Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Calling all ships at sea: A loss tonight, and we go to Juju Defcon 5, with an International Juju Intervention imminent
Well, comrades, there might not be any playoffs.
We are stuck in a jujuless pit. Every week, somebody gets hurt. Cano looks lost. Granderson can't even catch flies. Nobody moves runners. We make late comebacks, then lose. Our defense is horrible. The bottom third of our order looks anemic. Our bullpen can't hold anybody. Andy isn't even healing. We are lost in a freefall. We are down to watching Donald Trump and Bill O'Reilly sit in the stands like lumps of coal.
Keep your ears to the radio. Listen for a coded cue. The Master will tell us -- in his own way - that the Yankee lead is no longer safe and secure. This covert message - which may or may not be heard on public radio band frequencies - will trigger a secret call for an
INTERNATIONAL JUJU INTERVENTION.
Across the planet, thousands, millions, hundreds of millions of Yankee fans will take part in a mass juju action known as "charging the mound." The move requires hand-eye coordination, near superhuman agility, Yankee broadcast hookup and - most of all - a dynamic sense of purpose.
Listen: This is based on solid anecdotal science. We're not boiling up dead chipmunks here. We're not waving magnets at the moon. This stuff works. And if any of you think we should hold our cards until October - well, Neville Chamberlain - you might as well sit on your crapper and watch beach volleyball. We cannot wait anymore.
A loss tonight, and we must take action.
Keep your eyes to the TV and glue your ears to the AM radio band, secret juju commandos. Keep alert to this blog. We are at Juju Defcom 5. If we lose tonight, an International Juju Intervention could be called at any time. We are under attack. But we will not lie down.
Monday, July 30, 2012
The Yankees are playing like bent, old structures.
With no hope for fiscal stimulus, the strained facilities begin to break.
A-Rod was broken by Seattle, and we did not even retaliate.
The recent collapse against the red socks proves that our line-up is not able to compete, even against the downtrodden and horrible.
We are, at best, shaking in the wind.
At worst, we are simply broken and slowly drowning.
2. We’ve said it many times. You just can't walk the leadoff man. Of course, it’s easy to say. Certainly, no pitcher wants to walk the leadoff man, but it happens, time and again. David Robertson has been great for the Yankees, but he walked the leadoff man, and you always get into trouble by walking the leadoff man. I don’t know what Joe Girardi can do about that. But it’s never a good thing to walk the leadoff batter, and the Yankees certainly paid the price.
3. The Yankees have no kick about losing these last two games. It’s no “co-ink-a-dink” that they lost games in which they consistently failed to hit with runners in scoring position. That’s the big bugaboo for this Yankee team: It scores a lot of runs, but it leaves a lot of runners on base. They need some big hits. I don’t what Joe Girardi can do about that.
4. It’s great to see Russell Martin back on track. He homered and drove in the tying run. His big bat means a lot to this Yankee lineup. Joe Girardi has to be feeling good about Russell Martin starting to hit.
5. The Yankees miss Arod. It’s impossible not to miss him. It’s not that Eric Chavez and Jason Nix don’t do a fine job, but Arod’s big bat was important to this team. Joe Girardi certainly wishes he had Arod back, but injuries are a part of baseball, and Joe Girardi would be the first person to tell you that.
6. The Redsocks are right back in this wildcard race. It’s a long season – and the teams will play several more times. Joe Girardi has to be looking to get his team back on track to their winning ways. If anybody can do it, Joe Girardi can.
7. Hiroki Kuroda pitched a great game, despite giving up those two runs in the first. He kept the Yankees in the game, which is all you can ask of your starting pitcher. And nobody knows this more than Joe Girardi.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
His name is Saxon Butler - Babe, to you - and he leads the NYP-League with 10 home runs, almost nearly twice as many as the runner-up. He also leads the league in RBIs. He's the most dangerous butler since Alfred.
He's 22, a recent 33rd round draftee from Alabama, David Robertson country, and the Joy of Sax is a linebackerish 6'2", 240-pound bear from the Joba Chamberlain/Fred Flinstone School of Male Modeling. He's listed as a LH-hitting firstbaseman, though his best defensive position is probably DH. He went to Samford University, which is not a typo for a more prestigious place. He's hitting a crisp .308, still looking for his first stolen base. (That's a joke.) He's on course to eclipse last year's NYP League HR leader, Jeff Malm, who belted 12, and who knows, maybe he can chase the Marcel Ozuna's 21 dingers in 2010!
Don't believe me? Here are the facts.
ALL RIGHT, IF ANYBODY HERE THINKS WE CAN'T LOSE THIS THING, GET OUT NOW! GO! LEAVE THIS BLOG! WALK OUT THE DOOR AND NEVER COME BACK! YOU'RE NOT WELCOME HERE!
