Thursday, September 6, 2012
Posted by el duque at 6:19 AM
Somehow, this wretched, godforsaken team - old, hurt and its shirt tales out - is back in first.
OK, fine, who knows? But a turnaround? Did you see one? I didn't. I saw Tampa blow a game on a routine grounder that should have meant an out at home. The YES post-game spin - that Ichiro "forced" the throwing error by running - is sort of like saying that poor guy Dick Cheney once shot in the face "forced" the act by standing there dumbly in the field.
Our two recent victories came gift-wrapped. (Remember the critical grounder the O's shortstop Hardy booted?) It's not as if we have hit with runners in scoring position. The Orioles and Rays simply made brutal, loss-defining errors.
I say this not to ruin hope, but because the Yankiverse is still playing a tape loop from 2006. It goes this way: The AL East is the toughest division, and its champion is forged from super-hard steel. Yeah, right. We've been troweling out that line whenever somebody we traded - Ian Kennedy, Austin Jackson, Tyler Clippard, et al. - turns into a star. The fact is, Baltimore is not the streaking superteam of 2012. The O's would probably be four games out in the AL West. And despite the way they beat, the Rays don't scare anybody with their hitting.
OK, we won last night. The team whose bottom five batters are Martin, Jones, Pearce, Nix and the body double for Curtis Granderson. We're back in first. Soriano can untuck his shirt. Girardi can breathe. But we now face four in Baltimore against a team that long ago should have become a speck in our rearview. Let's face the truth:
We're lucky to be playing in a weak division. And one win is not a comeback.