It’s not a good thing that a game into the season, a “Simmer down now” post is earned. But the buzzing of message boards and the sports talk radio calls have called for it.
Sure, Yankees fans, no loss to the Red Sox comes without the company of agitation. Sure, it would have been nice for you to see your team have its last two meaningful games end in a Champagne bath in November and a high-five line in Boston. Yeah, they had a considerable lead, blew it, retook it and blew that. Uh-huh, C.C. Sabathia never really looked sharp and tired sooner than expected and the bullpen threw a jug of kerosene into a fire. One more: It was a “bah, humbug!” on Easter.
Here’s the remedy: Pretend for a minute that you’re not a fan of this team – or any, even – and just a knowledgeable observer of the game. Walk over to your… well, that would take you away from the computer. So, OK, open another browser and Google “2010 calendar.” See where I’m going? And acknowledge this: Outside of injury, nothing devastating can happen to a baseball team this early. The Nationals and Pirates being the exceptions. They could be mathematically eliminated by next week.
If you don’t mind my continued opining… I’m of the belief that for elite clubs, unless two teams in their division get off to ridiculously torrid, on-track-to-annihilate-a-record pace, games in April and May mean little more than the ones in March. That’s the product of a 162-game schedule and a season that spans three seasons. Pretty sure the first meter of a marathon has never mattered.
If memory serves, the Yankees had a few “crushing” losses to the Red Sox early last year en route to – you remember – 0-for-8.
A year ago on this date, your team had the same record and was coming off a 10-5 loss to the Orioles (a far lesser opponent than the Sox). Things were more dire then, with Alex Rodriguez recovering from hip surgery while in a maelstrom of steroid controversy, the $161-million ace having a six runs in 4.1 innings performance as his Bomber debut, the bullpen not yet sorted out with Jose Veras, Jonathan Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez and Brian Bruney having key roles, and the rotation being a concern with Joba Chamberlain’s innings limit and Chien-Ming Wang’s health. There were a medley of maladies. ‘Member?
And by July, those major issues were tucked away in a cabinet in your memory’s alcove. By September, they didn’t matter at all. By November, they were things you might’ve looked back on and smiled about. And by now, they should be back in your mind, serving as a reminder to… simmer down now.
Of course, part of fandom is getting swept up in the moment and microscoping in on the little picture. But in times like those, when it's times like these (early spring), zoom out and breathe in. Who knows, maybe the sun, for Yankees fans, comes out tonight. And bet your bottom dollar that it will at some point.