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Taking a short break from the Yankees

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Life is stressful enough without your favorite team playing awful. Why not take a short break from watching?

MLB: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Lately, watching the Yankees hasn’t been much fun. You probably don’t need me to tell that. However, as Yankee fans, many of us are likely to keep watching games despite knowing full well that the team isn’t playing well right now, thus minimizing the chances for any kind of gratification for following the action.

This article offers a radical alternative to such viewing habits. Indeed, it’s an invitation to do the exact opposite; to not watch. By this, I don’t mean that people should just quit watching indefinitely. I’m merely suggesting that taking a break for a game, maybe even a series, could make for a much more enjoyable fan experience than actually sitting through the Yankees’ struggles.

I myself regularly employ this tactic, although it’s more by necessity than by choice. I live in Japan, and in addition to my blogging duties I have a regular 9-to-5. My daily schedule on weekdays does not allow me to sit down and watch Yankee games, so most of the time I just end up following the games on Gameday, on my MLB At Bat app. Sometimes, when I’m too tired to feel emotionally invested in the Yankees, or when I just have other plans, I simply don’t check on the games at all, looking up the score only after the games have ended.

My sporadic viewing habits have caused me to miss some great games, but they’ve also shielded me from a great deal of misery. I mean, who wants to see their favorite team get shut down by Brian Johnson and Nathan Eovaldi for two or three hours? Although I still feel frustrated when I look at the standings and see that Boston has gained yet another game of separation, it’s nothing compared to actually having to sit through a Yankee loss.

What’s more, taking a break from the Yankees allows for other fun things, like listening to music or having lunch with friends. The refreshment that these and other activities provide lets me watch the next Yankee game I’m able to catch with a certain optimism and calmness. There’s a limit to this strategy - for instance, I’m not missing a playoff game for anything, and I would be in a terrible state should the Yankees suffer a premature bye - but for the long and arduous regular season, it works like a charm.

All that being said, if there are any readers who are tired of being mad about the Yankees, here are some other activities you can do while we wait for them to regroup.

  1. Write a FanPost on PSA! (Just make sure that it’s reasonable and well argued, not some Johnny Angryfan - type post.)
  2. Check out some new music. (While it’s hardly new, I recently discovered Anderson .Paak’s 2016 album Malibu and it is an absolute banger.)
  3. Watch this GIF. (I’m a fan of the guy behind CC.)

4. Look up Aaron Judge’s player page on FanGraphs and marvel at his young career (and hope he comes back soon).

5. While you’re at it, check out Mike Trout’s page.

6. Work on that novel you’ve been planning to write for years. The first word is always the hardest.

7. Read that novel you’ve been planning to read for years. Except if it’s Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian (not that it’s a bad book - it’s great - but it makes the Yankees’ slump seem like a walk in the park).

It’s a long season, and much like actual players, our psyches also suffer ups and downs and countless aches. If you find that baseball has become a source of stress for you rather than a relief from it, as it should be, then why not take a short break? Even though the Yankees have played poorly as of late, they’re still in all likelihood going to make the playoffs. In order to enjoy that, taking a break now might be the best thing to do.