The Yankees? I'm not impressed. In six meetings between the Nationals and Yankees since the start of the 2006 season, the tally reads Nats 4, Yankees 2.
The Nationals own they fannies, own 'em I'm telling you.
OK, seriously now. Congratulations to the World Champion New York Yankees. There, I said it. Wasn't as hard as I thought. It's much easier than it would have been a few years back.
My latest poll showed 19 pulling for the Phillies, 11 pulling for the Yankees and seven sitting this one out. I watched but I didn't much care who won.
A friend says the two participants may rank 29th and 30th on his list of teams. I wouldn't go that far, not as long as the Mets and Cubs exist. I wouldn't go too much higher than that.
I have tremendous respect for the Phillies and what they have been able to accomplish. Great lineup. I'd trade goodness knows what for Jayson Werth. Utley, too. My wife and I had a wonderful time at Citizens Bank Park in 2005 and have had great dealings with their fans. However, I've seen firsthand some Phillies fans acting badly and two blogging colleagues I like a lot dealt with some things they never should have dealt with at Citizens Bank. So that sticks in my mind.
The Yankees? Used to hate them with a passion, for no real good reason. One of my older brothers loved them so that had a lot to do with it. The Yankees were shoved down our throats a lot as kids. Of course, they were pretty good.
Whatever level of hatred I had for them went away last spring, when the team made a major donation to the Virginia Tech memorial fund AND showed up on campus to play an exhibition game. I had two students at Tech at the time - one undergrad and one grad. I know how the tragedy of 2007 weighed on them and their friends. I saw what it did to the university community. I spent eight days there as site editor for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, overseeing our coverage. It was a tough, tough time.
I can't even fathom the pain felt by the families of the victims.
The Yankees made two real nice gestures to help with the healing and, for that, will always have the appreciation of my family.
I remember my son calling me from the game, in tears, saying, "This is SO cool. The Yankees are HERE." He talked this week about walking toward the stadium and hearing, "and playing third base - Alex RodREEEEguez." Right there at English Field.
We both have those Yankee hats with the VT logo on the side. After the game, Johnny Damon mentioned how much he'd like to come back for a football game. My son and his buds stay on me to pull some strings and make that happen (anybody? can you help? They'll get his ticket).
So the hatred, even the dislike, has been shelved. Root for them? Let's not get carried away. OK, well, maybe a little.
Let me just sum it up this way: It doesn't break my heart that the Yankees are the 2009 World Champions.