Fowles: A Baseball Fan's Guide to Dealing with September (and Hopefully October)

Stacey May Fowles
September 08 2016 11:49AM

Marcus Stroman
Photo credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

One of the fundamental problems with being a human being is how quickly we forget the lessons we’ve learned in the past. You would think that, after what Toronto baseball fans went through last year, we would remember that A) we survived it and B) we should prepare accordingly for the personal ramifications of “meaningful baseball.” We would recall that what transpired a year ago was hard on our psyches, our social lives, our relationships, and our bank accounts, and put measures in place to assuage the pain of the emotional onslaught. Instead, we’re currently trapped on this looping roller coaster of costly baseball feelings and wondering why things seem to be slipping out of our control.

If you’re like me and deeply, and perhaps irrationally invest in MLB goings on, you’ve probably already started to feel like the stress of the game is taking over your life. This feeling has likely been pretty acute for you over the last week or so, when the first place spot slipped slowly and then quickly from our grasp, and a dark cloud of malaise overtook any hopeful glee that was still hanging around. Loving something that hurts you certainly takes a toll, and I’d be lying if I said my laundry wasn’t piling up, my fridge wasn’t lacking in appropriate groceries, and my ability to book non-baseball social time hasn’t been impaired. It would have been nice if at the end of last summer I’d sent a note to my future self that said, “baseball is gonna fuck up your life, get prepared,” but better late than never to try to set ourselves on the right path.

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Fowles: A More Personal Look at the Triumphant Return of Dioner Navarro

Stacey May Fowles
August 31 2016 08:45AM

Dioner Navarro
Photo credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Ten years ago, I fell in love with a person who doesn’t really like baseball.

Of all the possible problematic relationship dynamics, I know that this one doesn’t even crack the top one hundred. In terms of compatibility, I’m certainly one of the lucky ones. Having said all that, this specific imbalance of personal interests has created the occasional conflict in our day-to-day lives. In the marriage of two workaholics, down time is a very precious thing, and because I wanted baseball to monopolize pretty much all of it—whether from the couch or at the stadium—we’ve had to negotiate our fair share of relaxing moments.

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Fowles: Sports Twitter Etiquette (LOL)

Stacey May Fowles
August 25 2016 02:01PM

Baseball Twitter
Image via Wahoo Sam

Now before I start things off I want to say I truly, deeply love Sports Twitter. For someone who, in “real life,” doesn’t have a great deal of sports-watching friends, it has been a real haven, a place to share jubilant moments and lament heartbreaking losses. Freelancing can indeed be a lonely life, and it’s a gift to be connected day-to-day with so many people who love what I love. My curated feed has showered me in memes, and adorable stories, and fascinating opinions. It can, at times, be joyous and exhilarating.

Through the glory of Sports Twitter I’ve met a wonderful group of diverse baseball fans from across North America, spanning numerous allegiances and interests, and they’ve revealed to me the myriad opinions one can have about this game we all enjoy. I’ve found the support and insight of a great group of sports writing women, discovered new opportunities, and learned a great deal about teams and players that were far outside my sphere of knowledge. It’s taught me that people — strangers — can be truly great.

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Fowles: About Last Night

Stacey May Fowles
August 17 2016 12:22PM

Russell Martin
Photo credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Last night’s game in New York was already “officially over” by the time the rain hit. If the weather hadn’t cooperated, they’d have just called it a win for the Yankees, sent everyone home, and we’d all be having very different, very miserable feelings right about now.

When it did start to pour, the Jays were down by five painful runs and hadn’t scored one themselves in fourteen straight innings. The Yankees, a team so many had already written off—including Yankees fans themselves—were suddenly really hard to get out from under. Over two games the Jays offence was freezing cold. Estrada, who has generally been our beloved rock, was giving up home runs in a way that felt like a terrifyingly bad omen. In short, it really sucked.

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We’re Number One/This Is The Worst Part

Stacey May Fowles
August 11 2016 01:25PM

Edwin Encarnacion and Michael Saunders
Photo credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

If I’m totally honest with myself, this is my least favourite part of the baseball season.

Once we crest over the one hundred game mark, settle into the final third, and see October in the distance, I find myself exhausted more often than not. Unless my team is totally bottoming out (or twelve games up like the Chicago Cubs) I have legitimate emotional roller coaster fatigue. I long for extreme blowouts and short and sweet pitcher-driven wins, mostly because I need a reprieve from how much baseball has consumed my entire life since April.

It’s not that I love the game any less in August, it’s just that this is the month where I really start to notice that loving it is a lot of hard work. “It’s early” has aggressively become “it’s getting pretty late.” I resent the way caring about how Baltimore is doing in Oakland has decimated my sleep schedule. I’m embarrassed that I’ll likely sneak into the bathroom at one of my closest friends’ wedding to find out how the Jays are doing in Cleveland. In general, I miss making social plans without obsessively checking the MLB schedule.

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