Oct 27th, 2003


My team won that night. I was sitting in the middle of a clutch of Yankees fans. Hmmm, not particularly gracious in defeat, that bunch. But then, my motto has always been "Obnoxious in victory, bitter in defeat.", which actually could be the motto of both the New York Yankees and the University of Florida Gators.

On Saturday, I watched the game with my 85-year-old father. Daddy summed up the experience when he said "The only thing that would have made this sweeter would have been to have the TV cameras on George Steinbrenner when his head blew up. You know he won't be sleeping tonight. He'll be up figuring out who to fire and who he can buy."

To all of the so-called baseball fans out there who complained that this wasn't the series the fans deserved, that they should have seen the Red Sox and the Cubs, I'd like to say: Bite my teal blue ass.

This was a great, a fucking great, a fucking great, classic World Series. The Marlins came from behind to get into the wild card race, and beat Philllie. They were down against the Giants, and came back in three straight to beat Barry Bonds. They were down against the Cubs, and came back in three straight to beat Prior and Woods, back to back, in freakin' Wrigley Field. Something that hadn't been done in over a year. They were down against the New York Yankees, the dynasty, the mythology, the big honking money and egos, and popular opinion and what did they do? They came back and beat them, in the greatest baseball cathedral in the world. They beat the Yankees in Yankee Stadium with Babe Ruth watching from Monument Garden. They played better, they played harder, and they played for the love of the game, because they were getting about 12 fans a game, and about minimum wage.

And I gotta say, too, and please don't make a liar out of me, Mr. Loria, that the owner, when he took the mic in the locker room after it was all over, sounded like an old time baseball guy. Like someone who loves the game. He thanked the fans, the coaches, the team, the manager, the staff. He grinned like a mule eating briars. He looked like a guy who isn't going to sell off the team so fast that by the time they get to the obligatory White House dinner, there won't be anyone left in a Marlins uniform who was on the field that night.

That's what Wayne Huizenga did, the bastard, and that's why the Marlins only get a handful of people in the park. Because we are STILL PISSED OFF.

And because it's a football stadium, dammit, no matter how many hot tubs you stick in the corners, and how many times you tell us it's really convertible to baseball. It isn't. It's hot. It's a cement funnel for heat. But that didn't matter to the fans at the end.

And what an end it was. That baby-faced, rocket-armed Beckett got the tag to end the game, the series, the season.

Damn, but I love this sport. And a thank you for some excellent reporting, Mr. Dan LeBatard, of the Miami Herald.