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I came very close to calling this post "27 and Cry" but decided that, even though most of the plays on words here are presented primarily for my own amusement, referencing an obscure Bowie song from one of his less-celebrated albums was just too far out there. Also, there is, famously, no crying in baseball. For a picosecond or so, it was titled "No Joy in Philville" after the well-worn line in "Casey at the Bat".
Except that there has been joy in Philville, despite the Phillies' World Series loss to the New York Yankees tonight. The Phils have won the National League East title three years running, the NL Championship pennant two years in a row, and one set of World Series rings in that time. After a streak like that, with a core that includes multiple All-Stars, MVPs, and Golden Glovers, nobody can write the Phils' success off as just good luck or the results of homer-friendly fences at the new ballpark.
And while my feelings for the Yankees are conflicted, mostly due to the team's extravagant spending and George Steinbrenner's long-held sense of entitlement, it's hard to begrudge such a storied franchise and decent, talented group of ballplayers their accomplishment. They say that the enemy of one's enemy is one's friend, but it's rarely that simple: Philadelphia's rivalry with the New York Mets has really heated up over the past few seasons, to the point where I'd root for the Yanks in a Subway Series instead of going for the Mets just because they're the National League team, but the Yankees' bitterest enemies within the American League are the Boston Red Sox, my own AL favorite. I loved seeing the savvy, scrappy ex-Phillie pitcher Curt Schilling help bring Boston its first World Series trophy in almost a century.
The Phillies get razzed on occasion for their redundant name, by the way, although not as hard as the so-called Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim do for their market-driven moniker. So why haven't the Yankees been taken to task over claiming a word that in various contexts has been applied to New England, the whole of the northern United States, and to Americans in general?
Enjoy your victory parade, New York. You've earned it. Same time next year?