Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Yankeetorial: He could sit on your cat or puke in your car, but how could they boo Joba?

He seemed to have stepped from a Hobbit movie. I wouldn't have recognized him but for the girth, wide as a strip mall, and the insomnia rings under his eyes. The guy must eat an entire Amish family every night, yet he can't fall sleep? (His apnea bong must be the size of a satellite dish.) And there was that guilty wince - his look of shame after plunking Jeter. He looked so sad, so vulnerable. Even with the Hagrid beard, he's still a man-child, too big for fit in a trailer. The eyes give it away. He's the lunk who's always getting yelled at by Aunt Mildred. He's Lennie in Of Mice and Men.  He's Sloth in The Goonies. He's everybody you ever knew who is destined to die young and without a penny. Damn, I loved the lug when he was a Yankee. Still did, last night.  

And they booed him.

Shows what I know about Yankee fans.

Last night, the paying customers greeted Joba Chamberlain with the kind of negativity deserved for players who walk out on us - not those to whom we show the door. Robbie took the money and ran (as opposed to jogging.) I'll never forgive him for not wanting to be a lifetime Yankee, for chasing a few extra zeros in a meaningless number. Joba had no choice. The Steinbrenners, the Gammonites, and the whole peanut gallery of brown-nosing, same-thinking YES golfers... everyone was done with him. I thought it was a bad move, letting Joba go, but I certainly understood. We all did.

Listen: It's a bad sign when players must leave the Yankees to find themselves. I'm thinking Joba, Kennedy, Hughes, Austin Jackson, Phil Coke, a few others, who could have helped this franchise. One hallmark of the great Torre teams was the way they salvaged players who had been discarded - even dissed - by old teams. Daryl Strawberry came back. So did Dwight Gooden. David Wells, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens. They'd get booed in their old stadiums, but they did right by us.

Ahh, but that Yankee legacy boat sailed about 10 years ago. These days, we're lucky if newcomers give us 80 percent of their previous output. We're still waiting for Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. And lately, we're wondering if they'll ever show up.

When I saw Joba out there last night, my heart sank. I knew we would not score on him. He was not going to give up the winning run. Let the record show that on the one day Brian Cashman chose to play cheapie - letting Matt Thornton walk to save a few pennies - his replacement dished up the winning HR. He was like a bad penny, Thornton. He sucked all season, but lately showed life. Who wants to bet he doesn't pitch well for Washington? And if he ever returns to Yankee Stadium - well - we know how he'll be greeted.

Last night felt like five losses combined into one.

If there's a legacy of the 2014 Yankees, it's that our losses come like grapes, in big juicy clusters. We needed last night's game. But they got the big HR, and we merely registered our discontent - by booing the wrong guy.

Yep. Last night, we booed Bilbo Baggins, Hoss Cartwright, Uncle Buck, Tommy Boy and our prodigal son. We booed Joba. Bad juju, Yankiverse. Bad juju. Don't think the gods don't notice.


KD said...

Joba ran afoul with the Yankeeverse when he bristled at Mo's admonition to quiet himself. Other than that, I really felt sorry for him, and us too. He had a real talent but couldn't put it together in New York. We both lost out.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Oh Gawd, the Kracken of Negative Juju has just been released,,,, booing Joba the Hut, for shame, for shame!

Anonymous said...

Beltran was hurt and is a hot hitter recently with an age factor that should have him over the top of the hill.

Now, McCann has been a real disappointment and needs to finish stronger, much stronger.

joe de pastry said...

I'd have booed him too because of what he turned into before he left NY. But by the time he left the game last night I felt sorry for him and was hoping we'd win it against Soria or Nathan instead.