The moment Gio Urshela lined out to third to end Game 5 of the ALDS, I was ready for next season. I’m always ready for next season. I hate the offseason.
The 59-day winter gauntlet that is January and February was rather tame in the first month of 2021, but freezing temperatures and snow have become daily fixtures in the second month. Punxsutawney Phil didn’t help matters by seeing his shadow last week, and there’s still more than a month until the clocks get set forward.
We’re close to baseball, even if it’s just beat writers live-tweeting intrasquad games and batting practice. Reading about pitchers’ fielding practice and back-field infield drills and watching videos of bullpen sessions recorded on a phone through the spacing of a chain-link fence never sounded so good. After the 2020 season was delayed by four months, I said I would never complain about the monotony of spring training again, and I meant it.
I welcome the daily updates and the overreatctions to Gary Sanchez’s every move and every second of the upcoming season. I look forward to Aaron Boone once again unnecessarily batting Aaron Hicks third because he’s the Yankees’ only left-handed hitter and because Boone thinks he has to break up the right-handed bats in the middle of the order. I’m eagerly awaiting the storeis about all the players who reported to camp in the “best shape of their life.” I want to lose it over the last position player and last reliever selected for the 25-man roster and I want to be irrationally upset over the order of the rotation to open the regular season. That’s how ready I am for baseball.
The wait is almost over. Even if there is snow in the forecast for seven of the next 10 days, we’re close. The sun is once again setting after 5 p.m., pitchers and catchers officially report next week and position players the week after that.
I’m more than ready for the return of Yankees baseball. I have been since Oct. 9.
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My book The Next Yankees Era: My Transition from the Core Four to the Baby Bombers is now available as an ebook!