In an act of transparency I will admit that I am a Yankee hater. I can not honestly remember when this started. I actually have fond memories of Roger Maris in 1961 chasing Babe Ruth’s Home Run record.
Something happened along the way that turned me very sour.
Memories of Reggie Jackson’s three home runs in one game for some reason makes me cringe.
Bucky Dent, Aaron Boone and many others can bring on hives.
Every year in October I long to watch the Yankees lose. Later in my life I will realize this phenomenon is known as “hate-watching”. However, more often than not I watch washed up old players and average players rise to the occasion and perform mighty feats to bring the Yankees to victory.
October 2010. The Yankees have won the first two games against the Twins. I am starting to have all physical symptoms of my disease. The air doesn’t smell as fresh. The food tastes a little rancid. I have a dull headache and am not sleeping well. Every time I close my eyes I see Chris Chambliss hitting a Home Run to defeat the Royals. Then I take some deep breaths only to see some third string catcher homering against the Braves.
I tell my wife to take the Benedryl out of the cabinet. The hives are forming again.
Now there are dark circles under my eyes and my pulse is beating too fast. I tell myself that this virus is seasonal and infrequent. It has only happened seven times in the last forty years.
Fortunately, I can endure my suffering in private. I read the TV ratings and found out that nobody watches baseball anymore. It seems like the Food Network has more viewers. So when people ask about my drooping shoulders and dark circles under the eyes, I can just say that I have allergies. They wouldn’t understand the truth anyway.
As the next few weeks move on, if the Yankees continue to win and my health starts to fade, I can blame the poisonous environment for my friends edification. They will joyfully discuss Bobby Flay and his Steak Tartare. I will nod approvingly with my aching neck knowing that the only cure for my illness may lie with the Rangers, Phillies or Giants.
The doctor may prescribe some “Vladimir Guererro” or “Josh Hamilton”.
No matter. Even as the virus fades I know that it is lurking. Hiding. Waiting for the next October to strike. It’s the Yankees. It’s only a matter of time.