I Know I’m Not Supposed To Care

2 05 2005

Baseball is the only sport that I ever really gave a damn about (I really
really tried
with curling, I really did) and now the Yankees — my one
and only Yankees — are busy watching themselves circle the bottom of the
toilet. It’s enough to make you give up sports altogether and go watch
HAROLD AND KUMAR one more time.

When I was growing up in New York City, there were two choices — the
Yankees or the Marvelous Mets. The Yankees were The Dynasty. The Mets were
the lovable klutzes who had their own foibles and, like the simple cousin
who you go visit because “he’ll really appreciate it darling.” you’d go to
see them play because they didn’t have the flavor that the Yanks, even then,
did.

In an odd way, it was the Bronx Bombers who were the underdogs in my Queens
neighborhood.

No wonder, then, that I rooted for the Yanks and fell asleep at Shea
Stadium.

You know the old saying that the best age of music is your teens. Well,
once bitten by the Yankee bug there was no way I could transfer my
allegiance to the Dodgers or Angels (no matter what the hell they’re
calling themselves these days) when I moved out here fifteen years ago.

So, I’ve stuck with the Steinbrenner Yankees through thick and thin. I
braved the angry slings and arrows of baseball fans who rightly pointed out
that anyone could buy themselves a team, because I pointed out that
the Dodgers had tried but couldn’t. I successfully stayed the course, even
when it was correctly pointed out to me that no one could run a team like
ol’ George and get results (because he did). I even suffered through the
years where Joe Torre was treated as a God, and thrown into product
endorsements that it was clear his charisma-challenged personality should
have warned him against doing.

However, now it’s too horrible, too grating. I don’t want to be a rat
deserting a sinking limo here, but it’s kind of like the Lakers this past
year. The absolute fun is gone. Not the fun of winning (though that also
went away) but the fun of playing. Now, I’m totally aware that baseball is
a business, just like filmmaking is a business. But it’s also a love, just
like filmmaking. You need to have the Derek Jeter/Steve Soderbergh passion
enthusiasm. And it’s just not there this year. I don’t see it on the team
and I didn’t see it in OCEAN’S TWELVE either.

Hmmmm, I seem to have wandered very far afield here, trapping myself in the
metaphor morass. Let me extricate myself.

Ah, there. Now I feel better.

In any case, business though it is, these guys used to like to play
together. This year it’s like that episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE where
Jonathan Winters has to return from the dead in order to continue to fend
off the challengers to his title as top pool hustler. It’s tough being the
Dynasty. Everyone always wants to pick you off. Maybe a few years off the
beaten track, without everyone assuming you’re going to kick ass because
you’re from the Yankees, will be the best thing for them.

Hell, I know it would work for me.

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6 responses

2 05 2005
Cory

Hey Norm,

I don’t know exactly how much more insight I needed into your mind but here I am.

Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for Microsoft, by the way.

Funny Joe Torre story. A good friend of mine is a firefighter. When he was a rookie he noticed that every time Joe Torre was on screen the other firefighters would greet him with a certain phrase. My buddy heard this a few times and finally asked the others why they did it. Turns out that when one of the older firefighters was a teen he was a Card’s fan and Torre was one of his favorite players. So one day, he waits at the ballpark until the players come out. As Torre is getting on the bus, the future fireman asks for his autograph. Torre stops, looks at him and says, “Fuck you, you.” and gets on the bus. So now, every time they see Torre on screen, they all greet him with a warm, “Fuck you, kid!”

3 05 2005
jen...

man, i went to go comment and it made me sign up for a blog! now i have a blog… is this all part of your grand master plan?
cory that was a sad sad story.

my bf is going to ny just to see the a’s play the yankees 3 games in a row… let’s just say he’s hoping the downward spiral continues…

3 05 2005
Norman

Ouch, it was me who did that to you jen. I’m sorta new to Blogger, and one of my settings in the aptly named Settings area didn’t allow anonymous comments. Foolish me, I thought that that meant that people had to put their names. Instead, I find out that it’s all about making people do their own blogs.

I’ve change it so now you can post without blogging and, not coincidentally, so can the eight zillion spammers out there.

It’s your fault!

3 05 2005
Norman

Cory,

I know about the Yankees and Microsoft. I can’t help it. It’s my evil arch-conservative, red state side.

And now you know even way more about me.

And I always had a soft spot in my heart for the warm, effusive, huggable Torre.

Oh wait, I think I have him confused with a Teletubby.

3 05 2005
Cory

Jen, the trick is all in how you say “Fuck you, kid.” If you say it in just the right tone of voice it’s hilarious. Otherwise, it is pretty awful.

Norm, this Yankee’s thing combined with the 24 thing… well, I’m starting to think there might be a place for you in Bush’s Cabinet.

3 05 2005
Norman

Hmmm, Bush’s cabinet. Yeah. I can see it now. Total domination of everyone else’s life. Yeah, that doesn’t sound so bad.

Well, go ahead, make me an offer.

Or not.

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