Wait Until Next Year

Wait Until Next Year

Wait Until Next Year is a phrase most often heard in cities that are the homes of most of the thirty major league teams. By July 4th a good portion of them are so behind the division leaders that we start to hear another phrase: Playing Out The String. A player really needs to love the game to play year after year for a team that  is the epitome of futility. Imagine being a member of the Chicago Cubs. They haven’t won the World Championship since 1908. That year they were repeat champions put after the 1908 win they proceeded to drop the entire rest of the century, losing the fall classic seven times. The last time they appeared was in 1945, 66 years ago. (As a former New Yorker it is my solemn duty to stick it to the Cubbies, especially after 1969 when the New York Mets came from 14 games out to overtake them and win it all.)

I grew up in Brooklyn where Wait Until Next Year was the rallying cry for Dodgers fans. In 1955 next year came. Dem Glorious Bums finally won it by beating the hated Yankees. We should have known that it wouldn’t last. After winning the National League pennant in 1956 they went to Los Angeles the next year. Alas, no more waiting for Brooklyn fans.

Playing Out The String is the other great phrase that you start to hear this time of the year. Most major league teams are beginning to gear up for this late summer mode. The major league baseball trading deadline is July 31st. We’ll have a flurry of trades from also-rans to contenders. The fans and the players then really find out if their team management has gone into Wait Until Next Year mode.

So if your team is in the Wait Until Next Year mode and is Playing Out The String you can take comfort in knowing that the NFL lockout/strike is just about over. All of you football fans can look forward to the beginning of the season but remember that Wait Until Next Year mode and Playing Out The String works in football, too. Me, I’m a Packers fan. For those of you who missed the Super Bowl. Green Bay is Title Town again.

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