And now for one of the most difficult things I have ever publicly confessed: I am reluctantly following — and even marginally supporting — the Yankees this year.
Yes, the East Coast Evil Empire with that other shade of pinstripes; the “short porch” that gets a pass while #Coors is a stereotype used to devalue Rockies players; the authoritarian team that dictates player personal grooming. I am reluctantly [sighs heavily] in.
I fought a good fight. After the Yankees signed Troy Tulowitzki, I told myself, “He’s been out of purple for awhile, so I can let this one ride.” Then the Yankees press and fans were so mean spirited when the club signed DJ “LeMahiWHO?” That one was hard, and I started thinking, we are going to have to support DJ as he enters this new phase of his life (and endures shaving before every game). Still, I resisted. Even after Pinstripe Alley’s Tyler Norton sent Purple Row a letter encouraging us to form an alliance with them, I held steadfast in the “I’ll-pay-attention-but-withhold-support” camp.
But Adam Ottavino’s Instagram did me in.
He posted the pic of an 11-year-old Otto, clad in Yankee gear, grinning while he got David Cone’s autograph. Take a look:
What. A. Moment.
That photo shows a kid with baseball aspirations wearing the gear of his favorite team and meeting an idol. All that emotion in Otto’s grin as he looks at the camera. He’s excited, and he’s hopeful, and he’s being a complete fan — but he’s trying to stay cool. He doesn’t want to embarrass himself in front of David Cone. It’s a photo of a dream.
And now it’s coming true. We get this as Rockies fans because for years we’ve watched Otto becoming the pitcher he wanted to be — the pitcher hoped-for in that photo. And as much as we’ve loved watching Otto in purple, it’s just wrong not to be excited about him getting the opportunity to live out that dream.
Add to that photo Otto’s Instagram videos where he answered fan questions posed to him by his wife. The answers are fun and about New York, but there are quick flashes of the 11-year-old’s grin because 33-year-old Adam Ottavino is just as excited about what’s coming.
Plus, to be perfectly honest, I love watching these guys play, and I am not giving up the wonder of Otto’s slider, which, by the way, I hope Charlie, Nolan, Trevor, and Dahl absolutely crush come July when they visit the Bronx.
But I am not going quietly. I’ve got a Rockies Ottavino jersey, and when I watch the Yankees play, I’m wearing it.
Because purple pinstripes are the best pinstripes.