Saturday, October 23, 2010

Now my season's really over

It felt pretty much over after the Rays lost to Texas, but hope sprang eternal that the Yankees would rise to the challenge they successfully avoided when they clinched the Wild Card spot.

That said, here's my story. We were on a gig in Dallas, call it 1996, when the Yankees met the Rangers in the post-season (ALDS, I think). Got tickets to a game, amazingly enough, affordable too, and donned my Yankees shirt, which always travelled with me.

Ranger fans were coolly welcoming. Referring to a late-season incident at Yankee stadium when some Yankee fans threw batteries into right field while the Rangers were on defense, one Texan asked me why they would do such a thing. I was embarrassed to be associated with such slugs, but well aware that they could easily have been native New Yorkers like myself.  Since there is no defense for that, I said, "Well, I'm really sorry they did that. But I will tell you one thing... they must like the Rangers, because for teams they don't like, they usually throw bricks!"  I was making a joke, but the guy looked at me like I was from another planet, which, having just spent six months in Dallas, I knew that I was.

Then, after the Yankees had won the game and clinched whatever contest it had been, on the way out to the parking lot, someone said to me, "Good luck in the Series... we'll be rooting for you." 

I was floored.  Stopped and turned and asked why on earth he'd be rooting for the team that had just beaten his team.  "You always root for the guy that beat you, because then you figure that there was a reason that your team lost... the other guys were unbeatable."

So that was a lesson in sportsmanship I'd never have learned in New York. There, if someone beats you, they are your enemy for life, never to be supported. The Texan way actually made sense.... and since they beat BOTH my teams this year, I'm hoping they smash the Giants.  Ok. Rangers in 5. (Oh, yeah, and make a screaming fool out of Pat Burrell while they're at it.)

Still. Not sure I'll be watching any of the games.