Hey hey. I've been lax on the posting the last few days, in part due to the lack of baseball and partly due to the fact I'm still bringing my health/well-being back to a respectable level, but that's no excuse.
Anyways, just wanted to thank everyone for reading over the season. Seriously. It was really cool and, I mean, I would have written even if no one was reading, but the fact that there were people who actually DID made it even more enjoyable.
(Especially you guys who always made a point to comment and egg on my craziness!! Jim ny/Strange and his many monikers/Iowa Jeff/Mike Glass/Recalled Toys/John M./UNC guy/d_c guy/Deron/Ramondo/Jennifer V./George H./Joey R./Eric W./Jeffrey W.K./Pooser/Brian S./Jerry M./Frankie the Sports Guy... thank you!!! :)
Anyways, so I'm headed out to Chicago (which is kind of funny since I got stuck out there the weekend of April 3, when I had tickets to the Cubbie exhibition game in the Bronx, and had to give the tix away and miss my first game in GNH...so it's like I'm really getting closure to the season now by heading out there.)
But I'll still be posting here, just not as periodically. Unfortunately (or fortunately, it's tough to say), I don't calm down a WHOLE lot in the offseason season, so there always seems to be something to rant about. (Sigh. Big Blue.)
And of course, there's all the off-season hot stove stuff. Actually, I'm thinking about it, what am I talking about. As if I'm ever at a loss for baseball stuff to talk about. You know what I mean. But the point is, I'll still be writing, probably around 3 times a week, more or less depending on the week.
It's like Connie Mack said, "No matter what I talk about, it always comes back to baseball."
Cheers to the off-season (sort of. I feel like I'm experiencing that thing pregnant women get after they have kids. Post-baby-depression or something. I miss baseball, but I imagine it leaving me like Patrick Swayze left Demi Moore at the end of Ghost. "It's amazing, Molly! The love inside...you take it with you.")
Well, it's good to know the off-season hasn't tempered my completely unnecessary dramatics.
There's this episode of "Friends" when Phoebe takes a job as some kind of telemarketer, and they give her a handbook that provides a scripted answer for anything a call-ee might throw your way. There should really be stuff like this for every aspect of life. I have to write them as part of my day job for pharmaceutical sales reps. And in college, I wrote more than a couple for friends who were "cold-calling" a guy they met out.
(Which, as a side note, typically worked brilliantly until the time when my friend never even made it to the meat of phone-call-flow-chart, because when she called and asked for "Matt" the guy who picked up the phone asked, "Which Matt?" Best laid plans, etc...)
Regardless, there absolutely needs to be an objection handler created for Yankee fans who are forced to field ridiculous haterade attacks from loser fans. Or at the very least, an objection handler that should serve as the final dismissal of all possible complaints and contentions.
Here's my initial draft for said manuscript:
I. "Spoiled Fans"
Objection: "Ugh, I'm so sick of you fans acting like you waited soooo long for this. It's been NINE YEARS. There are teams who have been waiting for much longer, stop acting like it's a big deal when you guys JUST WON IT in 2000."
Response: My sister had the best analogy for this..."If you have strep throat or mono or the flu or something, are you not allowed to complain about it because somewhere in the world there's someone who's suffering more than you?"
I mean, if you stub your toe, you're definitely subject to hearing the "give me a break, there's people out there who have no toes." But is it our fault that other teams don't win as much? Are we not allowed to celebrate and be excited about it just because your team isn't as talented? I'm gonna pull a page from Boogie Nights with this one. That is a definite case of YP, not MP.
II. "Overestimation of fan contribution"
Objection: "Whatever, Yankee fans celebrate like they had something to do with this, when they had NOTHING to do with it. THEY didn't win anything, the f'n Yankees did. Stop acting like you had some role in the championship."
Response: This is just ridiculous. Are there actually fans who are thinking, "Yeah, Tex is good and all, but let's be honest, the Yankees would NEVER be where they are were it not for the fact I splurged for season tickets." No. No one's thinking that. The majority of us are just happy that the team that we've invested our heart and soul into won. One commenter on one of my columns put it best when he wrote:
How many times did THE TEAM talk about the best fans in the world? I feel this championship right along with them. Fans all suffer the attacks from people like you season after season, but this year...they mean nothing. I don't know who your team is/was, but if you are anyone that had a team other than the Phillies and then rooted for the Phillies, that just makes you twice the loser this morning than you were 24 hours ago. Envy is an ugly emotion.
Excellently put. The fans definitely have a big role in the team. I can't take an iota of credit for any clutch hitting or otherwordly fielding or any other physical display of athletic immortality. But fans are what make "home field advantage."
Is it any coincidence that Pedro Martinez can go from pitching 5 shut-out innings against one of the best teams in the league...to getting shelled when he pitches in Yankee Stadium? Is it a coincidence that AJ Burnett is incapable of getting out of the 3rd inning when he's on the road...but can limit the best bats outside of NY to 4 hits and 1 run when he's in Yankee Stadium?
