Wednesday, April 1, 2020

MLB withdrawal: a guest post

The following is a guest post by WH, who holds the dual distinction of A. being at Yankee Stadium for game 4 of the 2001 World Series and nearly passing away during Tino Martinez's game-tying, ninth-inning home run, and B. starting and maintaining a game-long, stadium-wide "Let's Go Yankees" chant during a road game at Turner Field in Atlanta in 2009. 

We call this piece Fever Dreams About Mike Tauchman.

Day four without Major League Baseball and I've already gone through a wide range of emotions. I almost cried on Thursday (March 26) when I realized that I would not be watching opening day games; Friday, I was blaming the global pandemic for letting the Astros off the hook for their cheating scandal. By Saturday I was spending an hour showing my newborn son Youtube clips of sweet swinging lefties from my youth. 

Which brings us to Monday, March 30.

I woke up this morning so confused, but it seemed so real. I had a dream I was sitting in the outfield bleachers at the Stadium watching my beloved Yankees playing in a game (opponent not important). For some ungodly reason, Mike Tauchman was in center field and I was heckling him for his terrible batting average, (he was hitting .080 before all spring training games were cancelled) and the fact that he is stealing playing time from my favorite current Yankee, Clint Frazier. 

As the game is progressing he hears my heckling but has yet to respond to my lunacy. Then the inevitable happens: Tauchman misplays a ball in center and I let him have it. Still no response on his part. The next half inning he comes to the plate with runners on first and second and rips a double down the line scoring both runners. We take the lead. This is still not enough to earn my admiration. I am still yelling nonsense at Tauchman. His next at bat, he crushes a home run to right. So now he's 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs.

As he's tossing warmup throws before the next half-inning, he looks up at me and says "that one was for you." I retaliate with "I'm never going to stop heckling you!", and he looks me dead in the eyes and says "Please don't, I thrive on it."

Sure, Dream Mike Tauchman finally came through, but its been just four days without baseball and already my own brain is turning on me. I am terrified to see how far this will go, but who knows, in a few weeks I will probably have some weird nightmare where me, Nick Swisher and Don Mattingly are in some kind of crazy Tiger King-type of polygamous relationship.

Strap in folks, its going be a long, wild, horrifying ride without MLB for the foreseeable future.