Wow, I forgot what baseball season was like for a while there. So glad I got an early reminder yesterday. Baseball is fun.
No, wait, that's a lie. Baseball is torture.
I don’t know how I do it, but somehow (every winter) I convince myself that baseball is fun for me to watch. I think how I miss my boys. I think that I can’t wait for spring. I even make it through spring training in this blissfully ignorant state. And then the games start. It normally only takes a day or two before something happens, and then I remember that baseball isn’t an enjoyable pastime for me. Baseball stresses me out. Baseball makes me act strangely. A quick story:
One day last season I was bored and turned on the Food Network before a game. That annoying chick Rachel Ray was on, and she was doing the show 30 Minute Meals. So I watched (I was probably hungry at the time and hoped watching someone prepare food would be as good as getting off my ass and actually doing it myself), and after the show was over I turned on the Yanks game. And we won. We won big. So, for THE REST OF THE SEASON I had to at least check in on Rachel Ray and 30 Minute Meals – for good luck of course – before each game. Now, Rachel Ray makes me want to tear my hair out. She giggles and I shudder. She says EVOO and I yell ‘It’s extra virgin fucking olive oil you annoying bitch!’ Rachel Ray does not make my life better or more enjoyable. But I tortured myself with her for four months. Every day. Because I thought that’s what my team needed.
Insane? Sure. Totally par for the course as a sports fan? Yup. We’re a sad, sad lot.
Because those of us who really care – who live and breathe a particular sport or team – do not enjoy the games. The games aren’t fun to watch. We suffer through the games and wait for either the relief of a win (actual joy doesn’t happen often), or the frustration of a loss.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I don’t enjoy baseball. I’m obsessed with baseball, and my team, but I’m more haunted by them than anything else. Our (and yes, I think of the Yankees’ losses as my losses) really bad games kept me up at night. They put me in a bad mood for days. Sure, I may take a loss in May better than a loss in October, but honestly I’m just as pissed losing to Tampa Bay as I am losing to Boston. Because losing to Tampa Bay is embarrassing. (Yeah, I said it.) And that can happen any time of the year.
Blowout losses can also happen on any given night. And while last-minute losses are shockingly painful, at least the pain is swift. Blowout losses start to piss me off at the beginning of a game, and three hours later I’m still yelling at my TV. Talk about having absolutely zero sense of humor – I give new meaning to ‘you don’t want to be around me’ during a blowout loss.
So I shouldn’t have been shocked yesterday when I started to lose it. There I was, sitting at my desk with a little scoreboard in the corner of my computer screen following our season opener. And we were losing to the Devil Rays. I felt myself getting angry. I started muttering. People in my office stopped to ask how the game was going (they know me well), and I refused to answer. And then it hit me. I’m fucked. I have 6 (hopefully 7) more months of this ahead of me. And somehow I had forgotten what it was like. I do it every year. And then it all comes back.
As much as I LOVE baseball, I HATE baseball.
I can’t control myself any more than I can control what’s happening on the field. And I can’t make myself care less. So what do I do? I’m a baseball fan – I suck it up.
The Yanks eventually pulled out the win yesterday, and I was happy. But I know that there’s another game tomorrow…and the day after that…and the day after that. And we’re going to lose some of those. I know that. It’s a marathon not a sprint (as they love to say), and I know that too. (I have to keep reminding myself of all those things – it helps.)
So as of right now I’m going to enjoy the little things. I’m enjoying our win yesterday. I’m enjoying A-Rod’s homerun. I’m enjoying Boston’s loss to the Royals.
But a little heads up to anyone who may be reading – don’t be surprised if I lose my mind a few times (probably more than a few) in the next couple months. Perspective only lasts so long.
My boys are back.