Will We Survive Without the Yankees in October?

By Christopher Gabriel, CGabriel.com

The New York Yankees have been put on alert: Win, and win now.  The fate of the world is in your hands. 

While that may not be completely true, sports pundits will have you believe the very foundation of baseball is crumbling and the blame rests at the gates of Yankee Stadium.

Maybe it only seems that every anchor on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight has quietly been pleading with the Yankees to go on a three-week winning streak and blaze their way into the playoffs.  Because, as you surely know, the month of October is not quite the same without the Yankees.

It doesn’t matter that teams like the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are having phenomenal seasons and offer plenty to be excited about.  Neither does it matter that the Chicago Cubs are making a legitimate case as a baseball team impervious to previous failures . . . or embarrassments, depending upon your point of view . . . and downright worthy of a run to the Fall Classic.  No, it’s all Yankees, all the time.

“Yeah, yeah, this Obama-McCain thing is fine but how did the Yankees do tonight?”  Anything else going on in the world is secondary when paired with the Yankees. 

Yankees fans living beyond the fringe of sanity would have you believe the playoffs without the Yankees means the fix is in.  Isn’t it part of Major League Baseball’s bylaws that the Yankees must be in the playoffs?  I’m told writing a piece on the Yankees requires me to mention them by name no less than 10 times.

So what’s wrong with the Yankees?  Is it A-Rod?  Is it Giambi?  Is Hank Steinbrenner in over his head?  Does baseball need George Steinbrenner to return?  Do you really care?

The greatest thing that’s happened to baseball over the last half-century has been the rise of the Red Sox, and I hold no allegiance with the boys from Boston.  Still, their success has nearly . . . nearly . . . removed the Yankees from first-segment stories on radio sportstalk shows and ESPN’s SportsCenter.

October holds more than its share of notable sports diversions.  The NFL and college football are in high gear, the college basketball season officially gets underway and we see the return of the NBA and the NHL.  Oh . . . there’s also the World Series.

Give me a World Series with two great teams and I’m happy to watch.  If those two teams are ones that rarely get to the Fall Classic, even better.  

I wrote sometime back that seeing the Celtics and Lakers in the NBA Finals just seemed right.  In recent years NBA fans have endured championship rounds like Pistons-Spurs.  For most of America, that’s translated into a big “who cares.”  In the case of the Yankees, having been in our living rooms so many October nights from years past, it’s a breath – no, a blast – of fresh air when they’re not there.   

If the Yankees go away at the end of September, I’m going to go out on a limb and say we’ll all survive without them in October.

The sun will still rise every morning, leaves will turn to vibrant shades of red, orange and purple, babies will be born and Friday night high school football games will make memories lasting a lifetime.

Somehow, some way, October will arrive and thrive without the New York Yankees.

For Blog Harbor and more cool stuff visit CGabriel.com

Filed Under: BaseballESPNMediaMLBSports

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About the Author: Christopher Gabriel is the host of the cleverly named Christopher Gabriel Program on AM 970 WDAY in Fargo, North Dakota. You can hear him weekdays from 9 to Noon. As a writer and humorist, his work has been been published online by the Chicago Sun-Times, Reuters and publications within the Sun-Times News Group.

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