Here it is late Winter 2017 and I am thinking about baseball. The Super Bowl is over and the NBA season is slowly grinding to completion. Spring Training has begun and my thoughts are turning to baseball. I am sure that Chicago Cubs fans are still basking in the afterglow of winning The World Series. I am happy for them, it is a great feeling
My team, the New York Yankees, has not won The World Series since 2009. Overall the team has played just okay baseball over the last few seasons. Despite that I miss baseball. I miss baseball talk on sports talk radio. I miss checking box scores and team standings every day. I miss watching the day’s highlights and top ten plays. I miss baseball period, it is the one sport that I love.
I must confess. I really did not follow the Yankees very much last season. After Derek Jeter retired in 2014 the team felt so very different. It did not feel like my team anymore. There were still a lot of familiar names and faces. But there also seemed to be as many new names and faces. And for the first time in a long time I could not always put the name to a face. My struggling team were strangers to me.
As the new season approaches I am finding myself getting excited for my team again. I do not know a lot of the names and faces, but I am excited to get to know them. I am eager to see what this new and mostly young team can do this year and the next year and so on.
As Winter 2017 prepares to turn into Spring I grow more and more excited. The early goings of Spring Training bring new hopes and new opportunities. The start of the 2017 season is weeks away. Regardless of what teams win this year, except for the hated Boston Red Sox, I know that it will be a good season. It will be even better if my team is in the heat of a pennant race in September. What an exciting time for a baseball fan. Let’s Play Ball!!!!!
Today Mariano Rivera received a much deserved plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. The plaque commemorates his status as an all time Yankee great. What a pleasure it was to watch him pitch for 19 extremely succusful seasons as a Yankee. One could argue that he was the best closer to ever pitch in baseball. He was definitely the best closer that I have ever seen. I do not believe that we will see a pitcher of his caliber again for a long time, if ever.
As the 2016 Major League Baseball season begins, I have a confession to make. Let me start by saying that I have been a fan of the New York Yankees for most of my life. I am going to make a confession that may infuriate some fellow fans and confuse others. If the Yankees never win the World Series again, in my lifetime, I am okay with it. Some may question my loyalty as a fan, based on this statement, but let me explain. From 1995 to 2015 the Yankees went to the playoffs almost every year, missing only three years. They played in seven World Series and won five of them . That is an embarrassment of riches. I have witnessed a great deal of amazing playoff baseball in my lifetime. Many fans have yet to see their team win a championship. Some fans have never seen their favorite team even make it to the World Series. Another confession, deep down I would love to see the Yankees win it all every year, but that’s not realistic and it is a bit greedy. I have seen enough winning baseball to last me a lifetime. That being said, let’s go Yanks!!!
Football fans facinate me. Generally speaking, regardless of what teams are playing the fans are watching. With baseball this is not the case, baseball fans want to watch their team. This is especially true in the World Series. My team’s not playing? I have no interest in watching. That seems to be the concensus amoung baseball fans.
This is far from the case with the Super Bowl, nearly every football fan is watching. And now everybody else seems to watch the Super Bowl, whether they like football or not. And to add to that they expect that everyone else is watching as well. I haven’t watched since Super Bowl 42, which was an amazing game. I do enjoy football, but I haven’t felt compelled to watch in a few years. I am a huge baseball fan, so The World Series excites me, whether my team is playing or not.
Over the last few years, the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday, various people will ask me, “What did you think about the game?” My response of, ” I didn’t watch the game” is rewarded by an incredulous look that basically says, ” You didn’t watch the game, what’s wrong with you?!?!” Just because everyone else is watching does not mean that I have to. For me the conclusion of the Super Bowl means two things: football season is over and baseball season is just around the corner.