Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Thrill Is Long Gone from Fall Classic

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Thrill Is Long Gone from Fall Classic

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette, Times-Union sports writer

The little kid in me wants to fall in love again.

I wish it could be like third grade in Sister Dominic's class, with me listening to the transistor radio through a well-hidden ear piece. I'm not sure what provided the greater rush -- worrying about the school's toughest nun catching me in the act, or after school hearing the announcer's call that Joe Pepitone hit a grand slam to ensure that the 1964 World Series extended to a seventh game.

Everything about the New York Yankees and baseball mattered then. It mattered in grammar school, in high school, in college. My heart still burned for the pinstripes after leaving my Vermont roots for Florida, especially when Bucky Dent tortured the hated Red Sox in that glorious one-game playoff.

But somewhere along the way, starting with the '94 baseball strike, apathy gradually set in. I lost that lovin' feeling. Not that I stopped watching games or scanning box scores. It's just that it became easier to go through each day without them.

A telltale sign that the passion was completely gone hit me Sunday night while catching glimpses of Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson mowing down Yankees like he was Sandy Koufax in a time warp. Instead of watching every pitch and the team I bled for as a youth (to the point of copying Mel Stottlemyre's exact pitching motion in Little League), I found myself clicking in and out of baseball's Fall Classic when no other sporting event was on television.

Holy cow, Scooter, what's happening?

For an entire decade when CBS owned the Yankees, I lived and died with the likes of Tom Tresh, Horace Clarke, Roy White, Bobby Murcer and Fritz Peterson. I suffered through the longest pennant drought since pre-Miller Huggins. And now that the NY dynasty has reached another peak, my flame is out. …

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