The Yankees' obsession with retiring numbers invokes a cool, futuristic scenario where someday, as the oceans are creeping upon Steinbrenner Field, some fattie DH waddles out of the dugout wearing No. 134.
Eighteen Yankee numbers are retired, with three more to go this summer.
If Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra hadn't shared number 8, and Mariano Rivera and Jackie Robinson didn't both wear "42," we might have 20 numbers off the grid. And soon, another jersey will effectively vanish.
Obviously, we mean "13."
The last two Yankees to wear Satan's Horror Jersey are World Series heroes, whose dramatic HRs should inscribe them forever into Pinstripe lore. Instead, Alex Rodriguez and Jim Leyritz are monster pariahs.
I won't trowel out another "in defense of Alex"post. But let's just say his depravity did NOT include the death of a mom, a DUI, a manslaughter conviction and later, an arrest for battery of spouse (later dropped in court). That's part of Leyritz's lifetime box score, and make of it what you wish that he wrote a memoir about it and now co-hosts a radio show. I guess anybody can be resurrected, and let's wish him sobriety - and that he never again dons another Yankee 13.
Those who wore the Devil Digit comprise an unlucky crew. Willie Banks was the 12th man on an 11-man staff in 1998. Curt Blefary was done in 1971. Bobby Brown was a flame-out in 1980. Charlie Hayes caught the pop-up. Torey Lovullo couldn't hit above Double A. Mike Pagliarulo - arguably the greatest home grown 3B in modern Yankee history - hit .198 one season. Iceman Gerald Williams wasn't Bernie. And neither was Walt, though he is and always will be the one and only "No Neck."
Not the luckiest men on the face of the earth, eh? (Though Walt Williams might claim otherwise.)
I suspect that once A-Rod is exorcised, nobody will wear the Nether Number for a long, long time. Chelsea Clinton's kid will be President, and hopefully, my ashes will be in a haboob dust tornado over Arizona - punishing those assholes for mocking us by playing "New York, New York" on the stadium p.a., moments after the Diamondbacks won the 2001 World Series.
That's right, Arizona. Yankee fans don't forget. And that's why Number 13 will be going off the board.
UPDATE: I guess I was wrong about Yankee memories. This appeared today. Apparently, Leyritz's past - for better or worse - has been erased. Hope for A-Rod?