Today is the day. The day that I can finally express my true love. The day that after months my love will finally come back to me. Today is Valentine's day, but fortunately my love isn't going to judge me for the amount of money I spent for a present, or for the flowers and chocolates that I bought her. My love actually happens to be a really easy date. Even if I don't act like I care she will still be there. Doing her thing, trying to get my attention.
It has been a long winter and I missed my love alot. There are things that I could do to ease my pain and believe me they help alot. Over the winter I would often lay in my bed and think about my love, imagining and then dreaming about what the future had in store for the two of us. Often just the thoughts were enough to give me goosebumps.
I could count on the boxscores of the Arizona Fall League, and the thrill of the winter meetings to satisfy my offseason lust. I even experienced some jealousy when seemingly everyone was falling in love with the future of team. By now of course you realize that I am in love with baseball, and more specifically the Kansas City Royals
What can women do when they go away? A love letter? A text message? A phone call to say I miss you? I mean I guess those things have a value. But I want something that shows me that they still are working hard to impress me. I got this when the Royals were represented so well in the Arizona Fall League all star game. I got more of this when the Royals had a flurry of offseason moves, that for once showed a maturity. My love had made mistakes in the past, but she wasn't going to make them again.
I wasn't always so madly in love with the Royals. It started with some flirting. I admit that falling in love was inevitable. My father always was sure to put the two of us near eachother. It was a bit set up. But now I don't mind so much. As a child I would watch highlights of the 1985 World Series and would even defend my love when jealous types would taunt me about a certain moment when she was granted an opportunity that she didn't deserve. I didn't care, because I knew that she had to take advantage for it to matter anyway. It isn't her fault that the Cardinals failed to show up in game 7.
I remember our first kiss even. It was a clear April evening in 2003, with the Royals in first place. The Royals were deadlocked in a battle with the Detroit Tigers and in the bottom of 11th Ken Harvey stepped to the plate. What happened next was a moment I will never forget. I leaned in close and instead of closing my eyes I snuck a peak. She was beautiful there in the night. The white dot of the ball soaring through the darkness. At that moment I knew it was destiny. There is no game-over feeling like that first live walk off homer.
Sure we have had our rough patches, all couples do. There have also been stretches when I was even unattracted to my love, take the entire Buddy Bell era for instance. But I'm sure most guys can say the same about their significant others. Sometimes they get a bad haircut, or gain some weight. But the beauty of the Royals is that I'll keep getting older and they will stay the same age, because unlike women a baseball team doesn't become complacement with the product.
You see a relationship with a baseball team never stagnates like relationships with women. Relationships with women often grow old and boring, but with baseball every spring is going to offer that kick-in-the-gut optimistic feeling that this time its going to be different. What relationship with a woman can do that?
Women can't change who they are. They are either a woman that is conservative or liberal. They are a woman that makes you a sandwich or asks for a sandwich. They are a woman that is willing to round the bases or a woman that isn't. But in the end they aren't going to change who they are.
When you fall head over heels in love with a baseball team and decide that you are going to wear they're merchandise and write about them on the internet, this is considered to be totally normal behavior. But if you fall in love with a woman and you start wearing clothing with her name and face on the front, or start blogging about her you are probably going to be slapped with a restraining order. There is also a good chance that your words will be used against you a court of law.
Look at superfan Chris for instance he followed his love around all summer long and even wore tickets around his neck, he would be looking at jail time had the Royals been an attractive woman. Fortunately for Chris though, the Royals are an unattractive baseball team and he is applauded by the organization for his fanhood.
Or look at Royal Man. You think in any other situation his lover would accept him wearing a cape and spandex on every date? I don't. Luckily though like myself he is in love with the Kansas City Royals. Like Chris the organization is proud to have fans like him.
Perhaps you aren't as obsessive as Chris or Royal Man and you would like to play the field. A baseball team is fine with having you as part of an open relationship. "Go ahead and watch the Tigers or White Sox play we don't mind." What girl would grant guys that opportunity? In the end guys are allowed to look for other opportunities without ruining the one at hand.
Really even when your team goes through stretches when they do everything in their power to piss you off, it is nothing in comparison to those stretches that woman tend to go through once a month. At least when your favorite team goes on a losing streak you still get to see some action. Maybe not a lot of home runs, but they will at least hit singles, doubles, and some occasional triples.
All winter long I have been dreaming about the future, but I have realized that I don't have to wait for the future to enjoy what I have now. It is true that it will probably be a few years until the ring is slipped on to my love's finger, but from now until then I know that we will be building for that moment.
I shouldn't take these times for granted, because some day we will look back and think about how critical of a moment that decision was. Or how awesome it was when my love presented me with Mike Moustakas's first home run. Or Danny Duffy's first win. Or Lorenzo Cain's first steal as a Royal. These are the moments we live for and I couldn't be more excited about what is to come.
It all starts today, on Valentine's Day. Pitchers and catchers report. There is no turning back now.