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As soon as the words, "Yeah, I don't think I'll be here late" leave my mouth, my fate has been sealed. Still at the office, watching the Denver-Lakers game on ESPN GameCast, pounding sour gummy worms, and retracing the steps the Yankees have taken. But very delicately and cautiously. It's funny how when the Yankees couldn't hit water if they had jumped off a boat, that I was airily skipping around, clapping about how this would just be a funny thing to laugh about when we win the 2009 World Series.

Now that they look like a team as I understand the definition of it, I'm in a much more high strung state. A writer (W&L alum) once described how he felt talking to girls he met at bars, and it pretty much mirrors the same unease yet determined aggression I'm feeling towards the Yanks right now:

“Talking to a strange woman in a bar is like trying to sustain a Ping-Pong ball in midair by leaning your head back and blowing; if you stop to breathe, the ball falls.”

If I stop to pay attention to anything other than what the Yanks are doing--like engage in the tempting yet beneath-us habit of ratting on the Sox, or start taking games for granted, or fall prey to the overtly maddening contention that some games count less than others during the regular season. Like my high school Finite Math teacher who would snicker at how frazzled and nervous I'd get before every test. "It's 40 minutes of your life. It's not going to mean anything in the long run, it's not that big a deal."

And TECHNICALLY, yes, that makes sense. But only if the 40 minute periods would have no measurable impact on an endpoint that WOULD make a difference. You can say 40 minutes will have no discernible impact on your life if those 40 minutes are spent in a movie theater. Or on a bad date. Or passed out on the beach.

It starts off as just a 40 minute exercise in failure and vain but then before you know it, you're failing math. And same goes for baseball. It starts OUT as a little meaningless May game. But before you know it, you're either a contender...or you're not.

Actually, more remarkable than the fact I recalled such a detail from the mnemonic archive of Repressed High School Memories §1.5,II: Math and Science Courses, is the fact that everything the Yanks did last night was in direct contradiction to their normal modus operandi.

Norm: Win fantastically significant momentum-bolstering series and/or game.. follow it up the next day to an unbelievably anticlimactic, baffling, fizzled loss to a terrible club.

5/19/09: Followed up 4-game sweep of the Twins, 3 walkoff win series, with a continued strong showing against a terrible club. This was an easy series to win money betting online.

* ****************************************
Norm: Fall swiftly and early into a medium sized run deficit. Bats slumber until a slugger launches a solo shot in the 6th inning. Crowd gets slightly renewed hope that the lead’s been cut. Opponent follows it up by tacking up some “insurance runs” in the 2nd half of the inning, promptly 2 out of every 3 announcers to unequivocally underscore how “those insurance runs are looming large now.”

5/19/09: Yanks scored 6 in the first. When was the last time this happened? Shouldn’t this have been the first stat tossed out, courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau? I know it doesn’t have the same cache as, say, the number of times a left hander has gotten on base against AL East teams on Tuesday nights when at least one NBAer records a double-double. But semantics. 6 runs in the 1st!

Norm: ARod hits, but only well completely juiced and while vandalizing the team’s chemistry, thereby assuring he will never be a true Yankee.

5/19/09: 3rd homerun in as many games. And interestingly enough, it came when the Yanks were down. One more ARod-hating-hypothesis we can deposit on the cutting room floor.

Norm: “Trendy stars” strike out about 4,083 times in a desperate attempt to fortify the Yankees Buy Their Team and Waste Their Money Because It’s Never a Wise Investment to Acquire an Established Talent. (campaign).

5/19/09: Teixeira and ARod both go yard again. CC let up 1 run, 3 hits, fanned 7.


Norm: Random rookie recruits act like they're auditioning for a job as the NL's official mascot: E.Z. Out.

5/19/09: Cervelli, Cano, and Melky are get hits and runs. Cervelli better watch out, as he is dangerously close to being chased around the middle school parking lot with doily valentines from YES...


So what's there to criticize about our boys now? Everyone's running a hard 90. Everyone's having fun. There's nothing sadder than watching someone settle for being a paled version of himself. And right now, watching the Yanks play is like playing video games on my the Trinitron, the 1970 13inch television set in the basement of the house I grew up in. And to maximize the eventual litany of eyesight ailments that would befall me, I went to town with the color/saturation/hue dials.

And the result would be this fantastically blindingly awesome kaleidoscope of hue-warped Mario brothers.

Watching the Yankees play the way they've been playing..? It's a little bit like that.


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