Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Icebags, dead ahead: The looming Yankee logjam could bring an end to the Hunger Games

Soon, Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis will return from their Jacuzzis and reclaim their Yankee lockers, perhaps bringing to a close the most satisfying month since October 2009.

Don't gemmie wrong. To beat the Rangers, Angels and Tigers, we need both guys. Trouble is, without a tweaked gonad, their return will end Lyle Overbay's time as a Yankee. After the last six weeks, he's not fracking off to Scranton. He'll be playing against us, and it's hard to imagine how that's going to feel.

Last night, in a typical Overbay over-play, his sac fly scored our winning won. He has delivered huge hits for us and saved his best for the clutch - hardly a hallmark of the 2011 and 2012 Yankee millionaire rows. This season, we've seen Chris Stewart lay down perfect bunts, Travis Hafner hit to left to beat the overshift, and Overbay, time and again, shorten his swing to make contact in situations where a strikeout would be fatal - like the Ks that killed us in October.

Selflessness is a mark of hungry players.

Last year, the Yankees bludgeoned opponents with home runs. Nobody bothered to move runners; they just tried to hit another HR. It was almost a virus, a individualistic philosophy that infected the clubhouse and eventually spawned the hideous Met-like collapse in the playoffs. 

Last night, Grandy returned. Hate to admit it, but I'm glad he didn't smack a HR. I'm hoping he doesn't hit one all month. A batting average closer to .300 than .200 would be wonderful. Soon, Tex and Youk come back, and eventually - yes, even Arod and Jete. Once again, we'll field the $200 million lineup. But money cannot buy hunger.

Let's hope these stars - while swinging bats in the swimming pools - glimpsed the dreary afterlife that awaits them outside baseball - without the adulation and, especially, the attention. Let's hope it makes them hungry. If it doesn't, well, we just saw the most fulfilling baseball of 2013.

And it will be hard rooting against the Overbays when they come to town in different hats.


KD said...

It has been great and unexplainable. Almost enough to make one believe in Yankee Magic.

Anonymous said...

sums up the season so far rather nicely:

Alphonso said...

Please note that in Granderson's debut at-bat, he banged into a rally killing double play.

Good to see him hustling down the line, though. It reminded me of his play vs Detroit last year, during the playoffs.

Why won't the Yankees keep Overbay when overpaid, and offensively useless, Texiera reruns?

John M said...

I swear I saw a short article noting that the Yanks had cut Francisco loose. It was so real. But it must have been a dream.

And Grandy batting cleanup. Oh, Lord, it's starting. This time it's a nightmare and it's real.