Three types of baseball fans – Yankees fans, Diamondbacks fans and brainless fans – are bemoaning this week: We survived a work stoppage and the ensuing Armageddon that would have ensued – for this?

Paul Wong
David Horn, Hornography

For a League Championship Series that features two teams representing cities that, if their populations were combined, could fill Michigan Stadium just six times?

Awesome. Take that, Bud Selig.

No bombs from Bernie! No Rocket or Rivera! No web gems from Jeter, for Christ’s sake! No. I won’t watch it. I won’t. I can’t.

Thank God – it’s about time.

There will be no rematch of the classic 2001 World Series, in which all the Scott Brosius/Paul O’Neill/etc. heroics and Byung-Hyun Kim misfires couldn’t keep Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling – the best one-two punch ever (yeah gramps, we all know about Koufax and Drysdale. We don’t care.) – from showing the Yankees how they should have been spending their money these last two years.

There will be no resurrection; no Bronx phoenix will rise from the ashes to reclaim its glorious perch at the top of the world. That bird has flown, Mr. Steinbrenner. It’s now called the South Bend phoenix, and hopefully it won’t return to the Bronx for many years.

The Roman Empire has officially fallen, and in its place are small tribes of little wealth but high aspirations.

The tribe from Minneapolis is playing in the spirit of perseverance and survival – decontraction satisfaction.

If only the Expos had held on (from like May, when they were making a push for the N.L. East title), a Montreal-Minneapolis indoor World Series might just make Selig’s head implode.

The tribe from Anaheim is playing for all the journeymen and overachievers who have ever played in the big leagues. Adam Kennedy – a career .267 hitter – batted .312 for the Angels this season. Jarrod Washburn – who has never won more than 11 games and whose career ERA was 4.31 before this season – went 18-6, striking out 139 with a 3.15 ERA The seasons of those two is typical of what the Angels are doing – they’ve been smoking all year long. If they can find the mirrors this week … ? Stranger things have happened. Manager Mike Scioscia worked the solid containment encapsulator at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant with Lenny and Carl, after all.

The tribe from St. Louis is playing for love and remembrance. The Cards have lost radio announcer Joe Buck and starting pitcher Darryl Kyle, both of whom passed on earlier this summer. Theirs is the kind of storybook season that sportswriters drool over, and everyone with a heart should be rooting for them.

And the tribe from San Francisco is led by the greatest player of our generation, who can solidify his legacy among the greats if he can do something this October that he’s never done before: win.

The stories are multitude, and are dramatic. The musty, pinstriped repetitiveness of Octobers past has been dusted away by the October that almost wasn’t. As a Mets fan, my season ended sometime in July, around the time our bullpen was rounding up money in the clubhouse to buy another ounce. But when the mighty fell last week my attention is turned back to the Great American Pastime.

“America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time …”

The Yanks have finally been erased.

The baseball Gods are smiling on baseball fans, and are treating Bud Selig (and his cadre of ownership) like they stole fire, defecated on Olympus, diddled Athena and tried to contract the Twinkies. Oh wait.

Will anyone watch baseball this week? Probably not in New York. Should everyone watch baseball this week? Abso-freegin-lutely. October baseball and a smattering of teams to rally behind – thanks for the years of reruns, Yanks, but I like my (post)seasons like this one is turning out to be: Original.

David Horn can be reached at hornd@umich.edu.

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