Baseball gives the fan the opportunity to be happy a number of times during the season. If you are a Cincinnati Bengals fan, you may only have the chance to be happy once or twice in a whole season. But if you're a fan of a truly bad baseball team, you have a chance to be happy 60 times a year.
I was thinking about this on Sunday when I saw Baseball Tonight's week-in-review. The Reds won three games in their final at-bat last week, and Mike Piazza hit a homer to win a game on Saturday for the Mets. Piazza, who has been the focus of negative attention in the papers recently, looked like a Little Leaguer as he crossed the plate. It was a sight for sore eyes, indeed. (Yazzie collected three hits in the Mets victory last night in Colorado, though Murray Chass writes that all is not kosher in Sheaville.)
One of the drawbacks of rooting for a succesful team like the Yankees is that they spoil you rotten. Watching highlights of the Reds celebrate last week I thought of how often I scoff at such celebrations: "Act like you've been there," or "Man, you'd think you guys won the World Serious. Settle down, now." But really, I've just become a snob, because those come-from-behind wins are exciting for the Reds and their fans, and why shouldn't they be effusive? A little "Bad News Bears" never hurt anyone. I've got to lighten up a little bit. Not everybody can be the cool, efficient, big city, Yankees. And thank God for that.