"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice



It’s very tempting to sit down and make predictions for the coming season, but this year, I’m going to pass. For the past two years, I’ve said that the Texas Rangers will improve and Ken Griffey will have a comeback season. I could repeat myself again, but why bother? It’s not a matter of being right or not, I just don’t think I’m even-handed enough to make an interesting crop of predictions, especially when it comes to the AL East.

I’m a pessimistic and superstitious fan by nature. I always think of the worst case scenerio, and then expect that it will come to fruition. That’s why each year I pick the Red Sox to finally beat the Yanks. It has to happen at some point, right? Forget what the realities are, what the numbers say, I hunker down, and prepare for inevitable failure and disappointment.

Hell of an attitude coming from a Yankee fan, huh? I sound like a fuggin Sox fan, fer cryin out loud. Well, I don’t like coming off like a know-it-all, boasting about how monstrous the Yankees are. It’s just not my nature. There are enough arrogant Yankee fans to go around, anyhow. I’ll stay cautiously optimistic, nervous and appreciative.

My friends accept my superstitions and therefore don’t listen to a thing I say. My credibility with them is shot. Oh, well.

A few days ago, I sent my cousin Gabe an e-mail that said, “Neither the Mets nor the Yanks will make the playoffs this year.” I was trying to get a rise out of him, and of course, I did.

Here is his response:

What did you do, consult an oracle? Thanks for spoiling it for the rest of us!

I have no illusions about the Mets making the playoffs, or at least no illusions about the them winning a lot of games. If it’s possible to win the NL East by going 90-72 then I guess the Mets have a shot. I don’t see this team winning 95+ and therefore don’t see them winning any wild card.

As for the Yankees, I understand you need to protect yourself, but what indication have the Yankees given that they won’t win between 95-100 games this year, thereby putting themselves in decent position for a playoff berth? I mean, do I think there’s a chance that the Yanks will win 94-97 games and not make the playoffs? Sure. But I’d say the odds of them getting in are about 1:1, at worst. Probably better. There’s a better than 50% chance the Yankees will win the division. If they don’t do that, there’s maybe a 25%-35% chance they’ll still get in the postseason.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver