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Where are the Yankees when we need them?

October 17, 2002|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

I miss the Yankees.

It's not so much that the quality of baseball this postseason has suffered. San Francisco's 2-1 victory over St. Louis in Game 5 provided more than enough to satisfy any baseball fan - not that I know firsthand. I was playing video games.

It's hard to get into a game when you don't have either a team to root for or one to root against. The Orioles, eh, they've seen better days. That left a team to root against ... the Bronx Bombers.

I don't really know why I hate the Yankees. Actually, hate's too strong a word given what's going on in the Washington metro area, so ... I don't know why I detest the Yanks. Maybe it's the money they, and only they, can throw around (Texas' outrageous signing of A-Rod was a one-time exception). Maybe it's that for the past six or seven years, they've been too good. Maybe it has something to do with Jeffrey Maier.

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Actually, I'm sure it has a lot to do with Jeffrey Maier, that flyout-stealing, school-skipping, obnoxious, pretentious little ... whoops, I lost control there for a moment.

But the Yankees are perfect fodder for the vengeful Orioles fan (or the vengeful Red Sox fan, or the vengeful, well, insert-your-favorite-MLB-team here). They're perfect for turning on the TV and screaming profanities at, as if it makes a difference. Perfect for giving your significant other reason to believe you've certifiably lost it. That's what being a sports fan is all about, anyway ... proving to your loved one you're completely insane.

(I tried to explain the yelling-at-the-TV phenomenon to my fiancee once, saying the release of negative energy actually helped my psyche, and thus, was good for my health. You should have seen the look she gave me ... and you probably have, from your own loved one.)

So, with the Orioles stumbing from .500 to the punchline of many a joke during September, my attention turned toward rooting against those detestful Yanks. And yes, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Anaheim end New York's season, especially after the Angels blew Game 1.

Once the league championship series were set, I agreed with those who said having new blood in the hunt for the World Series (Angels, Twins, Giants) would help make the playoffs more exciting. And in some ways, it has. The games, for the most part, have been close, competitive affairs.

But, at least in my case, "exciting" doesn't translate into "caring." Without a team cheer against, I started losing interest ... to the point that, about the time Barry Bonds was charging from the dugout to leap on David Bell following the Giants' clinching win, I was leading the Terps to a come-from-behind victory over Tennessee on a three-year-old Playstation college football game.

Please turn to YANKS, C3

Continued from C1

I'm not trying to discourage anyone from watching the World Series. Chances are, I'll watch some of the Series myself. I didn't have much interest in the Indians-Marlins matchup in 1997, and that only turned into one of the greatest Series of all time.

But I'll miss not having one team to throw all my energies behind, and/or one team to throw all of them against. I'll miss not really caring who wins and who loses.

As crazy as it sounds, even to me, I'll miss the Yankees.

Dan Kauffman is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. His column appears every other Thursday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at kauffman@herald-mail.com

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