Monday, April 28, 2014

Tex is the swizzle that stirs the drink

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Last night, Mark Teixeira's home run saved a game that last year - or last week - we probably would have lost. No disrespect to Lyle Overbay, the most selfless lug nut of the 2013 scrap heap, or the recent Mad-Libs 1B collection of Johnson/Cervelli/Beltran/Sizemore, but the '14 Evils will live or die with Teixeira, and all the Vidals, Dellins and Yangervises in captivity cannot alter that outcome.

Three years ago, Tex was a .300 hitter with 30-HR power and a glove of gold. Those days ended due to over-shifts, time and a Kyrptonite wrist. But if Tex could hit - say - .270 with 25 HR, the Yankees could make the playoffs and - from there, hell, it's a crap shoot.

If Tex bats .220 with 15 HR, well, we're back to Planet Overbay and a September of braying, home plate speeches about Jeter. Let's hope Coughlin's Cuties, the football Giants, don't lose their first six.

It's Tex or nothing. Last night, as he swung at every pitch that wasn't skipping across the Hudson River, Alfonso Soriano looked like the player the Cubs were delighted to trade last year, rather than the hitter who juiced us in August. Of course, it's the Ichiro Effect - a fading star on a dead team parachutes into an NYC pennant race, and 10 years vanish from his bloated swing. But then comes next year, and those 10 years reappear like subway graffiti on a Dorian Gray portrait.

So, Holy Macro! There it is, folks! The season in a time it takes to read a haiku. Last night we glimpsed the Yankees with a first-baseman, who can turn a game with one swing. Been a long time since we saw such a thing. Question is, was it real?

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