And there followed thereafter more opening of Amazon boxes and birthday cards which had been delivered on behalf of extended family members, which included a couple of books about the English language and true crime (which is the grown-up vaguely acceptable version of superhero comics) and … the Yankees. OK, so the boys in pinstripes are Kind Of a Big Deal to me.
Look, do you honestly think I want to be blogging about the Yankees on the second to last day of the regular season, or that I want it to be the umpteenth time I’ve done so in the past six months? Well, I mean, no one is holding a gun to my head or anything, but believe me when I say I’d rather there be nothing particularly noteworthy to say this week. The Yankees should be resting half of their starting lineup and running out the clock at this point. Call me a typical, entitled, arrogant New York fan for saying it (I’m pretty sure I actively invite that criticism every time I open my mouth about my team) but that would absolutely be my preference. The playoffs can have all the drama and intrigue, while the end of the season need not raise any stakes or blood pressures. But, my druthers don’t mean much, and here we are: Yankees one game up on the Orioles, with two games to go, and anything can happen. By which I mean of course either team could win the division, and either team could be the wild card. Or there could be a tie, and a one-game tiebreaker, and whichever team loses that game would be the wild card and then immediately have to play the one-game WC play-in game the next day … the mind reels for reals.
And it’s an odd mix of equal parts comfort and consternation to find that I completely cannot get away from baseball right now. One of my good buddies called me last night to wish me a happy birthday, and the conversation quickly veered into O’s/Yankees, since he is a lifelong Baltimore fan. This morning in the elevator I heard a couple of guys talking about the Nationals clinching the NL East. Later I overheard one of my co-workers talking to someone on the phone about how the Orioles were the overlooked, underrated team nobody expected to make the post-season (all of which I happen to agree with, for what it’s worth). Then I met another buddy of mine for lunch; he was working from home today so he showed up in jeans and his Nats t-shirt. I congratulated him on the pennant, but sure enough by the end of lunch he was ragging me about how the Yankees need to just roll over and let the O’s have their moment in the sun. (I laughed, but not altogether heartily. Anything could happen!)
It’s been that kind of season, I guess, and it ain’t over til it’s over. I just hope that whenever it is over, there’s enough time for us to recover before the Giants have to play the Steelers the first weekend in November. That’s cutting it kind of close.