Pardon the New York-centric take on the post-season baseball, but we’d better do this fast, inasmuch as I don’t see the Mets and Yankees playing a Subway Series.
The Yankees look tattered as they prepare for their wild-card match with Houston on Tuesday.
They are not the same without Mark Teixeira. Beltran and A-Rod gave it their best shot.
This is not wishful thinking on my part. I would never do such a thing.
The Mets are not the same, either. This was evident in the last few weeks of the regular season. National League pitchers were going outside on Yoenis Cespedes. Then a little more outside. Then way outside. And he kept swinging. Those guys in the stands taking notes were sending emails to the home office confirming what the American League already knew; this guy can be pitched to.
But what a wonderful run it was.
Mets fans need to thank Terry Collins and worthies like Granderson and Wright and Familia and the pitchers, young and old. It was fun. May still be fun for a while.
Meantime, the Mets won the duel of the general managers. in their division. Sandy Alderson made a prophet out of my friend Steve Kettmann, who wrote a book called “Baseball Maverick” with the daring subtitle: “How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball and Revived the Mets.” Seemed like over-reaching in March. Turned out to be correct.
The Mets fans should also thank Mike Rizzo, the general manager of the Nationals, who did not dismiss Matt Williams in mid-season when it was clear, absolutely clear, that the Nats were less than the sum of their parts.
The Mets could still have some retro fun in October but they need to hang onto those 45 days from Alderson's grand revival at the trading deadline.
Welcome to World Cup 2022, the most absurd thing that the routinely absurd world of sports has ever produced.
Those extreme descriptions were what virtually the entire world, save for those who had walked off with bags of cash from Qatar, called the awarding of soccer’s greatest event to the incredibly tiny, incredibly wealthy country back in 2010.
Twelve years ago, many were convinced this event couldn’t possibly happen: staging the world’s biggest sporting event in a country the size of Connecticut, one with zero soccer culture and even less soccer infrastructure? The tournament couldn’t possibly take place in 120-degree heat, and FIFA, the governing body of soccer, most certainly wouldn’t upend football leagues around the world to change the traditional summer schedule, could it?
And, for God’s sake, what about the beer?
Those were just the logistical concerns. The moral concerns are far more distressing. FIFA, so busy paying lip service to equality, couldn’t possibly expect the world to embrace a country where you could go to prison for being gay, where women’s rights are severely curtailed and female victims of sexual assault could go to prison, charged with engaging in extramarital sex. And all those questions came before the global realization that the World Cup was being built on the backs of migrant labor: modern-day slaves held in Qatar with virtually no rights, low wages and no ability to leave. Migrants make up 90% of Qatar’s stated population of 3 million. The country’s native-born equal about 300,000, or roughly the size of Anaheim.
---Ann Killion, columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle.