Excerpt from Game 1 of 162: Let’s play ball.
The grass is cut. The dirt is raked. The smells of stadium food are in the air. The sounds of beer vendors so eloquently pierce our ears. It’s that time of year; the best time of year. It’s time for Baseball.
And when Mariano Rivera walked out of the dugout to throw the first pitch to start the season, it gave you all the feels. It’s gonna be a great year.
Welcome to the 2019 Major League Baseball season. The season where the New York Yankees are destined for greatness…
Six months ago we marked the new Yankee season with these words. We watched as Game 1 unfolded, expecting to see a bunch of stars make their mark, mash home runs, and tear through the American League. We were ready for complete dominance from the biggest studs in the game.
Instead, the Yankees embarked on a journey no one could foresee and no one would ask for. Yet ironically, no one would change.
We got the misfits, the nobody’s, the Scranton crew who stole our hearts and filled us with pride; filled us with one unifying rallying cry.
“30 players down, 39 IL stints, over 2000 player-games missed… It didn’t matter.”
30 players down, 39 IL stints, over 2000 player-games missed.
It didn't matter… #NextManUp pic.twitter.com/f4zGPiEzQ1
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 3, 2019
I’d argue it did. It all mattered. Every freaking moment mattered. Every trial, every injury, every setback, every next man, every limp, tear, break, pop and … glute, mattered. Because it brought us to tonight bruised and battered, but stronger and humbled … ready. The Yankees have faced every test they could have faced this year. They are better for it, stronger because of it, more so than if they never faced a test at all.
Of course, no one asks for trouble. No one asks for trials. No one asks for tests. Most want problem-free living, cruise control, and predictability. We don’t just want the cake, we want to eat it, too. But this season proved over and over again you can’t enjoy the good times, without the bad. You can’t know joy without pain. You can’t see the sun without clouds. You can’t have a Yankees Championship without hardship.
Hard, it was. Stressful, it was. Troubling, it was.
Sweeter, it will be.
If they have one more fight in them, those tests will soon become their testimony. Their trials will become their triumph. Their hardship will become their championship.
The Yankees have played one-hundred and sixty-two baseball games.
But the season starts now.
The pitching is set.
The lineup is stacked.
The roster is ready.
T-minus 4 hours…
“This is the regular season. They can say that 162 is the regular season, but that Spring Training. This is when it counts. This is when it all counts. This is when it matters. The first 11. So it’s going to be some fun.” – Aaron Judge