The first decade of the 21st century is over in the world of baseball. (And no, I am not one of those lunatics who considers 2010 part of this decade nor 2000 part of the 1990s.)
Next year we enter a new decade and a very new territory in terms of three teams with lots of tradition, history, passionate fans and only 300 miles between them.
The last three World Series winners have been the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees.
That’s right, the three most obnoxious fan bases in the baseball world all have reasons to crow over the last three seasons.
This is unprecedented. These three teams have never been champions around the same time. There was always a team deep in a World Series drought.
The Red Sox and Yankees each won in the 1910s and 1920 when the World Series was in its infancy.
The Phillies never won until 1980. Now the Yankees were the champs of 1978… but the Red Sox were in the middle of their drought.
The Yankees were the champs in 2000 and the Red Sox won in 2004, but the Phillies were still in a post Joe Carter funk.
Well guess what?
There is no 1918 anymore. (Nor a 2000 for that matter.)
And Philadelphia is no longer a city wishing for a champ over a quarter century of seeing the Phillies, 76ers, Flyers and Eagles flop in the big game.
Each are recent winners with many players still on the roster from their World Series title.
Each have home grown stars who won for their hungry fans.
The Red Sox have Papelbon, Youkilis, Lester, Pedroia and Ellsbury for the long haul… all with rings and all contributed big to their title.
The Phillies have Howard, Rollins, Utley and Victorino all as post season heroes. (Cole Hamels will join this group once his detention is over.)
And the Yankees have the old guard of Jeter, Posada, Pettitte and Rivera and new home grown stars like Cano, Cabrera, Hughes and if he ever gets his head turned around, Joba.
And all three teams look like they will be solid contenders for the next few years.
Seriously, it is something that baseball has never seen: The Northeast emboldened with recent championships and flush with fan favorites who don’t have the “he never won a ring” stigma.
All three fan bases have ammo.
For the rest of the country, I’m sorry. There is going to be some SERIOUS East Coast Bias going on in big league baseball in the next decade.
You may not like it, but baseball just IS bigger in the Northeast.
But do you know who I really feel bad for?
If they won in 2006, they’d be in this conversation.
Instead, Beltran looked at called strike three.
I don’t envy you Met fans. These next few years are going to SUCK!
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