Sunday, August 28, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:58 AM
Listen: We can sit here and sing campfire songs about rising to six games above .500, but that's not the style of swaggering, pig-hearted fans of the once Evil former Empire. We don't do Bronze Medals. We either win today, then tomorrow, then the day after, or this miniature uprising is just a burst of statistical phlegm on the sidewalk.
Still... deep, deep down, every victory gives us another day in La La Land. And the ultimate 2016 fantasy - yes, it's a drug hallucination, a flashback from my evenings in wicked and wild Elmira, 1969 - falls somewhere between Woodstock and Woody Harrelson.
Yes, I know that I sound insane. But I have to put these words into printable ether. It's a way to reflect upon the stakes of this mini-resurgence - to state concepts that five hours from now could be cringe-worthy, if not criminal. If the 2016 Yankees - after all the gloom and doom, the sell-offs, the waiting and whining - if this listless barge somehow steals the last American League Wild Card, and then runs the table - well - it would rival 1978, the greatest year ever to be a Yankee fan. It would be on par with the time when Bob Lemon took over for a booze-deranged Billy Martin, and Catfish Hunter somehow coaxed a month out of his rusty right elbow.
Most sports fans, in their entire lives, don't get two such years. And, yes, it's laughable to be sitting here and pondering the unponderable. But here we are. We have Ronald Torreyes playing third base, and our cleanup hitter still hauling a .190 batting average to the Jumbotron. Our bullpen consists of pitchers we never heard of, and our best player has hit more HRs in the last two weeks than he did all season at Scranton.
Make no mistake here: When we imagine this team chasing a Wild Card, we are deliriously thinking about perhaps the greatest comebacks in baseball history. It's ridiculous. It's absurd. Somebody should slap me. How can I even write this? If this were the Republican Convention, they would be chanting, "LOCK HIM UP. LOCK HIM UP."
For six months, we've been comparing 2016 to 1966. Were we 12 years off? I doubt it. But this morning, we've got another day to pretend. And if we win today, we've got another 24 hours in the mind machine. Enjoy it while it lasts, folks