It was 2001 and all the world was rooting for New York. The World Series was playing into November because of the start of the War at the End of the World that would define this decade. The whole team was still there -Joe Torre, Bernie, Paul, Tino, Luis, Scotty along with Andy, Jorge, Mariano, and Jeter. Characters were on that team -Knoblauch the head case, and Clemens the man who chucks lumber in anger because of ‘roid rage.
It was pretty much a done deal it seemed, a fitting tonic to soothe the wounds of a city in mourning. The loss to the tandem ace pairing of Schilling and Johnson was hard but in the scope of the events that had taken place only a few months before, it was unseemly to complain too much. Bully for the ‘Backs. Life will go on, no?
But we lost all those guys the subsequent year, and it was never the same again. From 2001 to the fall of 2008 when the Yankees didn’t even make the post season, it was very clear that no amount of money could buy back the chemistry of the early Torre years. 2004 seemed automatic but revealed the weakness of the Yankees flailing arms and the team seemed broken and grasping for a way out of the cave.
The core was always there, but they seemed apart from a team that was never equal to the sum of its parts. This year, it seems different. That threeway happy dance in the infield of A-Rod, Jeter, and Teixeira at the end of the ALCS is something different and not seen in a long time.
My belief is that the fate of the country, and even the world is tied to the health of New York City, that city of Babel that will prove or disprove humanity’s ability to get along. The Yankees are an important barometer of the city’s health. A Yankee team that is doing the happy dance in the inaugural year of the new stadium is nothing but good news for everyone, even Philadelphians.
I congratulate the Phillies on their pennant, but they must now do their patriotic duty and service to mankind by giving a good show, even win a game or two in Philadelphia, and bring the show back to New York for a final Yankee victory in game 6. It would be the only decent thing to do.