Monday, August 8, 2016

Turn the Page

I've rooted for the Yankees most of my life. At times they competed for my affections with the New York Mets and, improbably, perhaps for an East Coast kid, the San Francisco Giants (my dad rooted for the NY Giants and his loyalty and allegiance followed that carpetbagger Horace Stoneham to the Left Coast), but it's always been the Yankees at the end of the day.

The Yankee teams after the loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the '64 World Series, were rough on the eyes for a couple of years afterwards at least in the won-loss column, and a later era when Billy Martin would be hired and fired as the manager often in the same week, weren't the most fun as a fan you could have with your clothes on either.

I've discovered this year's team rarely caught and held my interest which is more a reflection on me. Like a million fans of a thousand different teams, I always say "we" when speaking about my club even though "we" don't have any money tied up in "our" ballclub.

"We" are not a very good team anymore. "We" got old, not just those of us who watch the Yankees on TV and reconstruct the games from the box scores in the newspaper, one of the few skills my father taught me that I actually learned, but those of us taking the field.

The Yankees paid top dollar for star power that for many reasons, but most especially time and tides, has dimmed as the seasons have rolled on and the stars have burned out or darkened. Alex Rodriguez, who will be mentioned and remembered for many different reasons and not all of them positive, is the latest to call it a career announcing as he did yesterday that this Friday is his last game.

There will be a lot of on-line comments, probably mostly caustic and cutting, in the next days as if playing professional baseball was something any of us, much less all of us, could get up in the morning and go out and do.

What was is often not what is and what is to be too often bears little relation to either, but judgments will be pronounced and sentence imposed. And the rest of the team and the league will head to other distant stadia for the next stop of the unwinding season.

And somewhere in a cheap seat because that's all they can afford some youngster will see their first-ever live baseball game and wonder how they lived this long without that magic. And the cycle will start again, the play will continue and the actors will keep changing.
-bill kenny

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