Sunday, June 12, 2022

Thanks, Rangers. Thanks for nothin'.


So, to "console" us all last night, after yet another New York Rangers season ran out of gas 6 games short of the Cup, a local news channel ran a little segment about how, 'Hey, this rebuilding Rangers team really went MUCH further than ANYONE had predicted, and EVERYONE should be bright and chipper and full of hope for the seasons just ahead, when SURELY a new Rangers dynasty will emerge.'

Blow it out thine ear.

To quote Sir Elton John, you know I seen that movie, too.

More relevant to last night's latest ball-crusher is the fact that the team that beat your New York Rangers— the Tampa Bay Lightning, as generic a hot-weather-state expansion team as has ever existed—will now go on to play for its third straight Stanley Cup.  

The Lightning also won the Cup in 2004 (10 years after the Rangers last did).  If they win the finals, that will give TB 4 in their existence, which dates back to all of 1992.

The Rangers, need I remind anyone here, have captured exactly 1 Cup since 1940. 

For that matter, they have only been in 1 other final since lightning struck in 1994, and only 4 others since the aforementioned 1940. 

In other words, we're talking a final every 16-17 years, a Cup every 82.

By contrast, their hometown rivals, the Islanders—long a traveling caravanserai of a team owned by an array of international bounders, and always on the lookout for another Long Island parking lot in which to pitch their tent—has won 4 Cups in that time, even though the last one was in 1983.

Their cross-river rivals, a team that has existed since 1974, only made it to New Jersey after stops in Kansas City and Denver, and is named after a mythical swamp creature...has been in 5 finals and won 3 Cups.  All after the Rangers' miracle on ice in 1994.

The beginning of a new Rangers dynasty?  When was the last Rangers dynasty?

What happened to the Broadway Blueshirts may or may not presage the fate of our Yankees this season. But it already justifies our world view as Yankees fans.  

Don't tell us about the dynasty that will be, or might be, or celebrate surprising runs that fall two games short of even getting to the final.  Come talk to us when you win. 


The Hammer of God said...

Hoss, as an Islander fan, I was hoping and praying that the Rangers would beat Tampa Bay. When they took a two games to none lead, I was starting to celebrate too. I thought the Rangers might be the saviors who knocked off the Tampons. Bad move.

I hate the Lightning. Abhor, loathe, detest all of those Tampon teams, but especially the Lightning. They are a very dirty team, incredibly unsportsmanlike. For instance, I can recall one incident where, in a playoff game in recent years, an Islander scored an empty netter to put the game away and then, a Tampon player puts a two handed slash across the Islander player's legs from behind, as the Islander player was starting to celebrate. Who does that? Well, the Tampons, of course.

And the Tampons, with all their world-class players like Kucherovsky and Braden Point, get all kinds of help from the officiating. As if they needed any help. Must be the under-the- table money from the gambling establishment. In the afore-mentioned play, for instance, I don't think the Tampon player got penalized. Instead, the Islander player got a penalty for retaliating.

Some stupid Islander fans were hoping that the Lightning would beat the Rangers, so that the Lightning would lose in the finals. Stupid, real stupid. Because I believe the Rangers were the last hope for preventing a third straight Tampon championship. It looks to me that this Tampon team might win five or even six straight championships. I'd rather see the Rangers win ten straight championships than to see another Tampon Stanley Cup.

The Islanders/Rangers rivalry has not been that intense since the days of Tie Domi, Mick Vukota, Ken Baumgartner and co. Oh, the games have been excellent, but there's little to no fighting anymore between these teams. And with the powder puff officiating, all it takes to get two minutes in the box is to breathe hard on an opposing player, so everyone plays a disciplined game. I don't hate the Rangers like I used to. Domi ... now there's a guy an Islander fan could hate.

But to get back to the current state of affairs, who believes that the Avalanche would have a snowball's chance in hell of beating the Lightning? Not me. With the Lightning's talent aided and abetted by lop-sided officiating, I'd be surprised if it's not a clean sweep. It's going to be a very frustrating, irritating off season for New York hockey fans.

Mel said...

