b and zSo, did you sleep that one off?

When I went upstairs after stewing for a little while about the Cardinals’ comeback win over the Cubs last night, I found The Little Girl asleep in the hallway – she’d set herself up a “bed” made of blankets and a pillow. She looked cozy. At peace.

I lingered in the hallway just long enough to see something wonderful.

She was smiling in her sleep.

Whether she was dreaming of Pedro Strop pitches that clipped the corners or Junior Lake line drives that found grass (or, you know, unicorns or something), it certainly gave me a lift as I considered the prospect of sleeping for a handful of restless hours before having to wake and write this.

I woke up surprisingly refreshed and positive, all things considered. Maybe I had happy dreams, too.

You can wax philosophical about only so many games in the first month and a half of a season before you’ve burned yourself out on meaning and fandom and attitude and all that. There’s little I could say here that I haven’t said in the past week about the Cubs’ performance (last night or going forward), and there’s little I could say here that I haven’t said in the past week about how fans process losses like last night’s.

Still. I have to say something. Even if it’s only for me.

The passion that comes with being a fanatic necessarily supplies an outrageous level of frustration at seeing your favorite team go up 5-0 on the road against THE rival after a rough stretch of games, only to lose that game – after twice blowing huge leads – by a single run. The good stuff wouldn’t feel nearly as good if we didn’t also suffer that frustration. From my perspective, then, it’s OK to be tear-your-hair-out, pop-an-eyeball-blood-vessel angry about last night’s loss. And outside of giving you (and myself) that permission, I won’t tell you what to do with that anger after the first 15 minutes of venting.

For me, something I’ve always loved about baseball vis a vis other sports is the relatively short waiting period between games. Today, truly, is another day.

That’s not Pollyanna sunshine I’m spouting, mind you – I’d be lying if I said my mind isn’t still wandering back to a pitch that could have been better located or a liner that might not have been caught. I’m just saying that, like it or not, baseball will provide fans with a new game today. Another opportunity to be hopeful … then pessimistic. Overwhelmed … then despondent. And, since we’re fans for a reason, maybe a little happy.

Even if, this time, the happiness doesn’t come until after we fall asleep.