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Perspectives – July 10, 2010

We are just about two weeks from the start of the Major League Baseball season.

Boy, it’s been a long wait.

I am eager for the baseball season to start.

I am excited for the baseball games to begin – for baseball to have meaning and for the game to once again become part of my daily life. It’s been too long.

Far too long.

Watching the scrimmages – I have watched some of the Summer Camp “games.” They have been enjoyable enough. One thing it seems of lot of people are concerned about will be watching the actual games without fans in the seats. To me that’s a non-issue. It doesn’t concern me at all. I haven’t minded there being no fans with what I have seen thus far. It’s just good to see the Yankees playing baseball.

Rooting for the uniform – You know the saying – we root for the uniform. We care about the Yankees. We want the Yankees to win. If you took the 2020 Yankees’ roster and put them in a different uniform and they won the World Series, we wouldn’t be excited. Part of the rooting for the players is wanting them to do well while they are on the Yankees and in the Yankees uniform. That’s a big part of it. So, with that being the case, couldn’t the Yankees have figured something out for these live scrimmages and had the two “teams” play in different uniforms? Just for fun? One side could wear the dark blue Spring Training shirts and the other could wear a similar grey shirt or a pinstriped shirt. Right? If they’re going to play the games, even though they’re just simulations, having different variations of the Yankees uniform would be an easy way to make the “games” a little more visually appealing.

Nothing is real – Of course, we have to take all of the good and bad performances in these “games” with a huge grain of salt. The players are trying, but there is a different level of competition when it’s a real game. A player just brings something extra to the real games. Except in situations regarding a player’s health, we can draw no conclusions from any of these “games.” This is always true in Spring Training games and it’s even more true now.

Tanaka – It was amazing to see him back at the field so quickly after taking a line drive to his head. Man that guy is tough.

When will I get emotionally involved? Or will I? – I never really watch a lot of Spring Training and I’m finding I am seeing even fewer of these Summer Camp games. I’m wondering when I will invest in the season. On the Bronx Beat Podcast a few weeks ago E.J. Fagan asked me for a date when I’ll get emotionally involved again. I couldn’t answer that question and I still can’t today. I just don’t know. I think once the games count, I’ll care, but I just don’t know.

Aaron Judge seems healthy – If we can take one thing from Summer Camp thus far it is that Aaron Judge seems healthy. I hope so. I want to see the great Aaron Judge again.

Writing a lot – One reason I haven’t been able to watch as much Yankees coverage as I hoped is that I am spending a ton of time finishing my upcoming book about the Yankees, The Least Among Them. I needed to get the manuscript to the publisher (Artemesia Publishing) by mid-July. I submitted it a few days ago. I always like to beat the deadlines. This book will come out in time for Opening Day 2021.

The season will go fast and does goes fast – Once the season comes, it’ll be over quickly. It will be imperative for the Yankees to get out to a hot start and win games right from the start.

Softball – My softball (30+) season started this week. I am a shortstop, but I am playing reluctantly following surgery on my Achilles just seven months ago. I’m just not ready to trust my Achilles running side-to-side in quick bursts, which, of course, is how one must play shortstop. Our season is only nine games this year and it might be a lost season for me. I did hit well enough (2-for-2 in my 2020 debut) but I’m not sure what I can contribute with the glove. The worst thing for an athlete is to be thinking too much and not reacting. Part of the rehab is to get back to playing and not thinking. I’m not there yet. I might not be there due to the short season until next year. But, at 52 years old, I might also be running out of time. I get older and older and the players on the other teams seem to be getting younger and younger (and bigger and stronger) each year. I hate to admit that my best days on the diamond might be behind me. I’ve been playing competitive softball for thirty years and it’s gone much too quickly.

Baseball – As many readers are aware, I began playing in a 35+ baseball league last year as a pitcher. Until last year, I hadn’t played baseball, real baseball (not softball) for over thirty year(since I was in high school). Pitching doesn’t concern me or put stress on the Achilles like playing shortstop does. I am much less concerned about pitching (except if a big strong guy hits one up the middle at me) than playing infield. My son Ethan and I have been having catches multiple times a week since March to get ready for the season. The teams in this league are permitted to have up to four players under 35-years-old on their rosters which is how Ethan is permitted to play. Our season starts on Sunday, my 52nd birthday. We’re playing in Jersey City. I’m starting the game. I hope Ethan is the starting catcher. I plan to pitch all nine innings. I also plan to pitch a no-hitter…

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