Luckily, there is a drop of demon gin in this sea of cloyingly restorative tonic. You see, New Yorkers know (but, as the victors, don't feel called upon to admit) that the Yankees won in a rather underhand way, which makes all the positivity a little more palatable. It's not that the Yankees weren't playing tolerably well in the Series; they were. But as it happened, their path to triumph over the Baltimore Orioles was kicked off by a non- Yankee named Jeff Maier. A 12-year-old bleacher bum fresh from his Bar Mitzvah, Maier saw a Yankee fly-ball coming his way, leaned over the railing at Yankee Stadium and tipped the ball into the stand, turning a likely "out" into a home run.
Jeff Maier became a hero, hailed in the papers as "New York Royalty," and feted on chat shows, not only for helping the Yankees, but for cheating the loathsome Orioles, who deserved to be robbed of victory if ever a team did. Only one dissenter, writing in the New York Post, denounced Maier's act, moaning: "Now the Yankee victory will go down in the minds of sports fans with that ugliest of marks, an asterisk - as a pseudo-win, a mere technical victory." Exactly - and all the sweeter for it.
If the Yankees manage to win the World Series this week, something they haven't pulled off since the Seventies, it will be hard to figure out which will feel better; winning, or winning thanks to the intervention of a cocky little kid. And if the Yankees lose the Series, New Yorkers still win - because that way, nobody has to go find a new scapegoat.Reuse content