It’s 15 minutes into this game and it’s already broken me. The game started off with Randy Arozarena lacing a liner that Hunter Renfroe is able to snare miraculously. So now Hunter can field his position?! It’s like Angels in the Outfield come to life and is happening and instead of Tony Danza getting one last run because he’s about to die, it’s Hunter Renfroe being granted perfection to singlehandedly destroy the Rays for the entire 2021 season.
And if that wasn’t enough, here’s Wander Franco, one of the best eyes in baseball already, taking a clear ball and...well just look at this utter shit:
It was at this point, I stopped watching this game. This isn’t a bit either, where I’m writing pretending to have not watched it. I legit turned on Ted Lasso, Season 2, Episode 3 at exactly 4:25 PM (PST where I am, 7:25 EST).
In season 1 of Ted Lasso there is a discussion of a common European soccer phrase, “It’s the hope that kills you”. More or less, it’s about how having high hopes opens you up to so much pain. If you haven’t seen the show, it’s quite good and I (along with the majority of the internet) recommend it. In the S1 finale, the character of Ted has a good take on that phrase and the general concept of defeatism:
I’ve been hearing this phrase y’all got over here that I ain’t too crazy about. “It’s the hope that kills you.” Y’all know that? I disagree, you know? I think it’s the lack of hope that comes and gets you. See, I believe in hope. I believe in belief.
In the spirit of that, here is what I hoped happened tonight:
I hope that this game went better than the top of the 1st. I hope that the Rays ended up getting some good luck going their way. Or at least not the worst luck possible.
I hope that the Rays gave it a good effort down to the last strike. This was a special team in 2021, and a very small sample size does not change that.
I hope that Nelson Cruz gave the Rays one last highlight before he departs in the offseason.
I hope that Brandon Lowe got ahold of one and reminded Rays fans of all that he has done for this team, and how special he can be.
I hope that October Randy added some more to his ridiculous Rookie postseason stats as next year, finally, he will finally graduate from Rookie status.
I hope that Wander Franco got to continue to showcase how truly special a talent he is to the wider baseball world.
In what might be the last game of Kevin Kiermaier’s Rays career, I hope he gave us one last highlight catch.
I hope the bullpen, a wild and quirky and charismatic collection of talented dancing breaking balls and blazing fastballs, gets to showcase the flashes of why they were the top-performing collection of relievers in all of baseball in 2021.
I hope that whichever young starters get used, like the Shane’s (McClanahan and Baz) and El Electrico, showcase that glimpse of what the 2022 Rays rotation will feature.
A team that dazzled in the 7th inning and beyond with countless comebacks and exciting late inning lightning, I hope there was some more on this evening.
And finally, I hope this isn’t the last Game Diary of 2021. I hope that while I was watching a delightful show that makes me happy, sometimes emotional, and frequently laugh, the Rays gave all of those who did watch a delight.
No matter what, I do believe. I believe this Rays club is special, and much of that is just begining. Whether there are more games in 2021 or we have to wait until Spring of 2022, I have belief in where this team is going.