Tuesday, October 09, 2012


Sports rivalries permit giddy war-like rhetoric.  After a playoff ended in victory, a woman turned to me and asked, “Whom do we hate now?”  American sports are a mock Peloponnesian War. People enjoy the kidding. It enlivens the spirit.

Late in the Twentieth Century I took a 5:00pm Staten Island ferry into Manhattan. Both the Mets and Yankees were in town, and fans of both clubs were crossing for the games and many were decked out in their regalia. A [Jeter] 2 sat across from a Wright 5. Around 11:00pm I returned to Staten Island but found only subdued and listless Mets fans. Wright 5 was drinking a beer. It was plainly not his first. I concluded the Mets had lost, tragically, to the Phillies. However, checking the Internet (that transient fad; oh when will it pass?), I discovered the Yankees game had gone in fact into extra innings. I then listened on the radio as the Yanks beat the Red Sox on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 14th.

And what does all this mean? 
drawing by Rachel Pfeffer

Back in 1999 just before the Millennium, God and Allah were in a bar up in heaven. God has always been a
Yankee fan. Allah favors the Mets. “Jeez, God,” said Allah, “for like a thousand years the Yankees always win.
Why don’t you make it interesting? how about giving my boys a chance?” 

All right, said God, games should be fair. The Mets can win henceforward sometimes, and the Yankees accordingly will lose. And such is the All-new Divine Plan.

But Lo! The Yankees immediately in that Very Millennial Year, 2000, defied the Lord’s Plan and humiliated the Mets to win the World Series. Allah sneered. “Some God!” saith Allah, “Come October You can’t even control nine guys on a ball field.”

“Maybe they’re more afraid of Steinbrenner than Me,” saith the Lord. “You Allah may smite New York Itself."


In 1969 I moved from Chicago to New York, and an odd thing occurred in the world of sports. The Mets, the laughably bad expansion replacement for the Dodgers and Giants, were making a move in the National League pennant race. I tried to ignore it. I was transferring from the University of Chicago to Columbia University. It was a gamble. The Mets seemed like a good omen.

By 2008 I needed a retreat from New York. I investigated small towns in Vermont and Connecticut, places where I would know one or two people who lived there some times but really and truly lived in a city, in Boston or Barcelona or Montreal or New York. Then I thought, ah Philadelphia! I had accidentally wandered into an old Colonial part of the city that was pretty and ancient and largely free of tourists. Meanwhile on bar-room TVs I watched Cole Hamels strike out the side, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard deliver hits as needed. Fuck it, these guys are winners! I moved to Philadelphia! Obama won the election, the Phillies won the World Series, and I was a genius!

Then the Phillies subsided and became a .500 team. This year the Pitiable Phillies and the Muslim Mets were out of  playoff contention early. The Phillies unloaded Hunter Pence their star right fielder to the Giants. The divine Yankees, still depending on 20th century stars like [Jeter]2 and [Rodriguez]13, were swept away by the Tigers. [The Yankees, unlike merely mortal teams, have numbers but no names on their uniforms.] Then the Giants swept the Tigers in the World Series. Pence was a hero.  And why am I still in Philadelphia? Should I move to San Francisco? Big fans are always losers. God and Allah, Jesus and Mary pull the strings. God loves the Yankees but -- did you know this? -- dislikes A-Rod. For A-Rod, as the New York Post putteth it, is an A-Hole. Disgusted by 13 and the entire baseball season Jesus said, "Fuck 'em," and called for Sandy.

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Blogger Michael Andre said...


Rosie Schaap Ooh...I would. But it depends on the day/time. And work. Please give me more details when you can. I'll email you. It'd be fun to see some baseball with you!
Michael Andre They're night games Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday, J. Rose. I plan to pose as a Mets' fan.
Rosie Schaap Oh, boo. Nevermind. Thursday's my only free night next week. Darnit.
September 13 at 11:43am · Like
Pamela Hesser I'm in. Oh, wait. I live in Texas. Never mind.
Michael Andre Tonight the Phillies are in Houston.
Pamela Hesser Michael, that's only six hours away! Actually (and please don't tell anyone cause it's a secret) but the St. Louis Cardinals are my boys.
Al Winans they're both losers. get a ticket to a Giants game.

