Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Giuliani Craves a World Series Win to Ease Pain for New Yorkers

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Giuliani Craves a World Series Win to Ease Pain for New Yorkers

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SMITH

IN the desperate days since 11 September, those New Yorkers most closely involved in the tragedy have sought solace in a variety of ways.

Group meetings, solitary walks, the sanctity of a church, the bustle of a bar have been some of the means by which people have tried to come to terms with the terrorist attacks on their city and the aftermath.

For Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the progress of the New York Yankees towards baseball's World Series has provided a crutch that has helped deal with the burden of office.

Tomorrow, the Yankees meet the Arizona Diamondbacks, the National League winners, in game one of the best-of-seven championship at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix.

No one will be willing the team to a fourth successive title more than Giuliani, the man who has come to symbolise the resolute spirit of New York.

"There is no question this city needs a lift," he said. "I know their games have lifted my spirits. They are the only things that have.

"I've tried to read books and go to the movies but this is the only thing that works. The only thing that has been able to divert me, and maybe there is something wrong with me, is baseball."

Giuliani is not alone in finding comfort within the historic portals of Yankee Stadium. On Tuesday, the final 18,000 tickets for games three to five were sold within 90 minutes.

In the great scheme of events still unfolding at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan, a curving pitch and the crack of ball meeting bat are of little consequence. Yet there can be no measure of what it would mean to New York should the Yankees fulfil Giuliani's prediction of a serieswinning victory in game five next Thursday.

A supporter since the early 1950s, with a prized seat just behind the home dugout, Giuliani was on the mark when he said his side would beat the Seattle Mariners in five to win the American League pennant for the 38th time on Monday.

"It will be the Yankees in five again," he said, looking forward to the greater challenge posed by the Diamondbacks, "because I want them to win it at home". …

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