Count me among those who think it's a good day for baseball -- and for almost all sports fans -- when the Yankees are bounced from the playoffs.
But there is one thing that I will always respect about the Yankees (and their fans), and it is George Steinbrenner's greatest legacy:
Anything less than a championship is a failure.
97 wins? Beating out the Red Sox for an AL East title? Even an AL pennant? Meaningless. The only thing that matters is a World Series ring.
I love that about the Yankees. It is one of the things that lured me into die-hard fandom of Florida football. Championship or bust.
One of the most important lessons of Moneyball is that any data-driven analysis bakes in that small sample sizes are dangerous. A five-game playoff series is largely a crapshoot, especially if the teams are almost entirely evenly matched.
A one-game playoff series -- like we had last night -- is an even bigger crapshoot. Guys like Kelly have a career-best night; guys like A-Rod have a terrible one.
The result is far more indelible: The Yankees' season is over, and it is a failure. God bless 'em for that -- and god bless the rest of us for reveling in it.
*Last night was a tasty appetizer, but what a main course today: Two win-or-go-home Game 5s to decide the National League finalists. Must-must-see.
*When the Brewers-D'backs game heads into the evening -- the start of Yom Kippur, the holiest night of the Jewish year -- should Ryan Braun, who has always embraced his status as the greatest active Jewish sports star, sit out?
When it comes to religious observance, I have always deferred to personal preference, so the answer is: He should do whatever he feels is right. If that means playing, I don't think anyone should begrudge him. He might feel a twinge of guilt; that's not a terrible outcome. His heart has to be in two places at once; that's never easy.
*CFB Weekend Preview: LSU might have a bit of trouble scoring on Florida, but they are going to blank the Gators' offense. Ultimately, all those three-and-outs by the Gators' offense are going to leave the defense weary enough that LSU just punishes them into a decisive win... Oklahoma is going to throttle Texas... Most intriguing game of the week: Auburn at Arkansas (Pick: Auburn)... Upset Special: Northwestern over Michigan.
*My Favorite NFL Week 5 Storylines:
-Game of the Week: Jets at Pats (Pats will cruise)
-NFC playoffs rematch GB @ ATL: Expect more of the same.
-No-longer-Dream-Team: Must-win for the Eagles in Buffalo.
-Cam Newton Watch: At home vs. Saints
-Suck for Luck: Can Colts, Vikings afford to win at home?
The real game of the week is the Lions hosting Monday Night Football. We'll get to that next week.
Enjoy the weekend everyone. Updates here both mornings, plus great recommendations and real-time analysis all weekend long at Quickish. Give it a try! (And tell friends!)