I DON'T WANT TO SEE ANYBODY HERE SMILING!
IF I SEE ANYBODY SMILING, HE'LL BE GONE BEFORE ANYBODY CAN SAY, "SCOTT PROCTOR SAW THE DOCTOR."
EIGHT YEARS AGO, WHEN WE THREE GAMES UP IN OCTOBER, I REMEMBER SEEING SOME PEOPLE SMILING.
REMEMBER EIGHT YEARS AGO, CHILDREN? THREE UP IN OCTOBER? OR HAS THAT MEMORY BEEN BLISSFULLY ERASED FROM YOUR PLAYPEN CHALKBOARDS?
EIGHT YEARS AGO, SOME OF YOU PUT AWAY YOUR FURRY TOYS, PUT ON YOUR STAR WARS PAJAMAS AND TRUNDLED OFF TO BEDDYBIE, AND WE SUFFERED THE WORST COLLAPSE IN HISTORY.
THE. WORST. COLLAPSE. IN. HISTORY.
SO IF ANY OF YOU WIDDLE-BITTY BABIES THINK IT CAN'T HAPPEN AGAIN, THAT MOMMY AND DADDY WILL WIN THE PENNANT FOR YOU, THAT MEAN OLD MR. WORLD OF WARCRAFT SCHILLING IS IN THE POORHOUSE AND CAN'T HURT US... GO! RIGHT NOW!
GO SKIP DOWN CANDY LAND LANE, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE! GO ROOT FOR THE METS, OR THE TRAVELING WILKES BERRIES, OR THE LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, ANGELS OF ANAHEIM. I DON'T GIVE A RAT'S PATOOTY. JUST TAKE YOUR HUGHIE LEWIS AND THE NEWS MOCASSIN SLIPPERS AND YOUR LARGEST CITIES OF OKLAHOMA LIGHT UP PLACEMAT OUT OF MY SIGHT. NOW.
ANYBODY GOT ANYTHING TO SAY?
YEAH. I DIDN'T THINK SO.
SOME OF US HAVE ALREADY STARTED GROWING THEIR PLAYOFF BEARDS. THAT'S RIDICULOUS. LISTEN, LADIES, WHEN YOU'RE DONE MAKING OUT WITH EACH OTHER IN THE SHOWER, SHAVE THOSE DAMN PLAYOFF BEARDS. YOU HAVEN'T EARNED THE RIGHT TO WEAR SALT-STREAKED UNDERGARMENTS. NOT AFTER LAST NIGHT.
LAST NIGHT. I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT LAST NIGHT. HELL, I WAS READING HOW EVERYBODY SAYS LAST NIGHT'S LOSS DOESN'T MATTER, THAT BOSTON IS TOO FAR BEHIND, THAT THEY'RE OUT OF THE RACE, SO WE SHOULDN'T WORRY.
LISTENUP: TODAY, WE STAND ON THE CROSSROADS OF A SLUMP. DO YOU HEAR ME, CHILDREN? THE CROSSROADS OF A SLUMP.
LOSE TODAY, AND WE WILL HAVE LOST SEVEN OUT OF OUR LAST 10 GAMES - THE ONLY VICTORIES COMING OVER SEATTLE.
THAT'S A SLUMP, MY LITTLE BREAKFAST CHICADEES.
THAT'S A COLLAPSE, ALL YOU FUTURE DOCTOR PILLINGTON D. DOLITTLES.
THAT'S A DISASTER, YOU PROFESSOR BLUE NOSE IGLOOS OF THE NORTHERN WOODS.
SOME OF YOU WANNA THINK THE REDSOCKS NECKS HAVE BEEN COOKED, AND LAST NIGHT'S LOSS MEANT NOTHING TO THEM.
LOSE TODAY, GIRLIES, AND WATCH WHAT HAPPENS.
LOSE TODAY, LAVERNS AND SHIRLEYS, AND WATCH WHAT IT DOES TO THEM.
ANYBODY DISAGREES, HERE'S THE DOOR. GO. GO, DAMMIT, GO!
YOU. MAKE. ME. SICK.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Their Wally had been removed - stolen, excised, amputated, torn from them. And no one knew where his Wally was.
I watched in Darwinian disbelief that the game was being played. It should have postponed, or cancelled, or forfeited, as a gesture of humanity. When a team loses its Wally - as was the case, with Wally the Green Monster reported stolen - how can anyone care about the trivialities of a mere game?
I imagined Boston toddlers, for the first time unable to clutch their Wallys, holding bake sales and fund-raisers - selling their wooden toys and woolen leggings to raise money for his ransom.
I foresaw Boston police periodically receiving dismembered bits of Wally - arms, legs, eyeballs - as the kidnappers showed their craftmanship with scissors and staple guns.
