April 3, 2008

Leave Baseball to Summer; Basketball Should Rule the Spring

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Ah, spring is here. Well, not really here in Ithaca, but it is officially spring now according to the calendar. As the weather starts to heat up, thoughts of barbeques, wine tours, tailgating at lacrosse games and finally abandoning my jacket are pacing through my head consistently.
With all the thoughts of sunshine, many of you sports fans have been consumed by baseball. Drooling over Buster Olney’s season previews, wondering if Johan can help the Mets forget about last season’s debacle, pondering if the Red Sox can really win again (I’d be damned).
Sun Sports Editor Cory Bennett has probably been searching for the right vaccine to heal one of the Cubs starting pitchers’ likely mid-season injuries. I would bet that Sun Senior Writer Michael Mix prays every night before he goes to sleep, asking God to preserve Pedro’s aging arm.
While all your baseball enthusiasm is great, you guys are slightly pissing me off.
I looked at the Sun’s back page yesterday — we here in sports call it the front page — and all I saw was baseball, baseball, baseball, which I guess is understandable since our softball and baseball teams are in full action.
Then I went home yesterday and watched Sportscenter only to see more Opening Week stories, which I guess is fine too but this has been going on for awhile, they have been showing Grapefruit, Citrus — or whatever they call it — League highlights since pitchers and catchers reported to camp.
Trust me, I am a fan of baseball. I still remember skipping school to go to the Yankee ticker tape parade. In fact, I sat in front of the television today and watched majority of the Yankees/ Blue Jays game.
(For the record, Jason Giambi is looking healthy out there … Injury update coming soon).
I was the same kid who snuck into my mom’s room to watch Jim Leyritz hit that home run against the Braves after she told me to take my ass to bed. So don’t judge.
But with the intensity of the basketball play this time of year, I hate having to watch double play highlights and things of that nature. If this was midseason and in the heart of the summer it would all be fine. But why do I have to watch the Royals, Pirates, Rays (formerly Devil Rays), Nationals and (insert more likely non-playoff teams here) highlights when we all know who is going to end up winning at the end of the day. We all know the Yankees and Red Soxs of the world will be the last ones standing at the end of the day.
With only eight playoff teams, why bother following the others? I guess everybody can dream, right?
In any other year, I might be more understanding, but basketball this year has been captivating, and any baseball fan that is a sports follower has to agree. For the first time in history, we have the best four teams in college basketball playing in the Final Four.
(For the record, I got Kansas winning it all, but I am rooting for UNC. That way, my chances of getting what I want are increased).
And on top of that, the NBA is back. The Western Conference is like college football every night — if you lose, you might miss the postseason. From the No. 1 to the No. 8 seed, nobody can say with full confidence which team is going to win in the Wild Wild West.
On top of that, the best two teams in the NBA just might be in the East with the Celtics and the Pistons.
Come summer time, I’ll be at more than a handful of Yankee and Met games. You might even see me at a local park near you (Thanks to my internship search that’s taking me around the nation.)
But please spare me the early season injury updates of (insert any decent relief pitcher here) until when it really matters. They are the boys of the summer, right? Keep it that way please, and thank you.