Here we are, another Summer Saturday in the Sunshine State.
Either my blood has sufficiently thinned to the point that I no longer feel the eternal heat that is Florida’s summer, or it really hasn’t been that hot…for Florida.
We did, of course, had to wrestle with the threat of a tropical storm two weeks ago, but that wasn’t nearly as bad as it might have been.
I don’t remember talking or writing about the weather this much when I was in my twenties and perusing the joys of Central Park on a New York Summer Saturday. Is it age that has me so preoccupied with the weather? Is it the news of west coast heat waves and wildfires and east coast downpours and floods, not to mention the terrible flooding going on right now in Germany and Belgium?
We didn’t talk about global warming or climate change back in the ’70s, but now that I am in MY 70’s, it seems that is all we talk about.
We are told on June 1st every year that “Today is the start of the hurricane season.” Oh, joy!
Instead of worrying about my summer music playlist or reading list, I have to make sure my hurricane survival kit has batteries and other paraphernalia to get us through the dark days of a power outage.
I know writing about the weather can be a divisive topic to address, so I am just stating the obvious. It’s raining in Europe. It’s not raining in California or Washington. And I am watching the coast of Africa to see if any hurricane’s a-comin’.
Oh yeah, the Yankees.
Well, my chosen boys of summer are not exactly taking my mind off the weather.
They, like atmospheric conditions, are hard to fathom and often serve as a source of frustration and angst.
I am not really complaining, but it is a little ironic that I am more optimistic about the New York Jets than I am about the Yankees making the playoffs.
Still, I remember 1978.
That summer around this time of the season, the Yankees were fourteen games out of first place. You must remember that at that time, there were no wild cards)so that if you didn’t win the division, you didn’t get to play in the playoffs.
Eileen and I went to Bermuda in August of that year, and when we came home and got a cab at Laguardia, the first thing I did was ask the cabbie how the Yankees were doing. I was told that they closed the gap and were about seven games out.
Later that season, when the Yankees were only four games out, they had a big four-game series with the first-place Red Sox up in Boston.
Willie Randolph, our terrific second baseman during the first game, was 3 for 3 before the number nine hitter for Boston even came to bat.
The Yankees won all four games, and we were tied for first. Well, the season ended with the Yankees and Boston tied for first, and a one-game playoff had to be played to determine the pennant winner.
As luck would have it, the game was played in Boston.
Now, everybody remembers Bucky Dent’s dramatic homer that gave the Yankees the lead. Still, Reggie Jackson’s homer ultimately proved the difference in the game, making the Yankees the American League East Champions.
The Yankees went on to beat the Dodgers in six games to capture the World Series.
Of course, then there was 2004.
The Yankees swept the Red Sox in early July, including the game when Derek Jeter dove into the stands after catching a fly ball while running at full speed. The Red Sox were sent back home demoralized, knowing the Yankees were on their way to another title.
Ok, so instead of another Yankee World Series, the Red Sox made a miraculous recovery in the American League Champion Series, having been down 3 games to nil, and finally broke the jinx that they and their fans were certain was a result of Boston selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees back in the day.
Both 1978 and 2004 illustrate that in baseball, anything can happen.
It’s much too early to despair. I can get angry when we lose, but I won’t give up.
As they say, “That’s baseball, Susan.