I've begun to see that the pleasure men take in being with each other -- playing cards together, being in a bar together -- isn't actively anti-female. It isn't against women; it just has nothing to do with them. It seems to come from some point in their lives before they were aware that there were women. They have so much fun together. I really have become much more sympathetic to men because of my job.
Jane Gross, on her experiences as woman sportswriter, to Roger Angell, 1979
I just love this quote--I've used it several times now--because it keeps me in touch what I find so appealing about watching baseball: the companionship, the intimacy, the natural displays of affection that ballplayers share. These days we are reminded at every turn of the distance between us and big league athletes, but we can still observe how these guys pal around, in an unaffected, generous way. Manny Ramirez's infectious warmth spread to the entire Red Sox club a few years ago as teammates would openly hug after they hit a home run. But I remember watching Kevin Brown massage Jon Lieber's shoulder in the dugout as they watched a game--and Brown was supposed to be the biggest ogre going.
Just this morning the Daily News ran a photo of Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter, the two greatest Yankee everyday players of the Joe Torre years. Jeter is seated in the dugout leaning over, blowing some dirt off of his glove. Williams stands above Jeter, his left hand cupped in the middle of the Captain's head. In his right hand is a cup of water which is about to pour over Jeter. His left hand is placed so as to prevent any water from running down the front of Jeter's face, and Williams has a look of concentration on his face. It is a common enough sight, but noteable because of Jeter's casual, almost unaware posture, and the great care Williams seems to be taking; they are completely comfortable with each other. Love that kind of stuff.