Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Sports of Summer?

It's mid-June, a couple of months into baseball season, a season I used to care immensely about. Growing up as a Yankee fan so avid I could tell you the batting averages of every player on the team.  Losing touch with the sport during my seven years in the Air Force, I came back to baseball when I left the service, to root for a new team, the Mets.  I was a fan in sixty-nine when they pulled off the miracle and again in eighty-six, perhaps the best team they ever fielded.

My special favorite was the player who covered my position in high school and college, first base.  Keith Hernandez was, in my humble opinion, the best to ever play the position.  He was the only first baseman in the history of the game who could alter the opposing coach's offensive strategy.  It was virtually impossible to execute a successful sacrifice bunt when he was on the field.

Somewhere in the nineties, I stopped being a fan.  Not because I don't still love baseball, because I could no longer focus on a team.  Players move from team to team and league to league so often I can't keep track of who is playing where.  It's no fun for me to cheer a team on any more.  I do watch the occasional game on TV, and I will go to minor league and college games when I have the opportunity, because I still love the beauty and finess of the sport.

I started this muse thinking about pro sports, particularly the overlap.  There's no clean break anymore - end of football - beginning of basketball, which ends before baseball, etc.  I exclude hockey because I just never got into the game.

Anyway, here we are two months into baseball season and also in the midst of the NBA basketball finals - in June?  Gimme a break!  I think the Hockey season ended last week also.  Is there anything more absurd than ice hockey in June?  Pro seasons are way too long - with playoff schedules almost as long as the regular season and half the teams in the league eligible for them.

Maybe I'm just getting old.

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