(Simultaneous post at The Staggering Prophets and the Dry Spot)
I don’t love baseball anymore.
Don’t get me wrong. I love going to a baseball game. The sights, the sounds, the food, the beer, the zen-like slowness of the action–I dig me some ballpark time.
However, I have to admit that I did not watch all nine innings of a game all season. Not even the playoffs. I’d be embarrassed if I actually cared.
But I want to care. So like a straying spouse begging for another chance, I am rededicating myself to try to rekindle my love. the bad news is that I don’t really even have a favorite team anymore. In my life, I’ve been a fairly rabid Reds fan during the 70’s since Cincinnati was the closest place my dad and I could go to see a good team (the Braves sucked) and the Nashville Sounds were the farm team of the Reds. In college, I backed the Giants and especially the A’s because they were the local teams in the Bay Area and I was old enough to drink beer at the ballpark for the first time in my life.
Strictly by coincidence, lots of guys I went to college with ended up in the Baltimore Orioles organization. I was the writing tutor for the baseball team (no, I didn’t write their papers, but I did keep a lot of them academically eligible), so I followed them for most of the 90’s. High points-the opening of Camden Yards, Mike Mussina on the mound and Cal Ripken’s streak Low points-Alomar spitting on the ump, that little bastard Yankee fan kid reaching into play during a playoff game to snatch a ball from an Oriole outfielder and never making the World Series
I have an affection for the Cubs, but they’re a little too trendy for me to put my full support behind. Now I have friends that live and die with the Cubbies, so I’d hate to diminish the value of their actual devotion by backing them because they are lovable losers. The Cubs, I mean. Not my friends. Plus they just hired Bizarro Superman as their new manager so I’m kinda creeped out by that.
The Yankees? The Braves? Nah…that’s be like rooting for Microsoft and GM. They don’t really need or appreciate my cheers and I take a secret pleasure in watching them fall on their corporately swollen asses year in and year out.
So I’m declaring free agency. Here’s the deal: this Friday night at 8:00 CST I will put the name of all the MLB baseball teams in a hat and draw one out at the upstairs bar at the Sportsman’s Grille. The team I select will be my team for the 2007 season. I will research the team and their prospects. I will at least buy a cap. I will know and love their players and follow them nightly in the box scores and standings. Maybe I can make myself love the game again if I at least learn to love one team.
If any of you passionate and knowledgeable fans out their would like to lobby why I should back “your” team or root against another team, make your best pitch in the comments. I’m still counting on random probability to make this choice, but if anyone’s arguments are particularly compelling, I might add or subtract names in the hat accordingly.
Here’s your chance to make a difference in somebody’s like for the next year. I’ll let you know who the lucky team is. Please God, don’t let it be the Nationals!