Meant to be watched, that is…In a bar with the sound down. An engineer, a high school basketball coach, a Radio Shack manager, a executive car deliver-er, and a state employee walk into a bar, just like they have for the past 25 years. The bar is Brown’s Diner, and the occasion is annual: The opening of baseball season the way God intended: Baseball in the daytime and in the country of origin*.
Our ritual pre-dates the dawning of the sports bar (at least in Nashville). We all love the cheeseburgers at Brown’s and they have always had these cheesy 19-inch TV sets mounted on the wall (well, they once had a so-called large screen for a short time, but the thing broke and nobody ever fixed it, and then one day it disappeared and the cheesy 19-inch TV that was there BeFore the large-screen reappeared, and all was right with the world). Since Terry the bar-tender (and owner) was always a big baseball fan, we knew that the opening day baseball game would be on the tube.
Some years we finagled the afternoon off and nursed Bud from the bottle(s) as long as any game was on. Some years, like this one, some of us have to hie on back to the workplace. Every year, the conversation overtakes the game until something dramatic happens. The Yankees usually appear at some point and the rest of the crew makes fun of me and the pin-strippers. It’s all as comfortable as a worn-in pair of sweatpants you look forward to putting on when you get home from a rough-ass day at the orifice.
It’s not trendy or remotely the best place to watch a game. What it is for a few hours is the best place in the universe. Baseball opening, spring welcomed and friends laughing. Today was our 25th anniversary. Not all of us have made it every year, but at least two of us have been there each appointed time (I’ve been there 23 out of 25 years). We are grayer, paunchier and some of us have lost a step or two, but for those few hours it really doesn’t matter one iota.
*nothing really wrong with Major League baseball played in different countries, but it should be played in the USA for opening day.
Most people would not choose to fly to New York in the dead of winter, AFTER Christmas. Most people flying to NY would at least visit Manhattan, stay in Manhattan or Brooklyn. That’s most people..
Me..i’m flying into Kennedy in a few hours, then taking the Air Train to Jamaica Plains (not THAT Jamaica, the warm one..) so that I can board a Long Island Railroad train to Babylon, Long Island.
Yes, for me, it’s Babylon revisited. I get to hang out with a bunch of guys who are baseball idiots such as myself. We play a game called APBA (baseball simulation game with board and computer version). It’s a little geeky. My apathy meter re being geeky vis’ a vis’ baseball is in the red. I just don’t care a’tall. I love the game. I love my baseball buddies. Our group is comprised of an ex-cop, a judge, two Fox TV sports directors, a salesman, a contractor, a chaplain, sports copy writer for a paper in Westchester and a few other odds and ends including state employees. Our commonality is mostly baseball..in this case, that’s all that matters. I don’t know how these guys are going to vote in the primaries or the general election. I could care less.
I do hope my team will kick their ass in our draft…other than, let the good times roll like the river.
Adios for a few days…
Please, please, please,,,just say NO.
This is about the madness surrounding Alex Rodriguez who is now peddling his considerable baseball wares to every major league team (well, every major league team if you count the Dodgers, the Angels, the Cubs, the Red Sox and the Yankees as every major league team*). He’s a damn talented player and he did have a bang-up fine year last year, but for the love of Alexander Cartwright, please, please don’t pay this man 30 million bucks a year to play what used to be America’s pastime. It skews the balance of the team. It takes the team out of team-work.
Plus, this is really about more than young Alex’s dream..this is mostly about agent Scott Boras’s dream to show the world that ‘his’ is bigger than anyone Else’s.
I love baseball, and it doesn’t bother me one iota that talented people who have a scarce talent make the big bucks. That’s generally how capitalism works, but isn’t there a line of sanity at which this mostly ego-inflation stops? What do you do with the 30th million that you couldn’t have done with the first, say, twenty?
*Sadly, most major league teams couldn’t begin to afford the current wage demands of A-Rod.
What is, George Steinbrenner ceding control of the Yankees to his sons. I’ve been a Yankees fan since 1960 and I plan to be a Yankees fan until they produce MY death certificate. I’ve never been a big Stienbrenner fan (what is control freak for $300, Alex?), but he did put the Yanks back on the front page and ran what is still my favorite zoo (Yankees’ circa 1978). A fan is a fan is a fan….I was a fan before anyone ever heard of George Steinbrenner, and I’ll be a fan when he really does cede control (all bets off if he does contrive a way to take it with him when he finally falls into the big sleep).
I don’t think a control freak can turn off the control switch. Meanwhile..go Indians!!
And the Yankees said…’We’re not dead YET!’
One and one half games out. Sox folding like laundry. Gagne is gagging. Papelbon went Papel-gone last night. The game is so on. You KNOW you are afraid. Enjoy your day off…heheheh.
You know you’re nervous. The 14 1/2 game lead you held in late July has once again shrunken to the size of Julio Lugo’s batting average. Wakefield lost last night, and you know you need his knuckle-mojo to win this thing. You know you were counting on a sweep or 2 out of 3 this last weekend, and you know that the Friday night comeback gave you the willies (or the buckners) depending on your age.
Yeah, I know that 2004 made it seem like the curse had been lifted and the Yankee nemesis was forever tainted by your play-off comeback, but 2004 seems like a blip, and the Yankees are the Yankees and they are right there in your rear-view mirror..Despite the salty advice from Lot’s wife and Bob Dylan, you ARE looking back, you know you are…
*the last time I wrote something like this, the Yankees fortunes took a downward spiral, but I have faith.