Wednesday, June 22, 2022

And Boston has entered the chat... It's starkly amazing, the morning-after response to a loss.

Lately, we're torn... 

One angel says to enjoy this wondrous time of year in the plush hills of upstate NY. The fireflies are blazing, the days last forever, and the Yankees have baseball's best record. We must celebrate this menstrual cycle of hope, because it cannot last.

The other angel latches onto those words... "because it cannot last..." and conjures up a despair. of mosquito bites and algae blooms. We know what can happen. We remember the last five years.  

I grew up in an era when a 10-game Yankee lead meant a guaranteed trip to the world series. Today, it barely punches our ticket to an October best-of-five, when the regular season will devolve into a card trick on a circus midway.  

Still, in a nightmare stretch of games we've been fretting over for months, the Yanks are 6-2. Win tonight, and even if we get swept by Houston, we will have run this mini-gauntlet successfully. That's not nothing. Unless, of course, it turns out to be. Because it could.

Damn, every loss summons the ghosts from the last 10 years. Last night, in the cacophonous Tropicana Dome, they rattled chains with every DP grounder and fly ball to the wall. And this is the message they sent

The Yankees shoulda won this game.

So, yeah, here we are...

1. Nasty Nestor T-shirt night comes this weekend, and who doesn't wonder if his recent troubling starts are not juju-related? We've cherished the Nestor Cortez narrative, so much that we tried to "love' it into existence. 

The reality is that after two fine months, Cortez is starting to unfurl. 

Last night, 4.1 innings and 4 earned runs - the second such line score in his last three starts. Batters are adjusting. He must respond. There's nothing new here - happens to everyone. But last night, we saw something different: An angry and frustrated look on Nestor's face in the dugout. In the past, he's been smiles and fun.

I wonder: Did the Yankees crass move to exploit him piss off the juju gods? 

Did they Jeremy Lin him?

2. Sorry to be a broken record here, but Joey Gallo went 0-3 last night with two strikeouts - this, after a week of hearing about his resurgence on YES.  He is 0 for his last 8. His batting average is back down to .182.

I don't claim to be an MLB scout, or a great evaluator of talent. But I've seen enough. This hasn't worked. Does anyone think Gallo will have a clue against solid post-season pitching? Dear god, he'll get wiped out. Anything we can get for him, we should go for it. Sooner the better. Andrew Benintendi in KC? He's in his contract year. How expensive can he be? They say the Padres still covet Gallo. Good for them. Here's an offer: I'll personally Uber him to the airport. 

And I say this without malice toward the guy. For his own good, he needs to be Gary Sanchezed. 

3. Boston has called up Jeter Downs, the well-hyped IF prospect who anchored the Mookie Betts deal. He wasn't exactly pummeling Triple A: batting .180 with 11 HRs.  Still, he's 23, fast, and there's that name, which makes every Yankee fan instinctively go, "Oh, shit." We need a counter-balance, a guy named Mickey Berra. (Actually, years ago, we did have Jackson Melian, said to be named after Reggie; he never panned out.)

I'm not suggesting we worry about Downs. But as AMC Channel says, we should Fear the Walking Dead. Between now and October, we play Boston 16 times - plenty of opportunities for the hopeful angels of June to disappear.  

It's amazing, the day-after difference between a win and a loss.  I've already forgotten that 12-game lead. Then again, I have the memory of a goldfish that played in the NFL. After last night, it's what keeps me going. 

63 comments:

The Archangel said...

My recent sojourn out West gave me plenty of time to ponder my navel and life while airborne.

Is it me ? Why don't I hate BoSucks like I used to?
Is it the new yellow jerseys? Is it knowing that they will crumple in the ned with that lineup?

I think part of it is that since I retired down South, I don't run into nearly as many of their fans as I used to. They must be too stupid to move from Masshole. Hence, many fewer chances to run into asshwipes.

