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What I will miss most about baseball: A Bronx Pinstripes staff survey

Who knows how long we’ll be without baseball, but MLB released a statement on Monday that they are following recommendations by the CDC and restricting events of 50+ people for at least 8 weeks.

Whether it’s 8 weeks, 12 weeks, or 6 months, we’re all seriously missing baseball. I asked the Bronx Pinstripes staff what they’ll miss most during the shutdown.

*Press play on the video below, read what each person will miss, and let’s all have a good cry together.*

The Routine

Andrew Salzone, @AndrewSalzone | One thing that separates America’s past time from all of the other major sports is its relentlessness. Baseball is a grind. The Yankees play nearly every day from the beginning of March to the end of October, and as a fan I’m along for the ride. Closely following a baseball team is special because it becomes such a big part of your life. I think that’s what I’ll miss the most while we take a break from baseball to address the Coronavirus situation. I’ll miss checking the Yankees’ lineup every afternoon, flipping on a game every evening, and skimming scores from around the league the next morning. A baseball season is a journey, and, as fans, we’re on that journey every single day. I can’t wait for our journey through the 2020 season to begin. I can’t wait for the grind.

Nick Delahanty, @Nick_Delahanty | Every year, we all anxiously await Opening Day. We wait for the season of new hopes, exciting opportunities, and a chance to see the Yankees bring home another World Series Championship. However, this coronavirus outbreak is putting a pause on the life we’ve always known. Personally, I’m going to miss watching games on an everyday basis. As many of us probably do, I feel like my life revolves around Yankees baseball. I’ll miss the everyday grind of the baseball season, and will definitely miss seeing the Bronx Bombers play each and everyday. It’s a sad reality, but I await the day that the world is restored to the point where we can all enjoy baseball once again!

Frank Marco, @FrankieMarco | I’m going to miss coming home from work, cooking a quick dinner, and then relaxing and listening to the Yankees broadcast. I’m going to miss BP events, because I typically schedule my visits to NY around those. I’m going to miss arguing with people on twitter about “why we shouldn’t bunt here, or ever.” I’m going to miss watching highlights of Gleyber’s home runs. I’m going to miss Aaron Judge’s catches. I’m going to miss Gary Sanchez swinging out of his shoes, missing a ball by 3 feet, and then homering on the next pitch. I’m going to miss watching the Red Sox Lose. I’m going to miss it all.

Karen Veenstra, @karen_veenstra | Yankee baseball reminds me of growing up down the shore in the summer. The nostalgia of sitting on the beach in Ortley, NJ, with an antenna radio as a 1:00 game was on and Sterling’s voice pierced through the noise of the ocean and crowded beach around you. My Dad would pick up some “Bill’s” Hot Dogs; a blind, local street vendor selling dirty water dogs for decades by our beach entrance and we’d sit in a circle with family and friends enjoying our beach day and Yankee wins. The best was when you’d notice others around you listening to the game when you heard cheers or jeers along with yours. Yankees and summer – my two loves. One is not without the other. The combination of sitting by a body of water and baseball in the Bronx was always something special to me. Life, as it should be. And when at home, never do I need to think about what I’m going to watch that night. In the summer time, it is always Yankees (and October, too). I put my kids down for bed and for the next 3, 4, 7 hours the voice of Michael Kay is in my living room, and I wouldn’t have it any other way, every single night, all summer long. Summer feels so far away when the Yankees aren’t on, and so it feels far now. I need both back in my life!

Ryan Sherman, @sherman_ryan | I’ll miss tuning into baseball everyday. It becomes so much of a part of daily life in the summer that I’ll miss counting on a game to be on to watch and enjoy with family and friends. I’ll miss going to games, I love the feeling of being surrounded by 50,000 people pulling for the same thing. Catching up about the Yankees is my favorite thing to talk about with my dad and I can’t wait until we get back to talking about games.

