Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Delayed Reaction Redux

Just got back into the city after a quickie trip to the Caribbean, I therefore missed the matchup that DJ mentions. I'm Gagne vs. A-Rod naive and therefore can see Yanks-Dodgers this October, from Box 322 (between 3B and Left) without feeling like I've been robbed by the Car-Dealer (which, after all, is what Selig is). And I can assure you that the restocked Yanks (Crazy Eyes Killa healthy, Freddy Garcia?,Carlos Bel..oh you know what I mean) won't suck ass against this team the way our boys did this past weekend.
But the point is to argue and respond, so that's what I'm going to do.
I've been a baseball fan all my life, yes that's right, I was born with one of those little batday bats in my hand (sorry Mom) and I have it on good authority that when the Doc smacked me on the ass I cracked him right on the jaw. And I traded baseball cards (as they didn't get me in trouble, the way trading Playboy clippings did in kindergarden) throughout elementary school, but I became a Yankee fan that winter of '77, when I came as close as I ever have to cease being a Newyorker, and when everything New York was what helped keep me in me. I became a Yankees fanatic that summer of '85 when DJ made us all go (as most things in life, DJ is usually the root) to a number of games and I learned what it meant to be a Yankee fan. You see, for me being a Yankee fan is about tradition(yeah, I know it sounds trite), it's about doing the things that need to be done, it's about finding a way, it's about winning. I fell for that cando, never giveup, not over till it's over mentality.
I saw the field, smelled midsummer grass (not yet quite dry), heard Eddie Layton's tinklings move through me, felt the communal organism when we all rose up together to sing our anthem and tasted burning wood when Mattingly fouled one straight back (well, you know what I mean). Over the next 10 losing years the Stadium, became our Cathedral as simple as that.
I remained a Yankees fan (not a baseball fan) through Stratomatic, being engaged to a fan from the other side of town, dating numerous nonbaseball women (all of the ones who wouldn't even come didn't last long) and throughout I remained a Yanks fan. Expansion draft, wild cards, numerous shared online rotisserie leagues and interleague play...still a Yanks fan. I became a fan of baseball this year, as I finally took responsibility for an ESPN rotie team. Perhaps because I'm paying for the team, whatever it is I'm following numerous teams, closely. Don't get me wrong, I'm Yankees to the core, but I follow other players and other teams. I enjoy it and find myself enjoying baseball in a different way from before. I can best describe it as being more immersed in it, drawing more from watching other teams play, enjoying the sport for it's own sake.
And let me tell you DJ, Selig had nothing to do with it.
Let this iteration of the Dodgers make it to the Stadium when the games become important, let's get that first beer out of the way, let's chuckle at the Annual Choke (Bean towners know what I mean) and you tell me that it's ruined for you.
Number 3, anything to add?
DJ rebuttal?


Blogger DJ said...

Yeah, I guess that the question in my post should'a been: has Bud robbed the postseason of *some* of its luster?

What I was thinking about there was the feeling that we had in '96: the Braves were coming to town for the Yanks' first World Series in 15 years, and we had no idea how these teams matched up. No idea what Maddux facing Jeter would look like, or Avery facing Wade Boggs. You had two teams with impressive records (the Braves more impressive than the Yanks) but because the leagues were separate, you really didn't know what the comparative strengths of the two clubs were, since they'd played completely different opposition.

Same thing goes for the All-Star team. It was exciting because the Leagues in baseball, moreso than the regional "conferences" in other sports, had real identities separate from each other, and the Game had matchups you might never see unless the All-Stars made it to the World Series.

Now, the differences in the Leagues are underplayed: the League Presidents are figureheads, the umps are all the same, and the teams all play each other, only the DH distinguishes AL from NL. Now, we've seen Gagne pitch to A-Rod, Pedro pitch to Barry Bonds. Add it up, and it just means less interest in the game.

Not that I won't watch tho'.

June 23, 2004 at 6:53 PM  

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