The bigger thing is that I revile the BJS and the Devil Rays more.

the Devils started the designated starter and the radical shifts, while playing in the worst stadium ever. I despise them for what they have done to the game. Also, they are cheap and win, so Hal uses them as a spending model.

The BJs are simply insufferable, like many Canadians which I have met through hockey. Their antics are repulsively childish and they make me want to scream, "Get a haircut!' [And I grew up in the 70's and had hair like the members of the Eagles].
They are like the spoiled kids next door that you want to ping in the ass with a BB shot.

Am I wrong for feeling this way?

PS., if you ever want to read a GREAT book, read The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mialer. It is his first book and he wrote it based upon his personal experiences in WWII. If you love prose as an art form and either had relatives who fought in WWII or Vietnam or saw any combat yourself, you owe it to yourself to read it. You can tell that a young guy wrote it. It is 700 pages, but where are we going anyhow?
Great for travel reading, and you can feel superior to those minions on planes watching old Friends episodes or shitty new movies on their electronic devices while crammed on a plane.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Another totally different book from the same era Tales of the South Pacific. Great with out without Mitzi Gaynor.

Mildred Lopez said...

Archangel...

I have read The Naked And The Dead and agree it's a great, great novel. I was just thinking about reading it again but I'm slogging through A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience. I say slogging because, although it's interesting as hell it's not a page-turner. It's about the social and political climate in Salem leading up to the trials.

I suggest We Were Soldiers Once...And Young. Nonfiction, definite page-turner.

el duque said...

First Mailer book I ever read. Loved it.

My fave, though, remains The Armies of the Night.

Anybody out there ever read James Lee Burke?

JM said...

Mildred, I tried to read We Were Soldiers Once, but stopped halfway through. Like reality, it seemed repetitive to me, but that's how it can go with nonfiction.

But what do I know? It took me weeks to get through the latest Louise Penny novel, and that's not exactly heavy lifting. It's hardly lifting at all.

Once I finish It's Alive!, a novel based on the real-life story of Carl Laimmle, Jr., and his turnaround of Universal Studios via monster movies, I think I'll tackle the stack of Chester Himes I got recently. I read his book, Plan B, some years ago, and always meant to revisit him. Cotton Comes to Harlem, If He Hollers Let Him Go, Blind Man with a Pistol...lots of good stuff there.

borntorun999 said...

Big thumbs up for the Naked and the Dead. Been a long time since I read it, but you make me wanna dig my old copy and re-read it.
I love this blog. You never know what you’re going to read. Truly a Unicorn among sports blogs.

Yes, the team is regressing towards the mean. Cortes, Trevino coming back to earth. Donaldson, DJL on the decline, though still serviceable. Stanton is as inconsistent as ever. Gallo doesn’t belong here, I don’t care what he does for one or two games. The division race is by no means over. Last nights game reminded me of so many losses from last year, a game we could’ve should’ve won.

Again, many thanks to Duque and all of you for your entertaining, erudite comments.

The Archangel said...

Gang, not to turn this into a book club, but Elmore Lenard is superb, whether in crime novels or westerns. I read Valdez is Coming in less than two days.
Woke up, stared to read it , stopped for b@b [baseball and bathroom] and finished it the next day. Another artist.

Best book ever is Le Mis by Hugo. I read a translation from about 1900 which was more literally accurate and I was in awe.
If you try it, stick with it because what appears to be disjointed passages are made pertinent as the story flows.
As a person who did research and writing for many years, Hugo's ability to craft the written word left me humbled in all respect.

Doug K. said...

Funny you bring up The Naked and the Dead. I always wanted to do a class comparing it to Catch 22.

The two authors are both Jews, both from Brooklyn, both born around the same time, and both the children of immigrants.

Their WW2 experiences were rife with stupidities and inconsistencies that left them struggling to make sense of it all.

They both write their first and greatest book to try to explain what they saw, thought, and felt.

One ranks with the greatest war novels of all time. Moving. Complex. The other is perhaps the funniest book ever written.


Doug K. said...