I dreaded the inevitable televised video of a tattered and limp Wally, clutching the day's Shaugnessy column to prove he is still alive, begging for mercy from his captors.
No. Shame on us. With their Wallys surgically removed, the Redsocks should not have been expected to play the game. And kudos to the plucky Boston team that valiantly battled for seven innings, before Mark Melancon mercifully sent the weeping children of Beantown to bed.
Well... today, the sun is shining again on the Oldetowne Nine. According to the Internet, "Wally is safe and sound, it was all a big misunderstanding." An employee took Wally home for personal use. I'm sure Wally had a good workout. Who knows, maybe someday we'll see him in a different sort of video.
I speak for the Yankiverse in congratulating our Boston brothers and sisters. The long night is over. They can feel the pleasure and confidence of holding their Wally again. He is safe and secure. And if they want to learn how to keep their families safe and secure, they need only to listen to John Sterling call today's game.
From now on, Boston, hold tight to your Wally.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Let's all be there! Fall will resemble a Cheers-Taxi-Family Affair reunion special - Old Timers Day sans Poligrip - as idled Yankee after idled Yankee sidles from the DL or the Scranton Empire magic bus - like creaky old Batman unpacking his cape to fight Bane. Once the rosters expand, it expect a roll call of old faves and newcomers. Dewayne Wise will return! Austin Romine - the human Brigadoon - will appear. So many prodigal sons will be coming back that - who knows - maybe we'll sign wild Andrew Brackman off a scrap heap and have him toss one straight to the press box for old time sake. (Rhyne Duren... R.I.P.) Look folks, it's Michael Pineda! He does exist, afterall!
But listen: This convergence will not necessarily be harmonic. Reunion shows generally go long on crowd support and short on writing. And cramming nostagia acts onto a 25-man post-season roster could turn into a Cashmanic Apocalypse. (Before you scream that will be easy to leave off Pedro Feliciano, what if he comes back and pitches lights out for a week, and what if our other lefties are hurt or lagging?) (Note: I just spent 20 minutes lying down, trying to get over the migraine from imagining Pedro pitching for the Yankees.)
By October, our August IT GIRL - Ichiro - will either own the ladies of New York or be The Second Coming of Omar The Out-Maker Moreno. If the latter - yeesh, what do we do in the playoffs? By October, Andy Pettitte will either be Andy Pettitte - healthy and full of guile - or one of our tectonic plates just slipped... because he is not Bartolo Colon and cannot be disinvited from the prom. By then, ARod will be two weeks into spring training - and truth be told - Eric Chavez will probably be on the DL - and God knows who will replace our ultimate returning star.
I was wrong upstairs about Arod being Thurston Howell (or anybody being Rebecca Howe; is it my imagination, or has she changed over the years?) Let's face it, Alex will be none other that the ultimate TV reunion of all: The future fated return of Charlie Sheen (Yankee fan, by the way.) Supposedly, they killed him off. Hell, on TV, death means nothing. Eventually, Charlie will come home. They all do. It's the iron rule of TV, and it's the iron rule of the Yankees.
As I write this, Gilligan is clawing his way up through the earth, hoping to meet Skipper Torre one more time.
Let's hope they don't scimp on the writers.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
What outrageous thing will the author of "The Juju Rules" say next?Rumpus: Listen Seely. I loved the Scooter. I listened to the Scooter growing up, and Donald Rumseld is no Phil Rizzutto.Seely: They are astral twins, carbon copies, bone marrow matches. Seriously.
Over the years -- before the Jesus Montero debacle, that is -- trading expeditions to the Great Northwest Territory were one of the most anticipated aspects of the Yankee holiday season, which runs from July 20-31. A trip to Seattle was like a panty raid. And the good-hearted Seattilians never became bitter, like those nose-punched ingrates in Kansas City, who still whine green bile about trading us Roger Maris, Bobby Shantz, et al, for the likes of Jerry Lumpe. Seattle has stayed classy.
Ichiro is the latest boxcar in the underground freedom railroad from Seattle to New York -- acquisitions that include Arod, Tino, Rafael Soriano, Luis Sojo, Randy Johnson and countless others. (Note: Even though this blog publicly favored signing Johnny Damon for the 2012 DH - and still does, sort of - we like seeing former Mariner Raul Ibanez twirl the Pinstriped stick of vengeance. We have retroactively changed our position: We now -- all-along -- favored the Yankees signing both players. Please make the correction in your home journals.)
But this year, should we have gone further? Did we get enough? That former firstbase prospect - Justin Smoak or Smoat or Smoke, whatever -- should have demanded him, too? After all, we did trade them Jesus Montero for Venus de Milo and his pony pal Pokey. Couldn't we have demanded another throw in, maybe if we added a Cust or Branyan from the Traveling Wilkes Barres?