A major assassin of Baseball's future are the jock announcers and their fanboys in the booth. (Viisual crews abet it.) Just be, for the moment, a 12-year old watching the games.

Now, I've only seen Prime and Fox games the last years. Maybe not as big an issue as I think sport-wide. But as to what is actually happening on the field... who in the booth cares? They are obviously blasé and bored by it all.

On Fox last night my kid's eyes saw:
A full half inning interview with Cortes. ;(That type segment is in every game.) Did he ever use moustache wax and such? A near zero number of comments on ANY batter, the count... anything at all on the field. Why? Plainly baseball itself is boring. The field doesn't matter.

- [ ] There's all these home runs tonight. Every single time, the replays don't show the ball's travels. A few clips of the batter's orgasm face around the bases; high fives in the dugout. This here kid ain't imagining me putting that ball in majestic flight. Something to dream about and aspire to. Even in later recaps they show at most one ball flight to a couple of happy man swinging and running scenes. Why? Plainly baseball itself is boring. The field doesn't matter.

- [ ] On Prime on Friday, once again I'm watching someone trying to run out a ball in play, while the announcer continues their annecdote without a moment of self-interruption to describe the play. (Kaat and Singleton always went to the action.) This is standard now. Because, as any kid can tell you, baseball on the field is boring.

- [ ] Who's batting against what pitcher with what history between them? The count. Strategies now. The baserunners on what bases; the fielder's positioning. Bullpen status. Who cares? There's not only no crying in baseball, there's no drama in the situation involving any player on the field now.

- [ ] Sure, some of this is on the screen, but these are the days of making dinner and checking the phone. Our eyes aren't always in the screen .
- [ ] Someone, please pay Smoltz and Kaye $100 million to go live in Tibet. I have witnessed and heard: Kaye spend an entire inning of 8 or 9 batters in a two run difference game as he and Paul talked about .... Lawrence Welk.

- [ ] Pictures of the album covers. The singing sisters (Andrews?). No batter's name, no pitch count, no batted ball account. Once or twice "The 2-1 pitch" and that's it for game drama. I'm freaking 12 and baseball...ain't crap happening in a baseball game. Along the same lines, half-inning rhapsodies on a bench-coaches history, camera on the dugout all along. And some half or full inning "don't mention the actual game" strategy. Kids are enthralled, surely.

- [ ] Kaye would rather talk about anything whatsoever as long as it is not currently on the field, except when he can do his excited schtick. What kid on earth gives a flying fig about Paulie's menu for the day? When with not-Kaye Paul does better, even can pretty relevant, but ... what Gaylord Perry did decades ago? Zzzzzz

- [ ] I live to hear Smoltz repeat again which mounds he liked and didn't back in The Long Ago. As does every child.

- [ ] Well, fellow kids you get the drift of my theses without tons more examples. Broadcast TV is helping to kill baseball's future. Anything, anything at all which doesn't involve what's now on the field is what they feature. The game just doesn't matter to them.

Carl J. Weitz said...

Hoss, couldn't disagree with you more.

I think the Rangers had as good or a better team than Tampa Bay. But they didn't win. Why? Because they played 20 games in 40 days. Hockey isn't baseball. It's obviously a much tougher physical grind. The bottom line is that the Rangers played 2 tough 7-game series while the Lightening's last series against the Panthers took only 4 games AND they had 8 days to rest. NY simply ran on fumes the last 3 games and they were all very close.

I think they had a great season and although it takes a lot of hard work to win 2 Stanley Cups, it also takes a few lucky bounces of the puck. The Rangers are the youngest team in the NHL with a very solid core. They might not be a dynasty like the Islanders or even the Lightening but in the salary capped NHL of today dynasties are like dinosaurs.

Oh, and @ Hammer: It's the other way around. Who believes the Lightening will win against Colorado? Certainly not Vegas as the Avalanche are -190! Although anything can happen, I agree with the odds-makers very strongly.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Didn't the Rangers series turn, too, on some Lightning sticking the Rangers' goalie from behind?

