5

Fall is here

I was walking around Kensington Market today and I passed Exile, a staple vintage clothing store, where the employees were already setting their Halloween displays up. And it hit me, in that moment, that September is in its final days, which means that October’s rent is only a few days away.

I walked over to Moonbean, a coffee shop in the Market, and a little hipster kid with a trendy moustache in his early twenties was complaining to his friend about the cold weather. I didn’t really enjoy the noise coming from him.

After I paid for my coffee, I walked around and took in the Fall air. I noticed all the patios lacked patio drinkers. But, the crusty punks were outside drinking their tall cans on the corner of St. Andrew & Kensington.

I could tell the summer was gone in that moment. And those crusty punks stand there every day of every month, even if it’s minus 30 because weather never gets in the way of those tall cans in Kensington for them.

It was during my little adventure that I realized that yet another Jays season is almost over. I think it sunk in for many of us when we had to say goodbye to the most likeable, quick-witted manager in Jays history, as he managed his last game in Toronto on Wednesday.

Time doesn’t stop for anyone, not even Gibbers. It continues to push us all along on its conveyor belt. I guess, I’m being a bit reflective in this piece, but that’s because I always get a bit reflective when things come to an end.

It’s only fitting that it all ends in the horror that is the Trop. And against a team that will somehow finish the year 15 plus games over .500.

So here we are today.

Spring sprung with hope.

Summer came with sweat.

And Fall has fallen like this Jays season.

It’s one weekend away from being over again…And, honestly, thank fuck.

It seems like it was only a few short weeks ago that I was writing enthusiastic sentences about the bleak January and February days being over. About those dark morning commutes being over. About those dark evening commutes being over. About the fresh hope for the 2018 season because it couldn’t be as bad as 2017.

It was worse.

So here we all are, waking up to the dark mornings again before we force feed and shower to get out the front door and make our ends meet. But, that’s the way the Earth spins. And it’s spun us here today. And we will all press on in this offseason and continue in our passionate Jays ways.

The Arizona Fall League will be fun. There is a lot to look forward to down there. There’s a lot of Thanksgiving gravy to be had soon, too. And a lot of fun Fall baseball to watch, including a couple of Toronto’s favourite sons, who will hopefully rake the leaves in Cleveland late into October.

Now, clearly it hasn’t been a fun season for Jays fans. And all the ifs that we hoped would break right took a hard left and the season ended up in Palookaville – or Tampa?

The greatest moment this year was delivered in Montreal when Vladdy barreled, I think, a slider off of Cards pitcher Jack Flaherty. And the rest of spring, a loud “call him up” chant rumbled across Canada, possibly shaking the ice that fell off the CN Tower with serious velocity, smashing the Rogers Centre’s tin roof.

The uncle Ted statue wasn’t there to witness it. He disappeared while construction crews improved sections of the outer concourse. But, he returned with all the bronze. Bronze that should lionize the likes of George Bell or Dave Stieb or Joe Carter or Roberto Alomar or, of course, Roy Halladay. Maybe one day…Maybe.

I digress. Remember that epic leak that postponed baseball in Toronto? Symbolism for the season? Maybe…maybe not.

But, you can’t stop Mother Nature.

And baseball will always do baseball things.

Maybe the same way luggage can end up ripping off the finger of a star pitcher. Or maybe the same way a blister will form on a pitcher’s finger from gripping modern day baseballs. Maybe the way age catches up to players faster than most people want to admit. Maybe the way eleventh hour trades sometimes hurt. Maybe the way bone spurs seem to never heal. Maybe the way heroes break hearts. Maybe the way last goodbyes are never fun.

Blisters, luggage, bone spurs, falling ice, broken hearts, age, and last goodbyes. This season has had its share of storms and stories.

And it’s finally almost over.

Godspeed, 2018.

It’s been a hell of a year.

  • Linus Minimax

    No no the greatest moment of this year was when the Tigers had already bounced a pair of bombs off the top of the wall (!), and then Castellanos threatened to permanently rupture my probability gland by launching what could have been his 2nd (!!) and the Tigers’ THIRD (!!!) wallbouncer HR of the game… but Pillar climbed the wall and caught it before it could bounce… or not. We’ll never know!!
    Thanks KEV’’LAR!!!

  • 81Expos

    Excellent writing Ryan.

    I watched the whole “Goodbye Gibby” evening and I am not ashamed to say that I felt a strong sense of melancholy. I feel a but of sadness at the conclusion of every baseball season. Have since I was a little kid. Whether it was my own baseball season or the MLB season I always felt a sorrow for the summer and my beloved sport ending. As a 52 year old man now I think that even though I was not aware of it then I have come to realize that I am mourning the fact that there are a finite number of summers in all of our lives. Summer is permanently stamped into our psyches as children. It is a time freedom and warmth and vacations and carefree living. It is family and friends and swimming and BBQs. They say that baseball is life. I believe that when we say goodbye to each baseball season in some distant part of our lizard brains we know that there are only so many and the loss of each one is more sand through the hourglass.

    Oh yeah … and this season just made it that much more painful. Watching JD leave in an odd , awkward and weird way. Saying goodbye to Gibby. Watching Stroman and Sanchez once again fall short of our lofty expectations.

    But … let’s count the days until pitchers and catchers report ! Who’s got that number ?!