Sunday, August 9, 2015

Yankees Can Break Your Heart

I can't figure it all out. The Yanks just lost their fourth in a row, in the last three games they scored one run. Their pitching has been great but their hitting seems to have taken a vacation. But what does that all mean to me? I keep telling myself the team is comprised of multi millionaires belonging to a multi billion dollar organization. If they win or lose they all get paid. If they win or lose I never get anything from their endeavors. What makes it even worst than that is while I know them, their ins and outs, I am just another unknown poor slob supporting these rich bastards. Yet they are breaking my heart.

Maybe it is the fact that we all wanted to play on the team when we were kids, I mean when we grew up. My first hero should have been my father but it was a Yankee outfielder named Johnny Lindell who wore the number 27 on his uniform. Of course I wore the same number on mine when I played on the sandlot teams.
I seemed to think when he did good it transferred to me and when I did good it transferred to him. And it wasn't just about winning it was about doing the best you could no matter what the outcome but if you won it was so much better. AND the Yankees won seemingly every year sometimes winning over 100 games while losing 54 or less. My sandlot teams won also and their was a certain pride in knowing when you were called on to compete you were better than the competition.

When you went out on the field dressed in your baseball uniform and the crowd of maybe 50 or maybe 10 people watched and they cheered if you made a great catch or got an important hit while the soft summer breeze was blowing through your hair because your hat fell off due to the effort expended to complete the play while running it was as if time stopped and you were transformed into your hero. I was Johnny Lindell and he was me and we were having fun competing and playing the game the way it should be played. Oh yeah, it was good to feel young and invincible swatting the ball, catching the ball after a long run.

Maybe that was it, the reason I felt so bad today watching the Yankees play like they forgot how to hit the ball. Maybe it made me realize they were getting old. I was getting old. I could feel the joy of youth, of the air blowing through my hair even though I was very bald, when they won. Somehow they and I were one. Young and carefree laughing through a hot summer's day as we caught the ball, hit the homers and were free of defeat because we played the game the way it should be played, and that is playing it well. At least for the moment anyway because the reality of life is that defeats are usually there always but lay the foundation for victories. And all the Ballplayers get old and eventually fade away, even the greatest. But for the moment we are all young again and that moment has been taken away from me during this Yankee slump and I fear it won't come back again until they start winning again.

I guess rooting for your team is like rooting for life. To succeed, stay forever young and live till you die. I think that explains why my heart is broken right now but they will rise again just as most of us do after each defeat experienced in living. Reminds me of Frank Sinatra's song "I'm gonna live till I die.... but if nothing comes up next July I'm gonna roll myself up in a big ball and die."

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