As long as we're talking authors...

I have been loving reading Don Carpenter. He writes about Hollywood in 60's and 70's. The prose is so clean. There is an ease to it.

Recently finished...

The True Life Story of Jody McKeegan (1975, novel)
A Couple of Comedians (1979, novel)
Turnaround (1981, novel)

and Friday at Enrico's (finished by Johnathan Lethem in 2014) - about minor writers in SF during the time of the Beats.

He's best known for Hard Rain Falling which is next up for me.

AboveAverage said...

I would have thought that this forum would have been chock-full of Sidney Sheldon enthusiasts . . .

HoraceClarke66 said...

Loved Naked and the Dead, too, though I haven't read it since about 1981.

Armies of the Night is terrific. But I'll also put in a plug for Why Are We in Vietnam? (it has nothing—directly—to do with Vietnam, just a hunting trip in Alaska) and Executioner's Song. (He lost me with all that Egyptian stuff.)...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Mildred Lopez: Read Stacey Schiff's book, "The Witches: Salem 1692." REALLY well-written and insightful.

Full disclosure: I had a direct ancestor hanged at Salem. True story! Susannah Martin, an elderly, semi-homeless woman at the time. Don't know why I like knowing this horrible story. But I do!

HoraceClarke66 said...

Also, if I had the classic one book for the desert island...Our Mutual Friend. Hard to go wrong with Dickens, but this was his last and best, I think.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Archie, I also agree with you—largely—about the BJs being the most obnoxious. But I still have flashbacks about 2004, and being a kid in Massachusetts. Brrrr.

AboveAverage said...

better to be Hanged than Burned I would imagine

HoraceClarke66 said...

And...the difference, Duque, is that in those bygone days, we knew what we had and felt confident in it.

"Okay, The Mick looks great, and so does Whitey...Reggie's in a groove!...Clemens is pitching great, and so is Pettitte...Jeter! Mariano! Bernie! Paulie!" Etc.

There was always the fear of injury or something else. But we knew those were very solid guys, making up solid cores of the team. If they were on, and built a 12-game lead...that wasn't going away.

As Bob Dole would say, you knew it, I knew it, the American people knew it...and so did the Boston Red Sox, and the rest of the competition...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Nestor Cortes? Jameson Taillon? Much as I love how these guys have stepped up, how do we know what the hell they are?

And I agree that too many of the others we already know are just dead dwarf stars, waiting to collapse on themselves. I guess it's possible Crusty Donaldson will come around, but it sure doesn't look like it. Hicksie is overdue for his season-ending injury. So, frankly, is Giancarlo.

And yes, we should do something about Gallo, NOW, while we have games to burn. If we can't trade him straight up for a Benitendi, then get a couple more lottery tix or bullpen lugnuts, and bring up Miggy and Florial and see what they can do!

This team could EASILY crash and burn.



HoraceClarke66 said...

They didn't burn anybody at Salem, AA. Almost all hangings. They DID crush one guy, slowly, under stones, hoping to get him to confess so they could confiscate his property.

He kept saying, "More weight!" Which, I gotta, was pretty fucking gutsy, even though he apparently was a real bastard.

Arthur Miller really called it. It was SO like McCarthyism. If you fessed up, and started naming names, you wouldn't be killed. But you WOULD be imprisoned under awful conditions, with open-ended sentences, and have all your stuff confiscated.

My ancestor apparently didn't understand this (par for the course with our family). Others, in a horrible irony, were real believers. They weren't about to say they'd worshipped Satan and endanger their eternal souls.

The cynicism of the whole thing was truly horrifying.

Joe Formerlyof Brooklyn said...


Tried to follow all of this bookish stuff, but my brain keeps coming back to the comment about Mitzi Gaynor.

How can anything be great without her?

First, her name: Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber

Second, she's still alive. Born 9/4/31

Third, she was 5-foot-6.

