Oh, we didn’t think it would be easy, did we? We diehard Not The Yankees and Not The Phillies fans didn’t really believe our favorite teams would put away their opposition in five fussless games, did we?
Would have been nice, though.
Yes, it would have been outstanding if Not The Yankees could have flown home to Arlington soaked in ginger ale, but they still retain a excellent chance this weekend to gLee-ful-Lee open Canada Dry and get Texas wet. And it would have been just about as equally outstanding had Not The Phillies been able to keep their hearts, bats and gloves in San Francisco until Game One of the World Series. But Not The Phillies, like Not The Yankees, still have a one-game lead in their League Championship Series, with just more win needed to clinch.
Our teams still have have pennants in their respective grasps. Grasp them, Not The Yankees and Not The Phillies. What you grasp in your hands, you keep out of their hands. That’s why we root for you.
Now we get, at minimum, two six-game series when we would have preferred five-game sets once Not The Yankees and Not The Phillies each went up 3-1. We love all the baseball we can get, but we’ve had enough of the Yankees and the Phillies for one lifetime. We want them removed from the stage ASAP. We want it not just for Not The Yankees and Not The Phillies, but we want it for us.
We all know the reigning worst-case scenario; we lived through it last year, we want no part of it this year. But on the bright side of Not The Yankees and Not The Phillies needing six games (at least) to nail down their championship series, more baseball is guaranteed to take place. Games Five, Six and Seven going into this round are always tagged with asterisks, as in *if necessary. Fifth games became necessary early in each series, and now sixth games are on the schedule, no asterisks required. That’s two extra games. Two games with Yankees and Phillies, unfortunately, but games nonetheless.
Finish off the Yankees. Finish off the Phillies. But find a way to keep the baseball coming. Depending on the course the NLCS, the ALCS and the World Series take, there are as many as eleven baseball games left in 2010, as few as six. Then there will be none. I’ve managed (no thanks to Cablevision and Fox) to immerse myself in this postseason enough to have only barely and recently realized that it’s late October and that the pastime we adore so immensely won’t be here much longer, no matter who wins the last of it.
Get your series over with, Not The Yankees and Not The Phillies. Take down the Yankees in six. Take down the Phillies in six. Play crisp, play clean, don’t drag it out. But, if you’ll indulge a touch of the contradictory, please figure out a way to make the baseball last.