Saturday, September 20, 2014

2014: ANNUS MIRABILIS?

Just over 20% of all depictions of "Little Miss
Muffet" to be found on the 'Net partake of a
"goth" variation of some sort--this "little miss"
seems unlikely to be frightened away if "a
spider sat down beside her," n'est-ce pas??
We mentioned it awhile back...but we're getting down to the dregs of the 2014 season, so it's time to revisit the notion that this year may yet have something special to offer, despite its rather draggy overtones (late season surges and collapses have been more wan than usual; exceptional achievements are few and far between; and even a sizable portion of the folks living in the NYC metro area will be relieved when the Derek Jeter Antique Roadshow™ will finally be mothballed).

What is that transcendent moment, that soup├žon of salvation, that pleasant feeling of the highway cop driving by with antlers ablaze that are mercifully not meant for you?

The chart below will make it obvious to most (if not all) of you. It depicts the post-season teams that have represented the American League since 1995, when Budzilla stomped on Little Miss Muffet's tuffet and created the Wild Card.

What should be clear in even the briefest of glances at this chart is that we have never yet had a season since 1995 where baseball fans have been without a post-season appearance from either the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox.

Yes, Virginia, there really is something called "too much of a good thing."

Though we're not sure that this twenty-year "thing" (watch out for that subliminal, flashing "Fright Quotes R Us" ad...don't blink, and you'll miss it!) really qualifies as "good."

The color code--orange for division winners, deep blue for wild card teams, pale blue for teams that get a coin-toss game to be a wild-card team, various shades of blue for the current 2014 situation, where the paler the blue, the less likely the post-season appearance--makes it clear what we've been dealing with, coping with, even (in some instances...) seeing therapists about.

Nineteen consecutive years of some form of puffed-up blowhard-ery in the AL postseason...surely, in the midst of our ongoing litigious renaissance, there must be a class action suit in the works for this.

As the 2014 season reaches its final week, we cannot help but fixate on whether the suddenly plucky Yankees, who've wobbled all year and who've been on the ropes for the better part of six weeks, will suddenly plague those who hope to see them miss the post-season for two consecutive years by winning their last twelve games. (Dare we even mention the idea for fear of it coming true??)

Keep in mind, however, that the Yankees play the Red Sox on the last weekend of the 2014 season. While the Sox are well out of it, we can only imagine how much pleasure they would take in helping the Yankees to join them on the post-season sidelines. Stay tuned...