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The Agony Of Defeat Newsbeat

Friday, November 01, 2019

World Series Loss Brings Astros’ Season-Long Dominance to Staggering End

HOUSTON — Baseball offers no harsher end than a loss in Game 7 of the World Series. You have endured the April frost and July heatstroke, the blowouts and the walk-offs, the delayed flights and the late-inning pitching changes, and you have played as long as you can play. And now you are faced with the most binary of options: win, and float with your friends through the next days and weeks in a champagne-soaked haze, or lose, and descend alone into winter.

Three of the last four seasons have slammed to a halt with this stark contrast, each team’s opposite emotion heightened by the suddenness with which it came. As the 2016 Cubs danced, the Indians staggered through the clubhouse. As the ’17 Astros doused one another in alcohol, the Dodgers wept openly. But on Wednesday, as the ’19 Nationals celebrated a title that even they barely believed had come, the Astros’ response was muted.

The tears were dry by the time the uniforms came off. Houston had just capped a 107-win season with a 6–2 loss, but the mood in the clubhouse reflected more disappointment than devastation.

At his locker, first baseman Yuli Gurriel checked his Instagram metrics. Across the room, outfielder Josh Reddick and reliever Will Harris argued about fantasy football invoices. In the quietest corner of the room, shortstop Carlos Correa and second baseman José Altuve leaned forward in the office chairs in front of their lockers. Between them, on the floor, sprawled third baseman Alex Bregman. In whispers, they discussed the improbability of what they had witnessed: Zack Greinke, seemingly on his way to a one-hit shutout, carried a 2–0 lead into the seventh inning. Then came a solo home run. A walk. A pitching change. Another longball. Two innings later, the Astros watched the Nationals celebrate at Minute Maid Park.

Some thoughts on what it means to lose a World Series, in parallel with the articles on what it means to win one.

 

QLE Posted: November 01, 2019 at 12:56 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, the agony of defeat, world series

Friday, October 11, 2019

Braves loss vs. Dodgers loss: which was worse?

The Braves got shellacked in the first inning last night and lost. The Dodgers took a lead late into the game only to see their manager’s choices and their relief pitchers woof it, sending them to defeat as well.

Which was worse?

Both modes of defeat bring with it a certain form of misery.

For my part I sat, as a Braves fan, and watched my team cough up ten runs in the first inning, secure in the dreadful knowledge that the game was already lost. Most people could just turn it off, I suppose, but I felt it necessary both out of professional obligation and out of a certain sense of, I dunno, mourning, that I had to keep the game on for the next three hours. Because I’m also perpetually online it led to a rather extreme sort of nastiness on Twitter and in comment sections with recriminations, complaining and all other manner of ugliness being hurled about. It was a pretty dreadful experience.

 

 

QLE Posted: October 11, 2019 at 12:24 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers, the agony of defeat

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Braves’ [stuff] doesn’t work in the playoffs, either

The Athletics have been something of a punching bag over the years because executive vice president and president of baseball operations Billy Beane was famously quoted in Moneyball saying, “My [stuff] doesn’t work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is […] luck.”

Since 2000, the A’s have reached the playoffs 10 times. They have advanced into the ALCS just once, in 2006, when they were swept out by the Tigers. They’re 1-6 in the Division Series and 0-3 in the AL Wild Card game, accounting for their last three playoff losses (2014, ’18-19). To call their performance in the playoffs disappointing would be an understatement.

The A’s, however, are not the only team whose [stuff] doesn’t work in the playoffs. The Twins, who were just swept out of the ALDS by the Yankees, haven’t reached the ALCS since 2002. They have failed in their last six appearances in the ALDS — mostly against the Yankees — and lost the AL Wild Card game in 2017 as well (to the Yankees).

A consideration of losing streaks in the playoffs, albeit one that has gone out of date since between when I found it and when I posted it…..

QLE Posted: October 10, 2019 at 12:44 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, braves, nationals, playoff streak, playoffs, the agony of defeat, twins

Monday, September 16, 2019

Tigers lose 104th game, move closer to first overall pick

DETROIT (AP) — In the big picture, the Detroit Tigers are helping themselves with a bad finish to a terrible season.

Edwin Jackson allowed five runs in five innings, and the Tigers took control of the race for the top pick in next June’s amateur draft with an 8-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire isn’t looking at the grand scheme,

“This is a young, tired baseball team that has played a lot of games without much time off, and we’ve got a few more days before we get a day off,” Gardenhire said. “That’s not an excuse, though. We didn’t play well today. We need to be better tomorrow.”

Mind you, many are the #1 draft picks to have marginal value at best, so it isn’t really something to put your hopes in…...

 

QLE Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:29 AM | 92 comment(s)
  Beats: draft picks, the agony of defeat, tigers

 

 

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