Friday, October 23, 2009

November Reign

In 2001 - when the murderous and tragic events of September 11th necessitated that day-to-day life take a time out - the World Series that the Yankees and the Diamondbacks played rolled over from October into November. In the tenth inning of Game Four, shortly after October was in the rear view mirror Derek Jeter hit a home run that won that game and earned Jeter the moniker "Mr. November".

What was borne out of necessity has now transgressed into a convenience for the fine folks who run Major League Baseball. A convenience that has now ensured that four of the seven scheduled games in this year's World Series will be played in November. November baseball by deliberate design? Indeed it is. It is not inconceivable that the World Series this year will not be over until AFTER Election Day. Well, as long as they wrap it up in time to avoid any conflict with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The Phillies have already clinched their spot in the Fall Classic, which guarantees that at least three of the Series' seven games will be played in the climatic splendor that is Philadelphia in November. I had hoped that by this morning the Yankees would have clinched their spot in the Series as the AL champions. Unfortunately, the team's traveling secretary apparently packed the '08 version of Phil Hughes instead of the '09 version on the charter to Los Angeles. Thus, the Yankees and the Angels shall battle on this weekend in the Bronx with Game Six scheduled for Saturday night.

As a Yankees fan I want to see them in the World Series, regardless of the date on the calendar. As a baseball fan I want to see the World Series played without weather-related interruptions such as sleet, freezing rain or - God forbid - snow. And just for fun I would like to see the guys on the field who are playing for the championship of the sport in which they earn their living be able to play without needing mukluks and fur-lined parkas.

By the time the World Series starts on the 28th, the Phillies will have had one week off since their pennant-clinching win over the Dodgers. If it struck you as illogical that both the National League Championship Series and the American League Championship Series included an off-day between Games Four and Five even though there was no travel involved for any of the four teams, then the decision to structure the schedule for the Series so as to ensure that no baseball will be played for at least three days and - perhaps - as many as six will provide you with the opportunity to scratch a different part of your head.

Just make sure you take off your wool cap and your ski gloves first. When you have an itch that you simply must scratch, skin-to-skin contact is of paramount importance.

-AK

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