Baseball, for the people who read this site, is not a casual affair. It isn’t a dalliance. It’s love. And every team, or at least every core group of players, is a new relationship.

For a long time, we had the kinds of relationships that are doomed from the start. Sure, there were nice moments, but you knew it wasn’t going to work. There was too much wrong. You weren’t compatible. This was a decade in the life of a Reds fan.

But lately, things have started to change. You go into spring thinking, “Hey, this might be it. This might be the one.” Maybe there are a few missteps at the beginning. You overreact a little bit when they’re a few minutes late to dinner. But it’s pretty clear that this is serious, so you keep at it. Months go by and you learn about each others imperfections and they aren’t deal-breakers. This really seems like a good thing.

And then something happens. You find out something they didn’t want you to know. Or you have a massive fight and it’s not about something trivial. You’ve invested a lot and you find yourself alone for dinner and it hurts.

And part of you wants to pick up the phone and say, “Screw this, I’m done.” Part of you doesn’t want to give them a second chance. But there’s another part of you who remembers how nice the last six months were. How much promise there was. That can’t all be a mirage can it? And so you have to decide. Do you pack it in and move on or do you go another round?

This hurt. The way the Reds lost this series is especially painful. It hurts more than it would have if they hadn’t started so well. This wound is going to take a little bit to heal. But I know what I’m going to do.

I’m going to take a couple of days off. I’m not going to read about baseball or think about baseball or tweet about baseball or write about baseball. I’m going to finish a book. I’m maybe going to work on a short story. I’m going to watch a movie with my wife and visit the forestry near by to watch the leaves change.

And then, in a few days, I’m going to come back and I’m going to start thinking about next year. I’m going to acknowledge that I love the core of this team like I haven’t loved a team since I was kid.

No, they aren’t perfect. No one’s perfect. But they’re close enough. I can forgive this heartbreak.

(Note: This, like all of my more sentimental posts, is cross-posted at my personal non-baseball blog.)

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing atΒ Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel,Β When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

Join the conversation! 14 Comments

  1. I’m going to root for the Nationals (or Giants or AL team – whoever can eliminate the Cardinals) and cheer myself up by watching The Big Bang Theory.

  2. The mods are great !!!!!!!!!

    Almost all of the folks who post are sane and positive and very knowledgeable fans. Thanks for all your great comments.

    Dusty makes some bone head decisions but we should not underestimate his people skills.

    This team is tight and they love each other. Dusty is responsible and as much as he makes me scratch my head, I hope he is back next year.

    Great season and better days ahead.

    Hope the Nats or Giants beat the WLBs !

  3. Well said Jason. I love this team too much to quit, or to let whatever happened this week change that. @redsfanman, I prefer Whose Line is it Anyway? at times like this. Although TBBT works too.

  4. I am going to reduce my sports intake to WVU football games and chilling at some nondescript Morgantown bar watching college football. I’ll be waiting for my 2013 tickets are now on sale email to come in while I occasionally check to assure myself the Cardinals don’t make it out of the NLDS. I honestly forget what I do when there isn’t a baseball season happening, but I guess it includes a lot of cold, dark days, a Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas shopping, and a painful wait through January and February with college basketball to ease the addiction. I wrote a piece for myself on what Reds baseball means to me, but for now I’ll just forget the Reds for a day or two, unfollow the Reds-based Twitter accounts for a week, and let the hurt go away slowly.

    This hurts. We move on. Good season.

  5. I am sad but still proud of them. I’ll be here next spring with new hope and anticipation. Thanks for the positive comments.

  6. I was born in September of 1977 twenty minutes from Riverfront. The Reds were the reigning World Champions. On 9/11/85, I remember screaming at the top of my lungs while my dad cried in front of the TV when little Pete came out to hug his dad. In early 1990, we moved to Arizona for but one year (of all years!). . . In 1995, I watched Reggie Sanders earn the Golden Sombrero against the Braves in the playoffs. In 1999, some college buddies and myself left campus after getting some tickets and made record time (3 hour drive in 2 flat) to get to the stadium to watch Leiter and Alfonzo and the Mets (Steve Parris?) dash our hopes. However, the next spring, my fiance and I travelled to Sarasota to watch our first Spring Training. The day before we arrived, Jr. pulled his hammy.

    As a fan, I have enjoyed promise and endured promise lost. From Halladay to Leatherpants to record strikeout seasons to inexplicable veterany-decisions by a manager whose name I shall not utter, I have always remained a steadfast Believer. After all, at least we aren’t the Cubs (right?). . . However, I have to say this one hurts. . . really bad. Now that I have children, I realize that I am responsible for the fact that I have also infected them with Belief. All three of them have been sporting their gear and watching the games all summer and fall. After some explanation, I noticed that they weren’t too torn up about the end of the season. It turns out that they have a much better perspective than I do. . . . I realize this when my oldest asked me, “When does spring training start?”

  7. From a Giants fan —

    Just want to say thank you for a great follow throughout the season and this playoff series. Don’t know how theysnuck out with the series win but your team scared me like nobody they have ever faced. I think the Giants just beat the best team in baseball this year.

    It’s difficult to find a site for your own team that understands baseball and doesn’t fly off the handle with every move and I was lucky to find this site earlier this year. I have secretly rooted for the Reds due to this site until this week of course.

    Congrats on a great 2012 season and wish us luck the rest of the way.

  8. Thanks, Jason. Bravo.

  9. @sfgiants061: As you see … we’re really hurting right now but good luck to the Giants. I will be rooting for your team especially if they are playing the WLB’s in the next round

  10. I had a nice long drive with my wife last night to and from Cincy (not game related) and we both discussed the season at length. The one thing we both came away with from our talk was that through the walk off HR’s to the torn meniscus heard round the world, we had a whole hell of a lot of fun this season. I don’t know if any other team could have provided as much fun for its fans as the our guys did. There was no 12 game losing streak in the middle of the season to make you scratch your head, there really weren’t even any 3 game losing streaks until the end; it was just a dang good season and I am completely satisfied to have been able to be part of the enjoyment. Now its time to relax, maybe gets some things done in the evening since baseball isnt #1 right now, and start building up some anxiety for this coming spring!

    This was my rookie season here on Redleg nation, and what a good time I’ve had on here. I live in St. Augustine Fl. and have very few friends who care to talk Reds Baseball with me. So this has been a good outlet to interact with fellow Reds fans. Thanks to everyone who helped make this a memorable season with all the chatter and crying and moaning and jumping for joy. Lots of Highs and a few lows. Its funny but all the things we worried about came true these last two games. Dusty’s decision making, Hitting with RISP, and Scott Rolen!
    Now we know what it gonna take to go deeper into the playoffs. We have a team that should be better next season with a few tweaks and turns. I can’t expect the same healthy rotation we had this season (once in like a hundred yrs) but on the flip side I expect a much healthier Joey Votto. Bruce should be less streaky (he’s a year older) Stubbs should be gone, and Rolen should have a much smaller role on the team.
    I will now decompress and sooth my wounds and hope I can watch baseball again by the time the WS rolls around. I look forward to my sophomore season here on Redleg nation. I just hope I can avoid the Sophomore πŸ™ jinx!
    GO REDS!

  12. Jason, this is exactly how I’m feeling, expressed much better than I ever could. Thank you.

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  14. Hi! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok.
    I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

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About Jason Linden

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing atΒ Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel,Β When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.


2012 Postseason, 2012 Reds, Baseball - General