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The Off-Season: The Resolution Revolution

The Off-Season: The Resolution Revolution

by Tim Kabel

December 31, 2021

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It’s New Year’s Eve; that most spectacular evening of the year – for some. For others, it is just another night on which we happen to end one year and begin the next. In the era of COVID, it is something completely different. I am not about to wrap myself in bubble wrap and wear a hazmat suit and a gas mask so I can go stand elbow-to-elbow, belly-to-belly, and back-to-back with countless others, shivering away in Times Square, waiting for a ball to drop. As they say, that’s not my cup of tea. It would have been a recipe for disaster even before the pandemic.

As those of you who read my columns know, my dog passed away last week, so I will have no one to hug at midnight tonight. I will probably spend the evening writing and playing Scrabble online with people I don’t actually know. It does not get much more exciting than that. However, New Year’s Eve is also a time for self-reflection and dedication to the concept of self-improvement. It is customary that we make resolutions to improve our behavior or rectify problems we have in our lives. In many cases, these resolutions simply become a source of frustration and annoyance as they are broken rather quickly. Yet, we continue to make them. I am like everyone else. I will now list my resolutions for 2022. They are both baseball and non-baseball related.

I hereby resolve that in 2022 I will:

Refrain from the use of sarcasm on a regular, semi-regular, or even occasional basis.

Be more tolerant of, and supportive to Aaron Boone in his efforts to manage the Yankees. I will avoid references to his gum chewing, staring off into space, and answering questions in press conferences with incoherent platitudes. I will abstain from using the term “Boone-proofing” in discussing him.

In the words of former president George H.W. Bush, I will be kinder and gentler in my dealings with all creatures, great and small.

Avoid teasing, tormenting and japing Mets fans. For example, I will no longer say something along the lines of: if Mets fans are truly the little brother to Yankees fans, then they are Fredo Corleone as opposed to Michael Corleone. (It is not midnight, so I can still say that one.)

Refrain from smoking. Since I already don’t smoke, this one should be easy.

Continue writing as much as possible. I will finish the short story and novel I am currently working on and write at least one more novel and two more short stories in the upcoming year. I will continue efforts toward getting at least one more of my novels published in the upcoming year.

Instead of giving peace a chance, I will give a chance to Luke Voit, if Yankees’ fans are forced to have him as the starting first baseman next year. I will not criticize him for his poor defense, one dimensional offense, lack of team spirit, or self-aggrandizing behavior.

I will meet more people. With the concerns regarding COVID and teleworking firmly in place, I will be open to meeting anyone who can penetrate my inner sanctum by getting through the intricate security system and 17 layers of reinforced steel gates. Remember the opening credits on the TV show Get Smart? That’s essentially what I have here. However, anyone with the gumption to get in past all that would be worth meeting.

If the Yankees do sign Carlos Correa, I will forgive him for the unforgivable offense of the Astros’ cheating scandal and accept him as a full member of the New York Yankees’ team. If he struggles or has a prolonged slump, I will not resort to needling him about his past transgressions.

I will be more patient with and tolerant of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. When John calls a home run that is actually a pop up to shortstop or Suzyn begins carping about the absence of Brett Gardner being a sign of the Apocalypse, I will simply smile, shake my head slightly and realize they are doing the best they can. This brings to mind my favorite exchange between the two of them during the pandemic when the Yankees were playing the Blue Jays in Buffalo, NY. The umpires were having a conference along the third base line and John asked Susan if she could determine what they were talking about. She responded, “Well John, I know I have good hearing but since they are in Buffalo and I’m in Yankee Stadium, I have no idea what they are saying.”

I will continue to try to find interesting topics to write about for SSTN during the lockout. Hopefully, it will end before I write an article about the greatest players ever to come from Alaska.

I will not allow my friend Roger, keeper of the red pen, to get under my skin as he critiques, corrects, and evaluates my articles and other writings. I will continue to make references to him, however. By the way, you’ve heard of the elf on the shelf… Roger is the grouch on the couch.

If the Yankees enter 2022 with no significant upgrades at shortstop, catcher, and centerfield, I will be patient with the players who occupy those positions. I will not pick 6 in the betting pool as to how many games Aaron Hicks will actually play during the season, as I will give him a chance and hope for the best. Instead, I will pick 12.

I will not grind my cell phone into a fine powder the next time I receive a call from someone offering to extend the warranty on a car I do not own.

I wish you all a happy, healthy and lockout-free New Year.

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