November 5, 2009: Despite my excitement over the New York Yankeees being in the playoffs, their final victory yesterday left me feeling empty and depressed.
It stands to reason that the greater part of my interest in the games centered on the opportunity to distract myself from my feelings, and let me tell you it worked wonders. Night after night, I glued myself to that stupid blue screen and watched pitch after pitch, as if I could ever differentiate between them. When the Yankees led, I grew bored (and drifted over to the Food Network), sure it was no great challenge for them to walk their way through the playoffs. When they were losing I felt worry and wondered if there would ever again be hope for the salvation of the known universe.
I used to love playing baseball -- softball too -- and it's a sad substitute to be groping for any vicarious fun through a television set. I used to love watching the games, too, but now it's a depressing phony spectacle. There are no Earl Weavers or Billy Martins to vent emotions, kicking dirt on umpires and cursing with rabid zeal. The fans no longer mob the field and bring the lovely spontaneous chaos of reality. Television won't let that happen anymore.
Now when the players win the big game, they jump up and down in a cluster near the mound -- up and down, up and down, hop hop hop. They always look the exact same, no matter what team it is, as if they've studied films of how teams are supposed to celebrate victories and act accordingly. The players all make the same comments after the game. The faces all affect the same humble grit and bonehead spirit.
Another sad thing is the inevitable hats and shirts, which are rushed out of the winning dugouts before the umpires are even off the field -- prepared special hats to highlight the spontaneity of the surprise victory. Surely another batch was waiting in the losing team's dugout, too, but what becomes of those? And if that wasn't awful enough, literally before a minute had passed since the last out of yesterday's Yankee victory, Fox TV ran a commercial selling these same hats and shirts that were being handed out to the players.
Perhaps I'm being too critical. The truth is, the pointlessness of investing all those hours in staring at a blue screen may just finally be catching up with me. I'm beginning to realize that that time may have been better spent doing something more constructive -- playing Yahtzee with my kids, finally cutting my overgrown lawn, or perhaps studying pornography on the Internet.