The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch is a total friggin’ dud. Just like it was in the last series against that ferocious bunny the Boston Red Sox, at Yankee Stadium, and now I’m starting to wonder that even if I built a Trojan Grady Little and had Zim push it up the gates of Fenway, and have Pedro pop out of it, that my efforts would go to sheer waste in scaring the crap out of the Boston Red Sox. Perhaps when CC orders his 27 pizzas for lunch today, he can send a few over to the Sox clubhouse after lacing them with ruffies, you know, as a good will gesture. So far this series has unacceptable to me as a die-hard Yankees fan. You can’t win games with AJ pitching his B game and Wang’s performance; limp like a homeless woman’s hairdo on a humid day.
I’m wondering if this is all a bad dream. Maybe I should go back to sleep and dream about calling Tonya Harding on the phone again, inquiring about her “Nancy Kerrigan style kneecap services”. This time, I don’t want her to take out the Red Sox. I want her to take out Wang so the Yankees have a legitimate reason to put him back on the DL, so he can get some rehab starts in Scranton. I know I’ve been having a lot of Wang angst lately. Totally frustrated; so frustrated that I don’t even want to look at stats. They are moot. I wonder if Wang can be put on the DL for Sax-Knobloch Syndrome. Even when you see amazing middle relief from Hughes and Aceves, it cannot reverse damage done by atrocious starting pitching. But I’m hoping that ONE good outing, from who Yankee fans can now consider their ace, CC Sabathia, will make a huge difference in overall team performance to end this series with a win. The Yankee bats have been very confident over the past month, but in order to uphold that confidence, stellar starting pitching needs to keep the fire going.
I could go on and on about how disgusted I was watching the first two games of this series. I could yell at the tops of my lungs about it. No one’s listening and it would be a huge waste of my energy. I need to save it for doing the laundry and cleaning the house today. Even though this series is against out AL East rival, we as fans, still need to keep in focus the fact that this is a 162 game season. Tonight is game 60. David Cone said it best, “this is a marathon, not a sprint”. I know keeping this focus is hard to do when we live in an instant gratification world. I had to stop my ranting, take a deep breath, and look at the big picture. This is an amazing team. So far, this has been an exciting season. Seasons have ups and down, or speed bumps as some may call them. I refuse to think that the Red Sox are a complete roadblock.
The last game of this 3 game series at Fenway is at 7:10 tonight. Yankees ace, CC Sabathia takes the mound against Brad Penny. Put on your off road tires, people. We’re going to be driving over the bump.
After a Yankees off-day yesterday, I found myself dying to write something, but nothing was jumping out to bite me and make me type. I was running out of Wang analogies and running out of energy, standing on my soapbox fighting for Joba’s place in the rotation. I pondered the idea of roster moves now that Posada’s back. Just wasn’t doing it for me. I even thought writing about the time I stiffed armed the Oriole Bird in the beak because he stole my Yankee hat one night. Don’t even TELL me how mean I was to do that. The Bird had it coming to him. He’s nothing but trouble, that guy. He doesn’t mess with me anymore either. After pondering other various moments that almost got me arrested, or at least “removed” from numerous ballgames and ballparks, I began to think back to my first Yankee game, September 23rd, 1983, against the Red Sox.
I remember it being a warm night and I was so excited. I was 11 years old (totally giving up my age here. Oh well.) Those that know me may be surprised that I was that old when I went to my first game. Being the oldest and only daughter of three children, I suppose my parents really didn’t think about taking me to a game, being a chick and all. Silly parents.
I remember my uncle, who is now a FDNY lieutenant (shout out to the Harlem Hilton!), was there with us. This man was PUMPED up. So was everyone else around. I never saw so much excitement in my life. It was electric. Yankee fans screaming “F-YOU CHOWDAHEADS!” and Red Sox fan screaming back, well, nothing really that damaging to remember. The line up for the Yanks that game was as such:
1. Willie Randolph 2B
2. Ken Griffey 1B
3. Dave Winfield LF
4. Don Baylor DH
5. Graig Nettles 3B
6. Don Mattingly RF
7. Bob Meacham SS
8. Rick Cerone C
9. Omar Moreno CF
Wow, right? I knew who they were. Topps was a staple for me back then. The Red Sox line up was:
1. Jerry Remy 2B
2. Wade Boggs 3B
3. Jim Rice LF
4. Carl Yastrzemski DH
5. Reid Nichols CF
6. Dave Stapleton 1B
7. Ed Jurak SS
8. Rick Miller RF
9. Jeff Newman C
Yankees won 4-3 with Guidry pitching a complete game for his 21st win of the season. The man was on fire. Being a kid, I really didn’t pay much attention to anything else. Looking back on it now, something really bothers me. I remember the stands being fairly empty. Attendance was only 22,604. Not normal for a team that was 20 games over .500. And not normal for a game, in which a player, would be playing his last game there. Not any player; Hall of Fame player, Carl Yastrzemski.
