While it’s always at least a little bit painful to watch the playoffs once the Yankees have been eliminated, it’s something I still do. Maybe I don’t watch every pitch like I would if the Yankees were still playing, but I still make a point to watch most of the game. After all, it’s baseball and I love baseball. I’d watch baseball rain, shine, tidal wave, whatever (name that movie!). Of course, during the regular season, I’ll watch non-Yankee games, but not too intently, unless it’s a big pitching match up. I think that’s why I enjoy watching non-Yankee playoff games so much: I have no real rooting interest, but the games are still remarkably intense.
Despite that intensity, though, I can be loose. I don’t have to live an die with every pitch. I don’t have to rock back and forth like Leo Mazzone every time someone takes a swing. I don’t feel like I need a drink or seven after each game to calm me down. I can actually have fun during a close game and that’s what makes non-Yankee playoff games a blast.
For example, last night, even though I’m essentially rooting for the Tigers in the series, I didn’t freak out when Jose Valverde melted down. I didn’t get pissed off when Ron Washington and Jim Leyland called for silly intentional walks. I was able to laugh that stuff off because, ultimately, it wouldn’t affect me as a fan.
Baseball is incredible to watch, but it can also be, as you well know, mentally, physically, and emotionally draining. It’s great to get the same intensity of the playoffs without the heartburn and headache to go along with it. But, if it meant the Yankees were still alive in the playoffs, I’d be more than happy to be on the edge of insanity with every single pitch.
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