Is it a coincidence that teams with the least attendance this year finished in the bottom of their division? The argument can be made, of course, that fans have no interest in their team if they're not doing well, but if that is the case, perhaps the finger should be pointed to this fairweather epidemic. Despite the exorbitantly high ticket prices in Yankee Stadium, and despite the fact it has the 2nd highest seating capacity, it still manages to rank in the top 10 every year for attendance percentage.
The Yankees' rampant fandom pays itself off hand over fist. If we didn't have so many people clamoring to the stadium, shelling out ridiculous amounts of money for tickets and basically anything that has a Yankee logo on it, the Yanks wouldn't be able to afford the players that they have. So excuse us for taking some joy in seeing where our emotional AND financial investment has succeeded.
Maybe we didn't have any direct role in their championship. But find me a team who says that they'd play a lot better if they didn't have so many screaming fans tripping over themselves to support them.
On the flip side, let's take a look at fans like "Fenway Faithfuls" who are so wrapped up in themselves, that they actually believe that being "faithful" is something worth commending. After the Sox won in 2004, almost everything that was written about the World Series was tethered to some degree to a sentiment of "always believing" etc.
That was how fans identified this. As a reward to their faith. But when the Yankees win? Faith has absolutely NOTHING to do with it, I guess, because our fans are useless nonentities.
III. "Bandwagon fans!"
Objection: "Yankee fans suck because they're all bandwagon fans."
Response: Let the record show I don't have much of a problem with bandwagon fans, because I'd rather people root for the Yanks than against them. I'm not gonna quibble with when they started rooting for them. Bring on the comrades! The more the merrier!
Here's the thing: there's an unlimited pool of fandom to go around. Someone liking the Yanks doesn't take away from your own fandom, so who cares if they want to root for your team as of 2 minutes ago? Just be happy they're not rooting against them.
It's not a competition to see who can be the most hardcore fan, despite what some of the right field Bleacher Creatures might lead you to believe.
I can see why opposing fans take issue with bandwagon fans, because they have to deal with the trash talking and arrogance of someone who just found out who Mickey Mantle is. But I think New York is a little bit of an exception to the rule.
1.) If the rule is that you can't start liking a team when they're good, lest you be classified as a bandwagon fan, it's nearly impossible to find an appropriate year to get into the Yankees. You either start liking them in the 80's or you're screwed. Because God forbid someone announces their allegiance to the Yanks anytime after the mid-90s.
2.) I can understand why being a diehard fan of, say, Tampa Bay is suspect. But New York City is one of the biggest cities in the country (not geographically, but you get the point). Even people who chant how much NY sucks, don't have much of a case when THEY MOVED TO MANHATTAN. If your hometown is so much better, then go back there!
The point is, what do you do if you were never one for baseball, then moved to a city and adopted that city's baseball allegiance? My friend Kyle became a Cubs fan when he moved out to Chicago, my buddy Ben became a Rockies fan when he moved there. But for some reason, you're not allowed to move to NY and support the Yanks. Because then you're BANDWAGON.
If you consider the statistics and probabilities around the series of events that needs to occur to NOT be a bandwagon fan, then you're looking at, like, a 14 day window of opportunity or something.
Objection: "Yankees suck, they cheated their way to a championship."
Response: How? Does anyone actually think Pettitte and A-Rod, after being caught red-handed doing steroids, and after being subjected to thick scores of legal proceedings, are actually still juicing? Give me a break. And don't even get me started on the Mo spitball thing. MLB INVESTIGATED IT, and cleared him of all "charges" (though he should have sued the accuser for libel, in my opinion). And Rob Neyer put it best, I think, when he wrote:
A spitball is a funny pitch. A real spitball behaves something like a knuckleball, diving and twisting when the batter least expects it. But nobody throws spitballs anymore. It's too easy to detect, what with half a dozen cameras staring at the pitcher throughout his preparation for each pitch. And it's not really necessary, not with the circle ... changeup and the splitter available to any pitcher who needs a little wrinkle. And Rivera famously doesn't need a wrinkle, as he throws one of the single most devastating pitches that's ever been thrown. This is a silly little "story" that's done little but waste the time of some busy people at Major League Baseball.
You know how pathetic and desperate Yankee haters have become when they've decided to actually attack the classiest and best there is. To this, I say to you anti-fans: Go to hell.
And as I wrote yesterday, the only way the Yankees could have cheated, is if you consider cheating to be paying your players to win the game.
V. "BUY THEIR TEAM!"
Objection: "Looks like the Yanks bought themselves another ring. Obviously they were going to win if they're going to buy up all the talent."
Response: Oooh boy. Where to start, really. I've written too much on this topic to even begin to rehash old points. From a piece I wrote on the MLB Communist Manifesto:
There's no salary cap. And until there is, the Yankees can max out their corporate card every day of the week and twice on Sunday. They have the money, they fill their seats every year, they sell hot dogs at $8 a pop, they cater to consumer idiots like myself who need their team logo on everything from a ski cap to a stapler. And it pays off.From a piece on Pinstripe Alley that explains even more eloquently:
Whether or not these blockbuster acquistions will indeed lead the Yanks to the playoffs is a moot point. What IS relevant is that if the Yankees wanted to spend their multimillions in revenues on foam cowboy hats, beer, and pinwheels, then go live the dream.