OK, I know what you're thinking: Good grief, el Duque, how many former Seattle Mariners can a team possibly collect? They're not Star Wars action figures. They're real people. They have wives. They have children. They live, they love, they watch shows on the television set, just like you. And besides, you can only have 25 Yankees on the roster at once.
Well, I'm not advocating greed. Long ago, we over-indulged ourselves at the $9.99 buffet table known as the Kansas City Athletics. That team has hated us ever since - as shown by our recent greeting in Oakland. (Note: Taking Catfish and Reggie off their hands didn't help matters.) I'm just wondering aloud, because Seattle stole our catcher and now has hurt our star 3B and former Mariner. If they think everything should be square simply because we took 2 out of 3 against them and received a 39-year-old Ichiro for one last pennant dance... well.. I don't see it that way. Nor should any Yankee fan. Seattle still owes us. Where's the justice? Where's the karma? Where's the $9.99 buffet? I've got a $10 bill. They can keep the change.
Odds are, he won't hit two. But let's face it, a little wind, a little momentum from a Yankee Stadium crowd, the right pitch... and Ichiro will smack one.
That gives the legendary radio voice of the New York Yankees one shot at permanently Sterlingizing the future Hall of Famer. One call. The opportunity may never come again.
One moment for the ages.
I believe as practicing denizens of the Yankiverse, having sworn to The Code of Yankee Allegiance, we must all do our best to help The Master create and engineer that call.
(Disclaimer: I am not worthy. None of us are. The fact is, no one person out there in the vast Yankiverse can truly channel John Sterling and come up with the perfect Ichiro call. But perhaps if we work as a hive, as a collective mind, similar to the alien-diseased townfolks of Haven in Stephen King's book "The Tommyknockers," we can conceive of such a call. These are my best efforts. None of them are worthy. Let it be known that the denizens of this blog, in John's greatest hour of creative need, gave all they had... even if the end result only showed our inability to produce.)
Remember, the call needs two parts. The tongue-buckler, and then the rejoicement. The tongue-buckler brings the absolute news that the ball has cleared the seats. The rejoicement applies proper context and emotional uplift to the moment. Each are critical. Oh, dammit, why am I explaining all this to you. Nobody needs to hear this analysis. What we need is a goddamm decent call!
Here are my best tongue-bucklers.
IT'S A PEACH... FROM EEECH!
IT'S A BAM, FROM THE MAN FROM JAPAN!
HOME RUN, FROM THE MIDNIGHT SUN!
Now, the rejoicements.
ICHIRO SHOWS REACH-IRO.
OHH, THAT SUZUKI IS MOTORING DOWN THE ROAD!
ICHIRO, WAY TO GO!
Alas... none of these measure up. I have failed The Master in his hour of need. But what of you, fellow Yankiversites? Does someone out there hold the Magic Key to John's salvation?
We need ideas, dammit. We need them now.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
So far, we gained one old, fading but moderately useful player who once was a superstar with the Mariners.
And we lost one old, fading but moderately useful player who once was a superstar with the Mariners.
So, it's a wash. Sort of.
... Oh, and the games are all even at 1-1, too.
This spring, though, he disappeared. I blame the late-winter signing of Eric Chavez, which ticketed Laird for another year on the farm. Because he bats RH, Laird couldn't even platoon, and was shipped out to our godforsaken, "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Batavia" Thruway team -- to be forgotten.
He slumped, of course. Before the all-star break, Laird hit .231 with 7 HRs - practically left for dead.
Lately, Laird has been hot. He's hit .313 with 3 HR after the break. If he played the full season at Scranton, he'd probably reach last year's numbers, despite the bad start. Hopefully, he won't have to try.
Last night, Alex Rodriguez broke his hand, abruptly making Brandon Laird the most important prospect in our system. Laird's Yankee career - at age 24 - has hit a crossroads.
If the Yankees do not give him the chance, he certainly must believe that he will never get one here. Jayson Nix has been a pleasant surprise, but nobody should expect him to hold down 3B for six weeks. And we all know what the daily grind will do to Eric Chavez' body: Think of a Kleenex in a hurricane.
Some will say that Arod's injury came just at the right time: before the trade deadline. And surely, Brian Cashman has already begun scouring MLB rosters for a replacement. But in any trade for a 3B, we might as well include Brandon Laird. Because this is his time. He's earned a shot. We ought to see what he can do. It's time to believe in ourselves.
Hey, if quacks like a purpose pitch, it's a purpose pitch.
