Sunday, September 4, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:52 AM
Those home-schooled historians will study two perilous weekends - two epic road trip collapses that sealed the Yankees fate and defined the team's mediocrity.
The first came in late July, when the old, listing legions of A-Rod, Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira visited Tampa, the site of their future retirement homes. They were four games above .500 and feeling cocky, the bar for Yankee success having been lowered considerably. The last place Rays crushed them, a weekend sweep so abrupt that Hal Steinbrenner himself woke up from his pod of cronyism to face the truth: The Yankees were dead.
That spawned the Great Garage Sale of 2016- the results of which, despite rampant celebration in the Yankee-owned media, are not yet clear. We briefly got hot, thanks to Gary Sanchez's incredible debut, probably the best month he'll ever know. Then we hit our second bump - the three-game sweep that concludes today in Baltimore.
Yes, I know, I know... I'm being negative, putting the sled before the dogs here. As anyone who buys Lotto tickets says: Hey, you nevah know! The oracle tells us that we can't predict baseball, right? Then again, we cannot unsee what happened over the last two nights, which were like watching a homeless man freeze to death in YES-mo.
It's April-vu all over again. Once the opposition scores two runs, the game feels over. Last night, in a scoreless tie, we loaded the bases with one out. Starlin Castro came up, and the YES supplicants blathered about the great season he's having, and how smart the Yankees were to get him, and then he fanned at a 3-2 pitch in the dirt. That brought up Brian McCann, and the YES analysts blathered about how smart the Yankees were to keep him, and he popped to left. I ask you, seriously, did anybody NOT know the game was over?
We had to win last night, and we didn't score one run.
Today - well - Michael Pineda pitches. Anything more need to be said?
Well, let it happen. After we lose today, we can remember what the Sell-Off was supposed to spawn: A month of studying the future. Tyler Austin get can a few swings. Maybe Aaron Judge can work through his slump. Maybe Luis Severino can get back on track, and maybe we won't destroy Jonathan Holder or Luis Cessa by adding another month to their shoulders. After today, we can pitch Kirby Yates without wincing. After today, we're playing for next season, or maybe the year after that. After today, we have one last memory for the future historians, as they size up 2016.
It will be the year we salvaged the Yankee soul. It will be the year we mooned Big Papi.