Here in the Man Cave, the Hated Yanks are taking on my Red Sox on a beautiful evening at Fenway Park.
The estimable and comfortable duo of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan is once again complemented by the sensible, well-timed interjections of Orel ‘The Bulldog’ Herschizer.
Truth be told (tell it not in Red Sox Nation!), I lost my capacity to hate the Damned Yanks several years ago when they clawed their way back from an abysmal start by sheer grit and professionalism. Now I respect the pinstripes and, in unguarded moments, feel a twinge of affection for the boys in the Bronx.
What is it about this game? Why do its odd geometries and absurd statistics conspire to make it a perennial New Thing with each emerging Springtime? Why is it ever fascinating, ever new?
I must chalk part of it up to family legacy. My Dad pitched for minor league affiliates of the Chicago White Sox in the fifties. The yellowed newspaper tales of glory and the autographed balls in the wooden trunks pushed into attic corners grabbed my soul by the throat and has yet to let go.
Yet there is more than blood in this strange brew.
I find myself regularly scanning minor and major league websites in hopes that my next business trip will get me into a new stadium for nine innings of the Real Thing. Urgencies seldom allow for such fun, yet the hope of it springs eternal.
I confess to wondering how a Real Man cannot be entranced by the baseball diamond. I know that plenty are not. I accept this indigestible truth, but it scuffs my esophagus on it way south.
It matters not.
Tonight is Opening Night (a novum, arguably an abomination, in a sacred space where things always begin in daylight).
Everything is possible. Everything is young. From here to October is a blank slate.