Saturday, October 27, 2007

It Ain't Over 'til It's Over

Any true baseball fan is familiar with Yogi Berra's most famous phrase, "it ain't over 'til it's over." This "Yogi-ism" has been proved many times over the years. Here are a few examples:
  • In 1951, the Brooklyn Dodgers had a 13 game lead in late August.
  • In 1964, the Phillies had a 6½ game lead in September with 12 games to play.
  • In 1986, the Boston Red Sox were one out away from winning the World Series against the Mets in Game 6.
  • In 2004, the New York Yankees were up three games to none against the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS.
I believe you all know what happened...

As the 2007 MLB regular season ended with a stunning, extra-inning, come-from-behind, 9-8 victory by the Colorado Rockies against the San Diego Padres in a one-game Wild Card playoff game on October 1, I have a few observations that I'd like to share:
  • In April, it seemed as if everyone declared the New York Mets as the National League East champions, and they lived up to that expectation for most of the season.
  • By the time we turned our calendars to June, most Yankees fans had written them off from post-season play (shame on you, by-they-way).
  • Phillies fans, having suffered through a few years of hope-followed-by-disappointment, were expecting more of the same.
  • By the time we turned our calendars to September, everyone was talking about a Mets-Padres NLDS because it looked like the Mets would be the #1 seed in the NL and the Padres would clinch the Wild Card.
  • The Colorado Rockies weren't even considered to be a Wild Card contender until they were well into winning their last 13 of 14 regular season games.
We all know what happened...

So the obvious lessons to be learned are:
  • Never, ever be complacent
  • Never, ever give up
As a 35+ year Mets fan, I still bleed orange and blue and will continue to do so. The challenge for them is how they rebound from this collapse.

In late June, a few of us attended the Mets-Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park. The atmosphere was such that it felt like we were in Shea Stadium West. All the Mets fans were singing "Jose, Jose, Jose" and the Phillies fans seemingly let us belittle them in their own "house." They obviously got the last laugh...

It ain't over 'til it's over...

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