As a native New Yorker living in Boston, this time of year leaves me with something of a personality crisis. On the one hand I come from a long line of Yankee boosters (even if as a kid I could relate better to the Mets, who shared with my little league team an almost stunning propensity for ineptitude); on the other hand, my decade-plus in Red Sox country has given me a certain appreciation for followers of the Old Town Team, even if I always knew that when push came to shove they'd crumble like a stale Triscuit.
Of course, this all changed last year. Now, all bets are off, and a headline like today's "Yankees crush Devil Rays, close gap on Red Sox" -- which used to be an indicator that the Yankees were revving up to stomp over the Sox on their way to October glory -- could mean that by next month, after a hard-fought season, both teams will have been kidnapped by space aliens. That's how topsy turvy the baseball world has become.
Regardless, we should all heed the words of Jason Giambi, who managed to keep his biceps from exploding long enough to say that this time of year, "You leave it all on the field, because if you don't play in September, there is no October." (Although technically there is an October, even if Giambi is spending it lying on the couch hoping he doesn't grow bosoms.)