The return of baseball

I mark time by the baseball season. For me, today was the first day of the new year.

The start of baseball, of course, coincides with the start of spring. The days get longer and warmer, and the world just looks a little better. For awhile, the start of baseball season also meant that school was almost over – we had reached the home stretch. Summer vacation isn’t as defined as it used to be (and it doesn’t feel as long as it used to), but it is still my favorite time of year. Baseball means we’re getting closer.

I love the routine that baseball brings. If I’m out, it’s peering through a window or looking at my phone for an updated score. If I’m in, it’s the relief of dinner and Yankee baseball after a long day.

It’s the daily conversation – simple things like, hey did you see the game last night? It’s the talk of home runs, injuries, strikeouts, everything that makes baseball what it is.

New York City, especially, seems to buzz with excitement when the Yankees are playing well. And when they’re struggling, the city takes on a ruthless, unwavering anger, filled with obscenities and gestures and other things that New Yorkers tend to do well. But it’s acceptable because it’s out of our control – we’re all just observers. It’s not personal. It’s a visceral response. We can yell at the players during the game, but were we to ever see them walking down the street, we’d shake their hand and show them respect.

162 games in 180 days – there are no breaks, and the game is played almost every day. It is the ultimate marathon. The nature of the sport allows for a quick recovery from brutal losses. There is, literally, always tomorrow to turn things around.

The Yankees lost today. There’s always tomorrow. 161 to go.

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