Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Ramble On Baby, Settle Down Easy

Due to circumstances beyond our control, Eisenberg's National League All-Star team will not be posted until tomorrow.

If you read the blog, The Eddie Kranepool Society, you probably have the impression that Steve is a pretty normal guy running an excellent baseball blog. But if you email him, and suggest something as benign as trading blog links, some kind of metamorphosis happens. At least, that was my experience, but maybe it's not Steve at all, just some kind of natural reaction to reading Eisenberg Sports.

This seems like a great time for a Reader's Poll. After reading Eisenberg Sports, do you:

- Talk about your heritage?
- Reminisce about Grateful Dead concerts?
- Immediately leave for Cape Cod?

Well, much to my delight, Steve did. And so of course I returned the favor. Here is the bulk of my story that I sent to brother Steve.

Growing up just north of Boston as one of 10 Jewish kids in a graduating class of about 20 Black kids, 350 Irish, and 400 Italian kids, I blew a gasket after the Red Sox lost what came to be known in my community as the Yom Kippur game against the Yankees in 1978. Watching from my Grandmother's house, and only 14 years old, I knew that I could never root for the Sox again. It was just too painful.

But I still loved baseball and I needed an outlet. I could get the Braves and Mets on TV. Both were awful. The Braves had that old-time Boston connection, but I already knew Braves fans, and I didn't want to be a follower. The Mets? They were National League, and hopeless, which was good. No expectations. They had some talented young players (Mookie Wilson, Tim Leary), and a decent manager in Joe Torre, but they would never contend. I made my decision. The Mets it would be.

The grass ain't greener
The wine ain't sweeter
Either side of the hill.
  • Ramble On Rose, Grateful Dead



  • I remember when Leary pitched two scoreless innings in his debut, with three strikeouts, then blew out his arm, and never really recovered. I was thrilled with the callups of Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden. And this continued for years. The Mets were slowly improving. The Red Sox were playing people like Dave Stapleton.

    I moved to Oregon in the Spring of 1986 (Where I saw the Dead with Dylan. I have a great story with an omelette and a baby that I'll tell some other time). I figured I could give up on seeing the Celtics win the NBA title, after all, they win all the time, and I didn't think much about the baseball consequences. Even when the playoffs arrived, I had 50 bucks on the Angels beating the Sox in the ALCS. It never really occurred to me that it could happen. It just couldn't be, could it? No, it was impossible...

    Oh My God! The Sox are playing the Mets in the World Series!

    Something in my mind snapped. Years of denial drowned out all of the alcohol as I came to the stunning realization that it was true, the Boston Red Sox were playing the New York Mets in the World Series, and there was only one thing I could do: root for the Red Sox.

    Well, you know how that turned out. As for me, I broke my hand after game one when I punched a wall instead of the asshole screaming "Everyone in Boston is a racist!" in my ear over and over. And I had to be called back to the bar from the booth where I was chatting up the bartender who had a black eye from her boyfriend during game 6.

    I've only started to ease up on the Mets in the last couple of years, when they've become harmless again, and now its always Red Sox, bloody Red Sox.

    What a long, strange trip it's been.
  • Truckin', Grateful Dead

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