Perhaps the only thing worse than enduring a 12 game losing streak is enduring a 12 game losing streak in Greenwich Mean Time. I say this because, the way the Royals lose, you usually can't turn off the game by the third inning, and--in England--the third inning is usually close to two in the morning. So, by the time Broxton has walked in the tying run in the tenth, or by the time Royals have finally made up the 7 runs given away in the first by Hochevar, you're looking at a clock that reads anywhere between 4:14 and 6:37. The sky outside is already starting to lighten again. I'll swear to myself that I can't possibly keep doing this. The last thing I have to dwell on before sleeping is whatever stupid base running gaffe or pitching change that cost us the one run needed to win.
Then I would do it all again the next night.
My school schedule here actually allows me to be a night owl with impunity, so it's not the end of the world. But, 'Royals Lose' is pretty unwelcome accompaniment with the dawn.
Things get pretty emotional. At this point, I'd check in here (I've only recently joined, but I've read for some time) or other blogs to find some sort of statistical salt to pour in the wound, or a BABIP bandaid to make me feel better. But, most often, the statistics are subject to the emotions of the previous game or most recent trend. Over at Royals Authority, Craig Brown recently published an excellent article about Hochevar's slider, its release point and the correlation to his success from last season and his struggles from this one. In essence, when his release point is lower, it is more successful. The second half of last season, it was; in this season, it's been higher and consequently ineffective. It's a brilliant post, but it's counterpointed by emotional reaction. Before, the data was portrayed optimistically: the success is statistically verifiable, and consequently he has 'turned a corner'. Now, the same data shows why he 'is doomed forever to suck'. It would be pretty easy to use Brown's data and say, 'Well, we know the problem! As soon as Luke fixes his release point, he'll be effective again!' The data can be spun either way (though certainly some ways are more accurate than others--personally I favor Brown's recent interpretation, that Luke is an inconsistent pitcher), but usually either perspective usually follows a positive or negative outing from Hoch--may God have mercy on his soul.
The point here is that I'd loved amateurishly inserting myself into various fan communities with saber penchants, but--ultimately--we are still fans, and fandom is still subjective and emotionally driven. Sometimes, I just use statistics to confirm my prima facie hatred of Yuni Betancourt and my conviction that Eric Hosmer is a pretty good ballplayer. Perhaps I can delude myself into thinking I'm a mathematically oriented fan, but I shouldn't delude myself out of knowing that being a fan is fundamentally an irrational practice.