"The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,
but time and chance happen to them all"
    Ecclesiastes 9:11
"The race may not be to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,
but that's the way to bet"
    Nick the Greek

Indeed, the swifter, stronger, better Yankees have finished off the Padres. The inevitable has happened. They teased them with three run leads, but like a great racehorse, when the homestretch came, they went past the Padres like they were standing still. They were more talented with their best players, with their lesser players, with their pitchers and their fielders. Perhaps we should be impressed that the Indians managed to beat them twice.

Last night's game the most surprising of the Series for me. Given his lack of success on the road this year, I really thought the Padres would beat Andy Petitte. Maybe they just didn't have any fight left. Whatever the case, there's not much to say about this game. You can't win when you don't score, and they didn't. There was a strategic move that backfired, bringing the bases in with one out, the bases loaded, and MVP-to-be Scott Brosius at bat. He promptly dumped a soft liner to where an infielder at douple play depth might have been and it produced two runs, making the score 3-0. Without that, they could have created the illusion of being more competitive; but I'm confident the Yankees still would have won 1-0, which would have ended the Series just as effectively. The Padres won a pennant, may have won an election for a new stadium, and may have secured the future of baseball in San Diego, a good season's work by any measure.

The Yankees added another chapter to their storied past on the 50th anniversary season of Babe Ruth's death. They ended up the season with a total winning percentage of .714, for those of you who are fascinated by eerie statistics.


Hero of Game Four: Petitte…never gave them hope until the Yankees got the lead
Goat of Game Four: Greg Vaughn… he was the tying run at the plate but was overpowered by
Jeff Nelson


His team may have been swept, but Tony Gwynn had a beautiful Series. He went 8 for 16, and despite a lack of spped and not much of an arm, did a terrific job in the outfield. He was wherever he had to be, got the ball as quickly as was possible and got it where it was supposed to be quickly enough to hold potential doubles to singles. Just a joy to watch him.


Speaking of beautiful, Mark McGwire has really brought joy to this season. Last night he did it again, reaching down and scooping up a foul grounder, then laughing as he stood up and showed it to the crowd like any other fan catching a foul ball. Then he tossed it back to the crowd behind him. What a great story that ball is going to be for whoever caught it. "Yes, son, I got this baseball at game four of the 1998 World Series, when the great Mark McGwire caught a foul ball and then threw it to me."


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