Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Farewell, Mr. Jeter

  I was supposed to write the 3rd part of my baseball/guitar series on which classic guitarists would play what position if they were on a baseball team. It turns out, I don't know nine classic guitarists well enough to write that piece. It's true. Here are the ones I could think of: Hendrix, Harrison, Clapton, Page, EVH, and like, that's it (I thought of Brian May while I was writing this). I know the names of dudes like Jeff Beck and Randy Rhodes... but I don't really know their music well enough to say what position they'd play on a fictional baseball team. I guess it turns out that I know way more about baseball.

What rivalry? Jeter says goodbye at the 2014 ASG

  I watched pretty much every Red Sox game of the '04 and '05 season, and listened/watched 80% of games of the '06 and '07 seasons. It didn't really feel like an obsession; if you lived in Massachusetts during those years, it was pretty normal. Almost every blue collar job had a radio playing the game somewhere, NESN probably got better ratings than ESPN, even the random transplants who moved to the Valley for academic pursuits/careers got in on the action (spreading Sox nation like a virus when they all graduated and moved away).

  Most days for me began around noon with a cup of coffee and whatever stimulant I could get my hands on. I'd go to work for 4-6 hours cleaning office buildings in town, or washing dishes. I'd come home, make food, and watch the game. Me, my roommates, maybe a friend or two... we'd watch the game, drink a little, maybe smoke some pot. The game would end between 10:30 and 11, and I'd walk into town, have some drinks at Hugo's or the Watering Hole, try to talk to Smith girls, get too drunk, and wander home around 2. I had a band or two on and off, I had a girlfriend at one point, I was going to take the GRE... but nothing every really happened; it was just that same day on repeat more or less; from graduation till I woke up one day and realized most of my friends had moved to New York. I knew I needed to move on. I landed a pretty good warehouse job for the growing season in one of the farm towns north of Northampton. I saved money, even spending a month sleeping on friends couches and in my car. When the Sox swept the Rockies to win the '07 World Series, I watched from my new home in Williamsburg.

  Since then, my baseball life has been in steady decline. I don't equate baseball with laziness, just a way of life that I can't maintain in NYC. I moved here to be involved in music, and you just can't do that if you're sacrificing 7pm-11pm every night. I'm a sports fan, I make time for the big games if I can. Watching the one of 162 games which no one really cares about just didn't happen once I moved here, save catching the Mets if they happen to be on Pix 11 on a Saturday afternoon when I'm super hungover. The less you watch, the less you know, the less you need to watch. It really works the exact opposite of getting into the sport in the first place. It's like someone presses the rewind button on your level of interest. In addition to that, the PED thing is crazy, games are too friggin' long these days, the World Cup was excellent, and my team isn't any good... all these things add up to me having the least amount of interest in baseball since 1998.