Ever since I became part of the venomstrikes staff, this was the matchup I was hoping to avoid. Well, thanks to the magic of interleague play, it was bound to happen and now it is finally here. The Arizona Diamondbacks are in town to play the New York Yankees and thus my loyalties are being tested. I have been a Yankee fan for (yikes) decades and my love of writing has led me into the Valley (though not literally as I still live in New York). So these next three days will not be easy from a fan’s standpoint so I will have to decide how to watch the series: as a guy who twists with every run scored or strictly from a robotic, journalistic point of view.
Wade Miley will start the middle game of the three game set in the Bronx. Image: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Truth be told, I haven’t been as big a Bombers fan as I was ten years ago. Simply put, the tearing down of (Old and Real) Yankee Stadium was an almost unforgivable act. I haven’t been to the new place yet and I don’t plan on going any time soon. Some might say it is time to let it go and I have thought about that recently. However, it is hard for me to get over the fact that the greatest sporting arena in our country’s history does not stand anymore all because there needed to be an additional 100 luxury suites. I don’t want to hear that parts of the old ballpark were deteriorating badly and that the amenities were not like newer ballparks. You don’t dump Baseball’s Cathedral because there were cracks behind a concession stand or that a Hard Rock Cafe was needed to enhance the baseball experience at the Stadium. Despite this, I can’t turn my back on a team that I grew up with, a team that gave me such great joy over the years and such magical Stadium experiences such as Game 4 of the 1999 World Series. Though I do not cheer as passionately as I used to, I can never root against them even if my heart continues to break over the stadium issue.
Then we have the D’backs, the team I write for yet the same team that inflicted one of the greatest punishments in my sports history. The ending of the 2001 World Series sent me into a fog over the next two days as driving to and from work I would alternate between, “Did that really happen”, and “I can’t believe that happened”. Losing the 2004 ALCS to the Boston Red Sox doesn’t even come close. The birth of my child was only weeks away and I felt good for certain long-suffering Sox fans such as an uncle who passed away shortly after Boston won the World Series. 2001 was so painful because the Yanks were so close to making it four consecutive WS victories, something that will never, ever happen in my lifetime. So here I am ten years later writing for the D’backs and I have to tell you I have had a blast doing it. I get to dig up facts and cover a team that is still relatively new to Major League Baseball. While I know a World Series victory in this year or in any other future year would be sweeter for those who were fans from Day One (such as my cohorts here at venomstrikes), I would nonetheless take some satisfaction in a Snakes’ victory. Covering the D’backs is also a good excuse to buy the Extra Innings package. Plus, who doesn’t dream about Arizona when it’s 20 degrees outside with six inches of snow on the ground?
In spite of my duel loyalties, this will be a fun series to watch. The D’backs look to continue their fast start while the Yanks seem to have found a groove. As far as predictions go, the teams will split the first two games while the last one will be decided in extra innings. Is this a bit of a cop-out? You bet it is. What else would you expect from a guy who roots for two different teams?
What are your predictions for this series?
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