Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Two steps forward, two steps back... A loss tonight, and we revisit .500

It's as if this team has an internal bypass mechanism: Whenever it rises too far over .500, the switch automatically shuts us down We win three games, then lose three games. We build a glimmer of hope. Then we piss our pants.

Our new night tremors come from the fading Masahiro Tanaka, whom the Yankiverse - and perhaps Joe Girardi - has taken for granted. If Tanaka falls victim to Girardi's ridiculous workload - suspiciously similar to what he did to Hiroki Kuroda last year - iceberg, dead ahead. It's hard to see this team beating Tampa for that coveted AL East Bronze medal. Without Tanaka, I think of that scene in National Lampoon's Animal House, where Dean Wormer tells Flounder, "Fat, dumb and stupid is no way to go through life, son." Without Tanaka, no hitting, no power, and no pitching is no way to go through a season, son.

If we lose tonight, we arrive back at our pole position: .500. OK, since we're doing movie references, here's another: It's like that scene in Blair Witch Project, where the kids find themselves back at the same bridge they passed yesterday, and they realize they've been walking in a circle. We have two good days in Minnesota, and look up to find ourselves only three games out of that ludicrous one-game wild card slot, and then... boom... there's that bridge. Here we are, back at .500.

Let the record show that last night, Vidal Nuno threw 7 shutout innings for Arizona and gave up 3 hits. Defenders of Brian Cashman - God help them - will stress that Nuno did it in the National League, against the Marlins, and he was a bust in NYC, and who cares what he does. They will be right, of course. It's too early to declare a winner or loser in a trade - as the YES men were already doing, in hailing the arrival and shaving of Brandon McCarthy. I say this only to remind everyone what we already know in our hearts: A .500 team cannot trade its way to the pennant. Folks, aint gonna happen. No other team is going to help the Yankees, and there isn't enough money in the universe to help a team that is magically drawn back to .500.

And that's the 2014 Yankees. Somewhere inside the beast, it manages to be .500. If Tanaka falters, somebody else will step forward. If McCarthy thrives, somebody will collapse. Remember that scene in Jurassic Park, where Dr. Ian Malcolm says, "Life finds a way!" So does the 2014 team. To .500.


Local Bargain Jerk said...

"Fat, dumb and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

A minor correction, but necessary under the circumstances. The correct quote is: "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

I say this with the utmost respect for the man who makes me laugh every morning with lines like "We build a glimmer of hope. Then we piss our pants."

el duque said...

The greatest Arabian rug-makers always weave one mistake into their masterpieces, so Allah will not be offended by their attempts at perfection. You have blessed us all in rightfully pointing out the flaw. Hail Hydra!

Alphonso said...

And now from the voice of reason, calm deliberation, and precise accuracy:

The precise and perfect quote from me, at the dawn of the 2014 baseball year, was:

" I'm not sure this is a .500 team."

So far it is. And I admit failure.

But not inaccuracy.

Local Bargain Jerk said...

Two responses to the excellent points above:

1) To Alphonso, the more this season unfolds, the more I think your prediction will come true. I think these brittle graybeards will win, at best, 80 games, i.e., .494, and neither Cashman nor the Tampa Camarilla will do squat about it. Look for September, 2013 redux.

2) To El Duque, I thought it was important to make the correction above because the correct word sets up the killer lines that follow in the movie:

==> Flounder: I can't believe I threw up in front of Dean Wormer.

==> Boon: Face it, Kent. You threw up on Dean Wormer.

Bottom line: Tanaka's getting an MRI. Is it time for pre-season football yet? At least those are meaningful games.

Plus we can drink beer in front of them.