Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fall(ing) Classic

Begin with this: I don't know what's wrong with me.

("We do!" you're saying).

I don't know what's wrong with me, because it's October and the landscape is all Technicolor flame, and tonight the World Series starts. New York vs. Kansas City. All those lively young Mets arms vs. the patient sticks and depthless savvy of the Royals. A classic matchup for the Classic, the kind of baseball that should make you want to linger long into the fast-falling autumn night, that should solder you to your big-screen TV if you're any kind of baseball fan at all.

Notice I say "should."

I say "should" because as much as I love the World Series, as much as it's one of those Big Events that tie you irrevocably to your childhood, I'm just ... well ... not into it this time. I'm loathe to say it, but I just ... you know ... don't care.

This has never happened before, I have to say. I'm the kid who sneaked transistor radio into Mrs. Becker's room to listen to the Yankees take on the Cardinals in 1964. (I rooted for the Cardinals, not knowing any better at the time. Also, like most Americans with any class and imagination, I hated the Yankees).

I'm the guy my uncle thought was weird (because, let's face it, I am) when I whooped and hollered after Steve Blass shut down the Orioles in '71, sealing the title for my Pittsburgh Pirates. I'm the guy forever grateful to Mr. Hanefeld in my sophomore geometry class, because he let us listen to Reds-vs.-O's in '70. And I'm the guy who tormented my long-suffering wife in 2004, counting down the outs in Game 4 as her Red Sox swept the Cardinals.

But now?


Again, I don't know why this is. Maybe it's because the light went out of the postseason for me when Jake Arrieta shut down my 98-win Pirates in the wild-card game. Or maybe it's because it really went out when the Cubs, who booted the hated Cardinals, got thoroughly silenced by Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and the rest of the Met blowtorches. Or maybe it's because, as cool as it would be to see the Royals win a World Series, they're still just, you know, the Royals. And I'm not sure they can beat four guys who throw the baseball 95 mph.

I guess it would be kind of awesome, from a hair standpoint, to see deGrom bring back the Tim Lincecum look (which, for fans, of the film "Dazed and Confused," is actually the Mitch Kramer look).  But, still, it's the Mets. I don't care about them, either.

And so ... let the Series begin.

Maybe I'll tune in occasionally. Maybe I won't. Only one thing, I figure, could turn that around for me.

Anybody got a transistor radio, circa 1964?


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