The baseball playoffs start today…
Lucky me…my (now)main man, Kenneth Wright, spiritual director extrodinaire, has invited me to Game 1 of the Yanks/Tigers. I’ll be having a hot dog for dinner.
Some background on my baseball past:
I used to cover the home games for the Mets and the Yankees for both WFAN and then later WOR. I was the backup reporter for Suzyn Waldman, the famous sports beat reporter and one of the first women to really break down barriers for women in sports. She is also just a wonderful woman to be around…and she taught me a lot. I would basically fill in for her when she returned from the West Coast swing and needed some time off to recharge or when she just needed a day off. Since I had a season pass, I would go to the games when she was working and I’d cover the visitor’s locker room and if I got anything good, she’d use it and give me credit. It was great experience for me–no money–but great, great experience. Later at WOR, I was their main reporter–again no money–but I got to go to a full season of home games for both squads. (it was 1996 and the Yanks won the whole thing!)
Now…I grew up a Mets fan in the late 70s. I was the only kid in the neighborhood who hated the Yankees and Reggie Jackson. I thought Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson and Lee Mazzilli were awesome.
So now I get into the business and I get to cover the Bobby Bonilla, Vince Coleman, Brett Saberhagen Mets…who were God-awful and I got to see Fred Wilpon’s operation up close. Yeesh did they treat us media guys poorly. I would say that both Bobby Valentine and Steve Phillips were pretty good to me…and always pretty polite. But the experience pretty much soured me on the Mets.
The Yanks conversely were wonderful to be around. Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Wade Boggs, David Cone, Dwight Gooden, Paul O’Neill, heck, even David Wells were all pretty good guys to be around. Joe Torre was just a class act. And while Steinbrenner was and still is CRAZY, I never saw him be rude or condescending to anyone in the media while I worked there. I can’t say the same about Fred Wilpon.
But I could never bring myself to be a Yankee fan. I’d rather chew my right arm off. But let me tell you these guys were hard to root against.
So I took some time off from “rooting” and became what I call an “observer” of the game. I admit feeling good about the 2000 Mets team. I later adopted the Cubs as a team I could root for…while visiting Wrigley Field in Chicago (which I claim as the greatest ballpark in the majors). The Cubs are annoying. They are so up and down..it’s no wonder that Wrigley is basically the world’s biggest outdoor tavern. This year there was no reason to do anything there but drink. They stunk up the place.
I leave you with some predictions for the post season:
Tigers over Yanks in 5.
Twins over A’s in 4.
Dodgers over Mets in 5.
Padres over St Louis in 3.
Twins over tigers
Padres over Dodgers
Twins over Padres.