So. The Red Sox won the World Series. The Red Sox. With John Farrell. In the aftermath, I tried to articulate to a bystander what that means from the Jays' perspective: "For Canucks fans, it'd be kind of like Alain Vigneault winning the Cup with the Rangers this year. Only worse." But even that doesn't really capture it. It's not so much infuriating or gut-wrenching as it is a nod to cosmic irony, the kind of situation that elicits self-effacing laughter. The Blue Jays tried to pilfer a coach from their second-most-hated division rival, only to have him stab them in the back and take the rest of the coaching staff along with him. How cute of you, the universe seems to say, to think yourself so mighty.
In a way Farrell winning was good, because it put all of my fellow Jays fans in their place for the offseason gloating, the premature photoshops Pyrrhic reminders that the last laughs come in October, not March. The Jays lost their coaching staff and tried to make up for it by adding millions in star power, and transformed from a 73-win team into a 74-win team; the Red Sox dumped their stars with their corresponding salaries, replaced them with role players and new coaches, and transformed from a 69-win team into 97-win team. Any way you cut it, the Red Sox came out on top and Farrell got the cherry on the sundae. If anything, this turn of event anoints the Red Sox the new Yankees as the real Yankees' empire crumbles, while the Jays begin to assume the mantle of the pre-2004 Red Sox, all foreboding and doom.
Coincidentally, just for the opportunity to watch John Farrell clinch and edge the knife in deeper, I wound up trading a shift at work. Normally that wouldn't have been such a big deal, except that the particular shift that I took back was on Wednesday morning - which just so happens to be my weekly hangover - and that particular Wednesday just so happened to be the day of our annual corporate audit. As things roll downhill, it all led to me working slightly out of position and out of sorts on our most important day of the year, which may or may not have contributed to my general manager offering me a transfer later that day. Everyone gets traded eventually, or so goes the dictum in sports, including managers, and by the time the Red Sox hoisted the trophy Wednesday evening my mind was on other matters altogether.
And so it's back to square one for the Jays and, just maybe, for me. Re-evaluate strengths. Improve weaknesses. Pursue new opportunites and make difficult decisions about the people you've kept close and your own place in the cosmic scheme. Whenever your head gets too big, the universe will come back and bite you in the ass.