Wednesday, October 28, 2009

11 Hours To Go

Good morning, Fackers. Today is the big day. Well, one of at least four big days, anyway.

When was the last time you were this excited in anticipation of a sporting event? If we're talking strictly about baseball, it's obviously the '03 and '04 ALCSes. Being out Boston at the time, it was engulfing. Professors talked about it in class, everyone with a hat of one team or the other had it on, and you overheard conversations about it where ever you went. I couldn't think about much else during the days when games were played - I just wanted it to be game time.

If we're talking about sports other than baseball, Super Bowl XLII was probably the last event that came close, but no one thought the Giants had much of a chance. Big Willie Style, Sampson and I had celebrated the NFC Championship like it was the Super Bowl, going out to the college bars around 80th and Amsterdam, staying out until three in the morning and handing out spontaneous high fives to complete strangers. Needless to say, we all took that Monday off.

It felt like the Giants had just earned the right to lose to the Patriots in Arizona, but that didn't really matter at the time. We were just happy that the season wasn't over and were celebrating the incredible game they won in arctic temperatures in Green Bay. The Yankees are never going to be the underdogs like the Giants were that season, but after the last six years, it still feels like an accomplishment for the Bombers to have made it this far.

Not everyone shares that sentiment, however.

There was someone conspicuously absent from Sunday night's champange celebration. Reggie Jackson was there. Hal and Jennifer Steinbrenner were there. Hank wasn't there because they don't allow smoking in the clubhouse and you know how he gets when he drinks. But there were probably numerous members of the front office partaking the festivities after Gary Matthews, Jr. went down swinging.

Brain Cashman was nowhere to be found. Some had speculated that it had something to do with his meeting with Aroldlis Chapman. It turns out that wasn't the case:
[Cashman] purposely avoided the scene, saying he simply chose to stay away and leave it to others.

"I'll wait to participate if we have an opportunity to win the whole thing," he said.
Yet another reason I like the cut of Cashman's jib. I realize that this would never happen, but it would be incredibly bad ass if a team didn't go for an over-the-top celebration unless they won a championship. Maybe something when they clinched a playoff berth or won the division but not in the LDS, or LCS. Save the bubbly for the ultimate glory.

Players deserve to enjoy their accomplishments and the champagne lubricates those celebrations in more ways than one - it would be awfully awkward were players just jumping around and hugging each other with dry clothes in a well-lit locker room. But at the same time, wheeling out the carts when they swept the Twins seemed a little contrived. By the time the World Series winner is awarded, we'll have already seen 14 other locker rooms protected by tarps then laden with libations.

Celebrating every step of the way is the one thing that really undermines the "championship or bust" mantra that the Yankees swear they have. If they were the one team that really was only satisfied with winning a World Series, then they shouldn't pop the Perignon until they do so. It would make it a whole lot sweeter when it finally came.

Cashman is the only guy who really thinks this way. He's got no choice. He's gone too long as the General Manager of the team with the highest payroll in baseball without winning a World Series to consider anything else a success. Let's hope he gets to taste the Taittinger soon enough.

1 comment:

  1. Yanks pop sparkling california nothing like dom.
    I saw chandon champagne being used.
    its ok to recognize achievement on the way to final goal.
    But Yanks pop dom next week!