"I knew we were going to win when I was walking around and saw a dude on the street selling YANKEES WORLD CHAMPION T-shirts," said one Marlin, swigging Bud Light from a 40-ounce bottle. Which Marlin? No idea. And don't bother asking the manager. After a two-hour interview lunch with Loria last May, McKeon told the Marlins' owner, "Thanks, Jerry."
Think George would answer to Jerry? George plays Thus Spake Zarathustra when the Yankees are introduced. George has hyper-extended the seventh-inning stretch into a five-minute, pitcher-freezing, operatic homage to America. George has now run off, at one time or another, two American icons, Zimmer and Berra, whose faces would be—if baseball had its own currency—on the one- and five-dollar bills, respectively.
No owner, or team, takes itself as seriously as the Yankees. Had they won their 27th World Series title last weekend, America would have celebrated by throwing—what, exactly? Is there a singular form of the word confetti? The Yankees themselves might scarcely have celebrated, given their grim sense of purpose. "We don't get a championship ring for that" Jeter said disdainfully of the American League pennant.
Somewhere, Steve Bartman chewed a hole in his turtleneck.
And so there was plenty of schadenfreude in the South Bronx. It made one infinitely happy to hear Jason Giambi say, "It doesn't make me happy to go to the World Series." One delighted in the mere words Brian Cashman, the Yankees' general manager, the most aptly surnamed figure in sports history.
The best scene was ex-Yankee Reggie Jackson, standing outside the Marlins' clubhouse, which was a critical mass of stogie-torching celebrants. So the Straw That Stirred had to wait for others to leave before he could enter and congratulate the Marlins. He looked like a freshman outside a college bar. When Reggie finally gained entry, Marlins utilityman Lenny Harris began shouting his surname. Not " Jackson," mind you, but "October!" As October tried abruptly to make his way back out, his path was blocked by a pointy, menacing Tiffany bauble.
Yankees payroll: $180 million. Marlins payroll: $50 million. Seeing Mr. October, in the visitors' clubhouse at Yankee Stadium, nearly impaled on the World Series trophy: priceless.