a decision that, in my mind, defies compassion.
Today, another ex-Yankee returns, and though to John Sterling he may be a "jolly ol' St. Nick," the boo-birds should take a moment to recall the role Mr. Nick Swisher played in nearly destroying our lives.
If Swish in Game One of the 2012 ALCS had caught a sinking line-drive off the bat of Delmon Young - a play he had made routinely for two seasons - the Yankee Matrix and history of the world would have been incredibly altered.
The miracle ninth inning, four-run Yankee comeback - with two-run homers by Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez - would have devastated the Tigers. More importantly, two batters later, an intricate sequence of events would have been fundamentally changed, positioning Derek Jeter three or four steps farther back at shortstop. He would not have thrown himself at a ground ball. He would not have broken his ankle and missed the entire 2013 season. We - as a nation and fan base - would not be still trying to climb out of this living Yankee hell.
No. The grounder to Jeter's left would have been the inning's third out. The Yankees would have scored and won the game. The victory would have devastated Detroit, catapulting NY into the World Series. Instead of being ice cold, as the Tigers were, the Yankees would have beaten San Francisco handily, probably swept the Giants in four. We would have celebrated with a magnificent parade along the Canyon of Heroes.
In jubilation over his emerging hero status, Alex Rodriguez would have paid off the bad seeds in Tony Bosch's juicer academy, erasing the future Biogenesis scandal. Instead, investigative reporters would have chased the many rumors surrounding David Ortiz - made obvious by his incredibly changed physique - and the balance of baseball in 2013 would have changed, giving the Yankees a chance to honor the great Mariano Rivera's retirement.
Instead of season-long tryout sessions, the Yankees would have played Jeter at shortstop. Considering that he's hitting .270 now, he would have hit at least .310, probably won the MVP. The Yankees would have taken the AL East and rolled over the Redsocks, who were embroiled in their nasty juicer scandal. New York would have swept St. Louis in the World Series, and we again would have enjoyed our rightful parade along the Canyon of Heroes.
This year, with Jeter relaxed and ready, the Yankees would be at least six games up on Baltimore, cruising to another AL East title. We would be planning our rightful parade along the Canyon of Heroes.
Everything would have changed. That missing Malaysian flight? It didn't have to happen! Fall of Baghdad? We could have stopped it. Justin Beiber did not need to fight Orlando Bloom. People: The world did not have to suffer because of one man's error!
Not that I'm holding a grudge.
Life is too short to hold grudges. Forgive and forget. That's my motto.
That said, GODDAMMIT: There was one out in the 12th when Young hit the line drive off David Phelps. Swish looked ready to dive, then didn't. His glove never even opened! Whoosh! The ball just whizzed past him. Instead of an out, it was a double! The game, the season, Jeter's life, and our parades along the Canyon of Heroes were instantly wiped from the Yankee Matrix! THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN, AND THEY NEVER DID!
"I thought I had a great jump, but then I got caught in the lights, and I lost it for a few seconds," Swisher said later. "I was completely blind. It's a helpless feeling. I really thought I could make that play."
Oooooh, but he didn't, did he?
Swisher is batting .209. He isn't hitting for power, or much of anything. Listen: He better goddamn not get hot this week. By my count, he's cost us two parades along the Canyon of Heroes. He better not make it three! You need an oh for 15, Swish. Oh for 15! Hear me? You owe us! You owe the world! Oh for 15!