I’m not big on do-overs. Nor do I wish the world could be changed to suit my needs. It is what it is.
But like most of you, I have the occasional passing thought about what might have been, or what might be. So, in somewhat random fashion, a few thoughts that come to mind.
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I wish ...
- When I was covering baseball in the 1980s, I knew I was living the good old days.
- That my summer of covering Saratoga had come a year earlier than 1982. I’m told the great Red Smith was still working in the press box. Maybe he would have taken me under his wing and shown me the ropes.
- I hadn’t gotten an E-ZPass. I miss exchanging a word or two with the toll collectors on a lonely nighttime drive across the state.
- I understood why I like watching the CFL better than the NFL.
- I had learned to speak French better. Last spring a young French girl at LAX asked me if I knew where Terminal One was located. “Terminale Une?” I said, quite pleased that I’d remembered at least two French words. “Ici ... ah, er ... over there.” Fortunately, my pointing finger spoke a universal language.
- I could take a real slap shot, the kind that rifles through the air and fills the goalie with fear. All my spaghetti-like arms can produce is a pathetic dribbler.
- There were more triples in baseball.
- They did the Emergency Broadcast System test at 2 p.m., while some of you are watching TV, instead of 2 a.m., when I’m watching TV.
- That sports betting were legal when I predicted the Red Sox would win the AL East. Then again, I never would have placed the bet.
- I could remember watching Bobby Orr play.
- I could go back to elementary school and play kickball again. And I would be one of those kids who could kick it on top of the Parker School roof for a home run.
- They didn’t have video boards in the infield at Saratoga. It ruins the old-time feel of the track that makes the place unique.
- I could be more optimistic about the Yankees, instead of constantly thinking they’re just about to crumble.
- The Montreal Expos were still around. Only a three-hour drive for major-league baseball. Cheap tickets, too.
- My cooking skills went beyond the level of poached egg on toast.
- I could be one of those writers who puts his fingers on the keyboard and the words just magically flow out.
- I still had the first baseman’s mitt I used for youth baseball, even though I didn’t play first base. I loved that glove.
- Jimmer Fredette could play for a team in the Eastern time zone.
- I understood why I play basketball left-handed, the only thing in life I do left-handed (if you’ve seen me try to play basketball, maybe it explains a lot).
- I had some witty or clever way to wrap this up. I don’t. Another wish unfulfilled.