Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Proctigal Son returneth

Scott Proctor, the arm that could not die, returned to the Yankiverse last night. He threw a scoreless inning, 20 pitches, before the A-Rod-obsessed muses of Moosic.

It's been four years since Proctor's final, fiery incarnation as field mule on the pitching plantation of Joe Torre. He had led the American League in appearances in 2006, with 83, and he was on course to repeat his crown. Joe had him on pocket-dial. When he woke up in the morning, instead of hitting the alarm clock, he called Proctor. And Scott came.

Eventually, Proctor fell apart and did what any thinking player would do: He placed jersey, mitt and cap near home plate, doused the pile with lighter fluid and lit a match, hoping his luck - or at least the pain in his tired arm - would disappear in a cloud of acrylic-based smoke.

That day, Proctor became a minor Yankee icon, an immortal character in pinstriped hell, to be forever remembered as a valiant, bad luck pitcher in a dark, bad luck era... sort of the way Bill Buckner is now viewed by revisionist Redsock fans. He's the guy Joe Torre tied to the post.

And let's face it, we all were amazed this spring to find Proctor still pitching.

Well, here he is, two weeks from a September call up and - surely, a standing O. All he needs to do is wring five to 10 scoreless innings out of that overworked arm. (He's 34.) Last night, he thew one.

Let's root for him... but with one hope.

When the arm finally goes, when Father Time finally claims what Father Torre could not... one last Scott Procter fire.

He's gotta go with a flame-out. Maybe Oct. 1? Or maybe next spring; let's hope he's got another year!

The new Yankee Stadium needs to be Proctored.

No comments: