Friday, September 28, 2007

Yanking a Sox Fan's Chain

As I write this, the Yankees' 12-year streak of winning the American League East is likely to come to an end. However, if the Yankees win their last 3 in Baltimore, and the Red Sox lose 2 out of 3, then the Yanks still win the East.

But what gets me is that a lot of fans of the Red Sox, who got into the Playoffs via the Wild Card in 1998 (swept in Division Series by Cleveland), 1999 (lost ALCS in 5 to Yanks, clinching at Fenway), 2003 (lost ALCS in 7 to Yanks, the Grady Little/Aaron Boone Game), 2004 (ended up winning the whole thing for the first time in 86 years) and 2005 (swept in Division Series by White Sox), now think that, for the team that wins the Wild Card, there should be some sort of "penalty" -- fewer home games? A four-seed vs. five-seed play-in game?

Oh puh-lease. Where was this when it was your "Idiots," as the now-reformed Johnny Damon named them, were desperate for the Wild Card?

And considering that the Sox blew big Division leads in 2005 and 2006, to the Yankees, and are still in a position to lose the Pennant to a team most people thought had been buried in May, it could be argued that a curse is at work. The Curse of the Bambino? Maybe it's the Curse of the Caveman, the aforementioned Damon. Beating the Red Sox? It's so easy, a Caveman can do it!

So here's what I'm thinking, in the event the Pennant once again comes down to Yanks vs. Sox, regardless of which one wins the Division. Either...

A: The Curse of the Bambino still lives, and it took a well-earned ten-day vacation from October 17 to 27, 2004. Or...

B: It is the Curse of the Caveman, and never mind that Damon is not Babe Ruth (who is? Not Barry Bonds), the original principle still applies. Or...

C: Curse? We don't need no stinkin' Curse! We're just better! It's like it says on those T-shirts sold on River Avenue, sold outside the Stadium: "OK, Boston, you're right, there never was a Curse. Your team just sucked for 86 years!" (Actually, for about half of those seasons they were at least competitive, but let's not pick nits here.)

The Mets? Uh... We'll know for sure in about 48 hours. Until then, I'll wait for the chips to fall where they may.

"Meet the Mets, meet the Mets, step right up and beat the Mets..."

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