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There Are No Rose Petals in Baseball

Readers of Notablog are familiar with the humanity inherent in my "Rose Petal Assumption," that is, the assumption that it is possible to find "one rose petal in a pile of manure." It makes for a wonderful way to bridge differences and to create a context of civility when people are discussing contentious topics honestly.

It's the kind of premise that informs the best of sportsmanship too: "It's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game."

Well, of course. Nobody who is a true sports fiend wants to win the game by cheating.

But let me be very clear about one thing: This close to the end of the regular baseball season: IT'S ALL ABOUT WINNING FAIR AND SQUARE. With an emphasis here on winning.

At this point, I'm not interested in philosophic platitudes about Rose Petals.

I'm a Yankee fanatic. My team has been "grinding it" all season long; it has been painful to watch some of these older ballplayers grinding themselves onto the disabled list with each passing week. But I've been a Yankee fan all my life. Even through the mid-to-late 1960s and through the early 1970s, when they didn't win. Even through the long drought of the 80s and through 1995, when Donnie "Baseball" Mattingly couldn't get himself arrested into a World Series if he tried.

Well.

My pal George Cordero reminds me in this thread:

The following comment has nothing whatsoever to do with the topic at hand; however, I strongly believe Mr. Sciabarra will not mind. Chris, did you happen to notice that the Yankees have moved into first place! Small is 9-0, R. Johnson "might" finally be healthy enough to be a play-offs factor, and Rivera continues to be brilliant. If the BoSox miss the play-offs, Francon will be crucified in Boston. My only fear (and I suspect) is that after Francon is fired, Torre will be the new BoSox manager for next year.

It's a legitimate fear, George, especially with that other George, "Boss" Steinbrenner, making nice-nice with Lou Piniella, who is most definitely not returning to the dreaded Devil Rays as manager (those dreaded Rays have kicked Yankee butt this season).

But the Yanks are in 1st Place again, for the first time since mid-July. The Red Sox are chasing the Yanks, and the two teams face-off in a major duel next weekend, the final three games of the season. I have a suspicion that the team that wins that series is going into the postseason. The loser probably won't have enough wins to take the AL wild card. So...

IT'S WIN OR LOSE! There are No Rose Petals in Baseball. I'm not looking to find that "one rose petal" in any manure piles. Not to mix metaphors, but I'm taking the hose to the manure, and looking for the clean sweep!

Today, Yankee Stadium will set an all-time franchise record as the season attendance goes above 4 million for the first time in Yankee history. That's an average of more than 50,000 fans per game. It's my hope that they will all be cheering:

GO YANKEES!!!

Comments welcome. No civility can be guaranteed if you're a Yankee hater.