Only in Boston would a photo of a baseball player getting a haircut make page 1 above the fold. It’s really rather cruel of the Globe. As a Sox fan living in the heart of Red Sox nation, I'm totally crushed by Damon’s defection but not surprised. My cynicism about baseball greed was cemented by Roger Clemens’ departure and the player strike, for which I blame everyone involved in the sport. I really don’t believe that it’s just about the money -- after the first few million, it’s just figures on a piece of paper, if you ask me. With 10 million a year, I can’t imagine there’s anything you would ever want to buy or do that you still couldn’t afford. I think it’s all about ego. Professional athletes are like movie actors or rock stars -- they struggle in poverty and obscurity for years, and then a lucky few make it to the top of their profession, when suddenly they’re mobbed by adoring fans, pursued by multimillionaire employers and flooded with money. But you know what? They get used to it and then start expecting it. It’s an ego thing. Damon said it himself: the Yankees pursued him more aggressively. Various members of the organization called him up and threw him a whole lotta love. The players call it “respect” but I’d call it more like ego-stroking.
All that said, I can’t hate Damon because I never disliked him in the first place, unlike Clemens or Boggs, who I thought were pretty selfish and mighty dumb. Bob Ryan had a very nice appreciation of Damon in today’s Globe in which he basically says, let’s remember the good times and what we had in our relationship with Johnny. But none of this changes the fact that the fucking Yankees have WAY too much money.
On happier topics, we’re heading off the deep Jersey and then upstate New York on Monday. The Jersey jaunt is Ben’s relatives, including a surprise 30th anniversary party for his father and stepmother; upstate is actually to rendezvous with friends from the Deep South. I my next blog entry has a note saying it was dictated to a personal aide by eyeblinks due to total paralysis, you’ll know they probably got me on skis -- or else I lost all motor neuron function in fear that one of the kids would wind up in the same condition. Ben I’m not too worried about -- he knows how to ski, plus I think thrill-seeking adult males are responsible for dealing with their own compound fractures. Fortunately my car is getting a new CD player today (under warranty -- YES!!) because I managed to wreck the original by cramming a CD down its throat without pressing the correct secret sequence of buttons first. Having this device is important so we can listen to music the kids like during the long car rides. I have an iPod and adore it, but the car-radio-interface thingy gives you only six choices of FM frequency, and in the metro New York area, they’re all taken up by actual radio stations. So off we go to close, repeated critical listenings to Julie Andrews belting out “Doe a Deer” and Arlo Guthrie doing “City of New Orleans.” Unless I feel some need to post this weekend, I’ll be back in the blogopshere after the New Year. Happy holidays, everyone!