Friday, October 22, 2004


I'm gonna fight 'em off
A seven nation army couldn't hold me back
They're gonna rip it off
Taking their time right behind my back
And I'm talking to myself at night because I can't forget
Back and forth through my mind behind a cigarette
-- Unidentified Yankee Fan (okay, not really)

Now that I've had a couple days to digest all the ins and outs of this series (and finally getting a good night's sleep), I thought I'd just give my two cents on the ramifications of everything that happened.

If you want an interesting take on the series, check out Curt Schilling's interview on Mike and the Mad Dog from yesterday afternoon. He's a fascinating person to listen to and, in addition, it's actually a civilized and thoughtful interview to boot.

I had numerous discussions yesterday with Red Sox fans in ecstasy, Yankees fans in denial, and fellow Mets fans simply taking in the sheer delight of it all. I moved to New York City in August 2000 (after spending eight years in Boston) and watching the Yankees celebrate in Shea Stadium was quite possibly the most painful moment of my lifetime. And, god help me, the Mets have simply gone downhill from there.

*pauses* *winces* *sighs*

But I digress. The most common response from most (but not all) of the Yankee fans I spoke with was:

Well, who cares, we still have won 26 world championships and you haven't won bupkis since 1918.

While it's true the Red Sox still have some work to do, it won't change one single solitary fact:

The Yankees are now the proud owners of the Greatest Postseason Collapse in History.

And there's nothing, nothing, they can say to that. Let me make a comparison here.

The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, for as long as I've known it, was kind of like having two boys living alone in a house with no parental guardians. Being the oldest of three brothers, I know a little something about this dynamic within a family. Big brother pounds on little brother, little brother runs and tells mom, mom grounds big brother for the better portion of his adolescent life. For years, Yankee fans could pound on Red Sox fans and there would be no definitive comeback, no protection for the weak (or unlucky).

Bucky Dent. Silence.

Aaron Boone. Silence.

1918. Silence.

Now two of those taunts have been effectively nullified by this offseason. We finally got some parental guardianship here! Want to talk smack about Bucky Dent? Well at least he didn't sissy-slap a pitcher to try to get on base. Want to bring up Aaron Boone? How about we talk about David Ortiz instead? The Red Sox have proven they can beat the Yankees, in their own house, with their backs against the wall and all the ghosts flying overhead. Sox fans finally have some ammunition to fight back with, something they've been denied for nearly a century.

And more importantly, the 2004 Yankees will always be labeled as the greatest choke team ever. Every single time a team falls down 0-3, this series will be brought up. The A-Rod play will shown over and over again, and if the Red Sox win the World Series, it could eclipse Buckner in replay value. The Aaron Boone dinger? Pffft. Old and busted. A-Rod's slap is definitely the new hotness.

The Sox still have work to do. A Yankee fan called into WFAN yesterday, basically saying something along these lines:

Okay, so Boston beat us. So what? Next year, the first time the Red Sox visit Yankee Stadium, there are going to be fifty thousand people chanting '19-18' for the entire game. We still have 26 world championships. Blah, blah, blah.

To be fair, many Yankee fans I spoke with and have read on line have been very fair, gracious even, granting respect to gritty team that came back like the Yankees of old. Some even, like Larry Mahnken, are even hoping that Sox fans will finally be able to enjoy a championship of their very own.

But a vast majority of them are like the WFAN caller above, defiant and cocky to the last. And the only way the Red Sox will ever silence them is by finishing the job this offseason, this year, and putting the Babe to bed once and for all.


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