Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ichiro's home plate game of Twister represents his new defining moment as a Yankee; but will it matter?

In 2001, the Yankees accomplished the impossible. On successive nights, Tino Martinez and Scott Brosius belted two-out, bottom-of-the-ninth home runs off an unstoppable Arizona closer to stave off Word Series elimination. After the second night, which Joe Torre described as "Groundhog Day," everybody in the free world - everybody who had ever watched a Doris Day movie or visited Disneyland - knew what was going to happen next: The Yankees would lift New York City and America out of its post 9/11 doldrums... the Yankees would win.

After moments like that, you don't lose.  But... they did.  

(And Arizona, to its eternal shame, mocked God by playing "New York, New York" on its public address system, while the team celebrated on the field. HEY, DIAMONDBACKS, THINK THERE'S A REASON YOU HAVEN'T BEEN BACK? THINK MAYBE THE JUJU GODS REMEMBER?)

Two nights ago, Ichiro Suzuki did something I've never seen. It was his instant Twister game, four-point landing at home, evading at least three tags, to punch the plate like a game show contestant, scoring an impossible run.

It was brilliant. It was for the ages. It was not just Ichiro's greatest Yankee moment. It was Ichiro's greatest moment, period.

When he goes into the Hall, this will be the highlight they play... that is, if it matters.

Listen: When a moment like this occurs, everybody knows what's supposed to follow: The Yankees are supposed to win.  But we didn't.

We know the score here. This is a team that strands base runners for breakfast. Will we strand Ichiro's great moment? For the rest of our lives, the world will see that highlight replay and marvel. Will we just feel frustrated?

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