Eleven years ago, some Angels pitcher nailed Derek Jeter with a fastball, and our own Theodore Roosevelt Lilly promptly beaned Scott Spezio. We lost the game but won the war. True to his namesake, Lilly walked tall and carried a big stick.
Last night we lost the game. The war isn't over.
Listen: I don't want anybody hurt, but I hope Ivan Nova spends his afternoon buzzing the inside of the plate like a plane zipping King Kong atop the building. There is no reason why any Mariner batter's cleats should sink into the soil of the batters' box any deeper than a coat of Windex. Let's channel the ghost of Billy Martin. This West Coast trip has been bloody hell. But we've paid. It's time for somebody to feel it.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Writes a Mariners-fan friend:
July 19, 2012 Thursday
The Boss always coveted Ichiro, as he did Sheff and the Big Unit. It was only a matter of time before Suzuki put on Pinstripes. Of course, he first needed to wither and hit a pile of pop-ups; then we would trade prospects for him.
I hate it whenever we trade youth for age. I hate how it depletes our system, how it lowers morale, and most of all, how it's always characterized in the press: That we craftily gave up nothing in return for a star. Two years later, we're watching Damaso Marte or Mike Lowell play for other teams. So today, as the NY media congratulates Brian Cashman for swindling Ichio from those stupid West Coasts, let's face up to the reality: We gave up a young DJ Mitchell, and the Mariners didn't do this out of guilt over the Pineda trade.
Still, Ichiro does fill a void on the Yankees. We finally have a guy who can bunt. We finally have a guy who hits behind runners and can hit a ground ball to score a man from third. If he has half a season left - for his first spotlight appearances in about six years - we have a spare part who could help this team. (And in September, if we bring up Fukudome from Scranton, we'll practically be a nostalgia act in Japan. Emerson, Lake and Palmer, anyone?)
Most importantly, we have just added the collective juju of a million Seattle baseball fans. (Assuming there is a million Seattle baseball fans.) As much as they boo Arod for leaving town - (and seeking what he was worth, which their billionaire ownership saw no reason to pay him) - they owe it to Ichiro to stand and cheer like hyenas when he comes to bat. Tonight, they surely will give him another huge ovation. In his at bats in Seattle occur, they will vault from their seats and cheer a Yankee.
I hate when we trade a young player. But don't underestimate juju. We just obtained the Seattle fan base in a relatively minor deal. Folks, that's raw juju coming in our direciton. Put a price on that. Old George's ghost is resting easier today.
Monday, July 23, 2012
A Mariner fan, who recently visited from Seattle, says:
I happened to see Mitchell pitch on TV last week in Syracuse and thinking, "wow, the Yankees bullpen must be really hurting to have this guy out there late in a close game." Even if neither pitcher amounts to anything, I am glad the Mariners made this deal, as he clearly had no place in their future, if indeed they have a future.
As much of a fan of his as I am, he perpetually confounded me, even in the good times. The last two years have been painful at times. He is ALWAYS who he is, as I wrote in his rookie year, the International Man of Mystery.
Before this season started, I thought a perfect exit would be a trade deadline deal, but he seemed disinterested in that at first. More recently I was afraid they would resign him, clearly a blunder. This is a blessing for him and the Mariners. I hope going to a pennant race rejuvenates him, but the NY media will be sorely disappointed if they expect to get anything out of him while he's there.
Chaos and disorder.
Madly scurrying away under the cover of darkness.
Heading anywhere. Getting nowhere.
Shooting blindly from the center of a revolving room.
The out of control whirlwind that is Brian Cashman is working the phones.
Quick Result: The Yankees have just acquired 45 year old, former singles slapper Ichiro Suzuki for three players; rumored to be Banuelos, Williams and D.J. Mitchell. Plus, Seattle agreed to take our last three number one draft picks ( actually, this is no loss as the Yankees haven't had a useful draft selection since Derek Jeter).
And even though Ichiro now runs as if he was nursing a hammy, is hitting a weak .261 and is planning shoulder replacement at season's end, this dramatic "steal" of Seattle's throw away lunch meat demonstrates the Yankee's commitment to winning ( again ).
Has anyone noticed, by the way, that as the Yankees near the opening of tonight's series with Seattle, JESUS is hitting everything in sight? And, he is hitting with power.
But we now have another over-the-hill player after whom we have lusted for twenty seasons. He has had his all star years. He has been a great baseball player. A tribute to japan.
And now he increases the average age of the Yankees' line-up.
Nice coup Brian.
I simply want to announce that what you witnessed in Oakland, during the past 4 days, is what you will see again if the Yankees do make the playoffs. It was a " live and in color" forecast of this team's future in October.
The naked truth is, and has been all year, we cannot beat quality pitching and a hot team.
Maybe no one can.
But we don't have any "energizers" who can get us over the hump.
