Commentary

Get ahold of yourselves now, ball fans

Updated: April 13, 2011, 1:29 AM ET
By Duff McKagan | Special to ESPN.com

Baseball season always seems like it takes such a darn long time to start. I'm not sure why it feels this way. In those few months that separate the seasons, all of our teams go back to 0-0 and our hopes for a bigger and mightier team arise again. Maybe that is why that short wait seems like such a long time.

[+] EnlargeManny Ramirez
Kim Klement/US PresswireManny Ramirez let down Rays fans and baseball fans with his sudden, positive drug test-induced retirement.

In the case of the Cincinnati Reds or the Kansas City Royals, who are both off to excellent starts, the wait was worth it. If you are a Texas Rangers fan, the wait also paid off nicely, but the Rangers faithful probably expect dominant starts to a season these days. The Philadelphia Phillies are killing it, too.

Tampa Bay Rays fans must be a little bummed. Their team was the overachieving stars of last year. Not only is the Rays' start to the season a bit alarming, but so is the sudden performance-enhancing-drug-inquiry-turned-retirement of Manny Ramirez a bit bizarre. That sucks … all the way around.

On the flip-side of the Manny-PED episode was a great segment on "60 Minutes" this past Sunday on St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols. What a stud. With all of the stuff he has achieved on and off of the field, he makes me want to re-examine my priorities. My wife was a little teary at the end of the story. So were my dogs. Well, truth be told, so was I.

My Seattle Mariners team got off to a great 2-0 start, but had not won again as of this writing (Sunday). Going from 2-0 to 2-7 is a tough reminder of seasons' past and hopefully not a harbinger of the future for the M's faithful. I will watch, listen and go to games regardless of their record, but hell!

But the biggest early surprise has to be how the Boston Red Sox started winless in their first six games. I've been to Boston many times during baseball season, and on their local sports radio the Red Sox will get scorned after they win a game. I could only imagine the radio-callers this past week. It must sound like a friggin' doomsday prelude. Those fans are passionate, to be sure. Well, at least they took two of three from the Yankees.

But before any of us gets a little too far ahead of ourselves, let's just remember that we are only 10 games into the season. Before we state that the Cleveland Indians are going all of the way, or that the Red Sox are already out of it, let us remember how small of a fraction this first 10 games is to the rest of the season.

Being 0-10 in the MLB is like:

  • Being 0-1 in the NFL (no big deal, right?).

  • Starting a day with a cup of decaffeinated coffee because there was nothing else in the house. Your morning kind of sucks, but by the time you finally get that cup of real caffeine later on the drive to work, your grumpy and groggy morning is quickly forgotten.

  • It's like starting 0-4 in the NBA (definitely a start that a team can easily and quickly overcome).

  • It's like when the first hot girl you ever tried to come on to in high school rebuffed your forward progress (it seemed world-ending then, but we all moved on to the next try, right?).

  • The band U2 didn't start big, but look at them now (is that relative, or in context?).

    A season like the one Boise State had last year in college football, has to be much worse. They were so good, for so long -- and hadn't lost a game in a long, long time -- that by the point they hit that mini-buzzsaw that was Nevada (and losing), there was really nothing that could save their season afterward. All of the other top college teams would've had to lose a game, to give Boise State any hope of a chance at the national title. Of course, a collective collapse doesn't happen there in the top tier. NCAA football is brutal that way. Lose one game, and you are effectively out.

    The Major League Baseball season has so many different factors involved that we often don't really know who is going to be in the playoffs until teams in the AL and NL Wests, Centrals and Easts play their division rivals at season's end. So in context to the rest of these above factors, don't get too up or down about your MLB team yet. We have another 150 games to go!

    Musician Duff McKagan, who writes for Seattle Weekly, has written for Playboy.com and is finishing his autobiography, writes a weekly sports column for ESPN.com.

    Michael "Duff" McKagan, a founding member of Guns N' Roses, writes a weekly column for Playbook Sounds and is a passionate sports fan. McKagan is currently playing in Loaded and Velvet Revolver, is a prolific writer, including an autobiography, "It's So Easy: And Other Lies."