Jackie Sheeler I would be pleased to go with you on Tuesday night, Andre. but be forewarned that I do not need to pose as a Met fan. they had me at 1969! btw, did you ask Ronnie Norpel? she wrote a whole book about the Phillies!
Al Winans Hey, Michael, I forgot to thank you for sending Hunter Pence to us. He has not hit for average yet, but has won two games for us
Michael Andre Pence is weird and awkward but endearing. He seemed to imitate Babe Ruth. When the Phillies abandoned all hope at the All Star Break and traded Victorino, Blanton and Pence, they started to win.
Al Winans I don't know about the other two, but Pence seems to be a good team player for SF. The chemistry on the team is very good. Pence does have a weird on deck swing. Scutaro has been a huge addition, seems to get 2 hits every night and is close to 300 for the season now. Sandaval needs to lose and keep off weight. From a 330 hitter to 280 and dropping.
Al Winans Dodgers had kept out a few times for extended periods of time and now I hear kershaw(sp) may be out rest of season. They took on a lot of contract money and it won't pay off this year. They have tons of money to spend and plan on going after free agent pitchers next year. Giants don't have that kind of money, can only hope to resign what they have and go after a left fielder in free agency.
Michael Andre And now for the play-ins
Al Winans Giants play on Saturday.
Michael Andre Twelve hours of baseball on the radio yesterday.
Al Winans unbelievable how the A's had another walk off win and the Giants pretty amazing too. Bothy face ace pitchers from Detroit and Cinn. today. How sweet it would be for both to pull it off and defy odds and win three straight to move on to next round. Hope one of them is succesful.
Michael Andre The last time the A's and Giants met in a World Series, the earth quaked --
Al Winans thanks for the link. no worries about that happening again, but chances of both teams winning today, going on in playoffs, and meetint for a second time are a billion to one.
Michael Andre I studied baseball augury in the divination department at Divinity School.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Michael Andre said...


Richard Kostelanetz posted to Michael Andre
September 13
Thanks, Michael, for your invite; but we do Yankees Tuesday night and EINSTEIN Wed night. Monday is Rosh Ha.

another time perhaps, tho it's hard to get there from here.

I think I lecture in Philly on 2 Dec.

goodspeed, RK

5:01 PM  
Blogger Michael Andre said...


Emily Pearl -- Buddha's day tomorrow.
Michael Andre -- Buddha cheers for the Giants.
Emily Pearl -- That explains a lot.
Leona Juris -- I'm cheering for the Devi for the next 6 days!
Emily Pearl -- Where?
Michael Andre -- You're cheering for the Devils, Leona? They're a hockey team.
Leona Juris -- No Michael. the Devi's. The holiday of Navartri, celebrated for 9 days honors the Devi's in India; with all their auspicious powers. being the lover of exotic ritual that I am, this fits right in with the silent retreat.
BTW, you can honor them anywhere. Three days for each Durga, Saraswati and Lakshmi.
Michael Andre -- A friend from Sri Lanka insists cricket and baseball are exactly the same thing. Are the Devi's Giant fans like Buddha or do they favor cricket?
Sharon Leilani Grove -- I adore everything about New York. Except the Yankees. "you have to be taught to hate, carefully taught".....well, my family, Red Sox fans, taught me really well. I'm afraid not to hate them. Lewis Grizzard had a brilliant column once....Why We Hate Th
Michael Andre -- No living person has seen Jesus when he WASN'T wearing a Yankee cap.
Sharon Leilani-- Grove Well, that explains a lot!

9:45 AM  

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