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Oh Right, That

At the risk of dampening our mutual bout of Toronto Fever (now [1] as well as then [2]), the Subway Series begins anew tonight.

Oh man, am I psyched!

Or should that come with a question mark?

It’s been a little while since SS Friday got my various organs racing. Two years [3], to be precise. It was already past its peak, but it was capable of revving my internal baseball engines. It involved my favorite team versus the team that plays in relative proximity to it that’s not my favorite. It was a bit of a sop to our baser instincts to create this rivalry (essentially hooking up to jumper cables to that which was purely theoretical bus stop chop-busting [4]), but it worked. It worked in 1997 [5]. It worked in 1999 [6]. It worked in 2005 [7] and 2006 [8] and 2007 [9] and 2008 [10], and on some level, it worked every year in between.

It was torture but it was fun. Sometimes the fun was tortured to a crisp by the end of a given game, but what the hell? The stakes felt as hot as they seemed high.

I attended one Subway Series game in 2009, just as I had attended at least one Subway Series game every season between 1998 and 2008, save for ’03 and ’04. It was little like I remembered it at Shea. For all my gauzy romanticization of the municipal stadium that leaked like a sieve (but that I loved like a limb), it was true that there was nothing like being inside Shea Stadium when things were very full and going very well. Fran Healy was a prophet without honor [11] when he predicted that Shea Stadium would be rocking! on such occasions. It rocked, it shook, it was full of delightful rage, and that was just among the spectators.

Citi Field? Nice place to eat last year during the Subway Series. Otherwise, it was as flat as the venue that hosted it [12] a year ago. Mets fans were dead. Yankees fans, even in victory, couldn’t be bothered. Demolishing Shea extracted the fangs from the Subway Series, certainly by that Sunday night, definitely for me. I’ve been slowly coming to feel proprietary of Citi Field in 2010. Expecting it to wrap its arms around the Subway Series in its second year, however, would blow two months of genuine progress between me and the building.

Thus, unless there’s a last-minute invite or offer that’s unrefusable, I’ll be home for these three. There was a time I’d feel guilty about that kind of decision. Just the thought that somebody who shouldn’t have been at Shea was using a seat for this instead of me would push me toward securing a ticket. That was the time when all good fans had to come to the aid of their party, so to speak. Not this time, not after last year, not for the Subway Series. A brief hiatus is in order.

I’ll be watching, of course. By 7:10, I’ll likely be frothing. From here, it will be reasonably same as it ever was. But it will be from here.

That’s fine for this year. We’ll see about next year.