Perhaps, now that I’m older and wiser, with a love for the game, is the reason that this is bothering me so. This man put 23 seasons in with the Red Sox Nation. The only team he ever played for. And half of the seats were empty. Where was the appreciation? Where were his fans? Granted, I know the game was at Yankee Stadium but come on?! You measly pissahs couldn’t drive 2 ½ – 3 hours to the Bronx to watch this man’s career come to an end? Listen, I don’t necessarily condone the visiting team’s fans to buy out tickets out from underneath the home town fans BUT this blows my mind away. Every single one of you clam shucking idiots, who called themselves Red Sox fans then, should be ashamed.
I look at Cal Ripken’s career as an Oriole. Another one-team lifer. Another Hall of Famer. Every ballpark during his last season was PACKED. It didn’t matter what team you were rooting for. Did Ripken have a better career? Sure he did BUT Yaz was the man in Beantown. Even back in the 70’s and 80’s it was rare to see a player spend his entire career with one team. Where was Yaz’s respect? I remember Bob Sheppard’s voice announcing Yaz’s first at bat. And the crowd rose with ovation. Every fan that was in attendance was cheering. And that’s how it should have been, but with a stadium at full capacity. You’re probably wondering why I’m not getting on the case of Yankee fans from that era. I have no reason to. For one reason or another, even with the tremendous line up that the Yankees had, they chose not to be there. And as for Red Sox fans that could have been there? The empty seats that night should have been filled with your chowdahead *****. Shame. I guess you guys have always sucked.
I thought for sure last night, that the Yankees held the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. They were going to blast that rabbit to shreds. That *harmless* little bunny.
Well, that’s no ordinary rabbit. RUN AWAY!!! RUN AWAY!!!!!
I’ve been trying to figure out what the problem was. Lost sleep over it as a matter of fact. You really can’t blame Joba, even after a poor start, which led to a 3 run shot by Jason Bay, and an RBI single from Big Fatty (as my 6 year old son affectionately calls him). Joba got his act back together in the 2nd inning. The next 4 2/3 innings, he was almost flawless, totaling 12 strikeouts for his outing; a career high for him. When Joe came to the mound in the 6th inning, my heart broke. I felt like I was at the prom and some chick walked over, and took my date. I got to tell you, I think these Joba rules stink. But I do understand them. And I couldn’t help but to think what would have happened if Joba stayed in. Can “pitchous interruptous” be coined as a new term? It’s now in my dictionary, even though it would have never been used as a term in my Labor Law classes at Cornell.
The Yankee bats just weren’t supportive. And when they tried, they were snuffed. What would have happened if Cabrera didn’t try to stretch his double into a triple in the 4th inning? Would the mood of the game have changed? If only that Cabrera shot didn’t bounce into the left field stands in the bottom of the 6th inning, giving Swisher the opportunity to round for home? Game could have been tied, 4-4 at that point. And during both of those innings, what would have happened if Molina made contact? My head is spinning. I know. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.
The bullpen. I don’t even know where to begin. It appears that Coke has the most dependable arm out there right now. Again, I can’t help to think what would have happened if the bullpen was on last night, but even if they were; it still goes back to the bats ultimately.
My Yankee optimism still lurks. But yet haunts me. Since 1985, the Yankees have never lost their first five games against the Red Sox. Yogi Berra also lost his job. I’ve been reading a lot of the message boards and some fans are thinking that Joe should meet the same fate as Yogi did. I think that’s absurd. While we can all be critical, don’t point out Joe just yet. Luckily it is just May, and the season is very long. I believe the Yanks have fallen to circumstance and a pinch of bad luck. And the Red Sox? Well, that rabbit’s got a vicious streak a mile wide. And so far, it’s been a killer. But who’s to say that they won’t fall to circumstance and a dab of mal temps? Yup, the season is that long. And that’s why I have faith. We’ll see you again, rabbit. And next time we won’t skip 3 on the count with the hand grenade, Monty Python style.
Focus shifts to the Rays tonight, who are 2 games behind the Yankees. Game starts at 7:05 in the Bronx.