There have been several changes to the New York Yankees’s line-up since the end of the last baseball season and I have found myself experiencing a feeling that I have not felt for a long time. Last year A. J. Burnett moved to the Pittsburgh Pirates after a bad season with the Yankees. Recently Russell Martin and Nick Swisher have departed for Pittsburgh and Cleveland respectively. These last two changes surprised me. Russell was the Yankees’s “everyday catcher” and Swisher could be considered as the Yankees’s “everyday right fielder”. In addition, Swisher was a public relations face of the Yankees’s and a favourite of the fans. You only had to sit at right-field to realise – the fans just would not leave him alone and he used to turn to salute us fans at every game.
The feeling I refer to is discomfort with change. I came to baseball later in life and I’ve only been a fan since 2010. The players I mentioned above have been at the Yankees since I’ve been a fan and seeing them leave makes me uncomfortable for some reason.
When we are young or rather when we experience something for the first time, we tend to accept things as they are and take them for granted. For example, years ago I had a Walkman. A Walkman was the way to listen to music. Years passed and the newer generation was buying Minidisc players. Then years passed and the next generation was buying MP3 players. And so on. The kids of today think that MP3 players are the normal way to listen to music and don’t question it. The older generations have been through vinyl, cassettes, CDs, MP3 download services and now subscription services to listen to their music. The Walkman was one of the first ways I had to play music and it was what I was comfortable with. Swisher and Martin were in the first baseball team I went to see. And it was what I was comfortable with.
We need to embrace change and get over discomfort associated with it. Change is a normal part of life and can be for the best. The New York Yankees will continue to evolve and they will always be the Yankees, whoever the players are. Actually, they are continually changing without me realising it. Chris Stewart can catch. Suzuki can cover right field. We still have A-Rod, Jeter and CC. Players come and go, and sometimes it is better that they change teams. (A. J. Burnett has done better at the Pirates.)
Am I now embracing change? Generally, yes. In this very specific case, I will be seeing Pittsburgh play several games this year in USA so I hope to see A. J. Burnett pitch and Russell Martin catch again. I will be popping into Cleveland to see the Indians play too and maybe Swisher will be around then.
(The Yankees stadium is in the Bronx, on 161st Street.)