(UPDATE: 3/10/10) This morning, SportCenter recapped the Joe Nathan Story. In their highlight package, the first 4 clips were of Nathan beating the White Sox. Yep, real happy he's injured.
Something may be seriously wrong with me.
I shall not tell a lie, when I first read the news this morning that All-Star Twins closer, and long time Sox nemesis, Joe Nathan could possibly be out for the season with an elbow ligament tear, I quietly cheered.
(Do you know what nemesis means...)
Now, Joe Nathan is an enormously gifted athlete. Anchoring the Twins bullpen, he has been chosen to All-Star teams, and led his team to the playoffs. He has consistently been one of the best closers in baseball. I freely admit that if he were a White Sox, I would probably have a jersey with his name and number on it (See: Pierzynski, A.J. Coincidentally, the Twins traded A.J. to the Giants to get Nathan). Were he a member of any other team than the damn Twins, I'd be perfectly fine with him, probably even perusing him for fantasy baseball purposes. Going further, I'm sure he's even a nice guy in "real life," probably spearheading many philanthropic efforts across the Upper Midwest.
But the fact remains, he is a Twin. Every time the Twins have won a close game over my beloved Sox during the past 6 years, Nathan has been the smiling face of South Side defeat. It's the nature of the beast. It's why everyone hates K-Rod. The closers antics on the mound are the last things you see as "your" team loses. By the very nature, the position breeds resentment.
I'm not proud of it. I'm really not. I try to justify my schadenfreude with explanations like "his contract's guaranteed, and, with modern sports medicine, he'll make a complete recovery," but that only covers up for the fact that this morning I cheered another man's pain. It's a funny thing, being a sports fan. A sad, depressing, funny thing.