The Camaraderie

Colleen Healy, @_colleenmaria | I think I’ll miss the experiences connected with baseball as much as I miss the games themselves. Drinking beers with friends at Billy’s before the game. Hanging out with my family by the pool while listening to John and Suzyn on Sunday afternoons. Coming home to Friday night baseball after a long week. The thought of a summer without baseball breaks my heart.

Jack Jokinen, @JJFromThe Bronx | Slamming beers at and around the stadium. This may surprise you based on pretty much every episode of Stadium Eats, or if you’ve ever seen me at a game, but I don’t really drink that much besides baseball games. When I was younger, I used to party all the time, but now the 3 block radius of the stadium is a time machine for me back to being cool and in my 20’s. I like watching games on TV and all that jazz, but just being at the stadium and partying with 50,000 people who all have a common interest is the best. I know we’ll all be back there at some point this summer, but that is what I’ll miss the most. (STAY HOME. SERIOUSLY STAY HOME FOR A BIT UNTIL THIS IS ALL BETTER. YOU COULD BE SAVING OTHER LIVES.)

Dom Muccilo, @ItsChaBoyDom | Baseball is the greatest game on earth in my eyes, so to say I’m going to miss it would be an understatement. This is the first spring EVER in our lives where you can’t walk outside on that first 65 degree day in March and think, “Oh yeah, it’s baseball season. FINALLY!” That’s incredibly sad. But more than the home runs, strikeouts and competition, I think I’m going to miss the atmosphere the most. There’s nothing like showing up in the Bronx with a bunch of friends on a Saturday, pregaming at Billy’s or Stan’s, and watching the New York Yankees win a baseball game. I hope that day isn’t too far away.

The Escape

Milan Toolsidas, @MToolsidas29 | During the season, there’s baseball everyday. It’s not like basketball or hockey where you only play a few times a week. Tough loss the night before? You get to play again today. And this was supposed to be our year – everything was lined up for a World Series run? Now who knows what will happen? Of course baseball is a small dot relative to other things happening right now, but sports are supposed to be a constant that is there to distract you from everyday life. Not having games and other sport shows is going to be tough.

Rohan Arcot, @rohanarcot20 | At their best, sports are an escape. No matter what’s going on in the world or in your life, basically every night at 7pm during the season, you can turn on the game and forget about the rest. Whenever I’m going through something, the Yankees are a huge part of getting me through and helping end the day on a positive note. I will miss watching this incredible team and interacting with the BP Team and #BPCrew, but most of all I’ll miss the escape. With all the stress and craziness right now due to coronavirus, there is nothing I want more than to sit back, turn on the TV, and watch Gerrit Cole pump fastballs past hitters. Right now we need the escape and we can’t have it – and that’s what makes it so hard.

Rich Kaufman, @RAKcity27 | Baseball is the one thing that remains constant, so not having it around in the coming weeks and perhaps months is going to be really difficult. I’ll miss the anticipation that comes with a big series or big match-up – that us against them mentality. There’s nothing like the anticipation or excitement that baseball produces, even during a 162 game schedule. If there’s a bad day at work or things aren’t going well in any other areas of life, there’s always baseball. It has been the great distraction for so many tough times. I’ll miss hopping on the train to the stadium with a couple beers, looking forward to the game. I’ll miss not hearing New York, New York after a Yankees win and thinking that all is right in the world.

Mike Gwizdala, @MikeGwizdala | Baseball is like Tommy Henrich, it’s “Old Reliable.” It’s a fun escape that’s always there if you want to take a break from everything else going on. The game rallies people, we take off our stupid political caps and put on our Yankee caps and cheer like crazy together. I eat, drink, sleep, breathe, talk, write baseball all day and night, so like it was during the 1994-95 strike, it’s going to be an adjustment to say the least.

Drew Sarver, @mypinstripes | Whether it was a personal drama, a major crisis, like the Coronavirus or 9/11, or just an ordinary day, baseball has always been a constant for me. The game is a beautiful distraction. For three hours, your’e fully invested, win or lose.The game can be an emotional roller coaster, but whether you’re at the ballpark, or popped on the TV or radio, you’re transformed to a better day and a great place. I think back to 9/11 and how much watching the Yankees meant to me and how emotional I felt when the season ended. In good times and bad times, baseball has always been there. I look forward to when baseball is right there again.

