Not Enough Love to Go Around

I’ve shared some amazing stories and milestones on these pages the last three years. Things of which I’m extraordinarily proud. But this is not one of them.

I’ve always been a pretty loving guy. When I get attached to something/someone, I’m passionate and loyal. I’ve always prided myself on being absolutely dedicated to the things I love without fail. But life has a way of throwing serious monkey wrenches into the best laid plans. I got married five years ago and MJ was the center of my universe. Three years ago Will was born, and I learned quickly that there’s a whole new level of love you can feel you never even knew existed. Throw in a dog, friends, family members, etc and that’s a lot of people and areas that require attention.

Something had to give. And unfortunately, a very trusted and beloved friend of mine had to suffer the consequences.

I’m sorry Boston Red Sox.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a huge Sox fan. But before I was married with children, I was a Sox lunatic. I watched every game, went to probably a dozen games at Fenway every summer and lived and died with every pitch. Especially in the playoffs. I’d hungrily devour the abundance of Sox media coverage the morning after each game, and even went to the opposing team’s newspaper sites to look at their take.

At my most frenzied I’d do things like examine YouTube videos of Pedro Martinez to compare the mechanics of his delivery and his arm slot from his dominant stretch from 1998-2000. During my more geeky moments I’d even score the game by hand.

162 games every season. Each game is roughly three hours long on average. So if I watched every regular season game, that means I spent more than 20 days watching baseball. Not including playoffs.

You just can’t do that when you’re a parent. Well, I guess you can but you’d be ignoring the shit out of your kid. I found myself watching parts of the game at first instead of the whole thing. Then I’d just catch the end after Will went to bed. As Will got older he wanted to watch his shows on TV, so I’d lose you to The Wiggles or Mickey Mouse. Pretty soon I was never spending any time with you in person, opting to check my cell phone for scores periodically.

Why can’t you be more like football and the Patriots. It’s so much easier because it’s every Sunday (or sometimes Monday) and you can justify to your wife setting aside three hours a week to watch the games.

But baseball is just about every day. For six months. Even longer if your team makes the playoffs.

The Red Sox play their season opener in Arlington today against the Rangers. For the first time in perhaps my entire life, I didn’t even catch a preseason game because I’ve been so busy. And this is an exciting season with the likes of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez joining the team, in addition to Big Papi, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and a possibly preternatural pitching rotation of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey and Dice-K.

Normally my baseball boner would’ve been in full effect since December. But I’m a husband. I’m a father. It literally pains me to say this but I have more important things to do. Which on one hand makes me feel like a total fan failure. After all, I’ve been in love with the Red Sox far longer than I’ve known my wife or son. We spent so much time together, yet over the last few years we’ve been slowly growing apart. I haven’t wanted to admit it the harsh truth, but it’s true.

So I just want to say good luck today Red Sox. I know I’ve taken this day off from work entirely in the past to devote myself to opening day, but not this year. I’m really going to try to see you play today. At least a few innings. I just have to, you know, finish up work and then pick Will up from daycare. And make him dinner. Then clean the house because his birthday party is tomorrow.

But I really think I can tune in for an inning or two. Maybe. Or at least the highlights on SportsCenter.

Oh God…how did it come to this??

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19 thoughts on “Not Enough Love to Go Around

  1. All you need to do is change Red Sox to Cardinals and this is the exact story of my life. Last year I watched less baseball than at any point that I can remember. I felt bad about it. I still love the Cardinals, but six months is just too much these days. And in the meantime I’ve developed a love for the NFL for the reason’s you’ve mentioned. Three years ago I watched zero NFL games. Now I’m all in on Sunday. And yesterday I missed opening day for the first time ever. I DVR’d the game but ESPN blacked out the game in our area and when I went to watch it there was 4 hours of sportscenter, NBA Live, and other crap. My wife said you look like you’re going to cry. I didn’t cry. I think it’s just an omen for the season. Twins arriving in 3-4 months will put an absolute end to the 2011 season. Maybe I can watch baseball again in 20 years. Good luck with the Sox. I think they’ll win the East this year. Hopefully you’ll get to see some of it.

  2. It’s funny how that happens…I remember when every Sunday at my house was devoted to football…and then Matt came along and Sunday was Dave’s only day off most weeks and so….bye bye football. How do you tell a little boy you can’t play because you are watching the guys on TV? My husband’s answer? You don’t. You play with the little boy because you’re a dad and that’s what you do. And that’s why I love him.

  3. Dammit. I forgot it was April Fool’s Day. Not the best timing to run this piece. But I swear, it’s not an April Fool’s joke. Although I can see why you’d think it.

  4. I have the same problem! I did get a consolation prize this year though. My sons little league team last year was the Indians. They disbanded the team and re-drafted all the kids. My son now plays for the Red Sox!! I was THRILLED!! His Spankees fan father…not so much. So yea, double bonus.

  5. I have been reading your posts for months now and not commented but I simply had to agree and say that I feel your pain. I am in the same boat as my time for baseball has been taken up by kids and wife. Just be glad you still can see the games when you have time. We couldn’t justify the cost of our cable anymore and as I live in MI that means I only get to see the Sox when they are on Fox or TBS, which is at least far more often then is the case for most teams. Its a cruel world.

    Its funny. While reading this I was thinking that you are basically writing the plot line of Fever Pitch, but with a kid instead of a girlfriend.

  6. Oh, no no no. We are not together. We were for 8 years but that all came to a crashing end after Game 7 in ’04. I didn’t know how long the psych ward was going to keep him and I wasn’t willing to wait :P

    My fauxsband, who occasionally posts here, is a Phillies fan and I don’t rib him as much as I did my ex. Philadelphia fans are nuckin futs.

  7. JEE: Whoops, I read too fast and didn’t see “Spankees fan father.” Phillies fans are a little more respectable, but you’re right in that they’re goddamn crazy.

    Josh: We do not mention that godforsaken awful movie around these parts. Jimmy Fallon will burn in hell for his portrayal of Boston fans, and for jumping on the field after the 2004 World Series and nearly ruining the experience for Red Sox fans everywhere. Good fucking lord that movie makes me angry!!!

  8. Yeah, I can totally understand that anger over the movie, however, you still essentially outline the plot quite adeptly. Either way, its a rough reality to live with.

  9. I liked the movie. And while life does get in the way sometimes, the Red Sox are forever. I need to get to a TV.

  10. There is always enough love to go around. Boston needs you! And hey! What about the C’s? Just the Sox?

    The photo is painfully adorable.

  11. They say “breaking up” is hard to do. Even though I am not a die hard baseball fan, I am a football nut! Thankfully, I am blessed to be married to a woman who “got” me and during the first few years of marriage, our Sunday ritual after church was to watch my beloved San Francisco Forty-Niners.

    Now I watched them before they were Super Bowl champs, after and even now. Of course with three daughters, I have to do a lot of convincing that “our team” is playing and we have to root for them.

    @Erica, I appreciate your take on this. There are times when I will do the “right” thing and spend quality time with my girls. It’s time I won’t get back and I can always read up on ESPN what happened.

    Like the others though, I do feel your “pain”.

  12. I just found this blog so pardon the much delayed post. I can completely relate (except for the team. GO Cards!) but I wanted to offer hope. I have begun to find time for the occasional game after a long dry spell. I find myself out of the loop now but I am catching up! The littles grow up to be disinterested in having you around so much (clearly not a time to be grateful for!) but then… there’s baseball… Someday I hope to convert one of the clan over to the wonderful sport that is baseball… so far I’m out of luck though. **sighs*

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