If the old guys don't hit home runs with runners on base, if we don't score 6 or 7 runs minimum, we are not going to win.
The Angels have the new Mickey Mantle, the Red socks have their hot third baseman rookie, the A's have the Cuban defector we would not pony up for, and we have Nix and Wise. Neither of whom is either young or a threat, given the quality of pitchers in the playoffs.
We have the same old crew, and each game they grow older, slower, and not as sharp in the field or at the plate. They can still be dangerous, as we have seen. But not when it really matters. Not when their dwindling energy is tapped out.
And there is no cavalry to sweep down over the hill, bugles wailing and stanchions fluttering in the wind, to save this team from the ambush we see straight ahead.
There is only Nunez, Cervelli, and Brandon Laird.
July 17, 2012 Tuesday
Last week, we were throwing the masterpiece. Now, we resemble the September '11 Redsocks - booting grounders, throwing gophers, are we eating chicken in the clubhouse? You can barely hear John over the screetching of our fingernails the chalkboard, as we slide downward. We lost creatively. We lost authoritatively. We lost sincerely. Oakland made the plays. We just waited for a deal on car insurance.
Listen: It's a long season, and a slump like this was always fated to happen. We can't panic. Nor can we trade our way out of a fall. As the Rumster said, you go to war with the army you have. We now go to Seattle - where they'll be as psyched as Oakland was - with the Epplers, Nixes, Wises and Rapadas - the spare parts who have played so well, and whose manufacturer warranties may be running out.
Four dead in Oakland. Yeesh, it was painful. Sunday morning, I was absolutely certain that CC would staunch the bleeding. When we had the 4-0 lead, I would have bet the house. Then... poof, poof, poof... 4-3. And when Soriano blew the save, did anybody doubt that would lose? John didn't. You could hear it in his voice.
So we watched the A's celebrate at home plate. You would have thought they pitched a perfect game. I hope it wipes a few smiles off our faces. Because anyone who thinks the Yankees can't collapse is crazy. There is too much time left to play the prevent defense, to adopt the four-corner stall.
In fact, it's time to call the cards on this team. We either pull out of the tailspin, or we will die.
If we squander that 10-game cushion... if we fall back into an active pennant race... we are not going to win it. The next calls to the bullpen will be brought to us by Dr. Kervorkian. They don't sell insurance for what we'll be about to face.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
We're back to where we stood in mid-May:
Waiting for Arod.
Remember how dead we looked in April, after it settled in that Ming the Merciless had traded Jesus Montero and Hector Noesi for a tin of bad sardines? I still get boils on my forehead, thinking about it. But through discipline, hard work and massive outputs of juju, the Yankiverse turned it around. Until now.
This week, we learned that modern medicine whiffed on Brett Gardner's elbow -- same guy who pronouced Michael Pineda's velcro shoulder whole? - so he needs surgery. As John would say, Gardy has gone yardy. It's amazing how the news sucked the air from this team. Gardner is no all-star, just a hard-charging fielder who takes six pitches per at-bat and doesn't swing for the fences. (Russell Martin used to be such a guy, but something happened.) But his return was going to energize our lineup. Now, who brings the boost?
We're back to waiting for Arod.
Which is like waiting for Amelia Earhart. Nobody else is coming. Our farm system is stems and seeds. Joba is throwing, until he suffers a setback - they usually do. (And let's hope he tells somebody, rather than trying to pitch through it.) But will he be any better than Cory Wade? Andy Pettitte? Late August. Andruw Jones hasn't been the same since learning he'll have to run in LF for the next three months. Who spells 40-year-old Raul Ibanez? Shane Victorino? Get real. And this talk about trading for Justin Upton is proof that 12 year olds are still blogging. You don't rip apart a division-leading team for an underachiever like that. So who will lead us from this darkness?
We're back to waiting for Arod.
Last night, Alex led off the ninth with a single. Fine piece of hitting. He grinded, fouled off a few, then stroked a clean grounder into left. It is Alex's signature hit: sharp single to left. If the defense overshifts, it's a DP. Later, he stole second base. Fine piece of running. He's stolen 11 out of 12. He's a wily coyote. Always hustles. Decent player. Abomination batting third.
But where else do you plant him? Fifth? He won't protect Nick Swisher. Second? That's two RH bats in a row, leaving Grandy and Cano - two lefties - to follow. No matter how you slice it, we have a .270 hitter with 20 HR power - think Toby Harrah - batting third. If his name was not Alex Rodriguez... but let's no go there. It is...
This is not to rag on Alex. I love the guy. Really. In his Yankee years I've never seen him jog out a grounder. There are few stars about which that can be said. But here we are, fat atop the AL East, and we're glimpsing the playoffs in Oakland - and folks, the cavalry is not coming. Help is not on the way.
