With a nod to John, Paul, George, and Ringo, the whole SF clan has returned from a wonderful holiday overseas. While we were gone, it looks like the Yankees figured out that they aren’t that bad, the Sox figured out that they aren’t good at the West Coast, and Tino Martinez figured out how to smuggle clean urine samples into closed medical offices. A few observations while across the pond and upon return:
- Nobody outside the US (or at least in England) cares a whit about the Sox and Yanks. The only visible paraphenalia related to the teams was espied in JFK, and it was a Sox hat. In England, the daily results are relegated to the 5th page of the tabloids’ sports sections, next to Motocross in a box titled "Other Results". I can only imagine where the scores appear in Le Monde. Humbling.
- Relegation, a concept unthinkable in American sports, is an amazing phenomenon. We were in England over the final Saturday and Sunday of the Premiership season, and four teams battled it out on the last day for the rights to "stay up" in the highest league, with three teams of those four relegated to the "Championship", (or First Division, in simplistic terms the Triple-A of English football). The tension is thick during these games, fought between the EPL equivalents of Kansas City and Pittsburgh. At stake is a massive amount of money, exposure, and prestige. Meritocracy is alive in the Premiership, even if the league is splintered by economic inequities similar to MLB’s. We only wish there was more at stake for the lowly clubs in baseball – the relegation system keeps the season heated even as teams sputter at the bottom of the table.
- The closer you get to Dublin, the better the Guinness.
- YF was more interesting when the Yankees stunk.
More later, when the cobwebs clear.