. . . even when it breaks your heart and leaves you baffled in the wake of last night’s infuriating Yankees fold, which reawakened the pangs I felt as a 10- year-old kid watching the Pirates beat the Yankees in the ’60 series. Can’t remember a time I didn’t care about this team, though sometimes I wonder why.
Some consolation from the poet laureate of baseball writers:
It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitive as a professional sports team, and the amused superiority and icy scorn that the non-fan directs at the sports nut (I know this look — I know it by heart) is understandable and almost unanswerable.
Almost. What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring — caring deeply and passionately, really caring — which is a capacity or an emotion that has almost gone out of our lives. And so it seems possible that we have come to a time when it no longer matters so much what the caring is about, how frail or foolish is the object of that concern, as long as the feeling itself can be saved. Naivete — the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing and shouting with joy in the middle of the night over the haphazardous flight of a distant ball — seems a small price to pay for such a gift.
Roger Angell, from Five Seasons, 1977