Congrats, Yankees (Dejected Sigh, Unenthusiastic Woo…) (Originally published November 5, 2009)

Out of all the possible feel good stories that could have resulted from this MLB postseason, what are the chances that the most boring outcome would happen?  Pretty good, apparently.

The New York Yankees have won the World Series.  Again.  When Philadelphia’s Shane Victorino grounded out to end it, the Yankees players didn’t swarm Mariano Rivera at the mound.  They buzzed for sure–they’d just won the World Series, after all–but there was no overjoyed tackling and the grins didn’t even seem that big.  It was just business as usual.

That’s fine and all, just…  dull.  Sure, I make jokes about hating the Yankees and how they only win because of their payroll, blah blah blah, but the fact is, I just don’t care.  They’re not my team, and this year in particular, they weren’t even close to the most intriguing club going for it.

There were the Minnesota Twins, the perennial underdogs, always squeaking by into contention.  There were the Red Sox, attempting to solidify themselves as the Team Of The Decade (I think they already own that title, but I’m sure people from Boston would love the icing on the cake).  There were the defending champion Phillies, trying to become the first National League team since the Big Red Machine in the ’70s to repeat.  Then there was the team I placed my bets on: the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who struggled to overcome the death of a teammate, lost their first baseman through free agency (to the Yankees, no less), and still played the game in a fun and entertaining way.

Any of those teams would have had the exhilarating rush we watch every year when a new team wins.  But the Yankees?  Yawn.  They expected it and completed their win almost like closing a deal on Wall Street.

When left fielder Johnny Damon got asked to compare the feeling of winning this championship to winning in 2004 with the Red Sox, he did the diplomatic thing by essentially saying they were both equally great, but different, experiences.  But for just a second, you could see his eyes saying, “Are you seriously asking me this question?”  Clearly, winning with Boston, who had such a tradition of pain for its fans for 86 years before that win, was more special than winning this one with the Yankees, who have won five (FIVE!) in my 20-year lifetime alone.

I’m not saying I want the Yankees to give up the championships or anything.  I’m happy for the players that worked hard and won it all.  I hope they enjoy it, and sincerely express my congrats (and a little Cubs fan jealously and awe) to the New York fans.  I wonder what it’s like.

And now, I get to (excitedly for once) start the yearly mantra anew.  “Maybe next year.”  Go Cubs, Go.


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