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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Friday, October 7, 2011

In baseball, life imitates art

On Tuesday, I saw the movie "Moneyball," the story of how Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane fielded a successful team in the 2002 season on a shoestring budget.

Last night, I watched the biggest-budget team of them all, the New York Yankees, end their season without a World Series title for the 10th time in the last 11 years; and the biggest-budget Yankee of them all, Alex Rodriguez, choke in the postseason yet again — first by striking out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning and then, for the second consecutive year, ending his team's season by striking out in the ninth.

And let's not overlook the contribution of overpaid, overhyped and, yes, overweight pitcher CC Sabathia — giving up, in his first-ever Major League relief appearance, the fifth-inning run by the Tigers that turned out to be the game winner.

The teams that have eliminated the Yankees in postseasons of the past decade — notably the 2002 and 2005 Angels, the 2003 Marlins, the 2007 Indians, the 2010 Rangers and now the 2011 Tigers — all had payrolls substantially smaller than that of the Yankees, but they all had more heart, more cohesion and, as it turns out, more talent when it mattered.

And those things, both in "Moneyball" and real ball, are what matter most.



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