The Cubs and their Nation of fans are partying like it’s 1908, and can you blame them? They officially joined the October dance over the weekend, making it two postseason appearances in a row.
Now comes the fun part — seeing if the team from the North Side of Chicago can take 100 years of close calls, disappointments and heartbreakers and turn it all into one World Series title. And why not? Their South-Side neighbors did it in 2005 and the Boston Red Sox did it in 2004. It’s the decade to end all “curses.”
Or maybe it’s just the year of the underdog.
NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY, thought the Tampa Bay Rays could go from the worst record in the Major Leagues to an October clinch with a week to go in the regular season. But when you’ve got young talent all over the field, veteran role players, a great bullpen and defense and an optimistic manager who gets you to click from Day 1 in Spring Training … well, I’ll say it again. Why not?
But before we all say hello to October, we had to say goodbye to Yankee Stadium on Sunday night. I’m a grown man, but I’ll admit that my eyes watered a bit, especially when the Captain delivered the final speech.
That’s what baseball is all about. And October’s what baseball’s all about, too.
One more week and we’re there.
There’s almost too much excitement around the big leagues to blog about these days with only two weeks until October, but things are getting Wild in the Wild Card races, and everyone knows all you have to do is get in it to win it.
The Red Sox look good at the top of the American League Wild Card standings for the AL’s fourth berth in the Postseason, but the Twins are still kicking after their dramatic win Thursday over Tampa Bay.
In the National League, it’s a different story. The Mets have fallen out of the lead in the NL East, but they’re still holding a tight lead on the Milwaukee Brewers for the Wild Card, and a big effort by their big horse, Johan Santana, kept them in charge Thursday.
Things aren’t looking so good for the Yankees, and the last time Major League Baseball had a postseason without them was 1993. I can’t believe it, and I’m sure a lot of you can’t either, but that’s baseball, right?
Added to that stunning fact is the reality that baseball’s Cathedral is closing down at the end of the season to make way for the shiny, new ballpark across the street.
So I would like to give an official O.G. shout-out to all the majestic moments we’ve witnessed at that big ballyard in the Bronx, with a big nod to my personal favorite, Aaron Boone’s 11th-inning walk-off piece off Tim Wakefield in that epic Game 7 of the 2003 AL Championship Series to beat the Red Sox.
Then again, there are about 100 others that come to mind, too. I’d be blogging all night if I was going to list them all. I don’t have that much time, but you all can help me out by voting in the poll and commenting.
So bring it: What are your favorite Yankee Stadium moments?
I want to hear all about them.
With some major pennant races starting to heat up, I’m starting to think ahead to what might happen in October, and when I do that, I can’t help but think back.
It’s true that my mind pretty much goes blank to anything but baseball when October moments are playing in my personal memory bank. And the drama of the first seven years of this millennium have clogged my baseball brain so much that right now I don’t know where my car keys are and I think I might have put my drivers license in the freezer.
http://mlb.mlb.com/chc/fan_forum/y2008/october_gonzo_vote.jsp?poll_q=1In other words, let’s get on with the memories…
Did you stay up late to watch Game 7 in the emotionally charged 2001 World Series, when the Diamondbacks finally got Mariano Rivera and Arizona won a thrilling seven-game Fall Classic over the Yankees?
Who can forget Moises Alou running over to the brick wall along the left-field line at Wrigley Field in 2003 and having a sure out botched by fan Steve Bartman?
Were you among the millions of people who say they were sitting in 55,000-seat Yankee Stadium when Aaron Boone hit that Tim Wakefield pitch out in the 11th inning to win the 2003 American League Championship Series?
Did you consider yourself close enough to the action last year in Colorado to really figure out if Matt Holliday was safe or out?
So bring it. What’s in your October memory bank?