We're back to waiting for Arod.
What's going to win it for us this year? Arod has to start hitting. It's that simple. If he doesn't, we're seeing October right now, as clear as a bell. Gone in five. If we make it at all. Where did I put that potato?
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Why would anyone worry about such a thing? You'd be a fool to worry. The Yankees are too far ahead to blow the lead. And we have too many great players. There's no need to worry. None at all. And I'm not worried. Not one bit. I'm not even thinking about the fact that I'm not worried. It's not worth wasting time thinking about. So I'm not. Worried, that is. I'm not worried. And you shouldn't be either. Ha. See? I'm laughing. But not in the face of worry. It would be stupid to worry. And I'm not. Worried, that is.
Well, suddenly, some bath-salted bloggers are claiming all has changed in the Yankiverse: The terrible events out West have proved we are no longer safe, we can longer stand pat - that the everyday terrors of fate and of one disturbed imagination have grown a thousandfold, and they should now rule the way we live. (Of course, I'm talking about the losses to Oakland, coupled with last night's tweak to Nick Swisher's gonads.)
Listen: We are eight games up. Eight frickin' games up. We have endured slumps, injuries and even Reggie Jackson's idle tongue. We were ripe for something like this. It's a long season, and bad things are always out there. When you're eight up, and something bad happens, you cannot run off and remake your team. You do not need to put a cop in every movie theater. You do not need to stick metal detectors at every turnstile. You must not change your lineup or your way of life.
Last night, I watched an endless train of cable TV jokers excitedly chip and twiddle about the terrors that popped out of our culture in Aurora, Colorado. But nothing has changed. The fates were always out there, waiting in the shadows for us. They are out there now. We will always be at the mercy of the deranged mind, the tweaked gonad, and the possibility of finding ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nothing can change that. But we're eight games up. Never forget it. Eight games up.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Yesterday was a bad Yankee day.
First, we lost Brett Gardner for the year. We learned the high-tech MRI scans he's undergone since April were done with somebody's Swinger camera, and now he needs elbow surgery, which will probably be handled with a Bic pen. All this time, we waited for him to heal from an ailment that wouldn't heal. We were like those 300 Spartans facing the Persian Army in Thermopylae, expecting reinforcements that would never come, despite Lena Headey's desperate machinations on our behalf, and now we are stuck with Dewayne Wise for the rest of eternity.
Then, last night, we lost to Oakland because the guy who would have replaced Brett Gardner - Humanis Centipedes - hits a home run. And even though Centepides isn't God's gift to baseball - or even, as his highlight video claimed - Cuba's gift, he isn't Walmart cole slaw, either. Moreover, he's exactly the kind of mystery free agent that Old George loved to snap-up, and which his sons, the Steinboys, now avoid like herpes, so they can curry favor from their fellow billionaire owner heirs and heiresses.
OK, I can't push my indignation needle too far into the red here - of all those international names on the market last winter, Centipedes wasn't the one I most wanted; that was Jorge Soler, whom we also didn't get. But Humanis is just one of the latest ones. We didn't get Aroldys Chapman, we didn't get Yu Darvish, we didn't even sign that Japanese infielder whom we got for a song when nobody else bidded - and when anybody pops up in the listings anymore, we hem and we haw, and we don't sign them. After years chasing down El Duques and Irabus and Igawas, and - yeah - sometimes regretting it (although Irabu begot Theodore Roosevelt Lilly, whom we traded for Jeff Weaver, whom we traded for Kevin Brown) - now we sit out the bidding on players who actually do make a difference.
Well, OK, we're still way ahead. But I refuse to make peace with bad Yankee days. Last year, the Redsocks had a 10-game lead in the wild card with barely a month to play. This is how it starts:
One bad hair day launches another. Consider me as Lena Headey. I'm yelling to the Greek assembly. We must hold the line. Bad days, they can stack up like a centipede.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
"They (Obama and Youkilis) should be ashamed of themselves," Romney said. "I expect a complete and heartful apology, plus a retraction of the game-winning home run and a promise that Youkilis will never do it again. And I mean never."
Youkilis, traded to Obama's White Sox, homered earlier this week to beat his former team. Romney blamed the President.
Brian Cashman's legacy trade victim was seen yesterday lounging on a steel re-enforced bench, after sprinting 11 feet.
" My arm feels great and I look forward to moving from tossing the beanbag to the baseball in a couple of months."
Meanwhile, the certain Yankee "phenom-to-be" is concentrating on the physical aspects of the game.
Glad he is one of us and not one of them.
The news broke today that more than 1 billion body parts have been illegally harvested and sold for profit.
The Doctors, as we know, have so far been unable to diagnose what is wrong with Brett Gardner's elbow.
