Swinging and Missing

I’ve written before about my wife’s tolerance for my sports’ watching, which is great. But I guess I (wrongly) assumed she would one day take some interest in the games I love.

Despite coming with me to various Blue Jays games over the years, she has never quite built up an appreciation for baseball. Case in point, earlier this season, before the trades, before the city started to dream of the playoffs, the Jays played an instant classic against the Baltimore Orioles. You can read that link, but it doesn’t really do the game, and the energy in the stadium that day, justice. It had a bit of everything – bad blood spilling over, an incompetent umpire, a near no-hitter, beanings, ejections, and a narrow victory.

While I spent the game occasionally shouting at the umpire and calling for the Jays to throw a pitch at an Orioles batter (which they did!) she spent the game complaining about how long it was taking to finish and asking “what’s happening now?” in an incredulous tone each time a manager came out to argue.

I thought perhaps as Blue Jays fever started gripping Toronto, her interest would grow. But her main concern over the past few seasons was and remains whether or not Muneori Kawasaki is playing, because “he makes me happy” (watch the link and he’ll make you happy too). When I try to explain that he is not a starter-calibre player and it’s actually a good thing there’s no room for him in the starting lineup, she loses interest in that day’s game pretty quickly.

When she is in the same room as the TV or tablet showing the game, she has a knack for paying attention during the oddest moments, looking up from her smartphone game to ask “Did he just say [insert odd-sounding phrase the commentator definitely did not say]? On Wednesday, when the Blue Jays were three outs away from clinching the American League East division title, she was paying attention. She remembers, like anyone from this city remembers, where she was in ’93 when the Blue Jays last won the World Series. She remembers the celebration, but that’s all she remembers. Based on her reaction this week, I guess the celebration is all she’ll remember of clinching the East in 2015.

“How much longer until this is over?” she asked. “I just want to see the celebration. Is Kawasaki there?”

I just hope she gets to see the Jays celebrate another World Series title, even though Kawasaki is unlikely to make the 25-man roster, even if she won’t live through the ups and downs of the playoffs.