In early August, after Hal Steinbrenner had essentially conceded the season by trading our three best players, Girardi still refused to accept the new reality. He claimed the Yankees were in a pennant race - not just for the last measly Wild Card slot, but for the AL East itself, a ridiculous notion, though it made him seem scrappy and irrepressible, a Don Zimmeresque presence in the trenches.
And dammit, Joe did his job. He wiggled and waggled, and wrung three weeks out of a carcass of a season. The Yankees made a brief run, before being cruelly undressed by far superior teams, the Dodgers and Redsocks. (If you look at the ages and hitting stats of LA and Boston, you realize we are at least two years from competing.) Today, it looks so silly. But until last week, we were actually still drinking the Kool-Aid.
For three weeks, Joe managed World Series seventh games, a steam of Groundhog Days. It worked until it didn't. Eventually, he realized our lineup still hibernates, and that Dellin Betances can't throw 50 pitches a game.
But last night, Joe was still blathering from his bunker. If the Yankees can win all their remaining games - hey, you never know: Maybe war, famine and racism will end, too.
I say it's time for the towel. It's time to look up at the ref, sink back into the canvas, and let the man count to 10. There is no shame in dealing with reality.
It's time to set down the binders and play the kids. As Trump would say, "What the hell do we have to lose?"
Is there a reason to subject CC Sabathia to another game? (Yes, if you think the Yankees want to hurt his shoulder and use it as an excuse to opt-out of his 2017 contract.) This is why the rosters have been expanded. This is why the world made Blake Parkers and Kirby Yateses.
Let's honor our veterans. Tell Billy Butler that we thank him for his service, and he should go home, all expenses paid. Don't allow Gardy to splatter against a wall. Play Tyler Austin, Mason Williams and bring up Jake Cave. Give Tex a few final at-bats, and a nice ceremony than David Ortiz. Don't even bother Brian McCann. What if someone tears a knee? This is no time to lose a trading chip.
There is no race. It's over. There was a dream, and now we have awoken from it. Only one thing remains in 2016.
We must moon Big Papi.