Monday, July 15, 2013

Falling through the air, clutching the live grenade, waiting for the end

Happy break! Great time to be a Yankee fan, eh?

Everything is collapsing - our hitting, pitching, even the defense - and that pellet bomb -  Bud Selig's suspension surprise - is about to go boom.

You knew they'd never pull the pin before or during the All-Star break, the Commissioner's annual victory lap, when Selig handpicks one TV toady for his interview, and then tells the world what a wonderful job he's doing (for that $25 million plus salary). Thus, baseball's "rising young stars" - aka, the cheap ones, who have not yet scored their big contracts - can play in an unsoiled spotlight.

Next week, there will be no reason to wait. The longer MLB delays announcing its 20 to 25 player suspensions - as the news leaks keep saying - the more that bomb will distort or destroy the 2013 pennant race.  If they wait too long, they'll blow up the entire season, and some fans, teams and writers might not join the automatic cheers of support, which the courtiers lead, like a Jumbotron projecting the word "NOISE" to a sold-out crowd. 

Let's face it: The arbitrary focus of this Miami probe means it could hit the Yankees hardest. One beauty of random MLB drug tests was that teams faced them equally. But this investigation centers around one "clinic" that went kaput, and a notebook fell into the hands of an enterprising journalist. If there are other "clinics" out there that didn't go bankrupt, well, they stayed secret.

Do I sound cynical? I apologize. Why should anybody be cynical about a war on drugs? I mean, hasn't humanity historically been able to solve the problem?

What we do in these massive campaigns is simple: Wes burn a few scapegoats on the village green - unpopular, high-profile celebrities make the neatest flames - and scream indignation, while everybody shakes their head and then goes home to toke up and celebrate the victory.

The big bad Yankees and their personal financial foil, Alex Rodriguez, make the perfect poster children for MLB's future marketing campaign that it is a sport cleansed of performance enhancing drugs. If they can blow up the Yankees for two to five years - and the Steinbrothers, by cutting payroll and ditching A-Rod, could actually make more money -  they can say baseball is saved, and then go back to the business of looking the other way.

Damn, I did it again. I fell into cynicism. The idea of Luis Cruz at 3B for the next three months will do that to you.

Still, it will be interesting to see if Big Papi gets plunked. You see, I think a bunch of MLB juicers will skate. They simply used a  different "clinic," and they've now had months to shore up potential leaks, to be certain no alternative newspaper reporters ever unearth a notebook.

So here we are, the mighty Yankees, falling in the air, headed for the AL East cellar, grasping now for that lowly one-game-season Wild Card birth (in another city.) It's finally clear to me that A-Rod isn't coming back. Maybe Cervelli, too. Maybe others. Who knows what names, guilty by implication, will vault out of this mix? Right now, the names on that list are the biggest intangible - bigger than the trade deadline - of the pennant race. 

This will be the year that MLB won the war on drugs by wrapping every sin into a dummy, which wears Yankee uniform Number 13, and then setting it ablaze in the village square. Gather around, kids. Soon after the All-Star game, the fireworks show will begin.


Rex Reed said...

5 star post. emmis!

Roger B. said...

Was at the game yesterday. Spent a lot of time in the Yankee Museum trying to find the Andy Kosco autographed ball. Where have you gone, Andy Kosco? The Yankee Nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

KD said...

And yet the countdown to A-Rod's return in the sidebar shows just a few hours more than 3 days. I think I'll stick with that.

el duque said...

Oh, jeez, I forgot about the countdown. It made sense at the time.