With this summers huge increase in my baseball fascination has come a noticeable change in my behavior, or so it would seem. As a result, I’ve been getting questioned about it, both from family and friends. Most inquiries can be summarized into to main questions, so I thought I’d take some time to formulate answers to them, as much for ma as for anyone.Q1: Why has my interest in baseball grown so much this year?
The most truthful response to this is simply, “I don’t know!” There are many smaller factors that I can point to, but nothing that jumps out as a cause, in and of itself. First, there’s my son, Steven. He’s three and a half and smart as a whip, so I’ve been talking to him a lot already about sports and the teams I like. He already has a handle on the evil versus the good. Penn State, evil. Notre Dame, good. Dallas Cowboys, evil. Philadelphia Eagles, good. I’m trying to keep him focused on the Red Sox and talk about how happy Yanker losses make us. I have told him about the evil Atlanta Braves (here on out, they shall be referred to as the Bravos) and why Mike Schmidt is the greatest third baseman ever! I’m also teaching him that the NBA should be disbanded.
There is my age. I’m now 36 and though I can’t say why, I believe that has something to do with why I’m in love with baseball.
There is MVP Baseball 2005, released the spring after the Sox took the series, with Manny as its main logo boy. That has helped me learn a lot of the nuances of the game. I also have a coworker who is a huge statistics nut and likes baseball a lot. The unfortunate thing is that he’s a Yankers fan, but no one is perfect, right?
Somehow this summer the magic of baseball has suddenly become clear to me. It has been years and years since I went to a game and I’m dying to do so. Even still, my mouth almost waters thinking about sliders and double-plays, and no-nos. I wish I could make it clearer, but I can’t.Q2: Why the Phillies and the Red Sox?
I touched on this in the opening post of this blog, but let me recap. I grew up a Phillies fan, so they will always have a part of my heart. My father and grandfather were both Phillies fans. The cruel irony of life no more evident than in the fact that my grandfather died during the 1980 World Series! Talk about heartbreak. Obviously, it took all the joy out of it for dad, but I was young enough that I have clear memories of both things and they have somehow stayed separate.
As for the Sox, part of it will always be the under dog thing, although that really doesn’t apply like it used to. But there is just something about the Sox! Those white home uniforms, almost blindingly white! No pretentious pinstripes, no names, just the red and black on that white! The Green Monster! Pesky pole! Tessie! Sweet Caroline! Muddy Water! Talking about it makes we want to drive to Boston tomorrow. (Which would do me no good since they’re in Cleveland for four.)
In rooting for the Sox, there has to be some credit given to the Yankers. I can't stand them and I never could. There's no mystery here, I hate them for the same reasons that most people cite. They have an ass for an owner who not only vomits money out to lure high priced talent, then throws them away when he's done. He cares only about two things: money and winning. That leave out one very important thing...the game. He's borderline psychotic with his tyrranical rants and his obsession to hair (or having very little of it.) The league exists in spite of Steinbrenner, not because of him. So, that make the Red Sox all the more lovable!
I suppose it will become clear from this blog that although I have history with the Phils that began long before when I fell for the Sox*, I am, these days, a fledgling member of the Red Sox Nation and worry about them much more that Philly.
Sorry Dad. Sorry Pop-pop!
*As I mentioned in that opening post, I rooted vaguely for the Sox since just after college when I got the hat from Dad. But I really began to fall for the Sox in 2003. I don’t claim full pre-2004 bragging rights by any stretch, but I refuse to be called a band wagon jumper, either.
Labels: 1980, baseball, fan, Green Monster, Mike Schmidt, Pesky Pole, Phillies, Red Sox, Steinbrenner, Tessie, World Series, Yankers