Tuesday, November 2, 2021

November curses: The Jersey Giants, Altuve, Number 13 and shrieks upon an unlistening cosmos.

As the days turn shorter... 

1. Back in the womb, watching on radio, I assumed that the NY Giants were the Yankees of the NFL. It was an honest mistake, a rookie blunder: Frank Gifford was Mickey, Kyle Rote was Roger, YA Tittle was Yogi, and Sam Huff - well - he was Dad. 

It took me years to realize what coulda been - how the Giants' OL coach had been Vince Lombardi, and the defensive coach was Tom Landry - but Wellington Mara handed the reins over to Allie Sherman, the team clipboard. And the Giants slowly turned into a curse upon my life as a fan.

Last night, the Giants lost to a KC Chiefs team that was absolutely determined to blow the game. We are now in Year X of the Rebuild - no end in sight. 

I read somewhere that if the Giants suddenly went undefeated - a 17-0 season - Dave Gettleman's record as GM would still fall below .500. They are now 2-6, and the only question is whether Mara's offspring - (like nearly all NYC teams, the real curse here is nepotism) - will fire Gettleman before the season ends. (Spoiler alert: They won't.) 

Last night, I ping-ponged between rooting for the Giants and just wanting them to lose - to tank: These days, that's how horrible it is to be a Giants fan. We watch the Tankathon. Two picks in the Top Eleven? Fine, until you realize that Philly has three.

2. I used to hate Dustin Pedroia the way vampires hate sunlight. I hated how he ran. I hated how he looked. I hated everything. And I will hate it when he enters the Hall of Fame, with Yankee blue on the points of his cleats. 

Well, Jose Altuve is the Second Coming of Pedroia. I assure you that my hatred for Jose burns hotter than a billion suns, and that he shall always wear a Scarlet C - for cheater. But let's accept reality: Like Pedroia, Altuve has beaten us like an omlet. We will never take revenge against him. At every turn, he has crushed us. He owns us. 

There used to be a short list of "Yankee Killers." Frank Larry. Roy Halladay. George Brett... These days, the list is so long that it's not worth keeping.  

3. Speaking of players who have our number - Joey Gallo! He wears number 13, and maybe we should start wondering about that.

A-Rod wore it for 12 years, most of them legitimately cursed. The Yankees "retired" No. 13 in 2016 and broke it out last August, when Gallo arrived.

At first, I thought it refreshing that Gallo would take #13. But after watching his increasingly neurotic behavior - those bulging eyes and all the strike outs - I'm starting to worry. 

Before A-Rod, the number served Gerald Williams, Torey Lovullo, Mike Pagliarulo, Bobby Brown, Walt Williams, Curt Blefary and Jim Leyritz (whose post-career exploits were truly jinxed.) Now, we're going to add 150 strikeouts from Gallo? Hmm. The juju gods are grinning. 

I don't like it when the juju gods are grinning.

4. In two days, the MLB post-season begins. I have a feeling that nothing will happen until a labor agreement is settled with the Players Union. It's like the Democrats' paralysis over the Infrastructure and Build Back Better bills - nothing will happen, until something breaks, and then all the shit in the world is going to hit the fan.  

I think it's going to be a long, cold winter.


Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...

The only way to treat Altuve Disease is, in the next series with the Astros, for every Yankee pitcher to throw at his head. There are usually 12 pitchers on the roster, so this could be sustained for 3-4 games before the entire pitching staff is suspended by the league.

Maybe we'll get lucky and Aaron Boone will also be suspended. For life!

Given all of the managerial nightmares and some of the pitching we've seen in 2021, what could this possibly hurt?

(except maybe Jose's head)

JM said...

An intriguing idea, Joe. Given our chances of winning anything, it's a way to stem the decline of baseball that Hoss has pointed out (and that was hilariously yet believably farced in "Brockmire"). After all, the Romans had gladiators and lion feeding to entertain the hoi polloi, bare knuckle fighting is all the rage, and people watch cars speeding around a track waiting for the next horrific crash. Headhunting might just bring back a massive audience to baseball and reverse all the damage done by the mollycoddling rules that protect batters, infielders and runners approaching home plate.

You can almost hear the chants..."Head! Head! Head!" Which could lead to onfield sex acts at some point far in the future, but let's just tackle headhunting for now.

Carl J. Weitz said...

I hope the strike/lockout lasts all year and MLB and the owners get convicted again of collusion and not bargaining in good faith. It will be interesting to see who the the anti-union players are in this work stoppage like Carl Yastrzemski was in 72 when he was the highest paid player and didn't give a rat's ass about anyone else.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Love it, JM and Joe—though I still prefer my idea of Anything Ball: the home teams gets to select, on the day of the game, which version of baseball will be played, going all the way back.

Think of the craziness!

Alphonso said...

I am thinking the ball in 2022 should be more oval than round.

I wonder how that might impact exit velos.