Friday, October 19, 2018

The Right (Pinstriped) Earth, Vol. 6

"It's not dark yet, but it's getting there," as the poet wrote, seems to describe our new baseball millennium thus far.

But hey, there are still 982 years to go!  Plenty of time to turn it around! And why rely on reality, when there are always delusional fantasies to fall back on?

Here is Vol. 6 of our alternative Yankees reality.   We take up where we left off last time, with the start of Buck Showalter's glorious career as Yankees manager, en route to his record-setting, 21 straight World Series triumphs.  

Of course, many of you will recognize that this series of alternative reality scenarios is leading up to one of the holiest days on the Yankees calendar, "Mickmas," as Brother Richard Karney dubbed it, the birth of Mickey Mantle on 10/20.  Naturally, we will conclude with Vol. 7 (get it?) on 10/20 itself.

Oh, who am I kidding???  You peasants know nothing of Mickmas, or all the other high holy days!  No doubt, you still think I'm mad, mad, mad, mad—


“With an organization like that behind you, it’s hard to screw up.  All that money, all that talent.”

“Oh, come on!” scoffed Hensley.  “People can screw up anything.  Especially in baseball.”

“Well, that’s true enough,” Buck chuckled.  “You know, they even wanted to tear down the Stadium?”

“I heard that!  What was it, back in the ’70s?”

“Yeah, they were pretending it was just a makeover.  But they really would’ve gutted the old gal—maybe even moved the team to New Jersey.   Fortunately, Ms. Burden said no way.  She had them just fix it up just the way it was, in the exact same spot.   Paid extra to have all the work done in the winter, so it wouldn’t interrupt play.”

“They wanted to move the Yanks to New Jersey???”  Meulens was incredulous.

“Yup.  The usual racism, fear of the city.  Fortunately, the Yankees put so much money into the community, everybody was just fine coming up here.  Why, I remember during the 1977 World Series, Howard Cosell even had some helicopter cameras trained on the neighborhood and brayed at everyone, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is THRIVING!’ ”

“Incredible.  But it only goes to tell you, there’s not a stone on earth some idiot won’t overturn if he thinks he can make a dollar.”

“You’re right, you’re right.  You know, some idiots even tried to tear down Penn Station once.”

“Now you’re pulling my leg,” Hensley insisted.

“Anyway, the Bronx and the city being in such great shape was what really helped Stick talk Greg Maddux into signing with us for 1993.  He took him all around, showed him how great New York looked.  The man couldn’t resist.”

“That must have helped,” Meulens teased his boss.

“Yeah, you think?  And everything just seemed to get better from there.  We got another big break when CBS leaned on everybody and kept a strike from breaking out in 1994.  That was my first World Series.”

“I remember.  That incredible seventh-game win, when Maddux outpitched Pedro for ten innings.”

“I’ve never been so nervous in my life,” Showalter chuckled.  “Broke those people’s hearts up in Montreal.  But you know, all the excitement saved the franchise for them.”

“Then in 1995, Maddux and Mariano just got you past the Braves.”

“Sure did.”  Showalter lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper.  “And let me tell you something I never told anybody:  that last game we just pulled out in Seattle, in the ALCS?  I almost didn’t put Rivera in.”

“No!”

“Yes!  He was just a kid, maybe a flash-in-the-pan.  Pull David Cone for him with the bases loaded? “

“But he got it done.”

“Sure did.  I shudder to think what would have happened sometimes if I hadn’t trusted him.  Why, they would’ve been right to fire my ass then and there.”

“A team as smart as the Yankees?  Do some impetuous, fool thing like that?”

“I know, I know.  Too much bourbon, I guess!” Buck laughed.  “But you know, sometimes in my nightmares, I can still see myself wearing a jacket with a little bird on it.  The Orioles or something.”

“Stop it, you’re killing me!  Hey, where’s the New Guy, anyway?”

“Oh, he’ll be here.  You can always count on him.”
  

5 comments:

KD said...

Penn Station and Yankee Stadium still stand! what about Grand Central in this opposite universe?

this is getting interesting...

Der Kaiser said...

It's a beautiful world, in fact so beautiful that I don't think its Yankees needed to sully themselves with the likes of David Ortiz. I think the Right Yankees would have provided the perfect environment for Alex Rodriguez to turn his talent, motivation, and team spirit into the stuff of pinstriped legends. I can just see him carrying the team through October after October, wowing everyone with his dominance and humbleness, retiring with more rings than De Beers, and becoming Hensley Meulens's bench coach. But I expect Horace has already filled that role...

HoraceClarke66 said...

You raise some very good points, Mein Kaiser!

And yes, KD, Grand Central is still standing. AND the subway has been lavishly extended, throughout all boroughs. And it's still only $1!

13bit said...

In the right universe, Giambi and A-Rod would have both ended up in Boston, Big Papi and Manny would have played for the NFL, and Aaron Boone would have been born in and remained in Switzerland.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Well, in mine Giambi and A-Rod did indeed play in Boston, as did Randy Johnson in his declining years. Also, Carl Pavano and Jared Wright.

WE got Ramirez and Ortiz—which we could so easily have done—and thus became the beloved team of Hispanic New York.

And Aaron Boone, after a fine career broadcasting the Little League World Series, was hired by new Boston GM Alex Rodriguez to manage the Red Sox this year. With their key new acquisition, Giancarlo Stanton, the team did quite well, winning 87 games and finishing 25 back of the Yanks.

They were in contention for the second Wild Card spot down to the last weekend!