It’s an odd feeling to be a Red Sox fan this morning. My beloved team has clinched its playoff spot so there’s at least another week of baseball to look forward. Problem is they’re hanging onto their division lead by a thread over the dreaded Yankees. Why do I care so much? The division isn’t really what matters so much. A good friend pointed out to me recently that what really matters is winning the World Series.

And while there is some truth to all that, I’m totally freaked out to read any baseball headlines or look at the slim lead the Sox have. I can’t let go of the fact that we were once 14 games up on New York, but here we are clinging to a one game lead. The old demons are stirring and I’m fearing the worst. Nightmare reminders of 1978 keep popping into my head. I was 7 years old that year and I still remember it well. I find myself saying to myself, “Thank god for 2004. We’ll always have 2004.”

Does the division mean more to me this year than the World Series? It’s probably misguided of me to say so, but I think it does. I’ve had enough of finishing second for 10 years. Of looking up to the Yankees every year. Of worrying about collapsing when the finish line is in sight. Somebody let me know when this is all over. I can’t stomach it.