People are fond of opining that sports, unlike most other entertainment options, is fascinating because it is deliciously unscripted. You can predict, analyze, assume, and debate, but the outcome is never certain until the action takes place.
The closest challenge to this time-worn maxim might be any event featuring the New York Yankees. New York Met fans will remember as the 2000 baseball season wore down to a nub, it became increasingly possible that the Mets might face the Yankees in the World Series. The latter limped badly to the finish line that year, but it didn't raise hopes among smart Met fans who realized the Yankees' poor play was merely the setup for a monstrous rally, a first act in a play to which only the Yankees knew the ending. You need the terrible play, the losing, the injuries - in the old days, the fighting - to plant a seed of doubt, to render less believable the legacy of greatness.
Then, as soon as the masses have been sold that "this isn't the Yankees year," they suddenly catch fire. Everybody wonders how they could resurrect so improbably, so proudly. Cue the music. Signal for the spotlights. Listen for the gasps of a dazed, euphoric audience as they cheer and bow at the foot of the Yankee throne.
This year, the team seems to have moved to extraordinary lengths to generate the gushing finale. It's similar to television dramas seeking to top themselves with a better cliffhanger each year. Even so, the epic is unfolding beautifully. A-Rod is done. The Yankees can't hit, reaching historic depths at the plate. The umpires hate them. Derek Jeter, the most important Yankee, is lost for the season. They're faced with a Game Three on the road against ace Justin Verlander, while much maligned Phil Hughes opposes him.
Come on, what do you think is going to happen? Have we not been privy to this show before? Yankees are great, Yankees face overwhelming odds even with $200 million payroll, Yankees overcome? Perhaps we should all just go to the movies.
Glenn Vallach has been a New York Mets fan since foolishly abandoning the mighty Yankees in his youth after Mickey Mantle retired. Since the fond, fleeting memories of the Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Tommie Agee years, he sits quietly yearning for a fraction of the success enjoyed annually by the team that inhabits the borough in which I was born...waiting and hoping...waiting and hoping.
- · Yahoo! Sports New York Mets page
- · Yahoo! Sports New York Yankees page
- · Yahoo! Sports Derek Jeter page
- · Yahoo! Sports Alex Rodriguez page
- · Noah Trister, The Associated Press, Verlander the next obstacle for slumping Yankees
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