Mel, I hear ya. The powers who run MLB have not had any confidence in their game for a long, long time—and they are not willing to make any of the changes that might bring it back. Afraid it will cost them money, or something.

So we get all this nonsense. Attempts to make it about anything but the game itself. And even as TV ratings and attendance continue to shrink, there is absolutely no effort to contain the ever-rising costs for the average fan.

BTR999 said...

Pretty much agree with the comments by Mel and HC, though I am less bothered by the patter in the booth (which has been going on for decades; recall the Rizzuto/Healy antics?) than I am by the overall decline in the way the game is played and packaged by MLB.

I like to joke around as much as the next guy (if the next guy is a cigar store Indian) but I take my baseball SERIOUSLY.

What’s bothering me now is today’s line up, which looks like it was pulled out of a hat by an armless chimp. DJL batting cleanup? The 6-9 spots are a complete washout. Taillon better be at his best today.

TheWinWarblist said...

To completely change the subject, it's now 8-1 Yanks, and only the bottom of the second. People are still getting to their seats. Watching on the TVs at concessions as they get their first beers. Some are already heading back to their cars to get home early. Season has been good to us so far. All praise to our JuJu Overlords.

Benedícat vos omnípotens Ruthus, et Scooter, et Mantleus, et Spíritus Jeterus.

So endeth the JuJu.

TheWinWarblist said...

Getting Higgy with It, My Babies.

Joe of AZ said...

Poor Cubbies lookin like they need to be Euthanized

Joe of AZ said...

Damn we missed you ending your dissertations with that epic line "So endeth the JuJu"

JM said...

Castro is a mediocre pitcher.

ranger_lp said...

How about Carpenter!

AboveAverage said...

Carpenter is building a case for comeback player of the year

TheWinWarblist said...

[tips hat to Joe of AZ]

TheWinWarblist said...

Getting Higgy with It all over again, My Babies.

JM said...

It's Spring Training Higgy.

JM said...

I think the bullpen can hold them off.

Joe of AZ said...

Damn this was exciting summer baseball

ranger_lp said...

Yankees Win!!!

Joe of AZ said...

Clint at home like
"Damn, All I had to do was STFU"

TheWinWarblist said...

Joe of AZ, Red Thunder is home talking his cat to death. Poor thing is probably hiding under the bed.

TheWinWarblist said...

The uh uh uh uh Yankees win!

HoraceClarke66 said...

First save for Manny Banuelos.

Can we play the Cubs everyday?

JM said...

That was a very big Yankees win.

Joe of AZ said...

Pacing back and forth lol

BTR999 said...

Looks like that crappy lineup did pretty good, huh?
Does Matt Carpenter have the perfect YS swing or what?
But the Cubs looked terrible, didn’t they? And by terrible, I mean awful.
I almost feel bad beating the crap out of these lousy teams.


HoraceClarke66 said...

Yet another thing wrong with our favorite sport, 999, is how few of them even seem to be trying very hard. Tanking is now out of control. Good for us, but...

Kevin said...

I have MLB.COM, midway through the first inning I switched to the Cubs' feed, listening to Beltran is torture. And damn if the Cubs' broadcasters were good!

Publius said...

Like old times for Carpenter the Cardinal, bashing the Cubs.

Publius said...

No tanking in college baseball. Notre Dame did America a big favor and took down Tennessee, this baseball season's edition of "obnoxious in a uniquely SEC way SEC athletic team".

Carl J. Weitz said...

I watched the Cubs feed as well. Oddly, I saw that Cameron Maybin does their telecasts (Marquee Sports) as well. But more often. Too bad he wasn't there full time so he couldn't do the YES broadcasts.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Neither ex-Yankee, Tyler Wade or Andrew Velasquez, exactly distinguishing themselves against the Mets tonight.

Also...Carpenter now at 6 HRs, 13 RBI for the season—in 10 games. Donaldson at 5 and 18, in 45 games. Joey G. at 8 and 15, in 49 games.


Mel said...

But Phil was actually entertaining. And Bill White (was it) and the other guys kept the game narrative in front. But, yeah, the whole atmosphere around the game has degenerated.