The baseball season is gearing up for another World Series showdown and for those fans still involved with surviving teams it is a time for late nights and shortened fingernails.
Baseball is sometimes dismissed as a game that is too slow and takes too long. But when everything is on the line, as it has been in recent days for the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets and Braves, few sports can compare with a game where everything can turn on the spin of a ball or the fraction of a second it takes to swing a bat
The Mets win in the rain the other evening was the stuff of movies. The heartbreak for Boston players and fans over bad umpiring decisions is enough to make even a Yankee fan shed a tear.
The Atlanta Braves have been the very essence of consistency in recent years but have ample cause to feel that their full potential has not yet been realized.
On top of all this is the arrival of fall and plunging temperatures. Crowds huddle in windbreakers, the days of summer seemingly long gone, but the fruits of the sporting summer are ready for plucking by the team which knuckles down, plays the best and gets the breaks.
If one player is anything to go by, the Yankees would appear to be best positioned for another world championship. Paul O’Neill, broken rib and all, is a player to inspire Irish American pride no matter what your own favorite team.
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At the same time, October baseball is ultimately about the game more than it is about any one player, or any one franchise. The best team will triumph in the end and regardless of the name it bears, the truly wise will take greatest heart and enjoyment from the contest. May the best team indeed win.