Friday, October 19, 2007

Walk on the Wild Side

A slight departure for Mothers this morning -- sports.

With Joe Torre walking away from one of the more public spots in baseball, all eyes are now on Don Mattingly, gentleman first baseman, and possible inheritor of the Yankees manager throne.

I spent many a game watching from seats that were borrowed from a borrower, just four rows from first base, during the years Mattingly played. I watched as single gal after single gal (and yes, I was one of those as well) would slink their way to the small wall hoping for a photo, a signature, a wink perhaps a date. What Mattingly offered? A blind eye focused instead on warming up for the games.

But should a child appear? Eager, pint-sized, perhaps an oversized glove in her or his hand, a ball, Mattingly would stop, saunter over, sign, say a word, and then go back to what he was being paid to do -- play a great game of baseball.

All that I'm saying is that I'm not really a baseball fan. And as The Prince will gladly state, I can hardly stomach any sports at all. But Mattingly made me feel that I was watching a true sports figure. A character right from baseball's recipe book -- strong, quiet, who knew why he was there: to play a game to the best of his ability, and to remember that it's really for the kids.

The Yankees have always been a mess of hyperbole and swagger. And I think Mattingly could do so so much better. But if the Page Six of Sports Teams extends the offer? I say go Don. Maybe you'll bring some button-up to this band of bruisers. If nothing else, I may start tuning in again.

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