In fact, I’ve been checking the mail the past few days for my 2017 baseball tickets.
I wasn’t a baseball fan at all until 2008. I blame Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Brandon Philips. Until that season I thought baseball was boring, but these guys made the games exciting and fun. I didn’t realize that was possible. I got sucked in. The Reds were still having losing seasons, but they made you feel like success was within reach.
Then came 2010. They went 91-71 that season. On September 28, Bruce hit a bottom-of-the-ninth, first-pitch, walk-off home run to clinch the NL Central title. It was the team’s first trip to the postseason since 1995. When Bruce crossed home plate it felt like a World Series win! It was happening!
They lost the division series to the Phillies. Disappointing, but it still felt like a good season. They were on track for a great 2011. Or so we thought.
But 2012 saw another winning season with the Reds going 97-65. But again, they lost the division series. This time to the Giants.
In 2013 they went 90-72 and lost the wild card game to the Pirates.
They haven’t reached the post season since.
It’s been hard being a Reds fan the past few years. 2014, 2015 and 2016 have all been losing seasons.
They key is to keep your expectations low. Just plan on enjoying the atmosphere of the ballpark, the company of good friends, Friday night fireworks, and a Lemon Chill. A win would just be a bonus.
That was my plan for 2016.
Then they swept the Phillies in the opening series. Next thing you know, after 6 games they were 5-1. Wait a minute. Maybe they’ve got something after all. Stranger things have happened. Expectations got out of control.
Then the wheels fell off.
In the middle of April.
Against the Cubs.
The rest of the season was an exercise in frustration.
Not this year. My expectations are set on low. I plan to keep them that way. I just plan on enjoying the atmosphere of the ballpark, the company of good friends, Friday night fireworks, and a Lemon Chill.
A win would just be a bonus.
At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.
‘Cause, you never know…