Wednesday, August 25, 2004     Vol. 5  No. 34  

By Don M. Fisher

The Good, The Bad, and The Yankees

        As Uncle Hugh used to say, ďYou canít beat money. Well, you can, but who wants to?Ē
    It is now the last week of August.
    Time to put the kids back in school, put up the yard furniture, oil the garden tools, clean out the cistern, and begin cursing the New York Yankees.
    Or gloating.
    Believe me, itís a lot more fun to be a Yankees fan than not.
    Never on the field of human conflict has there been so much anguish over circumstances that we can do so little about.
    Itís like raging against the sky for being so damned blue.
    The only time itís going to change colors is the day it descends in a vortex that destroys your house.
    Which is what you get for betting against the Yankees.
    They are the hydra of sport.
    Even if you cut off the playoffs, itís just going to grow back next year while your snakes and fishes wither before the onslaught of the perpetual money machine.
    No matter what you say against the Yankees, they remain steadfastly and resolutely THE YANKEES.
    More series, more pennants, more MVPs, more Rookies of the Year than any other club in baseball.
    You cannot argue with success.
    Well, you can, but it wonít do you any good.
    Itís like saying nobody lied about Iraq.
    The only way that works is when everybody lied about Iraq.
    Red Sox fans must now begin to pray they do not make the playoffs.
    If the Yankees win the pennant with the BoSox in their wake, the Charles River will run red with suicidal blood, and Walden Pond will float the bodies of those who went to the woods to die deliberately.
    Those who do not learn from history will be forever condemned to watch the Series on television.
    But while we decry the Yankees from pulpits from Seattle to Orlando, from the moving spectacle of the Grand Canyon to the moving vans along the St. Lawrence Seaway, the individual Yankees themselves are misty-eye generators.
    Can any baseball fan say, ďLou Gehrig,Ē without a catch in his throat?
    Sure, Ty Cobb may be the greatest to play the game, but he was no Joe Dimaggio.
    But then who was?
    Or ever will be?
    In all the broadcast babble and squabble and drivel that drives sports broadcasting today, is there even a suggestion anybody might ever hit in 57 straight games?
    And if somebody does, will he be, then remain, a gentleman.
    And while Babe Ruthís records have been surpassed, were they broken by anybody who hit 50 a year for a decade?
    For any other team, Mickey Mantle would have been a sad drunk.
    But as a Yankee, he was a tragic hero.
    So now itís Bernie, A-Rod, and Jeter that the fans love or hate.
    Who on the Rangersí roster gives the faithful even remotely the joy they now derive from watching Alex Rodriguez strike out in Arlington?
    The worst WL record in the league can salvage some pride beating the Yankees.
    The Yankees were and are the second coming and the antichrist of baseball.
    What magnificence when they triumph and what glee with they fail?
    You take your spouse for better or worse, but the whole of baseball takes the Yankees for better and worse.
    Without villains, there would be no heroes.
    Baseball, to its advantage, needs neither.
    All it needs is the New York Yankees.

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