Thursday, October 28, 2004

Cursing the curse

I was all set to put forth to my reading public the Health Club Rules of Decency today, but it seems what I witnessed Wednesday night is more timely, though equally groundbreaking.

The mammothness of watching the Boston Red Sox crown themselves the best team in the world, and to have the bylaws of the sport of baseball bestow such a title on them at the same time, is too sexy a topic to let go by unmolested.

Hundreds of sportswriters, several of which were better than me (Jim Murray and Red Smith come to mind), never had the chance to offer to the world their thoughts on Red Sockian mastery. I’ll be cursed for 86 years if I don’t remark on this historical occasion. Not being able to curse about this curse will be difficult.

I watched from the back of the newsroom, a pair of Bostonian fans to my distant right, another closer to my left, with a few Yankee haters sprinkled in between. They felt the way I did in my wanna-be welfare apartment in college when the Yankees won in 1996. That was my first title as a real fan (I was 3 years old in 1978, so I have no recollection of anything other than by big wheels -- I had the Superman model.)

However, Yankee fans around the world are a disgusted group. That disgust will last through the offseason, or at least until the Yankees sign Pedro Martinez in December. They’ll come out of the woodwork with inane excuses and insane trade/free-agent ideas. It’s all misplaced aggression. Psychiatrists and psychologists will all have bountiful holidays this season with all the money they’ll rake in from new customers.

In my attempt at benevolence (and future political aspirations), I offer Yankee fans a better (and cheaper) way to work through your Bostonian-inflicted pain: blame the Mets.

Think about how much easier it would be to swallow the bitter pill in 2004 if the Mets didn’t rally to beat the Red Sox in 1986. If Mookie Wilson could have just hit a pop-up instead of a “tough” grounder to Buckner (he doesn’t deserve publication of his first name), Boston would be reveling in its first World Series victory since . . . 1986. That would be 18 years of inferiority, which is precisely how long the Yankees went before winning in 1996.

18 or 86? Which hurts a Yankee fan less?

See, the problem begins in Flushing (wow, how many times have we said that in our lifetimes). So don’t curse the Red Sox. They did something extraordinary and deserve their moment. Embrace what they did, then hate on the Mets for making 2004 even more extraordinary.

And cheer up, Yankee fans. Your owner has a lot more money than anyone else.