As a fan of the New York Yankees, I was quite pleased and relieved last night when the team defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (silly name) in the American League Championship Series to advance to baseball’s World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
At the end of the game, baseball rituals took place. The Yankees celebrated together on the field. That was followed by the ridiculous clubhouse champagne spraying melee that is so studied that most of the players wear high school chemistry goggles to protect themselves. On the losing team just after the game ends, various players typically are captured by television cameras sitting blank faced and drained in their dugout.
It would be a lot nicer if after every hard fought playoff series the teams instead lined up and shook hands. It’s an area where adults could learn from young practioners of the sport. Playoff level Little League games end with team lines and handshakes,. College basketball games and hockey playoff series also close out that way.
Not to make too much of it, but in a country where public discourse already is too often harsh and polarizing, a public display of sportsmanship while millions are watching is not a bad thing.