Halloween Nightmares: The five worst things about the 2013 season

Jonathan Ferrey

To mark Halloween, it seems appropriate to take a ghoulish meander down memory lane, and think back to some of the things from the campaign just ended, which will have you waking up in a cold sweat until spring training.

5. The Kennedy Assassination

There was only one double-digit defeat in 2013, and we had the misfortune to be in attendance for it, at Petco on September 25: I can cope with the ire of home fans, but it's hard to stand their pity. What's worse is, Arizona actually led this in the middle of the fourth, taking the lead on a run-scoring balk by Ian Kennedy. How we laughed... But it was IPK who got the last, best laugh as the Padres scored every time they came to bat after that point, finishing things off with a four-run eighth. This was like being selected to give the commencement speech at your alma mater, only to discover they're laughing, not at your joke, but because you're standing at the podium, entirely naked.

4. Jason Kubel falls apart

Top 10 nightmares and their meaning. #9: Seeing the dead. "In this chilling type of nightmare, you feel as though you are being contacted or approached by someone who is dead. This can either be by someone you know who has recently passed away, or random people whom you feel in the dream that you do not actually know. These types of nightmares can be associated with an inability to let go." Seems an appropriate metaphor for Kubel's 2013 campaign. At least, in the apparent absence of any explanation for the dream where you are seeing, as late as mid-July, the dead bat in the clean-up spot and go 0-for-4.

3. Daniel Hudson's second Tommy John surgery

You're trapped in a maze, and unable to find any way out. It seems like you've been in there forever, and are no nearer making an escape. Then, just when you've about given up all hope, there's a promising path, that seems to be taking you closer to the edge. Following it through twists and turns, you suddenly see an opening to the outside world, and break into a run towards freedom. But a couple of paces from making it out, you trip over a pesky tree-root, and face plant onto the cold, hard earth, knocking yourself out. When you regain consciousness, you're right back at the center of the maze again. Oh, and the layout has changed. Have fun!

2. Almost being perfecto'd by Yusmeiro Petit

Ever dream that you're falling off a very high building, only to wake up just before you hit the ground and are splattered into a million pieces? That's what September 6 was like. Sure, Petit had beaten us five days previously, striking out a career 10, but he couldn't possibly be that good again, could he? The Gameday Thread was an archetype of escalating angst, going from dount to concern to despair to outright hysteria, as we threw everything we had at the perfecto. St. Penelope, ponies, in the end it required the nuclear option of eels that did it. Thank you, Eric Chavez, for saving us from arguably the perfect game by the worst pitcher, in the history of baseball.

1. The Dodger surge.

You know that nightmare you have, where something is chasing you, and you're trying to run away, but all of a sudden, the ground has turned to quicksand and your legs are as heavy as lead? No matter how hard you try, the thing keeps getting closer and closer, and is that... drool on the back of your neck? That's what the middle of this year was like, only we didn't wake up. On June 21, the Dodgers were 9.5 games back of Arizona and in last place. Barely one month and 26 games later, they passed us, and were never in the rear-view mirror again. My fervent whispers of "we still have a six five four three game lead," now seem like the mutterings of a deranged madman.

[Hat-tip to Wimb, whose article on The Tilehurst End documenting Reading's most horrific performances was the inspiration for this.]

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