As is my standard disclaimer, I will make mention here again that I am fully aware that no matter what the Yankees did in the postseason--win, lose, or draw--they at least got there, which is more than I can say for my Red Sox. I realize that no matter how founded in reality any gloating may be, it's only going to look like sour grapes to our enemies.
And maybe this makes me a bad Sox fan, but there are Yankees fans I like. Chief among them is Alex, who was my first thought after Sam when the Tigers won. Alex makes it very hard for me to generalize about Yankees fans. I just don't have it in me right now to taunt and tease, thinking of him.
That said, I am relieved beyond words that the Yankees were eliminated. Thank God for that. Not because my Yankee brethren are upset, but because I won't have to deal with worrying about whether or not they'll win it all this year and really rub the Sox' noses in it. Any success the Yankees had after overtaking the Sox would have been further disappointment, knowing we had been trampled to get there.
And while I am trying to refrain from flashing the 'tude toward fans, I have endless criticism for the Yankees franchise in general, especially right now. I wouldn't be able to stand it if they had simply gone out, jacked up their payroll another eight figures, and bought themselves another championship. That, to quote Larry the Cable Guy, would've made me madder than a one-legged stripper doing a table hop.
I also can only stand by and watch in astonishment as their fan base and front office implode because the Yankees have...failed to win the World Series for...SIX. ENTIRE. YEARS.
I mean, we're talking Onion-esque headlines (as Jere put it) and talk of firing Joe Torre and trading A-Rod and George Steinbrenner having to be sedated (okay, I made that last part up. Or, at least, I didn't fact-check it).
I guess when you pay north of $200 million for a baseball team, you are going to expect them to win. But witness the 80's, that "trough period" of Yankees team suckitude, in which the Yankees led the league in payroll and also led the league in complete insanity in the front office.
It just baffles me, though, the way some--not all--of New York has reacted to this latest defeat--and this is including and especially George Steinbrenner. The sheer, unadulterated, unmitigated, matter-of-fact greed involved in the ability of a grown, rich, successful man to throw a tantrum because the Yankees have not won a World Championship this decade is not something I can quite understand.
If this truly is the return of the Billy Martin era (with Lou Pinella in the Martin role), that's good news for Sox fans. If they can't get rid of A-Rod and that show pony hangs out in the Bronx like an albatross around the neck of the fans who gloated when he was signed and now loathe him more with every passing second, that's also good for the Sox (and good for when I need to practice my cackling).
But I have to also admit to a certain ennui about the whole situation, under the surface of shadenfreunde. I can't really feel sorry for anyone in this situation, but I have to say I do feel a weird kind of disappointment watching the chaos ensue down south. Because it's also good for the Red Sox to have a rivalry in the division, and for that rivalry to be competitive. It makes our winning mean that much more.
Anyway, it's now officially football season (although I will continue to root, at least in spirit, for the Tigers). And hatin' on the Colts? Now that I can do.