My humble opinion on
October 29, 2001
Who's "Unworthy" Now?
Early last week, a writer for the New
York Daily News wrote that the Arizona Diamondbacks were an
"unworthy" World Series opponent for the New York Yankees. The
D-backs were only four years old, a mere infant compared to the mighty
Yankees. In fact, the Yankee organization, created in 1903, was older
than the state of Arizona! (born in 1912) Who did these pups think they
were, going to the World Series at such a young age? The Yankees were
going to show this upstart team who was boss.
Happily, this past weekend proved that
The Diamondbacks won Games 1 and 2 of
the World Series, behind the superhuman pitching of Curt Schilling and
Randy Johnson. In Game 1, Schilling gave up just one run on three hits
through seven innings, and last night Johnson tossed a three-hit,
eleven-strikeout, complete-game shutout. The mighty Yankees scored just
one run in 18 innings, and no runs the past 17 innings.
In fact, it was the fabled Yankees who
appeared unworthy. In Game 1, outfielder David Justice dropped a
fly ball and third baseman Scott Brosius fumbled a ground ball. In Game
2, Brosius again couldn't handle a routine grounder and ruined a chance
at a double play. The vaunted Yankee offense stayed in New York. The
Diamondbacks committed no errors and took advantage of Yankee mistakes.
The Yankees didn't capitalize on Diamondback miscues because there
As one of the few native Arizonans in
existence, I love the Diamondbacks and was thrilled that the World
Series had come to Phoenix. It's a great city. But many New York
citizens, though certainly not all, seem unaware that a whole new world
exists west of the Hudson, and, for that matter, on the other side of
the Atlantic. This curious mixture of arrogance and ignorance is, at the
same time, frustrating and entertaining.
Frustrating because the world does not
revolve around New York. Lots of things happen in this world that New
York has nothing to do with. The world is just too big for everything to
happen in one city, no matter how great. Plus, this view renders
inferior everything outside of New York. Phoenix? Just a dusty desert
hick town, nothing to do or see, nowhere to go.
True story. In 1989, several students
and some teachers in our high school journalism class flew to New York
to attend a high school journalism convention at Columbia University.
Despite the fact our private school had fewer than 300 students, our
monthly magazine had a decent reputation at Columbia. When the group
arrived at Columbia, a host met them and asked where they were from.
Phoenix, Arizona, they answered.
"Oh," the host responded.
"How'd you get here?"
"You mean there are planes in
While such ignorance is certainly
frustrating - what did this person think, the pioneers from Arizona had
traveled overland in covered wagons? - it's also entertaining. After
all, New York is supposedly a cradle of higher education and
sophistication. Smart people live in New York.
Now I am not saying that every New
York dweller thinks this way. That would be silly and stereotypical. But
many do, and it's embodied in the Yankees.
The Diamondbacks may not win the World
Series, but they've proven to everyone they belong, which should
(but probably won't) give many New Yorkers a dose of much-needed