Friday, October 11, 2019

No more waiting, let's kill the witch

This morning, I feel like one of those hikers in The Blair Witch Project. For uncountable days, we've plodded through the forest, stalked by something we cannot fathom, and here were are: Back at the fallen tree we saw last week. We're lost, and it's now dawning on us: We may never escape these woods.

Thus far, 2019 - overall, a great Yankee year - has felt like a decade in an art house horror movie. Did we really open with Troy Tulowitzky at SS? Did we really lose an opening series to Baltimore? Did Jacoby Ellsbury ever don a uniform? How many do-or-die series did we play against mighty Boston, or angry Tampa, or wild Oakland, or every team in captivity whose fundamental cellular structure includes a Yankee-hatred strand of DNA? Did we really play games in London? How many years have we lingered here, as the league's second best team, a million miles below the incredible, awesome, unbeatable Astros - a franchise built via a dynasty of tanking.

March should feel like yesterday, but I barely recall it. When the Death Star - remember when Cashman coined that phrase? - assembled in Tampa, we knelt cravenly in the shadow of the world champion Redsocks, whose fans - like the Astros, Cubs and Royals before them - gushed about a looming series of rings. So self-assured was the Boston brain trust that it didn't bother to sign a closer: They would show the world that bullpen stoppers were like tonsils, and nobody would miss them. Then came waves of Yankee injuries, defying all laws of math and juju, each bizarre tweak raising a dark new dread. We we found redemption in the "Next Man Up" players from nowhere, like Luke Voit, Mike Tauchman, Gio Urshela and Cameron Maybin. Eventually, even the replacements had to be replaced. When we look at 2020 - and soon, that may be our only escape from this forest - we'll see 20 players fighting over nine positions, a logjam that will require trades of people we've come to love. The future - for all its blessings - looks dark with deals. 

But here we are, where we were always fated to be. This is baseball's version of Alabama v. Clemson, of Golden State v. LeBron, of Ronan Farrow v. Matt Lauer.  Last night, we watched Gerrit Cole lead Houston to our doorstep. The good news is that he threw 107 pitches. All other news is bad. As it now stands, he'll face us in Yankee Stadium, where we must sweep them, and then - if it exists - he'll pitch Game Seven on reduced rest. Houston's bullpen basically took the week off. Four relievers shut the door on Tampa - no runs - so if we're looking for Houston's underbelly, well, I don't see one. If they score four runs early, as they did last night, the game will basically be over... as it was last night. 

The Yankees have personal histories with the three Astros starters. Cole was our first round pick in 2008; a supposed Yankee fan, he chose UCLA instead. Zack Grienke has always been viewed as a bad fit for NYC, and he famously put the Yankees on his no-trade list this summer, reducing the price Houston would have to pay. Justin Verlander has killed us for years, in multiple uniforms. Four times he has faced us in the post-season, his teams always winning. The most recent battle, the 2017 ALCS, he was named MVP. 

So, here it is, everybody. We are hiking the forest, and the landscape sure looks familiar. One of these nights, we will find an old house. We will run screaming into the basement, and we will confront whatever the hell it is that has bewitched us for the last 10 years. But we are not college students on a weekend jaunt. We are the New York Yankees. We may know how this movie ends, but all those Blair Witch sequels were never even worth watching on DVD. It's up to us to write a new one. It's time to march out of the woods.


Anonymous said...







Rufus T. Firefly said...

I heard Ellsbury has resumed baseball activities. He watched the game last night.

13bit said...

It’s all gravy.

Platoni said...

That's good stuff, Rufus. I bet he forgot which team he draws checks from

Austria's Only Baseball Fan said...

Gravy? I though it was Chinatown, Jake.

13bit said...

It’s all lo-mein, AOB...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Pretty funny, Rufus. And a brilliant analogy, Duque.

One small correction, though: Cole would NOT be going on short rest in Game 7. He would start Game 3, then have off for Games 4, 5, and 6, AND the off-day. No, he will be perfectly well-rested.


JM said...

Anon is right. We have to beat them in Houston, then kill them in the Bronx.

Piece of cake. They're not as great as they think they are.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

Prediction -- you heard it hear first: Yankees in Three!!!

Rufus T. Firefly said...

So the Yankees win game three?

13bit said...

it's all tuna salad in a jello mold...

ranger_lp said...

@Rufus LOL

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Tuna salad in a jello mold?

Funny that's what I had sent to the Colt 45s clubhouse last night. Complete with extra spicy ptomaine sauce. Hope they enjoyed it!

