While my desire and passion for this team to win has never been stronger (probably due to the fact, that, we are not winning this year, and have not been used to that since 1992), I realized, that after re-reading a book by Buster Olney (The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty), that something was missing:
I do not have a favorite player anymore.
I'm talking about everyday players - pitchers don't count.
Starting out, I had the crafty Greg Nettles to cheer for. When he shipped out to the Padres, that very next season is when Don Mattingly started his run of greatness and I soon followed his every move. As it became clear that Donnie B's back was preventing him from being who we became accustomed him to being is precisely when the Stick acquired Paul O'Neil. And for the next couple of seasons was in heaven having two players that I could not do without. O'Neil was always my player even before he was introduced at the stadium (I was the Reds during my family feud league of Nintendo MLB). So even when Baseball called it quits, I still had O'Neil - I still had that favorite to root for on an uninterrupted basis. As we know, O'Neil's last game was, Game 7, November 2001. Since then, there has been an on again, off again vacancy for that favorite player status.
I thought that Giambi was going to be my new guy - I wanted him to be - but, you see, when you have steroids, no defensive ability, and long, long stints on the DL, support and devotion can only go so far. So, I gave him a shot, and it just didn't work out. Further, I think the obvious choice for most- the Captain, just doesn't work for me. While I admire Jeter's consistent play and appreciate it more and more as time goes on, the image first, and just do the job type approach simply doesn't speak to me - I need to see the passion on the sleeve - and that is a quality that I think Jeter sometimes lacks.
I think A-Rod could be that guy. Could - being the key word. Willing to change positions to have the opportunity to play for a winner, solid enough defensively while mixing in the occasional great play, unparalleled offensive ability, and he's starting to come out of his polished shell more and more - - it is easy to root for this guy. Which is why I say he could be my guy, my new favorite player. However, I have this growing feeling that he's opting out at the end of this season and if it can be imagined, heading to even greener pastures - I think his numbers back up the jack he's being paid more than anyone in my view. So, with all that said, I'm trying not to get too attached to this guy until I know he's staying for a while in the Bronx.. don't want to be left at the alter so to speak..... Ok, so, this is starting to sound a little gay (not that there's anything wrong with that) so this is where I'm ending it:
Who's left? Where have you gone my favorite player??