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Schadenweltschmerz? How to talk about the end of playoff hopes

It would have taken a small miracle for the Rays to reach the postseason, but it still hurts to come up short

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Some time soon the Rays will be eliminated from Wild Card contention. There will be plenty of time to reflect on what has been a surprisingly rewarding season. We hope the guys continue to play out this last week with gusto so we get to celebrate 90 wins and a final record that would have led several less competitive divisions.

But surely we can take a minute to acknowledge the disappointment that comes when your team is mathematically eliminated.

How do you even talk about this sense of disappointment? Is there a word for “the day your team is mathematically eliminated?” It seems inappropriate to use the real vocabulary of mourning because that seems to trivialize real pain; yet fans may experience a kind of sadness that deserves acknowledgement.

And how better to do that than in German? German is a language meant for rainy days, gray skies and concerns about whether life has meaning. German also allows you to string words together to come up with compound words that express complex concepts.

So, for that pervasive sadness that comes when you realize your season is really over? We call that “Saisonsendeschwermut” or end of season resignation.

The day your team is mathematically eliminated? “Tag Der Widerwilligverlustsannahme.” Day when you reluctantly resign yourself to loss.

Soon, Rays fans can move on to wishing short and embarrassing playoff appearances to the Yankees and/or Red Sox. For wishing ill, I turn to the language of my ancestors, Yiddish.

Dear Red Sox: Zayn mazl zol im layhtn vi di levone in sof khoydesh.

(Your luck should be as bright as a new moon.)

Dear Yankees: Vaksn zolstu vi a tsibele mitn kop in dr’erd!

(May you grow like an onion with your head in the ground.)

And finally, if you are wondering what wine to pair with that elimination day game, we’ve heard that lighter body reds such as Pinot Noir, Burgundy, Rioja, Valpolicella are perfect.

Next year, however, we’ll be drinking champagne.