Anonymous said...

First of all...

1) Didn't post on Hoss' well written condemnation of the way the Rays play so I'll do it here. Amen. While I respect "making something from nothing", the Rays are an existential threat to the game itself. If they had won the endless copycats might have led to an extinction event.

I watch on MLB and actually got tired of watching the girl in the Budweiser ad because they show it between every inning (18 times a game) plus one for every pitching change and she is a VERY good looking woman.

2) NY vs. Houston. As I've said before I consider Houston to be the Richmond of the New Confederacy. So screw them.

3) The Astros - Who could root for a team named after the Jetson's dog? It wasn't even his best role. (It was Scooby Doo)

4) ALL CAPS got it right. We must beat Greinke in Game One and then sweep when we have them at the stadium.

To ensure victory I suggest we amp up our home-field advantage by New Yorking the crap out of them. I'm not just talking Bronx Cheers here. I'm talking the full NYC experience.

Their starting pitchers should take warm up tosses in a garbage strewn bullpen while an off key collection of world music musicians (including someone on bagpipe) bangs out renditions of “We are the Yankees” on rusty garbage cans.

We should get Pizza Rat to try to make off with their gloves.

The Astros' pregame meal should come from a concession stand! (OK maybe that’s too cruel.)

When Cole takes the mound n Game Three someone should run out from the stands and urinate on his leg.

The fans should chant "Uuuuubeeer. Uuuubereeerr." (It worked before.)

I’m sure there are more “authentic” things to do to them. I'm open to suggestion.

We need to pull out all the stops.

Doug K.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Pizza rat is the key.

The budweiser ad is annoying in that the good looking woman never actually takes a pool shot. Plenty of good looking female pool players they could have used to *actually* make the shots.

TheWinWarblist said...

Last year, the Yankees were the worst - BY FAR - 100 win team I have ever seen. How did they win that many games? It's a mystery. This year's 103 win Yankess? They are even worse. They couldn't beat last year's Yankee team. Or any half decent team really. Beating up on Baltimore all season and then sweeping the truly cursed Twins (Jeez, what did Minnesota do? Take a flaming crap on the JuJu gods lawns?) in the ALDS is meaningless. ABSOLUTELY MEANINGLESS! THESE YANKEES ARE TERRIBLE IN MANY WAY!! HOW DO YOU EXPECT THEM TO KILL A WITCH OR WIN EVEN A SINGLE GAME AGAINST A DECENT BASEBALL TEAM!? THEY"LL BE LUCKY IF SOMEONE DOESN'T AUTO-AMPUTATE A LEG DURING WARMUPS!!! THEY ARE THE WORST TERRIBLE SUCKYBAD BADBADBADBAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Yankee Daddy Roger said...

Isn't the good looking woman in the Bud ad Charlize Theron? And if so, who cares if she actually takes the shot or not.

Carl J. Weitz said...

The Yankees winning game 1 is almost a MUST! Verlander and Cole are excellent pitchers but neither is Cy Young. They are beatable especially in October with many innings on their arms. The Yankees just have to understand their tendencies, how they usually pitch to them. This is especially true of Verlander who they have seen many times. They just need to execute a sound game plan. This is one time where sabermetrics really can be useful if incorporated properly and the hitters don't just swing reflexively.

By the way, in my opinion, Blair Witch is one of the all-time worst (if not the worst) low-budget, non-scary piece of shit movies ever made. The movie seemed to end when their budget for film ran out.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Yankee Daddy Roger....indeed it is her. Any guy would let her beat him in arm wrestling, pool, darts, whatever and try to get her filthy drunk and take her home.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Yes that IS Charlize Theron. And she is gorgeous. Unbelievably gorgeous, especially for a 44-year-old woman who won an Academy Award 16 years ago.

Also beautiful: that woman by the jukebox, in the Corona Light ad.

And like Doug K., I got sick of seeing both ads! Not to mention about how it's time to stock up on all your deerslaying needs, and anything to do with car insurance.

(And really, I love the "Mayhem" ads. But now we're supposed to worry about the damage our CATS might do around the house? What's next? Insurance against your newspaper?

Carl J. Weitz said...

That hunting/deer killing ad really pisses me off something fierce!

Ceeja said...

I'm sick of hearing how great Verlander and cole are. I want to see the yankees flay those smug fucks.

