Here we go again!
The Red Sox will face the Yankees in the AL Championship Series, just like last year. These being the two highest percentage teams in the AL, this is as it should be. Don Zimmer isn't coaching for the Yanks anymore, so who will Pedro Martinez throw to the ground when the next fight breaks out? Seriously, the Red Sox have shown they are true AL pennant contenders, combining skill, determination, and (so far) self-discipline. (Too bad the Cubs couldn't do likewise.) The Braves eked out another come-from-behind win over the Astros today and will now get a chance to advance to the NLCS at home tomorrow night. The Dodgers are struggling to survive another day against the Cardinals right now, but it doesn't look good. UPDATE: Game over, Cards win 6-2.
Parting is such bitter sorrow:
Who can blame Canadians for scorning the $weetheart deal that brought the Expos to D.C.? Here's a headline from www.canada.com: "Washington name? Call 'em the Suckers -- The deal that brought major-league baseball back to Washington is so one-sided there's no need to hold a contest to come up with a name for the franchise" The Washington Post's political columnist David Broder suggested the team be called "The Reagans" because everything else in Washington has been named after The Gipper lately. Or maybe "The Gippers"?
As for us Washingtonians and Virginians, after waiting for baseball for so many years, the recent turn of events is still almost too unreal to believe. (Thomas Boswell eloquently explored this theme last week in the Washington Post.) But it makes me think, if such outrageously improbable things are possible, then who knows, maybe the Red Sox can win the World Series! I said "maybe." Meanwhile, former rogue mayor Marion Barry says he will fight any public funding for the new ballpark in Washington, echoing the flat-out rejectionist position of council member Adrian Fenty. (Do they have any better ideas for bringing in private money to clean up and redevelop the South Capitol Street neighborhood?) Tomorrow's Post has an article on the political opposition to Mayor Williams' baseball deal. Let there be no doubt: This was a sweetheart deal and deserves serious scrutiny in terms of public policy. But beyond the strict developmental aspects of building a new ballpark there lies the deeper socio-psychological purpose of healing the racial animosities that exploded in the 1960s. That was a big reason for baseball's departure in 1971, and Mayor Williams is well aware of the unique role baseball can play in making things right again in Our Nation's Capital.