Fourth, she's got her own website. Pretty good for someone 90 years old!
http://www.missmitzigaynor.com/

Fifth, there's the pic of her on the Wikipedia site --
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitzi_Gaynor

AboveAverage said...

HC66 - most of our collective knowledge of historic witch elimination comes from cinema and tv. I can think of at least eight films off the top of my head which featured witch burning. So I did find it interesting that most of the Salem deaths were hanging or stone crushing. Thanks for that midday bit of illumination.

Mildred Lopez said...


Horace...

Beginning of the book is the accusations, trials, etc. Susannah Martin was investigated for a "witch's tit", which has nothing to do with one's upper body. Also, I will read the Schiff book. The subject is fascinating to me.

Aboveaverage...

I read The Mercies, which is about witchcraft executions in Norway, and the witches were burned. Pretty gruesome. However the Salem "witches" were hanged at a place called Proctor's Ledge and it was just a step off and hang so it took much time for them to die. Relatives would grab on to their legs and pull down to speed up the process. Either way, burn or hang, yikes.

AboveAverage said...

Indeed. Check out Ken Russell's The Devils :)

Yankee Daddy Roger said...

Twenty comments ago=-
James Lee Burke creates a sense of place that makes me think about a Young Ron Guidry throwing seeds as a young boy in the Bayou.

Also, I agree with Catch 22 as the funniest book all time. A great, great novel.

Lastly, I too would be happy to drive Gallo to the airport. He sits in the front passenger seat. In the back seat, posturing, would be Aaron Hicks. I don't buy into his ascension as a .230 hitter, I don't see key hits and kay walks as part of his OBA or DNA. Yes he had a big hit in a game past. Even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then. Not making contact when the infield is drawn. Flailing at Ball Four. Forget the back seat. He rides in the trunk.

But I'm not bitter. We'll always have literature.

HoraceClarke66 said...

The Devils is indeed a terrific film, AA. And interesting that you were supposed to bribe the executioner to strangle you before the flames got to you. (Though the smoke must've done in a lot of victims.) Seems to have been a lot of executioner bribing that went on back in the Middle Ages. You bribed the headsman so he wouldn't "miss," etc.

Good times.

Another fun fact about burnings? I read somewhere that the heart is the toughest human organ. Maybe the Warbler can confirm this? But anyway, when the Brits were finished with Joan of Arc, the heart remained, so they all took it as a miracle.

Peasants.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Good to know, Yankee Daddy, I will check Burke out.

And as for Hicks...yes, wildly overpaid and overvalued.

BUT, I give him a few props for past games, such as that amazing catch in Minnesota, to cap a fantastic day at the plate.

AND playing though hurt and hitting the game-winning HR to extend that 2019 playoff with Houston. That was beyond the capability of somebody else in that series. (Looking at you, GC.)

HoraceClarke66 said...

Oh, and yes, I would also read anything by Elmore Leonard. Loved "Justified," too.

Local Bargain Jerk said...


The great thing about Elmore Leonard is how well some of his books were adapted into films (Get Shorty, Rum Punch [Jackie Brown], Out of Sight, etc.).

Funniest book every written? Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. The first full paragraph in Chapter 6 in which the main character wakes up with a vicious hangover is worth the price of admission alone. ("His mouth had been used as a latrine by small creature of the night and then as its mausoleum.")

Go Yanks.

Kevin said...

Let me suggest a soul draining witch burning movie, "The Witch-finder General" aka, "The Conqueror Worm" starring Vincent Price who played his role straight ahead. The movie is shot in b&w, very atmospheric, and grim to very last. It was "based" on the autobiography of Matthew Hopkins I suppose to cleanse his soul. I find that viewing the movie is on par with a colonoscopy prep. You've been warned.😥

AboveAverage said...

There is also Horror Hotel (AKA: City of the Dead)

Not on par with Russell's film, but still a bit of fun...

https://youtu.be/hB3GcSSovTk

AboveAverage said...

