For the first time in well over a decade, it looks like the New York Yankees will be on the outside looking in, once the MLB playoffs start. For some, this is heartbreaking. Yankees fans have come to expect great success, and anything short of a championship is a disappointment. To others (especially Rays fans), it's a welcome chance to see another team get a chance. For myself, it's a little bittersweet. I hate the Yankees
The last time the Yankees missed the playoffs:
- Carlito's Way was playing in theaters.
- The battery operated toothbrush was being patented.
- Whitney Houston was topping the charts.
- The US had troops in Somalia, not Iraq.
- The X-Files started airing on Fox.
It's a bit hard to imagine October without the hated Yanks. Is there a team out there to hate? For many, that team is the Red Sox. They've already won 2 titles in the past 4 seasons, and their payroll is creeping ever closer to the Evil Empire. While they were once loveable losers, and the underdogs, they've shed both labels, and are trying to become the Patriots of baseball, minus the SpyGate scandal.
But for a Sox fan like myself, I have no one to root AGAINST. Anyone who plays the Sox is an instant enemy, but it's just that... instant. If the Red Sox lose to the Angels, Rays, White Sox, or whomever else they play, there will be no bad blood. If the Red Sox can't win the World Series this year, I would absolutely LOVE to see the Rays pull it off. I also would have no problem with seeing the Angels or White Sox tack on their 2nd in this decade. If the Twins or Rangers can sneak into the playoffs, I'd have no problem rooting for Josh Hamilton or Francisco Liriano to win.
Even in the National League, the teams are a largely likeable bunch. The Cubs and Brewers are perennial losers who are playing exciting ball in the Central. The Diamondbacks and Dodgers made some trades to bolster their respective chances in the West, and both teams (aside from one of Manny Ramirez' many personalities) are full of players that you just can't NOT like.The NL East has exciting teams like the Marlins, Phillies and Mets. The Mets have a few prima donnas, but none of these teams even remotely incite the ire that the Yankees can.
While it's going to be nice to see the Yankees fail for once, the playoffs might just be a little empty this year without the Evil Empire giving up their spot.
So good luck to the rest of the league, and congratulations on doing what has been impossible for more than half of my life: keeping the Yankees out of the playoffs.
P.S. If the Yankees make a playoff run down the stretch, call for help. Preferably in the form of a helicopter, because I'll be at the top of some high building somewhere, getting ready to jump.