The Greater Baseball World

WB Tarleton, @BloodyBan | I have been a lifelong fan of minor league baseball who was close enough to three NY-Penn League ballparks to visit each regularly. I had the privilege to see the likes of Dwight Gooden pitch once in Little Falls, Pat Kelly (and get into an argument with him!) in Oneonta, and Larry Walker in Utica. I have been planning to employ that passion by covering the Yankees minor league affiliates for the website. I have tickets purchased to the local Royals affiliate, the Lexington Legends, to see the A ball Charleston RiverDogs come to town. I also had planned road trips to see the rookie league Pulaski (Virginia), Yankees, Akron, Ohio to see the AA Trenton Thunder, and Louisville to see the AAA Railriders come to town. In between the road trips, I had warm spring and summer nights planned with the big club on the TV and a minor league team using the MiLB baseball package on my iPad. These kids are hurt the most by this, as they do not get paid for spring training or if there are no games. Let’s hope getting to watch the kids grow comes to fruition at some point this summer.

The Moments

Joseph Randazzo, @YankeeLibrarian | I will miss Aaron Judge home runs. Doesn’t matter if it’s in person or at the stadium. There is nothing more satisfying than the spiritual captain of this team barreling up balls and sending 450 feet. I get that Judge was hurt and he was going to miss games to start the season but before life went nuts, we at least knew he was going to come back. At some point we’d see Aaron Judge again. Now, well, who knows what’s next. At this point I don’t care if MLB allows fans in the seats or not if there’s a 2020 season. If there’s a chance for Aaron Judge moon shots, then let’s do this. Let’s get 28 too!”

The Guys You Wonder About Their Well-Being

Nick Kirby, @NkirbyNYY | I’m going to miss the rhythm of the season. Weather it’s watching with friends on a Friday night during a pregame, watching a Saturday afternoon game outside on my deck, or just watching during dinner during the week. My life from March to October absolutely resolves around the Yankees. I’m going to miss meeting my dad at Trenton Transit Center and heading up to games together while discussing that day’s lineup or who’s pitching. I’m going to miss celebrating another victory at Billy’s with overpriced beer and Drake or Big Sean blaring across the sound system. I’m going to miss getting fired up on a Friday afternoon for a huge weekend series against Boston or Houston. I’m going to miss hearing Paul Olden say “Good afternoon, and Welcome, to Yankee Stadium.” I’m going to miss standing up and clapping and roaring with the crowd when Chapman is one strike away from locking down another victory. I’ll miss Gary pimping home runs, Gleyber grinning and pointing at the dugout after a big hit, and of course I’ll miss 99 carrying the weight of the franchise on his back.

Justin Michaelson, @just_michaels | I’m going to miss going to early season games and braving the cold weather in those cold metal bleacher seats to watch early season baseball. I’m also going to miss being able to check up on my favorite team in the world and give me new conversations to have with friends co-workers and strangers. I’m also going to miss bitching and moaning about what baseball could be doing better to grow the game. My favorite time of year is baseball season – there are so many games to watch and go to, that it makes it easy to introduce people to the game I love. I love everything about this sport. Just come back soon baseball….please? Also P.S. Screw you COVID-19

What I Will Miss Most

The BP Staff covered the spectrum of what we’ll all miss while baseball is shut down – the daily grind, the feeling that “there’s always tomorrow,” the excitement of entering the stadium, talking baseball with friends and family, arguing over managerial decisions, worrying about the looming playoffs, and living and breathing baseball. I’m going to miss it all.

If I had to pinpoint one thing I’ll miss most, it’s the comfort. During baseball season I feel uneasy if I don’t know what’s going on in the game. If I’m not watching, I’m listening. If I’m not listening, I’m following the game feed. I get comfort in knowing how the Yankees are doing. Is it rational? Hell no. But sports fandom is objectively irrational, and we’re all in the crazy together.

Follow me on Twitter, @Andrew_Rotondi