One week from today, Labor Day, I could be sitting in Miller Park, in fabulous seats seven rows directly behind home plate, watching the Brewers and the Cardinals in what might have been a very important National League Central Division Battle.
But I won’t be.
I’ll probably be puttering around the house, closing up the pool for the season, or getting in my wife’s way as she grills something fabulous. We’ve both lost interest in the baseball season. We put our fabulous seats at Miller Park for next Monday’s game for sale to the highest bidder, and will buy some expensive meat to toss on the grill, or something.
My wife, as I have mentioned in the past, is a die-hard Cubs fan, and she had a fun season last year. So did I, as a die-hard Brewers fan. Who could forget the last game of the regular season, against the Cubs, with Sabathia on the mound and the win that got the Brewers the Wild Card berth - against the Phillies, who promptly dispatched the beer men and went on to win the World Series. All this, as the Dodgers destroyed her Cubs in the first round.
So we greeted the return of the season this year with an unforgettable trip to Arizona and Spring Training, and that high-angle Cactus League sun stoked our fires in anticipation of the regular season. We spent my 60th birthday at the end of May at Miller Park, tailgating with our kids before the game, and watching the Brewers beat the Reds 5-2.
But by the time my wife’s birthday arrived late in July, the Brewers were on the ropes and the Cubs were playing like dopes. Now, neither team has a realistic shot at the playoffs, and the Cards seem to be unstoppable.
Back when we bought the fabulous Labor Day seats in June, we had it all doped out: it would not only be a pleasant day at one of our very favorite sports venues, but the game would have huge significance: while the Cubs were off in Pittsburgh, the Brewers would be battling the Cards in a game we thought would have a major impact on not only the division race, but on the wild card standings as well.
Not so much, as it turns out.
So we’ll be homebodies over the long holiday weekend approaching, doing domestic tasks at half-speed. I’ll probably turn on the Brewers game for background in the afternoon. My wife will check in on her Cubbies with her iPod as we enjoy the extra weekend day.
But I know, as sure as I’m sitting in front of my computer typing this now, that as we descend into the depth of winter, at some point I’ll say to my wife….”think we ought to spend the money to go to Spring Training this year?”
And I know what the answer will be.