Kevin - you should thank Samuel Z Arkoff and James H. Nicholson of American International Pictures fame for the Conqueror Worm/The Witchfinder General. Those two guys should put out a bunch of pop corn darlings during their time.

Mel said...

Nestor. For it seems my first time in radio-listening life, I had a picture of where the pitches were going. High. That bespeaks a tired arm. (Plus that they’ve got more book on him.) Tired arms are coming for the guys without a lot of innings. Time for some spot starters, no?

Kevin said...

Above Average, is the one with Christopher Lee?

Mel said...

In London if you were to be hung (135 capital crimes) you could hire street kids to jump up and pull on your legs to make sure you died quickly.

Kevin said...

Wonder how they negotiated the fee?

Kevin said...

AA, yeah AIP put out some doozies, although "WFG" was in another league with directing, production, etc..... The Italians also came up with some nasty horror movies.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

More bookclub comments.

Gory -- Heart of Darkness.
Funny -- Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Catch 22 is both a great book and movie. Major Major!

Doug K. said...

Elmore - Justified and Get Shorty both great!

Actually I think the funniest book I ever read was "Bored of The Rings" when I was in high school. Done by the Harvard Lampoon (Doug Kenny etc.) I still have it somewhere. Totally cracked me up.

I still refer to some of the jokes.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Hmmmm...The Naked and the Dead. I didn't read it but it reminds me of my last drunken one-night stand.

Doug K. said...

Carl,

Which one were you?

AboveAverage said...

What do you think Paredes' been reading?

AboveAverage said...

Brujan stole his copy

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Carl +1
Doug K +2

Yankees so far -3

Carl J. Weitz said...

I was the one who was still alive.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Yankees are back to their poor hitting habits. Even the games they won recently, they only had a few hits .

13bit said...

Let me tell you, it's not Boston I'm scared of anymore.

Here's what I think the JUJU gods may be setting us up for.

Worst case scenario - We make the series. It's a Subway Series. The Mets crush us, courtesy of Buck, and our souls are crushed for eternity.

Next to worse case - We make the post season. I know that's pretty certain at this point. We lose at some point, but Cashman cements himself to us for the rest of our natural and unnatural lives. Our souls are crushed for eternity, except more slowly.

Best case scenario - We tank in the most spectacular way - not likely because we're not capable of doing anything that well. Hal - in between his sexual gymnastics with his golf caddy - has a moment of clarity, fires Cash, fires Boone, then lets a baseball guy take charge.

Three outcomes, but we know the last one is a statistical impossibility.

Publius said...

Bases loaded, 1 out. No runs, Judge a terrible swing at a bad pitch for strike 3. Was the last 6 weeks a mirage? Did it really happen?

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Mr. Bit,

I sincerely hope that your's are not the three true outcomes.

...but I expect them.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Your man comes through again.

And glass man actually doing baserunning is surprising.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Here's hoping twitch's true outcome is the walk...

JM said...

Castro warming up? Wtf is wrong with these guys?

Doug K. said...

How great was getting Travino?

ranger_lp said...

Trevino!!!

BernBabyBern said...

Trevino again!

BernBabyBern said...

Trevino has had more big hits in the last 3 weeks than ARod had in all of 2008.

BernBabyBern said...

(Yes, I know, that's a low bar. Still ...)

ranger_lp said...

Gary Who?

Rufus T. Firefly said...

+1000

"Trevino has had more big hits in the last 3 weeks than ARod had in all of 2008"

TheWinWarblist said...

DIE TAMPA!! DIE!! DIE!! DIE!!

TheWinWarblist said...

TheWinWarblist said...

DIE TAMPA!! DIE!! DIE!! DIE!!

June 22, 2022 at 10:18 PM



AND I FUCKING WELL MEANT IT !!!!!

ranger_lp said...

Yankees Win!!!

TheWinWarblist said...

THUHUHUH-UHUHUH-UHUHUH YANKEES WIN !!!!

borntorun999 said...

:) Old school

AboveAverage said...

we won the game