spring training

March Madness

Most of you probably think of college hoops when you think of the term “March Madness.”  The reality is, I don’t have a horse in that race.  My husband is a St. John’s fan, but if it’s any indication I went to an all-women’s school for my undergrad.  Nuff said.  Although truth be told, I used to really be into hoops in general.  I followed John Stockton and Karl Malone on those great Utah Jazz teams (and ironically, married a Jazz fan, as he actively follows them to this day), but since they retired, I haven’t had much use for the sport professionally. My dad used to live down the street from Monmouth University and those basketball games were always fun.

I guess it was the survival of the fittest, in my life anyway.  Being a gal for all seasons, I don’t have a “break” per se in my sports world.  If you were to look at things from a calendar perspective, I’m booked pretty much from Jan 1 to Dec 31.  I may not have games every day for my team but I may have vested interests in other games to follow.  Basketball kind of fell by the wayside because since that season overlaps with hockey, a sport I like a great deal more than hoops, and ends well into baseball, my number one love, hoops took a hike.

Yet, March is a bit maddening, as a hockey fan and a baseball fan.  I’m looking at the Rangers schedule for the next few weeks and it is JAM PACKED.  We’re in the home stretch of the playoff push, and it’s pretty certain they will get a high ranking in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  I’ve often told my dad that hockey season ends when the Rangers are out of the playoffs and baseball season starts that same day.  In the fall, hockey season starts when the Mets are no longer playing (but I have to admit, I’ve watched most of the baseball playoffs in the last few years, just to torture myself I suppose since the Mets are almost certainly never a factor).  Somewhere, football comes in, but as you know, it’s not that much of a commitment.  So for me, the biggies are hockey and baseball due to the time commitments of being a fan.

So herein lies the problem.  It’s March.  My hockey team is doing extraordinarily well.  It seems like they’re playing every other damn day in the month of March.  Yet, my husband, whose baseball love trumps everything else, accepts my love of hockey, but there may be some games conflicting.  Hey, it’s baseball.  Baseball makes everything right.

Except when the Rangers are doing so well.  They had a great game against the Boston Bruins over the weekend, and it seems like this is the start of a new rivalry judging by how the game ended.  In speaking to my Ranger blogosphere buddies Nick Montemagno and Kevin DeLury on last week’s podcast, the general consensus is that the hot team gets hot at the right time and ultimately, rest is for the non-weary in hockey. Unlike baseball when you try to rest your regulars, the playoff push expects more of them.  And more of the fans who support them.

This leaves me with not a lot of free time going into the spring.

I never miss baseball Opening Day.  It’s like my High Holiday.  After that, it’s fair game till the Rangers are done.  But March will be a true test for me, given that the spring training broadcasts are so few and far between and that I have Ranger games many nights.  Should lead to an interesting household to say the least here.

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Till There Was You

I was in a bad mood today.

I shouldn’t have been, but I was anyway.  I finished a highly anticipated but nonetheless dreaded nine mile run yesterday.  It’s a gorgeous spring-like day, even though it’s not even March yet.

I sometimes get in a mood because I haven’t worked since September.  Today was no exception as I had a phone interview with someone that should have taken place on Friday, but my appointment got screwed up.  I was tired of people implying there is something wrong with me.  I didn’t sleep well either.  I had an appointment with a financial adviser.  Don’t worry: not taxes (yet, though that’s sure to be F-U-N with a capital F).

All I wanted was a cup of coffee.

So I heard that the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf was no opened by Bryant Park.  However, turns out my sources weren’t entirely on.  They’re a little below Bryant, but no worries.  The Mets Clubhouse Store is there, and I figured I’d report on the fact they still do not have Jon Niese shirts in the store (confirmed) and that I figured me investing in an Ike Davis shirsey was in my cards.

But so much more happened.  I didn’t get a shirt.  Perhaps I was too distracted by Mr. Met.

The second I saw him, a big smile was on my face.  That did it.  My bad mood was all of a sudden lifted by the appearance of the guy with the baseball as a head.

He gave me a high-four and we posed for a picture together.  Then, his “muscle” told me that John Franco was in the store signing autographs.

OOPS.

I totally had a brain cramp that Franco was visiting some stores today.  Again, one of those things that was unexpected.  I had gone in looking to buy something but instead I find the mascot and the guy who is being inducted in the Mets Hall of Fame.

 

Forget Disney World.  Today the Mets Clubhouse was the happiest place on Earth.

How can anyone be in a bad mood after seeing Mr. Met?  Seriously, how?  I went from scowling to smiling ear-to-ear in no time flat.

Then I remembered something.  It’s not spring on the calendar but it’s in the air.  Rita’s Water Ice is opening soon, the Mets are in spring training, and the weather is very mild.

And I see Mr.  Met.  This is what we call “Winning,” people.

Till I saw Mr. Met, I would have just been another pissed off New Yorker.  I walked away without an Ike Davis shirt but with an extra skip in my step reminding me of the good I have in my life, and how much baseball is a part of that.

Thanks Mr. Met.  My advice to you is that if you have any worries, just find Mr. Met.  You can’t help but smile when you see him.