Here we are, a little more than a week into spring training, and just as I expected, not a whole lot to talk about. The biggest stories have stemmed from injuries to Jose Reyes and the odd one day retirement contract of Nomar Garciaparra.
The combination of the Nomar story and Matthew Berry’s Love/Hate ’10 which had an interesting “Why I hate the Yankees” segment, made me want to write about why I love baseball, and why I love the sox. As a side note, Matt, I have had food thrown at me in Yankee stadium as well. Nachos to be exact.
Why do I love baseball? Man that is a question of a million answers. The biggest reason probably being that I played. I played and I loved it. I played, and I wasn’t good for a long time. I remember my dad promising me batting gloves as soon as I got my first hit, which took me maybe half a season to get. With time, I got better, I worked hard, and eventually got pretty decent at hitting as well. I was fast too, like really fast. Rickey Henderson fast.
I beat out more ground balls in little league than anyone. I led off a lot of games before I had the strength to get the ball over an infielder’s heads. There was value in my abilities when I was not the best athlete, and that made it fun. I have distinct memories of my first layout in center field, much like Jacoby Ellsbury. When I caught the ball, the man on second had already crossed the plate, making it an extremely easy double play.
Which by the way, I can still do…
Aside from playing the game, I loved to watch it. I loved to watch it since my dad took me to my first game at Fenway. I loved the stats, standings and analysis in every way possible. I checked the paper every morning for the new stats. (I became a math major down the road). I loved the dirt dogs, the guys who worked hard. Trot Nixon, Pedro Martinez, and Nomar.
I remember the epic debates in the late 90’s as to who the best shortstop ever was. Nomar, Jeter, or A-Rod. I argued hard for Nomar every time. Funny what 12 years can do to the perception of a players career.
I loved the vigor and love these guys showed on the field. I hated that their passion always seemed to be dominated by the Evil Empire. I loved these guys for the same reasons I love Dustin Pedroia, and John Lester.
These guys play the game the right way. The play hard, work hard, and give the effort that I gave as a kid. These players not only won my loyalty for the last 2 decades, but have won it for long after they are no longer with the team.
With less than a month left until the regular season starts, and not much happing story wise in baseball, I guess it’s time to go watch some march madness to hold me over!