This is an open letter to the very nice Kansas City fan who sat in front of me during the excruciating ALCS Game 2 loss. First, thanks for being a great opposing fan. We exchanged some well intended barbs, expressed mutual respect, we laughed, and above all, we didn’t ruin one another’s enjoyment of the game. But there’s something I should tell you:

I hate your kid.

Don’t get me wrong, you’re raising a good kid, there. His behavior was exemplary. He was a model for what kids at baseball games should be. So here’s the deal: he’s getting what is rightfully mine.

That kid is watching the team he loves advance through the playoffs, and is experiencing, with childlike wonder, all the joys that baseball has to offer. He’s rooting for a team of lovable losers that has become one of the best in the sport. He’s rooting for homegrown talent that is taking the league by storm, and defying the “experts.”

I hate your kid because he’s living my dream, an doesn’t even know it. He’s the have to my have-not. I hate your kid because it hasn’t occurred to him that this ALCS might be furthest his team advances in his lifetime.

And therein lies the 86 years. 86 years famously separated Boston’s World Series championships. When that team won, I thought to myself “oh my God, I might not live long enough to see an Orioles World Series parade.” What a horrifying thought. I was born in 1983, so my entire life has taken place in want of an Orioles championship. My entire adult life was marked by one disappointing season after another.

The 2012 Orioles restored my faith, and 2014 was supposed to be a different year. A special year. It was supposed to be all the winning, hold the soul-crushing defeat. But then your team walked in. And your kid with them. Your overjoyed, satisfied kid. The one for whom baseball is a beautiful game. The one whose spirits are rising as mine are dashed.

I hate him.

 

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