For business reasons, my friend had to stay overnight in Queens. His hotel window looked out on the architectural jumble that is New Shea and the lumpy mounds of Chop Shop City (foreground), under ice and snow.
The good news is that the ball park did not sink into the muck over the winter. In this most unlovely of places, something glorious will happen on April 13, the home opener against the Phillies. Perhaps the Yankees will also be starting another season around then.
My question is, what is it that baseball junkies miss the most in the off-season?
Is it the games themselves -- outfielders going back on a fly ball, hitters putting the ball in play to advance a runner, the fundamentals that drive the sport?
Is it the arguments, of theological nature, about saving a few seconds on every pitch, or the use of instant replay, or all the new mathematical gauges?
Shaun Clancy of the Irish baseball pub Foley's on W. 33 St. advances the theory that it is history: something we see today reminds us of the past. It is true. Juan Lagares, going back on a ball, reminds me of Curt Flood, 40 years ago.
A pitcher who can hit in the National League, where they play Real Baseball, reminds me of Don Newcombe or Bob Lemon or Bob Gibson. Then we start arguing about the Designated Hitter gimmick. If we start now, we may settle things by opening day.
What do you miss in the off-season?
David Vecsey's sweet tale of distant love before the Web, now NYT Podcast, narrated by Griffin Dunne. Please see:
George Vecsey is Hofstra University's Alumnus of the Month! Read a Q&A with George here.