the games out of my mind like I can any time from April through September. October games linger throughout the day, or days.

The Cubs fans in the office don’t understand the angst that the Giants fan and I are feeling right now. (Actually, I don’t think the other two Cards fans I work with — both much more casual fans — do either.) Then there are the non-baseball fan coworkers who just think we’re crazy. (Personally, I think they’ve got the problem — how can you not like baseball?)

There really is nothing like the agonizing and ecstatic rollercoaster that the playoffs bring. We know what the ultimate payoff is, and how amazing it feels to watch our team be the champions — that glorious final out, the celebrations, the parade and on and on.

Unfortunately, we also know only one team’s fans get to feel that way.

Yet we wouldn’t trade the October experience for, say, being Cubs fans. Not at all.

No matter how it affects our moods, our work days, our friends and families.

Keep going, rollercoaster. Just keep on going …

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