Friday, October 30, 2009

Where did the month go?

It was after I flew home from Philadelphia that morning/afternoon and after I reached my house and wrote the last of my World Series stories when I finally sat down on the living room couch to relax.

The 2008 postseason had been a long affair, but I didn't realize how long until I heard my wife, who was in the kitchen, pouring something in a bowl.

"What's that?" I asked.

"Candy," she said.


"Yes. Halloween Candy?"

"Halloween Candy?"

"Halloween is tomorrow."

Tomorrow? Where did the month go?

That's what happens when the local nine reaches the playoffs and advances all the way to the World Series. The month is no longer made up of weeks, which are made up of smaller units of time we normally refer to as days.

Instead, the month is broken down like this:

Division Series, Game 1, Game 2, travel days, Game 3 ...

Championship Series, Game 1, Game 2, travel day, Game 3 ...

World Series, Game 1, Game 2, travel day, Game 3 ...

There are some off days mixed in between the end of one series and the start of another, and, in the case of Game 5 of last year's World Series, a rain delay that stretched from Monday night to Wednesday night and included a quick trip to soggy Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday.

It can be an exhausting process to follow as a fan. It's an exhausting pace to keep as a writer covering one of the teams, as you move from city to city, taking early morning flights that are so early there is no time to sleep after you've finished writing after Game 2. You file, go home and shower and head to the airport.

I can say this: speaking for both fans and for writers, we do it again in a heartbeat. I know I would.

There is nothing like the postseason in any sport. Remember the Bucs run to the Super Bowl? the Lightning's run to the Stanley Cup?

They are one long roller coaster ride where every win is a great and every loss is uh-oh.

This World Series shifts to Philadelphia for Games 3, 4, and 5, and the writers took a special train from New York to Philly. Lucky them.

And lucky fans, too.

The baseball season is still alive in those two cities and to Yankees and Phillies fans everywhere.

Here? We have the 0-7 Bucs and an offseason wondering if the Rays can retool enough to be a contender in 2010.

We also have the memories of one terrific October in 2008, where every game was either a trick or treat.

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