Perhaps that is because he no longer has one. A Red Socks terrorist may well have visited him in his sleep and removed it. It may now be on the best throwing arm of the wino population in South Boston.
If we don't get an answer to the contrary soon, then this mystery is solved.
Watch yourselves everyone.
He's also a stud football prospect. But there is no corresponding feat that he could achieve in that storied sport.
Green-Thompson, in his brief-but-amazing new career, has tallied 37 professional at bats. He has struck out 36 times.
I am not making this up. This is no Sidd Fynch, no Plumptomanic fictional hero, no Photoshopped teammate of Kenny Powers. I almost feel like rooting for the kid, even though he's a Redsock. Already in life, he has gone farther than 10 Kevin Maases and 50 Tucker Ashfords.
Thirty-six for thirty-seven in K's. Eight walks. He has yet to put a ball into play.
It's like that in that lame 2002 M. Night Shyamalan movie, "Signs," where Joaquin Phoenix is the former slugger whose career ended because he struck out too much. Whenever this kid comes up, the fans should be recreating the climatic confrontaton between Joaquin and the water-fearing alien, yelling, "SWING AWAY, SHAQ, SWING AWAY!" This is the kind of record that could go into Cooperstown. This kid is making history.
1. July 4, 2012: McDonald signs with Yankees, after being waived by hated Redsocks.
2. July 6, 2012: In first-ever appearance as Yankee, McDonald enters game as 9th inning LF replacement for Raul Ibanez. Speedy Darnell dashes to CF to encourage Curtis Granderson to catch fly ball. Grandy makes play knowing McDonald is on the job!
3. July 7, 2012: Batting against former Redsock teammate Franklin Morales, McDonald hits towering foul that is eventually caught by firstbaseman Adrian Gonzalez. Slams bat in disgust. He just missed it!
4. July 7, 2012: Batting again against Morales, Darnell again crushes towering foul that is captured by Gonzalez. Damn. So close.
5. July 7, 2012: Playing CF, McDonald nearly exacts revenge on nemesis Gonzalez, charging a line drive single, which drops in front of him. Still, he deftly keeps speedy David Ortiz from going first-to-third on the single.
6. July 7, 2012: In second game of twinbill, while batting against former teammate Felix Doubront, McDonald holds off on a pitch in the dirt, which gets away from the Redsock catcher and allows the Yankee baserunner to take an extra base. It's ruled a passed ball.
7. July 7, 2012: Moments later, McDonald strikes out swinging against former teammate Felix Doubront. Later, McDonald strikes out again at the hands of Doubront.
8. July 7, 2012: McDonald gracefully ranges back in deep CF to snare a fly ball hit by Boston's Nick Punto. He makes the catch but cannot hold the runner, who scores from third.
9. July 7, 2012: McDonald fields David Ortiz's line drive to right center. He fires the ball into second, holding Ortiz to a single.
10. July 13, 2012: Ninth inning defensive replacement McDonald flawlessly fields Howie Kendrick's single to right field.
Days later, he is waived. Hoping for a speedy return.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
But if you think for ONE MINUTE we - as determined Yankee fans -- should be satisified, GET OUT. LEAVE NOW. ROOT FOR THE TWINS.
Remember: This is the New York Yankees we are following here. And this "success" is merely an illusion. If we don't win the 2012 World Series, was it real? Of course not. It will have been nothing more than a bad trip on bath salts.
That said, we must note again that the fulcrum point in the 2012 Yankee season occurred the night of May 21, when Yankee jujuists across the globe put on an unprecedented display of destructive power. That night, with the team struggling near .500, this website launched an International Juju Intervention -- you can look it up -- and the results have been, frankly, terrifying.
That night, we tapped into an incredible power source, one nobody could have imagined. Since May 22, the day after the Juju Intervention, the Yankees have gone 35-11. They have been the best team in baseball.
Did we shoot the juju moon too early? Did we use too much juju? Did we open the juju tap that night, and have we been unable to turn it off, to regulate it, to ration it for the hard drives of October?
Well, OK. We won today. I wish we could just keep playing Toronto at home. But we can't. Oh well. Things could be worse.
Jeremy Lin is gone: 10 teams throughout world history that are actually more wretched than the New York Knicks
2. Rat Pack (if Frank in sour mood and Sammy not able smooth things.)
3. Warren Beatty & Dustin Hoffman in "Ishtar."
4. Kim Kardashian & that stupid basketball player.
5. Joe Paterno & Jerry Sandusky.
6. Kim Kardashian & Kanye West (or "Your Name Here.")
7. Spice Girls.
8. Westboro Baptist Church.
9. Stalin & Hitler (during non-aggression pact.)
10. The OJ Simpson Defense Team (which included a Kardashian.)