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Posted: Thursday, October 12, 2000 12:00 am

Being a Mets or Yankees fan is not for the faint of heart. Their respective heart-stopping divisional playoff series probably meant huge sales of antacids at local drugstores and supermarkets.

While the five-game divisional series was exciting for both the Mets and Yankees, the fundamental concept is flawed. It makes more sense in this kind of series to play two games in one team’s ballpark and three games in the other team’s home. Instead Major League Baseball had the Yankees and A’s play two games in Oakland, then fly 3,000 miles to play a pair of games in New York, and then made both teams fly 3,000 miles west in the middle of the night to play the decisive fifth game in Northern California less then 24 hours after they completed Game 4 in New York. Had the Mets not defeated the Giants Sunday then both of those teams would have been forced to make a similar cross-country, cross-time zone trek for a series-deciding game to be played the next day.

Aside from the fact that Major League Baseball doesn’t seem to realize that its players, though admittedly highly compensated, are not pieces of furniture which can be moved at will. It is ludicrous to have players who cannot be performing at their best forced to play the crucial game of their season under those conditions. In addition we are in an energy crisis. Having baseball clubs charter jets for cross-country travel which could easily be avoided with a drop of common sense is a conspicuous waste of precious fuel. Major League Baseball should be more aware of its symbolic civic responsibility role of promoting energy resource conservation.

The biggest surprise of the Mets-Giants series was that much maligned Mets pitcher Bobby Jones threw a one-hit shutout in Sunday’s clinching game. I have criticized Jones in the past about his inability to ever win a big game. He proved me wrong and I am glad.

One Giants player who got a nice reception from the Shea faithful was their shortstop Rich Aurilia. He was a star at St. John’s where he was a business administration major. Because he studied accounting and has a detailed knowledge of the various key fiýancial reporting statements, Aurilia is a member of the Major League Baseball Players Association’s Executive Committee. He will be heavily involved in the negotiations when the players and owners try to hammer out a new contract when their current collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of next year.

Mets fans may have been a bit too euphoric when they learned that the St. Louis Cardinals had knocked off the Atlanta Braves. First, the Cardinals, with their solid pitching and starting lineup will not be pushovers for the Amazin’s. Second, I think that the Mets need to beat their arch-rival tormentors from Georgia to cleanse their collective psyche once and for all.

Getting Jets tickets is not easy. If you want to see Gang Green play this season my suggestion is to see them on the road. The Jets will play the Bills in Buffalo on October 29th and at this writing tickets are available for that game. Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium is gigantic and it is unusual for games to sell out there. Since Buffalo is only 400 miles from here it makes for an ideal weekend getaway. For Bills ticket info call their ticket office toll-free at (877) BBTICKS.

Welcome to the discussion.