10 games ago, the Pittsburgh Pirates had a record of 54 wins and 49 losses.
They were flirting around first place in the NL Central with the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals.
They had sort of stopped being a joke (hold the Cubs jokes for a minute, will ya?)
If you're a Pirates Fan, you probably had begun to really believe.
Unfortunately, they then lost 10 straight games.
Their record went from 54-49 to 54-59.
They're down next to Cincinnati now, another team that promised glory and looks instead like the Baby Ruth bar in "Caddyshack".
I think there's a few of you who might be able to identify with what that feels like.
It isn't a shocking, swift kick in the nads like an AJ Pierzynski game winning homer in the 9th, and it isn't quite a long, slow bleeder.
It's a swoon.
The parachute didn't open.
And what's awful about it is it's happening in the second half, when things matter more.
It's like you've been sitting in the front row thru 6 innings, and suddenly look up to see security standing next to the people who actually own the tickets, and now you're being asked to go back to your real seat.
Way in back there.
It's worse, I think, with a swoon now rather than in June.
When it happens in June, you get to re-calibrate and try to find joy in the summer anyway.
When you've been strung along and then roll down the cliff, now what?
It's just extra bitter, that feeling.
I feel bad for Pittsburgh because A) the Cubs don't really matter this year and B) Milwaukee and St. Louis do.
Here's my swoon story.
I told you before that sometimes my job will take me to a nice hotel.
Years and years and years ago, I'm at the 4 Seasons in Beverly Hills.
A woman and I get on the elevator, and the door's about to close when another woman gets on.
It's freaking Sophia Loren.
I think she was there doing publicity for one of those "Grumpy Old Men" movies, and while definitely older, she was still freaking Sophia Loren.
When I was in 5th grade I got the mumps.
The lumps in the side of your neck?
It's a virus, and my mom says this, "You have to lie down for a week while you've got the mumps, or else they can...travel...down there."
Which meant the nads.
Now, these mumps didn't really hurt that bad.
The good thing was no school, the bad thing was having to lay down for a week.
So, it's Monday, I'm laying on the couch watching tv, and at 3 o'clock is a local show that featured movies, and it's Sophia Loren week.
I didn't even know who she was (probably you're too young, here's a Sophia Loren you tube tribute).
But at the end of this week I knew lots about her.
In fact, my mumps were awesome.
Okay so back on the elevator I'm keeping it together, not breathing, inches away from freaking Sophia Loren.
She gets off.
The doors close and I didn't care that there was another woman on the elevator - I totally just fell on the floor and made goo goo noises.
2 kindsa swoons - one's just a faint and the other is "to become enraptured".
Just so you know.
She laughed, by the way, that other woman.
Okay, uh, looks like a much nicer day and maybe the Cubs'll get this one in.