NEW YORK, NY – The NBA and NHL regular seasons are in the latter stages of each league’s interminable regular seasons. The geniuses that run those leagues really should think about what’s going on all around them and realize that their seasons are each about 40 games too long. You cannot begin your season in September with excruciatingly boring and meaningless regular season games that last until late April. And you most certainly cannot have the gall to stage your playoffs through the end of June; a 2 month long postseason?! WTF! We all get Holiday Sickness with these leagues: By Thanksgiving we’re sick of the NBA, while for the NHL it’s Halloween. So if the powers that be really believe that we’re all still paying attention when the playoffs finally get going, they’re out of their minds.
Late April and this year-early May brings us the NFL Draft, which is probably the 3rd most anticipated “sporting event” of the year. By then, the MLB season is in full swing and the NBA and the NHL are finally getting around to eliminating the 3 or 4 teams that DON’T qualify for their postseasons. For me, the tipping point is really right at the conclusion of the NCAA tourney. I am so friggin’ ready for some Baseball by then. The Under-cards are over. Bring on some good ‘ol fashion Hardball and The Absolute Best Damn Things About Baseball Season.
* Even teams like the Mets, Cubs, and Twins can dream about making the World Series. We’re at 106 years and counting for the Cubbies since their last World Series Championship. 69 Years since they even appeared in one!
* Walking through the tunnel or concourse and seeing the extraordinary crisp, manicured green of the Major League Ball field. As a kid at Shea, seeing that grass was magical, life affirming.
* Walk-Up Songs. My favorite? Daniel Murphy’s “Shippin’ up to Boston”
* The Young (Mets have 2) players full of unlimited promise.
* Alyssa Milano is a passionate fan.
* The “pop” of the catcher’s mitt when a big leaguer warms up in a near empty stadium.
* Watching the catcher-any big league catcher, making pea-like throws on a line to second base with no effort whatsoever.
* Jimmy Fallon’s tour de force Fever Pitch-portrayal of a RedSox obsessed loser who starts gettin’ some and has trouble reconciling it
* Gratuitous pictures of luckiest guy alive Justin Verlander’s girlfriend. Look! Here’s one!
*Watching Batting practice 2 hours before a day game.
* The magic of a big league player chatting with young kids hoping for an autograph, but in the process these kids getting a lifelong memory of a brush with greatness.
* The single best place to take a date early in a relationship. You’re outside, the ballpark acts as an equalizer, and you’ve got thousands of friends rooting for your success.
P.s… Big thanks to Big Al Sternberg for a late-night pinch-hit column…