Last Sunday Hell Kitchen "HK" lost two painful late inning Big Apple Semi Final playoff games to Saphire. On September 13th, the day of the Big Apple Championship in Central Park there will be No Softball for HK...No Championship..... No Anticipation. No Excitement...No Drama. Nada............ Only emptiness. Rather than lacing up our cleats and putting on our gloves we will be sitting on our couches holding our remote control and channel surfing all the NFL games trying to keep tabs of our favorite teams and fantasy football rosters.
Like I said Empty.
NFL Great Shannon Sharp once said "losing hurts more than winning fells good" and those words always rang very true to me. Especially now. This was a painful loss for many reasons for me personally. I put a lot of time, effort, sacrifice, commitment, unselfishness into this team. To come up short at the end sucks. It hurts. We had a good team but failed. This loss ranks up there with other heart breakers I suffered like:
(A) 2005 Highlander Loss to DEA in the EMS league - we were on out away from making the final four and came up short
(B) 2004 14 Inning Inwood Championship Loss to West - great game.... but bad loss
(C) 2005 1st Round Gallagher Playoff Loss to Diesel on a team where we had Murphy and Castillo as pitchers. Very disappointing
(D) 2005 Wall Street Championship Loss where we, Merrill Lynch, blew a 2-0 series lead to Morgan Stanley and in game 5 imploded with a team fight amongst ourselves. Ugly
Losing a heartbreaking series or game makes me ask myself what makes a loss painful?
Top Ten Factors that make a Loss Painful
10. Money - Loss = No Cash
9. Friendships - you feel bad for your teammates, managers, and all the guys who put so much into the season.
8. Losing to Inferior opponent - When you lose to someone you know your better than or know you can beat that will stick in your craw for a very long time
7. The Finality of it All - Poof!!!!!!! It's over
6. You left something out there on the field - Knowing you didn't play your best or weren't aggressive is a terrible feeling to carry with you.
5. Blatant Bad call by ump - This is totally out of your control and leaves you feeling helpless and robbed
4. Managerial Blunder - Hindsight is 20 20 vision
3. Performance Failure - No one to blame but yourself.
2. Blowing a Big Lead - It's like Chinese water torture.. a slow painful death
and the Number one Factor that makes a loss Painful
1. You Care .... probably too much
Final Hell Tidbits
I would like to sincerely congratulate the entire Saphire team specifically Jeff Marcus, Rob Ross, and Charlie Glorioso on there well earned victory. They were Hungrier than we were and I wish them good luck in the Finals against Choice Parts .... The series changing play was in game one when Saphire 2nd baseman dropped a pop up with a man on 1st, the 2nd baseman then compounded his error by over throwing the shortstop in an attempt to get the force at 2nd, however disaster turned into a positive for Saphire when their starting pitcher backed up the play and gunned out the runner as he rounded the base too far. If that play isn't backed up or the runner at least stays on the bag game one would most likely have ended differently. Little things like that add up ... Saphire rallied from an 8-1 deficit in game two to win the series ...... HK 2009 MVP in my opinion was Edgar Gonzalez Junior. Edgar proved a lot of skeptics wrong this season. He has had a checkered reputation in the past but he changed that this season. He did everything we asked of him and more. he played hurt, showed up every week, and rooted for teammates. Some people didn't want him on our team, but Angelo and I vouched for him and he really came through all season. He might have made his mistakes in the past but he made the most of his 2nd opportunity this year and deserves to be acknowledged. .... After the game some people asked me about "Next Year" and to be honest its way too soon to even be thinking about that .. way too soon .. They say time heals all wounds, but some scars are forever.