Yes, we can cheer the Yankees not making the playoffs after a 13-season run, as I do in the lead of today's SN column. But that's the thing about schadenfreude:
Ultimately, it comes from a place of begrudging appreciation. Loathing something so much that you create the energy to celebrate its misfortune? Cripes: Some people would call that respect.
This is something that teams should aspire to -- it transcends mere championships. You are so relevant that people cheer your failure. People bother to cheer your failure, I should say.
And so Yankee-haters will laugh today. Yankee fans will mutter "Call me when your team goes to the playoffs 13 straight times...."
And we'll all agree to hate the Red Sox.
The worst thing that could happen to the Yankees is not that they miss the playoffs -- but that they become irrelevant. They just took their biggest step yet in that direction.
(Damn: I kind of wish I used the above lead item as the actual lead item in my SN column today. I must have needed it to marinate for a few hours, to reach true clarity.)
Meanwhile, you won't be able to escape Lance Armstrong's official return today, announced at the Clinton Global Initiative.
(I didn't mention this earlier this week: I was at a midtown hotel two nights ago and actually walked in 10 steps behind Bill Clinton -- it was a hell of a star-sighting. Oh, and then I believe I was sitting 10 feet from Wade Boggs, who was at the hotel bar. At least I think it was Wade Boggs.)
The Mets need Johan to pitch on no-day's rest for them to close out a playoff spot for themselves; isn't that what CC Sabathia is about to do for the Brewers? (Essentially. Obviously, I'm using hyperbole in both instances.)
Meanwhile, the Twins need to win tonight or tomorrow (or, ideally, both nights) to make this weekend interesting. If they lose tonight, the pressure is on them, not the White Sox.
The Rays' ALDS games are sold out. See: The fans might not show up for the regular season, but they know something as special as the playoffs when it smacks them in the face.
(BTW, see the column for my argument that the Rays have officially completed the greatest regular-season turnaround in sports history. Not just MLB, but -- even if you think the Celtics are the greatest NBA turnaround ever, again, for a regular season -- all of sports.)
I don't really care about Beanie Wells' status for Saturday. Can't they just let Terrelle Pryor have Beanie's carries, just like he's taken Boeckman's throws?
Meanwhile, of course USC is saying they are taking Oregon State seriously -- they need to try to artificially inflate their creampuff conference schedule as much as possible, to deflect the reality that their schedule isn't nearly as difficult as the one the Big 12 and SEC champ will survive.
A couple of other posts coming throughout the day, including the reveal of this week's BlogPoll results (not my ballot, but the entire group) -- along with an examination of the Ronnie Brown "Wildcat" phenomenon and its implications.
Complete SN column here.