Talkin' Baseball: One More Empty October in The Bronx

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autumn in a baseball-less Bronx

Wilfredo was working the sandwich station at the closest thing you could compare to a New York deli I’ve found here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Will came to America from his native, baseball-crazy homeland of Venezuela about five years ago. And he knows his stuff.
I try to hit this joint about once a week and always glad to see Will behind the counter. I don’t remember how it got started, but we always get right to baseball. No small talk. He lays right into me — bustin’ balls about my “Jankees”, in his charming broken English. Especially when they’re in a funk, but in the few times they’re rollin’, Will gives ’em their due, I gotta give him that.

It’s been a bit, but today was the first time I’ve seen him since the Houston Astros knocked the Bronx Bombers out of the playoffs. The first thing out of his mouth was “Hey, the Yankees are too old!”.
I reminded him that a good part of the final push to help the Yanks even limp into the postseason came from the kids — Bird, Severino, Refsynder, Heathcott, etc. Will shook his head in agreement. But he had a point, and a good one.
The guy behind me on line, who couldn’t help overhearing our banter, chimed in — “The Yankees just ran out of gas”.
Two lead pipe assessments on my baseball team when all I came in for was a roast beef and swiss sangwich on a fresh Italian roll, with onion, shredded lettuce and thinly sliced tomato, killed with oil and red wine vinegar. And just the right helping of oregano, salt and pepper. Comfort food.
For yet another October, we’ll see how the other half lives over the coming weeks as the post-season proceeds. It doesn’t even feel like the Yankees were in the playoffs, but we were prepared for it — as the club just could not get on a roll when it counted most. It’s going to be a long winter.


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