Thursday, October 2, 2008

October Happens

So this is what it feel likes: October in New York with no baseball.

It's not as though there aren't other sports in this town.

The Giants are undefeated; the Bretts Jets are competitive and Opening Night for the hockey season is almost here.

There's plenty to talk about that's not baseball.

So what do we talk about?


It doesn't hit me, how much baseball means to this city, until we don't have it.

It's a different feeling than an unsavory first round exit. At least, in that case, you can soften the blows with the knowledge that at least your team was good enough to make it to October. Anything--even midges--can happen in a five game series.

Miss the playoffs, and it's another story. There is a feeling of inadequacy--even with 89 wins, which would be good enough for a playoff berth in two other divisions and one win shy of a wild card spot in the National League, leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

How does this City survive without baseball?

It obviously does; it's done so many times before and, unfortunately, will do so again, but it still baffles the mind.

This is, after all, a place that lives for baseball.

What other city can boast of having, at one time, three different teams? Even more, three different, quality teams all with pennant hopes?

What other city can have Johan Santana making the tabloid back pages in the week before the City's most popular football team plays in the Super Bowl, a David to an undefeated New England Goliath?

It still doesn't feel like the off-season for me.

I guess, technically, it isn't, because it's the postseason, but I don't think I'm alone among Yankee fans in saying that any time without Yankee baseball is the off-season.

It's still warm enough outside for me to wear a t-shirt and sandals, and too warm to imagine the trees bare or a few inches of snow on the ground.

It's October, but it feels more like the All Star break--a couple of days off before we pick it up again, a couple of days before we can right the wrongs and disappointments of the first half.

The idea that it's still four months until Spring Training and six until Opening Day is anathema. It's also the reality.

We can get by with the MLB postseason and Fall Ball and Winter Ball, but it will only soften the blow, not eliminate the sting.

October happens, but without New York baseball, it doesn't feel real.

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