Friday, April 20, 2012

Take me out to the ball game...

Baseball breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything begins again and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings; and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops, and leaves you to face the fall alone. -A. Barlett Giamatti

And that sums it up. I love baseball, I adore baseball, I could watch hours and hours of baseball and still be wanting more. This is odd-I am the most uncoordinated, the most sport averse person in probably the entire world. Betsy is playing softball this year (last year she played T-Ball) and she LOVES it. I have to try very hard never to let her know that I would rather do just about anything (yes, possibly even telephone people, which I hate more than anything on earth) than play an actual softball game.

I'm not sure why I love baseball like I do. I like to watch a great many sports. I inhale the Olympics, watching every single televised moment and keeping a ledger of U.S. wins. I can watch almost any sport. I love to watch tennis (though I don't hold a candle to my tennis obsessed little sister). And, of course, I love football-April and I have decided that when people act like, oh, you're a Buckeye fan, that we quickly say, yes, but we are also Browns fans. You know, the ying and the yang, the agony and the ectasy.

But mostly, I love baseball. In particular I love the New York Yankees and the Cincinnati Reds. I love then both completely and totally equally. It's okay, because one is American League and one is National League, so I don't feel bad about it. The Yankees are the only team that I actively root for that are not an Ohio team. This happened for multiple reasons, but it boils down basically to this: 1) I don't actively root for the Indians because I have an issue with the image that they choose to project with Chief Wahoo (I do passively root for them, meaning that I don't wish them to lose), and 2) once you start rooting for the Yankees, it is just hard to stop. I love their fans, their uniforms, just everything about the institution that is the New York Yankees.

Cincinnati is a totally different story. I grew up a Reds fan. My family is comprised of all Reds fans. It's as born in me as my love for the Buckeyes and the Browns. However, once I started really watching baseball I found that (at the time) I really preferred to watch the American League. That is no longer as true as it used to be-there is a lot that I now appreciate in the National League.

So, anyway, today my whole family watched the Yankees beat the Red Sox (victory over the Red Sox is always the sweetest). And it was fun to listen to Felicity, who kept saying, "Go Blue Sox!" I'm glad that they will be able to say, I root for the Yankees because my mother does. Having plucked them out myself and started rooting for them, it's kind of like taking up a religion that no one in your family is comfortable with. My grandmother, who was as big a baseball fan as I am, hated the Yankees with a passion. She would root for whoever they were playing against. (Those of you who knew my grandmother will know that she didn't hate anything-but trust me, she hated the Yankees.)

It's still the spring. Anything can still happen. The Reds and the Yankees could meet in the World Series. I have hope.