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Fan Confidence: All of This

One day I hope to wake up and have everything I always wanted.

A new car? Sure! Time to go to every sporting event I like, and see all of my friends, and write an award winning novel? Of course! The safety and good health for the people I love? Why not! If you keep dreaming, then anything is achievable, right? There's nothing wrong with a little fantasy every once and awhile.

Reaching the playoffs was a dream for the Diamondbacks this year. No one thought they'd be playing meaningful baseball in October. But as the season changed, so too did our expectations. We saw a winning season, a division championship, a chance at home field advantage in the playoffs. We drew the Brewers, and we thought, "whew, it's not the Phillies." It's quite a lot of success in a season we had no hopes.

I'll admit that when it seemed likely the Diamondbacks would win the NL West, and win about 95 wins, I started having visions of the World Series. There are certainly superficial parallels to the 2001 team, but this team really isn't like that one. In 2001 we won with 2 of the most dominating pitchers of their era, along with a collection of good veterans. This year we pieced together a team behind 2 very good, young pitchers, and had a collection of developing great players and guys playing well enough.

Perhaps most crucially, the 2001 team won a World Series. It now seems likely the 2011 team will not even be given the opportunity to play for the opportunity to play for the World Series. How's that for a mind twister?

I should be satisfied with the team has accomplished so far, but I won't be. I'll always want more. Even if they were to win this year, it's a prize that will fade away quickly. In a few months the team will reconvene for Spring Training and what happened in 2011 won't matter anymore. I'll still be hoping for another World Series.

Why do we put so much value in the championship? The Diamondbacks had a great year. They've exceeded expectations and played exciting baseball. We were entertained nearly every game. Yet it the team doesn't win it all, then as far as anyone is concerned nothing happened. Win it all, or win nothing. It won't be good enough that the D-backs won their 5th division title. It won't be enough if they even won the pennant. Win it all, or win nothing.

All of this won't be enough, though. Even the Yankees, the most charmed baseball team, can only be happy a 1/4 of the time. The vast majority of their existence has ended in disappointment. For anything you'd say, "move the goalposts, change your expectations." And in anything else you'd be right. We all want more than what we have.

One day I hope to wake up and have everything I always wanted. It hasn't happened yet, but I'll keep hoping.