As you know I’m a born (but not bored, like Mets fans are today) and bred in New York diehard Atlanta Braves fan. I have the MLB package and from opening day until my team is out of contention. I don’t miss a game unless it’s on Shabbat or Yom Tov (and in those cases I usually tape them to watch later).
I watch my games every night as well as all the games within my division. If they are playing at the same time as Atlanta, I’ll flip back-and-forth between commercials or follow the other games on the MLB app on my phone. I treat the first game the same as I would a playoff game; every single game counts. I don’t like hearing “but today it’s only May: or it’s “only midway through the season, there’s plenty of time left and plenty of games to play.” In the end it could be a matter of one game that separates your team from the playoffs.
I always believed that I was just a run of the mill old-fashioned reasonably passionate baseball fan. Of course, I had no barometer of how sports fans are supposed to act and properly demonstrate their love for their team. My parents and brother and sister were only “average” sports fans and none of my friends were actually “REAL” fans, just casual at best, I was never correctly indoctrinated in “proper fan protocol.
I approached fan-hood by focusing on wins and losses only. This resulted in my demonstrating my love for the Braves by dancing and tomahawk-whooping and chanting when they won, and I howling and tantruming when they lost.
Jerry always claimed to love his Yankees and followed them passionately. But as I carefully watched him I began to suspect that he was a Yankee fan imposter, a wannabe at best. The proof was, as I was watching my Braves and every other team in the division on a nightly basis (as if our kitchen was a sports bar), I would, on occasion, generously ask if he wanted to watch his Yankees for a couple minutes. Jerry, for most of the season would casually respond, “No, Ju, you watch your Braves.”
He’d periodically check the Yankee box score, displaying conspicuous lack of passion. No yelling. No tantrums. I questioned whether he was the real Slim Shady as a fan. However, under closer scrutiny, I determined that Jerry was a Yankees fan undercover operative. He began to share with me how he approaches being a Yankees fan. He closely follows the performance of each of the Yankee’s top 25 prospects, every game, every night. OK, so maybe he is a true fan, but not as obsessed as I am.
One night a few weeks ago, one of my rival division teams was playing on the East coast, and so with the rain delay, the game was still on at 2 am. Jerry, who had been downstairs watching a taped basketball playoff game, entered our bedroom and thought I was sleeping, because the lights were off. He reached over to shut the radio, when suddenly my hand shot up and grasped his wrist, just like in those horror movies when the monster, presumed dead, springs to life and attacks his unsuspecting victim.
“Ju, its 2 am your and team isn’t even playing. Why are you listening to the game?” he asked.
“Because I’m rooting against the Nationals, that’s why,” I responded.
As of June 18 the Braves lead the NL East by 3-1/2 games, which is the biggest lead in any of MLB’s six divisions. They’re tied with Milwaukee for the league’s best record at 42–29. Somehow the Braves’ starters have the second-best ERA among NL clubs and the third-best in baseball. Looks like they might be contending in 2018 as opposed to their projected year of 2020.
Now I’ve gotta run … have to catch the Yankee-Nationals game. Let’s go Yankees! Get the Nats.
If you don’t follow baseball, you could make these cookies instead.
Disney’s BRAVE Empire Biscuits
Makes about 9 large biscuits (cookies)
Cookie dough ingredients:
1 stick of butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Cookie dough directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add in baking powder and flour. Mix well. Next, add in the egg and vanilla. Mix on medium-high until sides of bowl are clean and dough begins to form a ball. Remove dough and knead by hand. Form into a ball and place in plastic wrap. Cover and set in fridge to chill 30 minutes.
Remove chilled dough and place on flour-dusted surface. Roll out to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a shot glass or round cookie cutter, cut into 1 1/2-inch diameter circles. You should have 18 circles. Place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool on cooling racks. Now move on to the icing.
1 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 to 2 Tbsp. hot water
Place all ingredients into a small bowl and mix well with a spoon, adding hot water as needed until you have a thin, gravy-like consistency. Set aside.
Other ingredients needed:
1 jar raspberry preserves
Maraschino cherries, roughly chopped into quarters
Take one of the cooled cookies and place bottom up on a plate. Top with a tablespoon of the raspberry preserves. Now, set a second cookie on top and gently press down, creating a sandwich. Spoon a dollop of icing on top and spread with the back of the spoon. Finish off with a bit of chopped cherry.