The Yanks are Comin'
Reasons to hate the New York Yankees: (1) They're good. (2) They've been good forever (more or less).
Everyone likes a winner - for a while anyway. And New York has had its share of victories.
The Yanks have finished in first place in its division 39 times -seven more times than any other professional sports team in North American history. The team has made the postseason the last seven years straight. And what's more (what's worse), it has won 26 World Championships, including three straight and four out of the last five.
But too much of a good thing ain't much of a good thing. Especially in sports. Because after a while (and especially after three consecutive World Series rings), everyone dislikes a winner.
Okay not everyone, but more people, at least, now dislike the team more than before its winning ways.
But the Yanks seem not to care about anyone's feelings. The team just keeps on winning.
It proved victorious 95 times during the 2001 regular season. Now, that total is 21 victories fewer than league-leading Seattle Mariners of the American League West. And the Yanks tally is even seven shy of the one posted by the AL wild card team, the Oakland A's.
So NY faced Oakland in the first round of this year's postseason. And Oakland was claiming it was the favorite and that it would use its pitching and power to knock off the defending champs.
And the Yanks lost their first two games against the A's. At home.
And then critics started talking. And the A's started believing. And non-New York fans started hoping.
And the Yanks? More shrugging.
Then three straight wins, including two on the road, against the A's. Followed by two more against Seattle. In Seattle.
That's more clutch than a 16-year-old driving a five-speed.
And then, New York sent the Mariners sailing after three more contests in the Bronx.
Now the World Series, against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Doesn't matter if the D-backs pitch Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling every other game. Yanks will win.
Giving them 27 World Championships. And giving a lot of others sour stomachs.
Can nothing be done to beat these yucky Yankees?
Probably not anything on the field. (Regrettably, the Bronx Bombers are steely solid in all facets of the game, especially in unflappability and pitching.)
But there are a few off-the-field scenarios that would neutralize New York.
The first is if Michael Jordan were to un-retire from baseball too (this actually isn't overly far-fetched, given his propensity for comebacks) so that the Yankees could sign him. In the mid '90s, Jordan had a stint with the Chicago White Sox organization and stunk the place up. He'd be one bad apple in the Big Apple. And you know what a bad apple can do.
Or, as alternative 1a, if Jordan were to purchase part of the Yankees from George Steinbrenner. Just think how bad the Washington Wizards NBA team was under Jordan's executive direction. And he knows the game of basketball.
Third, if all the Yankees adhered to a strict diet of Twinkies in the off-season, that might be a problem.
Or if, during the 2002 regular season, the team installed a salad bar in the bullpen.
But other than that - food and/or MJ - there's nothing that can be done.
Sure, key players will likely leave the Yanks for various reasons. Paul O'Neil is supposedly retiring after the season. And Tino Martinez, Chuck Knoblauch, and Scott Brosius have been rumored to be on the block.
But there will be some not-too-bad players available as free agents next year to replace them - Jason Giambi, Moises Alou, and Barry Bonds, just to name a few. Count on New York getting one of them - or another top notcher - because that's what the team's good at.
Because it is the Yankees.
Plus, more importantly for Yankee fans (and more discouraging for the rest of us), New York's pitching staff should not change for the worse, as starters Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettite, Orlando Hernadez, along with reliever Mariano Rivera, will likely return for 2002.
And a couple other guys will be back - Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Pasada, and Alfonso Soriano.
And all that means the Pinstripes will be in prime position to reach the postseason next year too.
Just another reason to keep on not liking them for the rest of this year. And to start not liking them for next year either.
School's (not) out for summer
It was every elementary school child's nightmare. The imposing threat promised by all teachers, superintendents and the occasional lunchlady. Sooner or later the school year will stretch a full 12 months. There will be no joy in May, June or July. Spring fever will no longer be cured with vacation; it will just be treated as any malady for children (with Ritalin).
The calendar has met with underwhelming results in some test districts, according to many opponents.
The alleged failures are chronicled on www.summermatters.com, a website dedicated to status quo. The site makes the case that all knowledge does not reside in phonics class. Billee Bussard, a journalist who has followed the reform idea for over a decade, believes summer vacations provide valuable education and experiences in non-academic arenas. Bussard points to the statistics that year round schools have consistently scored lower on tests than schools with traditional calendars.
This doesn't address why American education still lags behind that of other developed nations. -Danny Tenkman
I want my MTV!
The chance to be among the next group of exploited in-fighters, naïve virgins or sheltered bigots is coming Saturday, October 27th. Real World and Road Rules casting directors are coming to A1A Bar and Grille to select the new group of strangers picked to live in a loft or travel the globe in a Winnie and face down their fears (all the while spurring interesting love/hate relationships, caught on tape, of course).
Either way, this could be your big break to infuse your name into mainstream alongside pop culure pillars and parlay your experience into hosting The Grind or realizing your dream as a bike messenger. So head downtown on Saturday from 10am-5pm as part of the open cattle call to find out what happens when people stop being polite (voice changeover), and start being real. -DT
Toonces the Driving Cat
PETsMART Charities, Inc. (a Phoenix, AZ based non-profit organization), has paved the way for the local Woodstock Animal Foundation, Inc. to save more pets by awarding $16,850 for the "Pets On Wheels" program. You've seen the commercials of dogs driving vans? OK, that's just a commercial. But, this human driven van is sure to help provide more pets with life. And, with the public's help, it won't just be life behind bars. A big hand to Ms. Denise Calcagno who submitted the grant to PETsMART. Because of her insight and PETsMART's financial help, fewer pets will be slaughtered -uh. euthanized. If you would like to help by donating money, supplies, or volunteering time to life saving efforts, call Woodstock Animal Foundation, Inc., at (859) 543-9608. -JG
Don't let Anthrax eat your lunch!
On October 29th, at 7:30 in the Moore Building on Eastern Kentucky University's campus, there will be a free public forum complete with a panel of five local experts to provide information and address concerns and questions about anthrax. This forum is being held by the Department of Biological Sciences with the co-sponsorship of the Eastern Kentucky University chapter of Phi Sigma and the Biology Club. -JG
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