PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25: Outfielder Cole Gillespie #5 of the Arizona Diamondbacks runs on the field during the Major League Baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on September 25, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated Giants 5-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
161 games down, only 1 to play. It's hard to remember a time when the baseball season wasn't in effect, but now it's almost over. Put away your gloves and scorecards. No more peanuts, or crackerjacks. Dig out your sweaters, and get ready for months of looking for distraction. After today there will be nothing else to do but stare out the window and wait for spring.
Okay, obviously it isn't over yet for the Diamondbacks. We're between two eras, almost done with the long slog of the regular season, but not quite part of the grinding postseason. We get one month of bonus baseball, hopefully. It's the last gasp of sun before you have to start making other plans.
The baseball postseason never feels very satisfying, regardless of the outcome. We spend six months watching nearly every day, only to have it upended in a couple games. In the regular season no one game really matters too much. It's okay to drop a game because there will be 161 other games to potentially win. At the end of the season wins matter more, of course, but in isolation they do not.
So from the pan we jump to the fire where every game is a must win and three or four losses in a tight bunch will end it all. Does that seem fair? Yes, if you want the season to ever end.
We've had six months to understand the season that was unfolding; who was good, who was bad, what was surprising. We've known when the season would end, and could plan accordingly. Now certainty has been exchanged for uneasiness. It's conceivable the D-backs could bounced from the playoffs by next Tuesday. Or they could keep things going until October 27th.
As I said, we're between two eras. The departing time of the regular season doesn't leave an heir, but a pregnant widow, to poorly paraphrase Alexander Herzen. We don't know what this new, short era will bring. Perhaps it will bring happiness, redemption, and everything we've always wanted. Or perhaps it will be so quick it is forgotten except as a footnote. Either way, we don't have much time to wait.