“Do something sweet!”

In the bottom of the 10th, with no outs, Alex Avila stepped up to the plate in today’s match between the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals. As he awaited the first pitch, one man in the crowd voiced the hope of all baseball fans everywhere rooting for their teams at the beginning of the season:

“DO SOMETHING SWEET!”

Avila then bunted, sacrificing himself so Austin Jackson could advance to second. The Royals then walked the next Detroit batter, putting two men on base. Gonzalez popped out, and then Kinsler cranked a single to send Jackson home for the winning run.

Thus Avila did do something sweet, and so did the Tigers, but what is so remarkable to me is how perfectly that anonymous guy in the crowd encapsulated the unbridled optimism of opening week specifically and baseball in general. No matter what the score is, where your team stands, or what point of the season we’re in, this is the hope of the devoted fan: that his team will get out there, win or lose, and do something sweet.

When you pull for the Tigers, as I do, it’s easy to hope for something sweet. They usually deliver. But, if your team (or, as in my case, your other team) is not so hot—the hope is still utterly irresistible. A Denver resident and now Colorado fan, I watched my Rockies go down two nights in a row, but I never stopped hoping that Cuddyer, Tulo, or CarGo would “do something sweet.” Even though they ultimately lost (to the Marlins!), Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki did do something sweet, and gave this fan reason to stand up from his desk and cheer:

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To Avila, Tulo, the Tigers, the Rockies, and the favorite teams of all my friends:

“DO SOMETHING SWEET!”

Happy baseball season 2014.

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