Friday, September 26, 2014

Captain oh captain

I like to start my blogs with facts, imagine if reporters put that in their stories a little background on how they feel so you know what the story will be like.  So here are some facts I find baseball boring for the most part, live or on tv.  There are moments that are exciting but overall snoozer for this girl.  Ironically though I have been to a lot of ballparks, I enjoy the history or architecture of some (Fenway, Wrigley Field, Camden Yards, Yankee stadium old and new) and wonder at the pure ugliness of others (the old Expos stadium in Montreal, the Oakland Raider park which was so hideous the name eludes me).  I like the whole camaraderie of it (and those hot dogs at Wrigley Field this girl can chow down).  I am beyond annoyed at current ticket prices because to me this game is working class family time and it has been robbed from them, first with the games moving to cable from tv and then with these exorbitant ticket prices.  
I also have enjoyed a lot of baseball themed movies, the Natural, A League of their Own, the Ken Burns documentary come to mind as does the Bad News Bears (original with Walter Matthau).   The things I do not like about sports are same with baseball as with every other sport - the over paid athletes, the jerk behavior of owners.  

In our house since the person who cares about baseball, aka my husband, is a Yankee fan I am a Yankee fan.  I am also a real girly girl at times and you can start the cringe .. I like them because I happen to also like their look ...warned ya!!! I have watched games, snippets of games, and the team in some of the above mentioned stadiums.  I get a kick out of the passion that arises between the Red Sox and the Yankees fans.  I do not happen to hate anyone of these teams and have long ago given up on the logic of explaining that players today have no team really  -- they go from place to place chasing the $$ it makes sense considering the size of that $$ pot.  Then there is Derek Jeter. 

I have always admired him, not for his stats which there would be loss of life should I be held at gunpoint to recite, but for the person he is.  As this season has been besieged by all the fanfare that has surrounded him, I have seen the social media posts and heard the comments, particularly from those who have this weird obsession with disliking the Yankees (I get it but it elicits eye rolls from me because I can see hating oh say ISIS or Monsanto now those are Evil Empires) about the fact that it has been too much.  

Yes it has - it has been too much.  Some of it driven by the Steinbrenner management to make money and some of it driven by other corporate interests for the same reason.  Most of it though, I humbly submit, is driven by the fact that sports figures are so not our heroes any more.  Sure kids may still want to be like them ... but for the fame and fortune.  There are sadly too many athletes on all levels (from high school to professional) who flood our media for all those reasons that we should actually cringe .. sexual abuse, steroid abuse, child abuse, drunk driving, domestic violence or other criminal acts.  That is why the Jeter story brings people to tears  - yes his stats I am sure are amazing, yes he was a phenomenal athlete and yes even in this day and age when they chase just the $$ he committed to one organization, one city and yes he got paid handsomely for it but there were times I'm sure you knew, sorry too hard to resist, when he could have gone for more elsewhere.  

The Jeter blitz is about what he stands for - a return to honoring someone who is just a decent person.  I do not know him so I cannot say he is a nice person or a cold person or whatever on a relationship level but he is a decent man.  This should not be newsworthy but it is.  He is an athlete, and there are others, who was grateful for the gift to do what he loved so well and be successful and he was an athlete who made headlines good and bad for his time on the field not for his time away from it.  So I say goodbye and thank you Captain for reminding us that we should celebrate those who are doing the right thing just as much if not more than giving headlines to those who are not.   

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