Saturday, October 08, 2005

Ptttttttthhhhhhbbbbb......


It is absolutely pouring out, and it has been absolutely pouring out since about 11:00 last night (before that it had been raining but not like this). In watching the Weather Channel the same huge green and yellow blotch is sitting over New York, so there isn’t any baseball on tonight.

It may be all this rain, but I’m feeling a little bummed.

Is it because the Boston Red Sox were so completely shut down by the White Sox? My God, that was just an out-and-out thumping. I was all ready to gloat – oh, I was so ready to gloat – but it was so…sad. Pathetic might be the better word. As a Yankee fan, how many times have I seen the Sox going goofy in their dugout and wanted to throw something? You’d think I’d enjoy the moment. But seeing Manny Ramirez looking subdued, and Kevin Millar depressed, and …. is Varitek CRYING?! I couldn’t help but thinking if it can happen to them, it can happen to the Yankees too. Signs in Chicago like “It’s our turn!” and “Winning is our business and business is good” seem to be foretelling even greater things than the ALDS for the White Sox.

A little boy in Fenway sporting a Red Sox hat and jersey sobbed into his father’s stomach while his father rubbed his back, while his father’s face said it all. He’d forgotten to tell the little guy about those other, non-Idiot Red Sox teams, all those teams that didn’t make it to the World Series. It will be interesting how the Red Sox Nation will readjust to the traditional, comfortable role of Non World Series Champions. I’m curious to see how they find a way to blame the Yankees for it all.

Oh, yeah. The Yankees. Watching the Red Sox go fetal in their dugout reminded me that a similar fate may be in store for the Pinstriped Wonders if they don’t start playing better immediately. No errors, no bad decisions, no wasted at-bats, no runners left in scoring position – would that be too much to ask of a $208 million team? Game One in LA was great. Mussina pitched well, the boys played well in the field, and they were hitting (or getting hit, but who cares, a base is a base.)

But then it was like a mini review of everything that has gone wrong this season, minus injuries. In Game Two, Wang pitched well, but there were ridiculous errors – really, reeeeeally big oh-my-God-what-the-hell-was-THAT caliber errors, and they lost. What the hell happens to Alex Rodriguez when the postseason starts? He seems to be astonishing himself with his own mistakes and wasted opportunities – he looks at his hands like they belong to someone else and that they’re not working the way he expects them to. Even Jeter’s been quiet so far with the rally-making, and this is his time of year.

Game Three? Scathing, blistering criticism for Randy Johnson. So great that he pitched so well against the Seattle Mariners and such. Admittedly the Red Sox games were important and excellent. But last night was inexcusable. It totally disgusts me that Aaron Small got credited for the loss on the mess of a game he inherited.

One of the ESPN announcers commented, as Randy Johnson got booed off the mound, “Is there any Yankee fan in the stands tonight who could have seen this coming?” Uh….YES?! The real question is, by show of hands, how many Yankee fans would have felt more confident had Aaron Small been given the ball to start?

I was a little surprised that they played such an important game in the rain. I found myself wincing every time anyone would go hard after the ball, imagining the torn tendons and ligaments looming in the immediate future. I’m not saying that the ultimate outcome would have been any different, but I’m guessing it would have been a better ball game on a dry field.

So I’m glad that they opted to postpone tonight’s game until tomorrow – the Yankees have two very hard wins to come by before they can even think about facing the all-cylinders-firing White Sox, and they’ll never get the chance playing the lousy ball they’ve been playing for the last two games.