Sunday, June 13, 2004

The Yankees are coming!

Next week, the Bronx Bombers continue their interleague stint by facing the L.A. Dodgers. If I’m not mistaken, the last time the Yankees played in Dodger Stadium was during the 1981 World Series.

I remember, as a little kid, watching the cross-country rivals battle it out in several World Series. Ahh, the memories – Phil "Scooter" Rizutto exclaiming "Holy cow!" as he announced for Channel 9, WPIX. Cheering on that New York outfield – Reggie Jackson, Mickey Rivers and Lou Pinella. I loved the pitchers with their wacky names: "Catfish" Hunter, Sparky Lyle, "Goose" Gossage, Dick Tidrow (hee-hee... "Dick"... Did I mention I was a little kid?) Me and my friend from Little League would crack up at all the stupid jokes we made while watching the games.

I sucked at baseball, by the way. My friend was pretty good, but I couldn’t hit, throw, or field. A triple-threat to our own team. But being a short kid, I did get walked a lot. And then I’d steal second, ‘cause I liked being sneaky, and sliding into the base, making a cloud of dirt. Getting all schmutzy was fun.

Anyway, it was okay that I stunk; I knew what good ballplaying looked like. And if you ask me, the Yankees are in top form, firing on all cylinders (best record in MLB right now). So it’ll be great to see them get back at the Dodgers (LA had gotten the last laugh, winning the ’81 series). I’m going to the ballpark next weekend and I couldn’t be more excited.

But I’m not sure how much of the game I’ll get to see. I’m joining my friends who have two little kids – Hannah and Jacob.

Jacob is around one and a half. I call him J-Dawg. His parents don’t like it but J-Dawg says it’s no thang. Okay, he doesn’t really say much at all; he’s a pretty shy little boy. Last time I saw him he warmed up to me, though. For some reason he was fascinated by this small metal rack containing drink coasters. The kid would dump out the coasters, and I’d help him put them all back. J-Dawg loved doing this. When we were done, I’d say, "Ta-da" and he’d imitate me, sort of. Smiling bright-eyed, it would come out his mouth more like: "Daaaah!"

His sister is just as cute, but twice as friendly. I think I spoil her. Not by buying her things – she’s already got more toys than she can possibly play with – but by being a big toy. Another airplane ride? Sure. She’d take my hands and want me to lift her up in the air. Again and again. As a toddler, it was no big deal. But now– what is she now? 40, 50 pounds? Those military presses get tiring after a while. Still, how can I refuse when she says, "Ready? One-two-three. C’mon, Michael! Please? Onetwothree!" After a day with her, my shoulders are mangled.

My face, too. Another favorite game is "Squish Mike’s Face". I guess among all her toys, she doesn’t have any Silly Putty, so my mug will have to do. I mutter: "I cnt twk wiff Hannah squshun muh fuss" and after she lets go, "ahh, it is simply much easier to speak clearly when Hannah isn’t squishing my – ohno now ah cnt twk bucause muh fuss is squshd up agun." To a five-year-old, apparently, this is hysterical.

Maybe I can watch the ballgame, if I get her to focus on it, too. She was at the Clippers-Spurs game with us. I asked Hannah which team she liked, and she wasn’t sure. So I explained that San Antonio were last year’s champs, but the Clippers were from L.A., like her. I was rooting for the Clippers, but she could make her own choice. She said, "Hmmm. I think I’ll wait to see how the teams play, and then I’ll decide." As soon as the Spurs pulled into the lead, that was her team. You could call her a fair-weather fan, but I think she’s just smart. The precocious kid likes to bet on the winning horse.

Hmm, maybe by that reasoning, I won’t be the only Yankees fan in our section. In any case, it’ll be a great time.



Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by