Upfront Disclaimer: This is a celebratory post, one in which almost nothing insightful is said. It's a Changing of The Seasons sort of celebration.
Spring is upon us. I know this not because of changing clocks, because of longer days, because of a groundhog, or even because the calendar has told me. I know this because my boys in pinstripes are down in Tampa.* I know this because my husband (the Red Sox fan who somehow tolerates me) has already gotten our first set of Yankee tickets for when they return to the City. I know this because the Brooklyn Cyclones are sending us information on this summer's ticket bundles. (BTW, I highly recommend taking advantage of that deal: Food, drink, and a minor-league fun time.) I know it is spring because the promise of baseball is hanging in the air.
*[This always reminds me of home: The YES Network setting up shots off the Courtney Campbell Causeway, around Steinbrenner (nee Legends) field, of the bay, of the palm trees. Always makes me wish I knew how awesome this game was when I lived there, which (I should clarify) was before the Tampa Bay Rays were even a thing.]
In celebration, I decided to change my monitor's desktop image. This is an admittedly minor celebratory move, but not insignificant to a person who spends upwards of 12 hours a day staring at the thing. My usual suspects were considered: the incomparable Tex, AJ Burnett, Robbie Cano. I also considered Jeter because of what I wrote in the off-season. Then I remembered Swisher.
Rather, I remembered that my new favorite seats in Yankee Stadium are those behind right field for no reason other than that Nick Swisher is a riot, a refreshing riot. Seated somewhere between Swisher and the bleachers is all it really takes to remind you why you're at a baseball game. Here I offered some thoughts on what we expect from our sports celebrities. Following that note, following the LeBron thing, in the context of the athlete ego, I'd like to give props to Number 33 (for more than just being followed on Twitter by @charliesheen). Yes, playing baseball is his job...but, seriously, his job is playing baseball. Despite the manifest talent, the focus, the work, the discipline, the expectations, the contract negotiations, the entertainment factor, the business of sports, and the diving catch, he seems to play (and play with the fans) in such a way as to acknowledge that his job is playing baseball. And that is awesome. Swisher seems to exude an effortless fun when he plays -- as if he were playing rather than working, as if to acknowledge that his work is our recreation. Steeped in basketball season, I'm over the egos. Giving fans some honest evidence that you know just how lucky you are, that it's way more than a job, that you have fun when we're out having fun, this is what a professional athlete should look like:
In the end, as a show of faith, I decided to go with an image of AJ. This season is not last season, and AJ's a rockstar.