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Over the past two years I’ve learned a hard truth about baseball.

After seasons spent pining for the Cleveland Indians to return to the World Series, they finally got there. I was scared shitless of them facing the Cubs. When they took a commanding 3-1 lead, I was still frightened to my core.

If you don’t know me, that probably sounds like a crock of shit. You probably think I was preparing for a Series win, as my team had an ostensibly insurmountable lead, with two potential games remaining at home. Those that know me also know that I have never once felt good about any part of it. Walking back from the bar after Game 4, I received a flurry of text messages, many of them preemptively congratulating me on a World Series victory.

“One more” is the only thing I knew how to text back.

I am a Capricorn, and though I don’t believe in that either, it’s hard for me to ignore this summation of my astrological weaknesses:

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Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Baseball sucks. That’s what I’ve learned in the past calendar year. It’s a game created to crush your soul, or, as Noah Syndergaard so eloquently tweeted: “baseball has a way of ripping your (heart) out, stabbing it, putting it back in your chest, and healing it just in time for spring training.”

After the Tribe lost in Game 7 last year, I spent a great deal of the ensuing months pondering the Might Have Been. At some point, even that got lost in the shuffle. I stopped caring so much about the fact that we lost, and started worrying more about why it meant so much to me.

Why does this funny game have the ability to make me punch through my bedroom wall in anger, or throw my hat off of my porch and into the darkness of my yard? Why do I spend time setting up a shrine of Cleveland bobbleheads, rearranging their position in front of the television when the Tribe is playing bad?

Much of this is superficial, learned superstitious behavior. Nobody really believes their reordering of plastic dolls that represent real people has anything to do with those players’ performances on a baseball field 1,000 miles away. It’s just something we’ve been trained to do watching baseball: don’t change a thing if it’s going well, and change everything when it all goes to shit.

This past offseason was the first time I really felt something, strongly, for the first time: baseball hasn’t been, and never will be about winning. At least, my relationship with the game is not about winning. It’s not about losing either, as much as it feels that way sometimes. I like baseball because there are 162 games. I like baseball because those 162 games are long. I like baseball because it’s a constant presence in my life, getting me through the spring, summer, and fall. I joke, as many of us do, about the time I’ve wasted watching and listening to baseball games, and what I might have been able to accomplish had I replaced it with some worthwhile hobby: reading, writing, coding, knitting, whatever.

Instead I chose baseball. I chose the Cleveland Indians. I wish I could quit, that’s how I feel today, after my beloved boys lost to the Yankees last night, once again blowing a two-game series lead. I’ve convinced myself I don’t actually like baseball, and the ways it makes me feel.

I hate baseball right now. I don’t plan on watching a single pitch of the Astros-Yankees series.

And when spring training comes around, and MLB.tv automatically takes $100 out of my bank account, I’ll turn that screen on once again, and I’ll see the grass, the dirt, the ball.

I’ll sit back in my chair – the same one I’m writing in now – and I’ll try and remind myself that I don’t even like baseball.

That’ll go well.