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The Most Difficult Thing In The Entire World Is Being A Positive Baseball Fan

I'm not necessarily a psychologist but I think sports fans have their most unhealthy relationships with baseball teams. You can be casual but in this case I'm talking about actual fans. Like if you had to rank the toxicity of diehards, I think baseball comes out on top. Living pitch-to-pitch is no way to go through life, and unfortunately White Sox Dave and I just can't help ourselves. The roller coaster is on full display this week at Barstool Chicago and we credit all of it to the start of the baseball season. 

When Dave and I first began the podcast, the White Sox and Cubs were in opposite directions. Dave was marinating in years of rebuilding while tastefully loathing Jerry Reinsdorf. His apathy was overwhelming and even alarming at times. But could you blame him? Rick Renteria was entrusted with developing his future happiness, literally. Not good. 

I on the other hand was coming off a Cubs World Series. Every night out you expected the Cubs to win by double digits because they're awesome and that's how it worked. This was the new Cubs. 

Next thing you know it's mid-June and I'm starring at a sub-.500 winning record in the 1st half and ready to jump off a bridge. That's when Dave famously volunteered to throw himself off that bridge for me. For my pain. "No fucking way they're this bad man."

They were that bad. 

Up and down it goes. Never did we have back-to-back weeks of me positively talking about the Cubs. Never in the history of Red Line Radio have I been able to project long-term good vibes. It's been a slowly evolving downward spiral since we started the show which is actually kind of depressing to think about. But I will say it has taught me invaluable fundamentals to being a more patient baseball fan. If nothing else that's not too fucking shabby. 

I say all this because the White Sox are finally really fucking good. They're going to smash starting pitching up and down the schedule this year. If they can catch and throw the baseball (I KNOW), then they could win 95+ games with style. That's certainly a possibility. 

But now that they're good, I think it's important to recognize that you'll never be happy on a weekly basis. That's what baseball does to people. It can build these projectable, comfortable expectations that your team will be awesome. And in this case the White Sox are very awesome. But in practical terms, that actually means you're going to be pissed off way more because you EXPECT them to bulldoze people. You'll EXPECT Lance Lynn to shove like he did last night. Your baseline happiness is going to move further down the spectrum and there's nothing you can do about it. 

It took me multiple seasons to get a handle on this. Really the difference between mediocre and division champions is just one win every 10 games. You spread that out over 2 months and you're talking about 4 wins. It's not huge. Borderline unrecognizable on a day-to-day basis so take all this for what it's worth. Maybe you already knew all this shit. 

Personally I think it's absolutely fucking impossible to feel consistently good about my team. And it's not because they're in a re-tool mode or whatever the fuck we're calling it. The fact is this sport does not do well with expectations, so carry them lightly. 

Unless of course the White Sox are facing a lefty. Then pound the run line.