I grew up a Yankees fan. Born one, still am and have no clue why. One of those things like being baptised Roman Catholic, making it to about six Masses in your life but worshipping rocks and trees as an adult. One born-again or supercilious ‘Christian’ f*ck says a WORD about the Virgin Mary or how Catholics are the ‘ones who don’t want you to read the Bible’ and you still lose your mind. That’s how I am about the Yankees. Defend them to the death, even if I can’t name Jack One on the team. Now Ebola’s Aunt Cruella ~ different side of the tracks. Mets fan, bless her little pointy head. Applies for the job every time they have a managerial opening. Gets the newsletter signed by the Manager of the Moment and, every year, really considers spending her hard earned health insurance industry dollars on the summer camp they run for adults. For $3500 a head. Eat, drink and shag flies with somebody NOBODY remembers from the ’67 Mets. Well, what the f*ck. She’s a FAN.

Right this second, the Mets are still a SQUeek ahead of the Yankees in Game 6 of the subway series. This could be very expensive for me, as she proposed a wager weeks ago, and I agreed, in which the loser buys dinner at Pensacola’s toniest establishment AND sends a tacky city souvenir to the winner. (Oh, rock on! The Yankees won 5-4 in the 9th. Buff up that VISA, baby.) Bingley subjects NJSue to evenings at Yankee Stadium, and neither he nor myself EVER set foot inside those hallowed halls as children. Major Dad was such a natural ball player, he was scouted and recruited by colleges in high school. Baseball is the default of choice in the summer remote viewing click-a-thon. I mean, in our house, ‘The Natural’, ‘Long Gone‘ (for which I wrote a well received Amazon review), ‘Field of Dreams’, ‘Major League’ and ‘The Sandlot‘ are all movies of epic proportions.
The point of the whole dissertation being…we’re fans.
But our kids aren’t.
Ebola’s played baseball since he was a tyke – T-Ball clean up to 8th grade. We never made him. But when he had uniform and glove on, all was right with the world. Root, root, root for the home team! It didn’t matter if they sucked, if he sucked (although finding out about his near-blindness ~ and the consequent addition of glasses ~ improved his batting average/aptitude markedly) or the venue sucked…it was baseball and we were tickled to be there. As a 23 year old, he can’t stand to watch it. And neither can his friends.
Major Dad and I were pondering that this evening, after Ebola’d changed from the game to Comedy Central. Once past his Dad’s initial ‘that’s-my-remote-touch-it-again-and-you-die’ direction to return to the game, it was ‘why don’t you want to watch baseball?’ It’s no fun, the answer was, unless you’re playing. And that’s pretty much true for his generation. There doesn’t seem to be the dogged devotion to a team, any team, any sport, that we enjoy. And I do mean enjoy.
Is it because people don’t live in one place long enough to feel a connection with one team? Is it because players come and go so quickly that they don’t become identified as the standard bearer for their club?
Or maybe it’s because kids don’t get to stay out anymore until well after dark. Divvying up teams, playing ball ’til their hands and knees are raw, their voices raspy from yelling ‘do-over!’ With not an adult in sight to spell out rules of the game, scream at a coach or berate a teenage ump. Maybe it’s because their lives are so full of structured sports that the pick-up game is a thing of our memory. And the kid who might have blossomed in that ‘ollie-ollie-all-in-free’ winds up swallowed by the superstars of the local ‘league’; playing not because they love the game, but because their father does and expects them to excel. To be the contender he knows he could have been. Expectations. I’ve seen a lot of ugliness on ball fields because of parental expectations. And those memories don’t make for great baseball fans either.
Pffft. I don’t know. It’s a shame that they won’t ever be attached to something that they can share, like a baseball team. Cruella loves me enough to buy me Yankee hats, but hates them enough to only buy the street vendor $5 knock-offs, since she can’t bear the thought of supplementing Steinbrenner’s wallet. I send her dirt on Piazza’s new stripper wife. We both laugh at how poofy Keith Hernandez looks in the ‘Just For Men’ commercials because we both remember what a stud muffin he was, and how Nancy Seaver (of ‘Tom Seaver and his lovely wife…’ fame) and Bucky Dent’s brain dead spouse irritated the bejeezus out of us. Stupid stuff like that.
And now she owes me one tacky New York snowglobe and a $200 dinner. Yeah, you should cover your face. Losers. Ah. Bay-sah-baw-roo.

6 Responses to “Bay-Sah-Baw-Roo”

  1. John says:

    As the grandson of a Yankee fan from Virginia (talk about taking sh*t from your neighbors), I sympathize with Ebola. Sure baseball is fun to watch in the stadium, if it’s minor league ball. Then you can afford the hot dog and the beer. But the Majors screwed the pooch with their high priced concessions and the players’ attitudes and their strikes and the anabolic steroids. Who wants to watch a bunch of hopped-up jackasses with no heart and a criminal record playing a game?
    And like George Carlin, I can not call baseball a sport. No activity that requires such a low level a physical exertion that snuff or chaw can be kept in the mouth (without the accidental swallow and quick regurgitation that would inevitably occur in, say, football or lacrosse) can be called a sport. The only professional “sport” that ranks lower lower in my book is basketball.
    For the record, I never played organized ball, but I played those pick-up games plenty.

  2. Cruella and I got a huge dose of disillusionment at Angels Stadium in Anaheim. We were foaming at the mouth to get to a big league game, having checked in at El Toro in the summer of 1981. And there’s that wonderful American League ballpark right up the road…(granted, bigger thrill for me than her.) So we hit Major Dad (Sgt Bob at the time) up for some additional cash and hit the road. Without thinking, having grown up on Yankee/Ball Park franks, we load up on dogs and beer (a smidge aghast at West Coast prices) before we ever see our seats. Settling gracefully in, beer securely on the deck in front of our feet, saliva dripping down our chins in anticipation, we take that first bite. And feel violated and abused. PiTU!! It was our introduction to the Farmer John Wiener ~ a SoCal staple but a revolting exercise in steamed mystery meat none the less. And an abomination of epic proportions in a Major League park.

  3. Dave J says:

    Yankees suck! Go Sox! :-p

  4. (I sense a disturbance in the Force…We will have to carefully monitor comments from this point on…)

  5. Ken Summers says:

    Dodger Dogs rule. And Yankees suck.
    Your only defense is that those are not Dodger Dogs at Angel Stadium.

  6. Yankees ROCK, little man.
    And no one could mistake a Farmer John Wiener for a Dodger dog. NO ONE. They can barely be mistaken for food

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