Sunday, July 27, 2014

The trouble with the 2014 Yankees: When a winning streak ends, a losing streak begins

I always knew my kids would grow up, learn about sex and eventually leave the house. I recognized that my beloved dog would only live for about 12 years, then start crapping all over the place and need to be slumbered. I have embraced the reality of changing seasons, shifting political allegiances and even transitory love. But damn, I thought we'd beat the Blue Jays at home... forever and ever.

Seventeen games. Seventeen wins. God, the Jays were always here for us. We'd stumble home from a West Coast fiasco or a drubbing in Texas, and there they'd be, like mints on our pillow, preparing to run out Brett Cecil or Todd Redmond. "O dear," we'd say, trying not to giggle. "This could be the day!" Hah. They were our seaside chums, our home port lays, our cousins from the North. Damn, I'd trust them with the keys to our clubhouse.

Now, this.

It's over.

It's not easy to end a sports curse. It took Boston 10 generations, and for the most of it, we sat in their heads like a stomach virus. Then, suddenly, poof - Johnny Damon hit a grand slam off Javier Vasquez, and soon they were kicking our over-paid, cake-sitting, A-Rod-infected, syringe-poked butts from Hartford to Nova Scotia. With only two exception - 2009, and the Bobby V era - they've owned us ever since. I don't think Toronto will do the same. But we've seen enough of the 2014 Yankees to know that when they stink, they stink bad.

Yesterday, we saw Exhibit AAX-299 that Brian Roberts no longer functions as an MLB second baseman. We saw what happens when you continually play a catcher at first base. We received a reality check about Brian Cashman's scrapheap pickings - Jeff Francis brought his special recipe for meatballs - and we looked like the patchwork lineup that - well - we are.

Thus far, the 2014 Yankees have been a perfectly engineered, Rube Goldberg .500 machine. For every 32 stutter steps forward, they magically take 32 stutter steps back. Today, we reach a mini crossroads. Do we win this series, keep the post-all-star break ball rolling... or lose 2/3, at home, to our former whipping mules, and start the market correction?

No news here. We all saw this coming. What goes up must come down. Your kids will grow old, and your dog will die. We will all someday moulder in our graves, and as far as we'll be concerned, none of this will ever have happened. Brian Roberts, though, damn... who knew? 


Local Bargain Jerk said...

El Duque wrote:

Brian Roberts, though, damn... who knew?

Well, uh, you did.

Concerning the rest of yesterday's game, due to an urgent and inescapable personal need to take a two-hour nap, I was only able to listen to the final few innings of the Master's call on the radio.

It was weird; even though the score was 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, and the Toronto pitcher had just walked two in a row, and Gardner had fought back from 0-2 to a full count, there was no hope in Sterling's voice. There was no sense of the tension or of any possibilities. The pitcher was faltering, and Gardner was doing a pretty good job of hanging in there, but Sterling called Gardner's strikeout as if it was inevitable.

He called it as if, yes, he could predict baseball.

I was sad.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

On the money El Duque and LBJ!

It has been brutal listening to the Master's resignation this year, it's almost impossible to cheerlead behind this 2014 team. Though, he was absolutely hilarious the day before when the Yankees scored 6 runs, a BIG joke in the booth about FINALLY reading from the Papa Johns 6 or more runs promo script, " We haven't had to do this very often this year!!!!"

Sad indeed.

Alphonso said...

I know this goes against reality, but I think Gardener is our most dangerous hitter in the clutch. That is, danger to the possibility of a favorable outcome.

I can predict his at bats; He always gets behind 1-2. Always.

Then, he strikes out after warding off/taking about 6 more pitches. The best pitches he gets, early in the at-bat, he takes for strikes.

Occasionally, he will hit a rocket. Usually a double play ball where the relay to first beats him by 1/2 a step. Always close, but always out.

This happens every time when I watch him. With me on view, he is batting .000 with runners in scoring position when it matters.

I know that, for others, he has the best batting average on the team for these circumstances. But for me, he is god awful and predictable.

I know. I should not, must not, watch the games. Or listen to them.

Yankee Fan said...

About ju ju: Alphonso, would it be too much to ask that you only watch Gardener at bats on replay or SportsCenter.

Anonymous said...

More John M.!!! Love that guy's writing!