There have been fanatics as long as there has been baseball. We live and die by our favorite teams, and we’ll root our hearts out for them day in and day out. Well, fanatics aren’t what they used to be. Way back when people were fans of baseball and they had their favorite teams, but all and all baseball is what they loved. Sometimes we forget that it’s just a game and it’s not all we have. I don’t know about anyone else, but I find it hard to have a good day when the Yankees lose and during a season where they’ve played as poorly as they have this year, it’s not very fun. Not at all and quite frankly… it’s not fair.
I’ll sit down on my couch for 3 or 4 hours and somehow with a mixture of frustration, patience, and love, I’ll watch the Yankees play and they’ll look miserable doing it. So when they lose, I’ll walk outside my door and look around. The world has not ended. Fire has not rained from the sky. Zombies are not trudging through the streets. Nothing is undone. Maybe I’ll receive a text from someone who doesn’t watch baseball. They’ll be happy and cheerful as they try to make plans with me. I’ll look at the text with an expression of my face like “How could this matter? Don’t you know what has happened?” But nothing is destroyed. Society has not collapsed. Civilization goes on. But for me, as a Yankees’ fan who just watched the team I love with a burning passion, play like they couldn’t beat a little league team, I’m not too happy. I want desperately to be able to say “Oh well! Life goes on!” and then go do something else. I’d love for the Yankees to be in the background instead of the foreground of my day, but deep down I know I’ll always care. I’ll never not watch the team, because no matter how horrible they look or how awful they play, I will love the Yankees with all my heart. It’s a tough situation as you can imagine.
So here is where the problem lies. Fans lose something when they separate themselves from the game. We can’t appreciate the game of baseball when we elevate the game over the rest of our lives. It’s meant to be a small part of everyday. Something to take us away from the real world for a few hours. But we can not love the sport when it consumes our lives, because then watching the game doesn’t take us away. I recently took a look back at when I first started watching baseball. When the team lost, I’d cry and scream and pound my fists against the floor. I look back and think “What was I enjoying? What about that experience was fun?” It wasn’t fun. It really wasn’t. That first year I watched baseball, the Yankees won the World Series. Yeah, and my screaming and crying was really worth it huh? They won over 100 games and did I appreciate it? Not one bit. I look back on it, and I wonder if I’ll ever get another chance to see a season that great and actually know it was going on. I don’t know that I will. The game consumed my everyday life and I regret that. We need to find time to love and root for our team and that time is during the game. Other than that, we as a baseball community must remember that it’s just a game.
They say no one player is bigger than the game, and I’m a firm believer that this is a fact. But as a whole we, the fans, are the game. We are what makes it special. Baseball is meant to take us away from our everyday lives, and it’s unable to do that when we make it our entire life. I know I’ll never stop loving the Yankees with every fiber of my being. I know I’ll always love the game of baseball. But I hope that one day soon, I’ll be able to walk outside after a horrid loss and I won’t be surprised that the world is still moving. If you learn anything from my ramblings, let it be this…remember that baseball is a beautiful thing, so lets not get ugly when we watch it.