Stomp on 'em and then go pound some Budweisers. Yeah surrrre

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Buck Showalter on High Heat just said he is "obviously" rooting for the Yankees agains the Astros. He must be interviewing for the muts job.

ranger_lp said...

Verlander can be had...but loss for Yanks.

So the Yanks have a good chance against Greinke. If the Rastos put up Wade Miley for game 2 we will win that game. We could be up 2-0.

Cole, Verlander and Greinke for games 3-5. You could be looking at Yanks 3-2 after 5 games. If it gets to game 7 against Cole it's over for the Yanks. They would have to win game 6 to win the series.

13bit said...

What Winnie said x1000

Thank god some people see it like it is around here.

We should not even be here. Not only is this all gravy, it's all potato salad on top of garlic fries with a side of Yankee Stadium e-coli house dressing. We should all just be glad to be alive. Use this upcoming "series" as an excuse to start ramping up for the hot season.

As far as I'm concerned, Hal is the benevolent king, Brian should get a lifetime contract, Boner and Nutsack should make it official and get married in Costa Rica this winter and we can all live happily ever after.

Baseball? What's that?

JM said...

Severino disease.

Anonymous said...

"Also beautiful: that woman by the jukebox, in the Corona Light ad."

Very much so.

"I got sick of seeing both ads!"

Also, sadly, very much so.

Doug K.

Joe of AZ said...

I want to see the racist pigs of Houston eat Yankee shit this week maybe not literally unless that's what it takes to win

I hope Gleybor Day hails supreme so I don't have to hear anymore references to the GOAT latinx Pedroia aka Altuve..

I hope CC mistakes Verlander for a Texas Roadhouse steak and goes to town on that Fucker until hes mortally wounded and unable to perform much to Ms Upton's dismay....

Go yanks

And .... Fuck you hal

JM said...

I find the unbridled pessimism unwarranted. Mostly because I want to see a Yankees-Cardinals World Series, for old time's sake.

Houston was supposed to be fearsome, the team that was going all the way, with every pitcher the reincarnation of Cy Young or Bob Gibson. It took them five games to put away the Rays. Not that the Rays are terrible, but five games? With the greatest pitching rotation ever seen by human eyes?

Seems kind of peculiar to me.

Now, the other fearsome beast of a team was the LA Dodgers. Man, they were unstoppable. Nobody was going to get in their way as they marched to their first WS championship in 35 years. Nobody. Impossible.

Gone in five.

Admittedly, the Colt 45s seem to have every weapon a Colt 45 could have except Billy Dee Williams. But five games. Five. Cinco. And the Rays were a second-place team, a wild card, fer Pete's sake.

So they could win. They could destroy us. But I don't think so. And we just might know by the fifth game, if we can win one of the first two.

Austria's Only Baseball Fan said...

You get Charlize Theron during breaks? Deer killers and feral cats? I don’t even get Jell-O molds. I am stuck with the MLB.TV Blue Screen of Death (which literally helped put me to sleep during some of the Rays pitcher replacements). Speaking of sleep, it’s time for another movie and a nap (the game starts at 02:08 a.m. here). I am catching up on the “Film du Look” school. I just got an e-mail from a colleague, one of four people in my entire life (one now dead) with whom I can/could share my work and baseball. He (who lives in Tampa Bay and hates the Rays) wrote: “I think we can safely assume that you are the only baseball fan out there whose watching intersperses MLB playoff games with Chéreau, Besson and Beineix films.”

Well, somebody’s gotta do it.

Va te faire foutre, Hal!

Anonymous said...


For you.

It's enjoyable the first 278 times.

Doug K.

Austria's Only Baseball Fan said...

Anonymous Doug - and people are actually complaining about this? It even got Sam (cat) jumping up and nuzzling the computer monitor.

Apropos of nothing, I recall a word contest in which you had to change one syllable in a famous name and explain who it is. The winner was Anonymous Bosch: Germany's unknown soldier.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Only Billy Dee Williams could make it look cool to be drinking Colt 45. I guess it's a step up from Thunderbird.

As for Ms. Theron, seems appropriate that the multinational that bought South African Brewing would use a South African actress in an ad for an American beer named after Czech beer. At least it's not Stroh's.

Carl J. Weitz said...

No one could ever make Dolt 45 look cool.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

It was cool when I was 16. Best bang for your buck unless you wanted to puke.

Carl J. Weitz said...

And when I mention Dolt 45, I am not misspelling the malt beverage. It's the current occupant of the White House. Aka: The Nectarine Nero, Orange Julius Caesar, Tangerine Twit.

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