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WE WIN!!!

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What a day. What a team.

They were stouter than I was, that's for damn sure. I gave up probably twelve different times this year. They never did.

They overcame a terrible start, a barrage of injuries, pitching meltdowns by the dozen and some of the most harrowing, horrifying losses I can remember. They did it with the most potent offense they've ever mustered, led by a leadoff man whose power and speed would have made his hero, Rickey Henderson, proud--even if Rickey's currently changing into street clothes in a funereal Shea Stadium clubhouse. Backing him up was a second baseman who might be the most complete hitter in the game, a slugger from Central Casting who homered in five of the team's last six games, a centerfielder who hit .310 and proved he was more than a bloody face, and a left fielder who went from Public Enemy No. 1 to second-half savior.

And they owe a lot of this to the inarticulate but indomitable manager who never stopped believing in them.

What comes next? Who knows. To say "who cares" would be an overstatement--I want some damn rings--but this is just joy. Thanks for being a part of it with us, and stay tuned for the uncharted territory of the playoffs!