This is where I wound up last night after Cal's 8-1 loss to Virginia and elimination from the College World Series. No, I wasn't there to drown my sorrows, just havin' a couple of beers with a friend. I'm not that serious a fan, and, besides, Cal has nothing to be ashamed of. True, they didn't play their best ball last night, what with the spiked pitches and botched plays, but the season was still quasi-miraculous and a hell of a lot of fun to follow here on this blog.
In the end, the essential story is this: A team that was to be eliminated as a varsity sport at Cal ended what was nearly its last season tied for fifth in the nation. They lost some games, sure, but they were never really beaten. And, thanks to donors, Cal baseball was reinstated for at least another seven years.
My six-year-old daughter sat on my lap last night as we watched the Bears suffer their final out. "Did Cal lose?" she asked.
"Yep," I said, "That's the end of the road for Cal."
"But they get to play again next year, don't they?"
"Yeah, they do," I said, holding my hand up for a high-five. Indeed they do.