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Dodgers, Yankees and the uncertain earth axis


Anyone who knows me quickly learns I’m a sports fan, and I make no apologies.

People who have been around me as I watch games and cheer and jeer also know I can be a bit superstitious about sports.

I love baseball, basketball and football. I used to watch boxing, and I’ll still tune in if Las Crucen Austin Trout has a bout. I really enjoy watching rodeo and horse racing. I still run around on the basketball court, and I enjoy occasionally playing golf, or at least attempting to play. I love watching New Mexico State University’s Aggie athletic teams, as well as those from my alma mater, Oklahoma State. I ignore hockey and auto racing, and will only watch soccer if someone I know personally is playing.

I’m very specific about the teams I root for. In baseball’s National League, the Cubs are my team. In the American League, I root for the Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers. I tell my daughters the Cubs and Tigers are like my kids, and the Rangers are like my dog. Both sets of my grandparents lived in Fort Worth, Texas, and took me to Rangers’ games when I was a boy.

Conversely, like any right-minded person, I hate the New York Yankees. During the Yankees’ 1950s dynasty, the saying was “Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for U.S. Steel.” In the 1990s, rooting for the Yankees was like rooting for Microsoft.

In the National League, I have a strong dislike for the Los Angeles Dodgers, although I have a keen interest in the Brooklyn portion of their history.

As much as I never want to see a Yankees-Dodgers World Series, maybe the world needs that this year.

So many strange and unsettling things have happened in 2020, it feels somehow the earth has shifted a bit on its axis.

Perhaps we need something familiar and traditional to move things a bit toward normal.

Those two teams have met in the Fall Classic 11 times before, more than any other pair. However, they haven’t met since 1981. That season, the Dodgers were led by rookie phenom pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, and the Yankees by Dave Winfield. The evil Yankees hold an 8-3 edge in their championship matchups, which started in 1941 as a classic “Subway Series.”

When they last met, in 1981, it was another weird year in baseball, as a mid-season strike canceled many games, and the leagues went to an unorthodox playoff format. The same thing is happening this year.

If the Yankees and Dodgers win their pennants, it will be easy for me to root for the Dodgers, but I’ll really be rooting for an earth axis correction.

Richard Coltharp