Thursday, October 21, 2004


I'm a so-so baseball fan, but I can also get into nearly any sport's playoffs.

I'll be rooting for the Houston Astros to earn their first trip to the World Series. To do that they'll need to beat the Cardinals in St. Louis, and various media will quickly point out the home team has won every game in the NL series so far. If the Astros beat the Cardinals, I'll be cheering for the Astros to win the Series.

I lived in Houston for just over a decade, and used to go to Astros games during the summer, and sit in the cheap centerfield bleachers for $2. That's right, $2 tickets, back in the late 80's. Cheap for a few hours of air conditioning in the Astrodome!

In other news, the Boston Red Sox came from being down 0-3 against the New York Yankees to win the AL championship. I hope the Red Sox, despite being overjoyed to humiliate the Yankees, remember there is another series to play... I know there is an intense rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees, and I wonder if beating the Yankees in the AL Championship is "good enough"? Say they lose the World Series - will everyone say "at least we came from behind and beat the Yankees!!"?

I lived in New York for a few months, but didn't really become a Yankees fan. They've got good players, the best team money can buy. They've had great success over their entire history. However, some part of me chuckles when another team takes them down, since their payroll is so huge. Especially after the Yankees beat the Mariners in 2001. That year, I cheered for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Baseball is full of superstitious statisticians. Legend has it the Red Sox traded away Babe Ruth and thus picked up a curse that has prevented them from winning the series ever since. The Red Sox won their 5 World Series within 15 years, at the start of the 20th century. Ever since, they've only been back 4 times and lost them all. Last time the Red Sox hoisted a championship banner, World War 1 was winding down. Of course, at the time it was called "The Great War". So, it has been a while for Boston.

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