A week behind on getting the junior circuit predictions out, and I do apologize. I have some good excuses. Last weekend was my fantasy draft for one of my leagues, which I am happy to report, for the first time in my 3 yr history in this league, (the league had been around for almost 20 yrs, yes I said 20) I am extremely happy with the results of the draft. More on that later.
Curtis Granderson is a Yankee. There, I said it. I am more sad than mad, I think. For the 2nd time in my life, I had become emotionally attached to someone in sports. The other was Payne Stewart, and his great life was cut way too short, in his prime. I am sure now he was on his way to be one of the great ambassadors of golf (hmmm a theme here?), somewhere between a Ben Crenshaw and a Jack Nicklaus. I followed Payne form his early days not just because the knickers, but because of his story, and I saw him hit some of the most amazing golf shots I have ever seen in my years at Muirfield Village. I admit, I had tears in my eyes when he won his first major, tears when he won the Open; I cried when he died.
Curtis Granderson is a Yankee? How did that happen? My favorite tiger, maybe of all time, well maybe not yet, not now, for sure, he had a bit to go to eclipse some of the Bless you Boys; Morris, Gibson, Trammell & Whitaker. How could they do this? Even with his shortcomings on the field, off the filed he means more to Detroit and the kids he reaches. He could have been to Detroit what, gulp, Jeter is to New York, Sandberg is to Chicago, or Cal is to Baltimore?
So, the more I thought about it, maybe he could be a Cub? After all, he is from the Chicago area, went to, and graduated, from U of I Chicago, so it seemed like it might fit. I was born in Chicago; I like the Cubs, who doesn’t have a place in their heart for the cubs? So I started to warm to the thought of Grandy at home in Chicago, and ignored the Yankee rumors.
Then like a sucker punch, it happened. I can tell you the exact moment I found out. I was on my way home that day from work, and I turned on the radio, always on ESPN, and caught just the last part of a statement that sounded like, “erson to the Yankees, we’ll take calls on that and more in just a few…” I did a double take, and almost threw up in my mouth. The first reaction is always denial. That’s where I was. I couldn’t wait for the 2-3 minutes of commercial breaks to confirm if erson meant Granderson, so I frantically began texting and calling everyone I know who might have more details. 1/7 responded; my boss, a consummate Yankees fan. His response was more or less rubbing it in, basically feeding me a line of BS about his number 28 and how ironic it was since the Yankees just won their 27th WS. I didn’t cry, I swear.
What a dreadful winter it has been, having to linger over the thought of the final weeks collapse of the Tigers, culminating in a gut punch on that 163rd day, a november nor’easter kindly relocating thousands of gallons of water to my basement, twice over two feet of snow dropped in my yard, and the Tigers trading baseball’s ambassador, my favorite player, Curtis Granderson, Grandy to those who love him, to the evil empire.