Take me out to the press box
Normally I don't stress out about what to wear to a Yankees game. I've got a rotating collection of officially licensed T-shirts, shirseys (that brilliant invention of the T-shirt with player names and numbers on the back) and a few different caps. Many of my friends know my favorite "lucky" Yankees hat that's been with me to almost every game over the past few years, regular season, home and away, playoffs and World Series. I'm in Tampa this week for several Spring Training games, including two Yankees home games at Steinbrenner Field and two road games. But I didn't pack any of my T-shirts and hats for this trip. Because I'm here as a credentialed member of the media, not as a fan.
I felt strange leaving those behind when I packed what seemed like my entire spring and summer wardrobe for this trip. And the feeling got even stranger at Steinbrenner Field on Sunday. Eating lunch in the media dining room (Max's Cafe) instead of grabbing a hot dog. Watching the game from the press box instead of from a seat in the stands. And of course following the cardinal rule: No cheering in the press box. I cannot remember the last time I didn't cheer when A-Rod hit a home run (as he did in the second inning of Sunday's game off Twins' pitcher Scott Baker).
This isn't a complaint, and I don't want anybody pulling out the world's smallest violin. I know how lucky I am to do what I do now after years as a corporate lawyer. I know many people would kill for the chance to watch baseball and write about it for a living. This is a great gig. Even MLB is sponsoring a so-called "Dream Job" contest, where the lucky winner gets to watch and blog about every single major league baseball game. But it's somewhat surreal, being removed from the action after being a fan my whole life. I enjoy the fan experience, the camaraderie in the crowd, the heckling from opposing fans, the peanut shells that end up stuck in my shoes and somehow end up in my purse.
I'll enjoy my view from the press box this week, and of course appreciate the access to the players. But I'm looking forward to my next game as a fan. My shirt and hat are ready for game action.