The Boston Red Sox' nail-biting victory over the Oakland Athletics on Monday night moves professional baseball one step closer to the Dream Series: the Red Sox versus the Chicago Cubs. With all due respect to our New York readership — Yankee fans among them — to George Steinbrenner and to the Yankees themselves, we find it hard to resist the emotional tug and symmetrical possibilities of a series between teams that seem to have been put on earth to tantalize and then crush their zealous fans. Together they account for 180 years of futility. The Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908. The Red Sox have not won one since 1918, a little more than a year before they shipped Babe Ruth to the Yankees, a famously bizarre transaction that ushered in the era of Yankee domination.
For the matchup to occur, each team must jump one more hurdle. For Chicago, it is the Florida Marlins, a team for which it is hard to muster much enthusiasm if you're a baseball traditionalist. The Marlins, a major league team only since 1993, were essentially an artificial construct. The team's original owner, Wayne Huizenga, dismantled it after it won a championship in 1997 because the team was too expensive, then sold it in 1999. Improbably, the team finds itself knocking on the door again with a cast of largely low-paid youngsters.
For the Red Sox, the obstacles are twofold. One is the Yankees, whose lineup and pitching staff are rivaled only by the Cubs'. The other is the Red Sox, plagued by demons that ruin things whenever the team comes close. The Red Sox have reached the playoffs or the Series nine times since that triumph in 1918, and have failed every time. The Yankees tend to close things out, advancing to the World Series five times in the last seven years and winning four of them. Cold reality favors the Yankees; warm sentiment, which is at the heart of baseball and to which we are always susceptible, favors one or the other of baseball's most reliable losers.
#2 Posted on 9.10.03 1203.22 Reposted on: 9.10.10 1203.24
You know, I have to wonder if the Times, after that whole "unreliability" thing earlier this year, is just going for the full heel turn to become the evil news paper in New York. Go Red Sox in a New York paper? You've gotta be nuts.
Daily News is gonna kick your ass for this, New York Times.