Saturday, April 29, 2017

THE BIRTH OF A NATION?

I donno what to say. I'm afraid to pinch myself. Truth be told, when Baltimore took the 9-1 lead last night, after Trumbo hammered that ball off Bryan Mitchell, I uttered the Yankee safe word - "Overbay" - and ditched the game, seeking to wet nurse my wounded soul without the distraction of torment. Who comes back from 9-1? I just figured, "Hell with this, we won in Boston, let it rain, let 'em score 20, maybe Machado will poop his pancreas running the bases." Who comes back from 9-1? I refused to watch. "Overbay... Overbay... Overbay." Then my phone started bonging. Texts from Alphonso. 

Today, I sit in awe, like the rest of the world, aside from North Korea, of Aaron Fucking Judge. In less than a month, he has changed the zeitgeist of the Yankees. So profound are the changes that I must wonder: Is this really happening? Did Godot finally come? Are we really watching the next great Yankee slugger? We've been teased before - (even by a guy named Jesus!) - but never like this, never by a walking Trump Tower. Today, consider these words from Matt Holliday, as quoted in the Gray Lady.

“He’s probably the most gifted baseball player I’ve ever been around. I mean, he’s 6-foot-8, 275 pounds. He moves really well in the outfield. I’m not saying he’s going to be the greatest player who ever played, but as far as when the guy hit a 97-mile-per-hour fastball that was a line drive that the shortstop jumped for and it went over the fence. He can do things that I haven’t seen, and I’ve played a long time...

"Maybe I’m overstating it a bit. But as far as raw talent goes, that dude is massive. I haven’t seen anything like it. The whole stadium stops when he comes to bat. I think the sky’s the limit.”

Holliday was speaking as the game's walk-off hero, but he sounds like a 14-year-old fan in the cheap seats. "The most gifted baseball player I've ever been around?" This guy played with Albert Pujols. He suited up against Barry Bonds. Damn, the Jersey Giants could have drafted Judge in the first round as a defensive end. WTF is happening? Are we dreaming? Seventeen years in, did the Yankee millennium finally arrive? 

Clearly, I'm overstating this. I should shut my mowf. ("Whom the gods wish to destroy, they grant unlimited potential.") A month from now, all this hype could be a sad joke. In March, Greg Bird was ridiculous. Now, he's just diculous. Soon, the pitchers will adjust to Judge, or simply motion him to first. Soon, he'll have to readjust. It's not even May 1. The docks aren't in. The Rangers are still in the playoffs. Jeez, the Giants could still draft him.

But Holliday is right: We haven't seen anything like this in a long, long time. Not Gary Sanchez. Not Bird. Not Kevin Maas. You have to go back to - gulp - Reggie before anybody this massive, this strong, this athletic, has landed in the Bronx. Damn. Last night, we came back from an eight-run deficit. Baltimore pooped its pancreas. This is big.

8 comments:

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Reggie was a runt compared to Judge.

I made the mistake of falling asleep in the eighth last night.

I blame Bombay Sapphire.

Blind Robin said...

Which juju is responsible?

el duque said...

There's no such thing as juju.

There is also NO way we can win today. Baltimore is just too good.

Anonymous said...

I think perhaps it's my not bothering to watch the games live lately - - I have been very busy, and have just been DVR-ing them....and since I started doing that, well - - I won't even SAY what our record is since then.
Last night, I took a break after the sixth inning, and tuned in for a minute - - and I damned near turned off the DVR and gave up - - as luck would have it, though, I was entertained by Judge, and left it run....and YOW!! What I got was one for the ages.
I'm quite sure Bucky & his Boys pooped their pancreas, as duque said....I doggone near did, myself, when I came back and the game was in the ninth, still going. When Castro launched that shot in the ninth, it was a very close thing, I can assure you.
If they keep this up, I might have to start wearing diapers - - I don't want to lose my pancreas. LB (No j)

Anonymous said...

THERE'S SOMETHING SPECIAL GOING ON GUYS.....

Ken of Brooklyn said...

Whatever happens for the rest of the year, I'll always have THIS GAME AND THIS MONTH!

Leinstery said...

My cousin and I have this dynamic, I talk loads of shit about a player and he blindly argues that player is good and will turn into an MVP. It started off sarcastically with Didi and Beltran back in the beginning of 2015 and they started to turn it around. We didn't recognize what had happened so we only kept it to them, and they were the only two to play well consistently from that point. We've since kicked it into overdrive this season. Every time Pineda pitches I predict he'll give up seven runs because he's garbage and my cousin reassures me that Pineda will win the CY Young. I keep waiting for the bottom to fall out of Severino and he says that Severino is our Ace for the next ten years. Aaron Hicks is another one as is Castro. But last night in the 5th inning I specifically requested that he work his magic on Holliday because as I put it then "That guy is a bum". I turned the game off (and am kicking myself for it as great comebacks are peak Sterling games) and I nearly had a heart attack when I saw Holliday hit a game winning home run. I texted him saying we need to get him checked out by the Catholic Church. Anyways (John voice) Pineda is pitching today, so don't expect a win.

13bit said...

Exactly, Duque. Why even suit up today - or for the rest of the season, for that matter.