- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

Hail the Conquering Red Sox

A happy and healthy Elimination Day [1] to you and yours. Some sects observe this most joyous [2] holiday as part of a larger Autumnal Festival of Sheadenfreude, a vicarious celebration of the October shortcomings of others near and not so dear to us, recognizing as sacred blessed events emanating from outcomes directly demoralizing a plurality of parishioners in Washington, Philadelphia or, as is merrily [3] the case this year, Atlanta. In ancient times, the ritual reveling in the baseball misfortune of others extended as far west as St. Louis. I understand some orthodox practitioners of the faith still symbolically re-enact the Smiting of the Cardinals by taking out chicken from Popeyes while directing epithets toward Whitey Herzog. They get some looks from the cashier, but their hearts are surely pure.

No matter how pious or secular, observance of Elimination Day is a personal matter, yet it seems only proper for one and all to express a Green Monster-sized thank you to our spiritual brethren the Boston Red Sox for making its arrival timely and definitive. A shoutout of gratitude as well to those Mets fans who visited Fenway Park in September and strongly suggested [4] defeating the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series would be an excellent way to consecrate the 2018 postseason. Perhaps the 108-win Red Sox would have figured it out for themselves, but a little amen corner of “YANKEES SUCK” coming from a third party never hurts.

Congratulations as well to our fraternal twins, the transplanted and better off for it Houston Astros, who were poised to serve as our backstop and failsafe had anything gone awry in the Northeastern portion of the ALDS. The former Colt .45s — sired, like us, by a Senior Circuit expansion decision 58 falls ago — were poised to tie up any loose ends that would have dangled over October and made it a messier month than necessary. Because it hasn’t happened in so long, you might not remember what New York can be like when the Yankees qualify for never mind prevail in the World Series. It wasn’t pretty then, it wouldn’t have been pretty now. Huzzah for the Houstonians even as we send our best to the Bostonians. Either one will make a formidable opponent for the winner of the National League tournament, which has thus far produced an appealing finalist from the Team We Don’t Mind bracket (Milwaukee over Colorado) to go up against an appalling combatant from the Team We Can’t Stand side of the board (Los Angeles over aforementioned Atlanta; too bad the Braves and Dodgers both couldn’t lose).

Once the local baseball postseason was resolved to the satisfaction of decent folk from Toms River to Riverhead, the New York Metropolitan Area’s major sports league championship drought reached 2,437 days, the driest it’s been in these parts [5] since our forebears waited on John McGraw’s Giants to reclaim their throne nearly a century ago. We can handle our one-ninth share of the civic shame, grateful that the streak was not snapped by the most overbearing hands imaginable. Maybe Super Bowl LIII will represent our regional salvation. Perhaps lightning in an NHL or NBA bottle will be captured come June. As long as we’re dreaming, Next October in Flushing sounds ideal.

Until then, we are simply thankful for the blessings bestowed by an expeditious Elimination Day. Dodgers at Brewers; Red Sox at Astros; Yankees at liberty. We’re Mets fans. We’ll take what we can get.