HOWARD: I’m a baseball addict. I spend hours building fantasy teams in my head. I sing “Meet the Mets” in my sleep.
Rachel, too, has always enjoyed baseball, but casually.
Finding a middle ground involves compromise. For example, I’ll need to be updated by a groomsman on the night of our wedding. (Mets vs. Nationals starts 7:10, my wedding starts 7:30.)
Since becoming engaged, I’ve realized that developing Rachel into a passionate baseball fan might make everyone’s life easier. In an effort to familiarize Rachel with our team, the two of us created a chart in the shape of a Shea Stadium. The players (represented by pictures, names, numbers) are positioned on the field on post-it notes. We change the starting pitcher daily.
Now, it’s becoming a joy to watch baseball with Rachel because I’m watching with an insightful fan. For example, we braved the cold and wind to see the Mets take the Subway Series from the Yankees. In the eighth inning, down 4-2, the Yankees loaded the bases with nobody out. Derek Jeter hit a sacrifice fly to the right fielder Xavier Nady. With no chance to get the runner at home, Nady’s throw to third kept the runner at second base.
As I started to explain she cut me off: “That’s huge,” said Rachel, already ahead of me, “a fly ball won’t tie the game now.”
An ex-girlfriend of mine once asked me, “What do you love more, me or baseball?”
Rachel doesn’t even have to ask.