Dear Future Mike,
It’s me. Well, I mean…it’s you. I mean I am you…from the past. I’m writing this on September 14th and, at the moment, there are exactly 3 weeks (20 games) left in the regular season. With just a game and a half separating the Rangers and the Astros, a massive 4-game series is about to kick off in Arlington. It feels like playoff baseball came early in 2015.
I’m not sure exactly when you’ll be receiving this. It should be whenever it is that the Rangers’s season comes to a close, though I have no idea when that might be. It could be in 3 weeks after a late fade and a fall from contention. Maybe after the Wild Card game or the LDS or the LCS. It could even, against all odds, be after a parade, in which case feel free to disregard this letter completely and go get deliriously drunk.
The point is, you know better than I do how this whole thing will turn out, and chances are it won’t be with a parade. So, while you bitterly watch other teams continue the impossible climb, remember that you were never supposed to be sitting where I’m sitting now.
Remember that Yu Darvish’s season was over in March, after a whopping 12 pitches. Remember that Derek Holland threw just one inning before spending months on the DL. That the team went 7 and 14 in April. That they clawed their way back to .500 in late June, only to lose 7 of 8 as they stumbled into the All-Star Break. That Jamilton, Gallo, Hamels, and half a dozen others weren’t part of the original plan, but have all made meaningful contributions and put the team in position to make a run at the West.
Most of all remember how you felt on September 14th. Remember sitting around all day with that lump in your gut, the same lump from so many October days in 2010 and 2011. This wasn’t supposed to happen in 2015, but it happened. It is happening. Your team is in the thick of it with 3 weeks to go and it’s fun and it’s scary and I feel like I’m going to throw up and it’s all a wonderful, unexpected gift.
I know it sucks that the season’s over, but do your best to keep everything I’ve written here in mind as you prepare for long, cold nights without baseball. The season may have ended in disappointment, like so many others, but you got more from it than you ever had a right to hope for.
And who knows? Maybe you’re reading this 6 weeks from now, sipping champagne and laughing about things that I can’t possibly know will happen.
Either way, press on, Future Mike. Press on.
Winter is over. Opening Day is finally here. It’s been a long time since baseball went away and now it’s back, and the chance to see our guys in a game that counts for something has me pretty excited. Continue reading