Unfortunately for them, their legal, rule-abiding, and sound investments have exposed them as the Anti-Christ. Less affluent teams are crying it's not fair, their fans spitting vitriol at the vile Evil Empire for--God forbid--subscribing to capitalist tenets of amassing personal wealth. They can hate on New York for a lot of things, but this ain't one of them, because the New York Yankees are under no obligation whatsoever to pander to poorer teams.
Major League Baseball is a business. It's not Little League. It's not pick-up ball in Central Park. It's a corporate empire that millions of people enthusiastically endorse because we love the game. And it's naive to bemoan the way our pasttime's been marred by greed, because it is impossible to put a cap on competitive spirit. It's the impetus driving the game itself, and it's the impetus fueling the economic market.
First and foremost, money obviously does not buy championships. If it did, every year the playoffs would consistently feature only the big-market, cash-rich teams -- which obviously is not the case. This year, the AL and NL Division Series featured teams with 2009 payroll rankings from 1 (NYY) to 23 (MIN). 3 of those teams were in the bottom half of that list, including the Rockies (18) and the Cards (17).
Go back to 2008's World Series and you have to obviously talk about the $49 million dollar Rays, who were next to last. The Phillies spent $113 million -- where was the talk about the obvious disparity there?
The purists, with eyes agog at the spending of teams such as the Yankees and Red Sox cry unto heaven for a salary cap. There are two reasons why the owners refuse to implement one: First, it hampers the ability of owners to run their business as they see fit. Second, the small market teams (and those teams with bad management) are loathe to give up the revenue sharing money they get from the higher payroll teams.
If you're the owner of the Marlins, say, why give up all that money? If you did, you might have to field a better team consistently to turn a profit. What did the Marlins do after they won the World Series? Pocketed all the cash and dismantled the team, selling off their higher-priced talent.
In fact, when you look at the history of the Marlins and how badly they have been managed since then, you are rightfully surprised when they are in contention for the postseason; the amount of talent that they let get away since then due to cost is staggering. Meanwhile, the Yankees paid about 10% of their salary figure in a luxury tax in 2009; how much of that went into the pockets of the ownership of the Marlins?
Finally, here's the one question that none of those who decry the Yankees payroll can seem to answer: Since George Steinbrenner purchased the Yankees, they have won the World Series 7 times.
Who bought the other 20?
Now for some more basic points of interest:
The Yankees are criticized for buying their talent, with A-Rod's salary seeming to be so old and worn-out and used, that I'm surprised it's not Old English.
Here's the rub, though, haters: For the past 5 years, you guys claimed A-Rod was the reason we'd never win a championship.
Now? He's giving us an unfair advantage? Well...which one is it?
Our World Series MVP was a Yankee original. Our pitcher who closed out all 3 series was a farm-system boy. Jeter. Posada. Mariano. Don't go near those guys, because you know they're our core 4. And you also know they contributed mightily to this season's success.
As for our store bought talent...how much laughing did the rest of the world do when we signed Swisher?
And, Boston, you could have had Tex if you spent as much time considering his value as you do considering your Twitter activity.
Cano, Melky, Gardner, Cervelli, Ramiro Pena...all farm. All single-handedly won games for the Yanks at some point during the season.
Our no-name bullpen? Joba, Hughes, Coke, Robertson. Became the best in the league thanks to Girardi's insane micromanaging.
So when you talk about "buying" our team, I'm assuming you mean CC and Burnett. Two guys whose combined game appearances make up less than half of the total number of games.
The Yankees won because they had chemistry this year. They looked and played like a championship team, so much so that anyone who followed them knew from early on that this team was going to be the one to go all the way.
"Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice: then, must you speak
Of one that [played] not wisely but too well."
Speak of them as champions.
And while you're at it, GET OVER IT, whiny bitches.
"But...what if the Yankees win the World Series?"
"Well, yes, that's the exception. But that happens less often than not."
It's a tough pill to swallow for any fan. But as a Yankee fan, who's well-versed in having anti-fans gunning for her when the Yanks fail, I've tried to hone the art of reacting to losing seasons. And here's the secret: you take your lumps.
When the Yanks make a premature exit from the postseason (or, in the case of last year, no entry into the postseason) and I have to deal with the inevitable, "BWAHHAHA SO WHO ARE THE YANKS PLAYING TODAY?" I respond with:
"No one, they got knocked out of the ALDS and aren't playing any more games."
Or when I'd get, "2004!" I just have to respond, "Ugh, I know. That sucked. But I gotta hand it to the Sox. Pretty amazing."
There is NOTHING an assclown can say to you when you just admit defeat and don't get your feathers ruffled. NOTHING infuriates one of these losers more than not giving them a cranky, bitter reaction. Trust me.
It's like they get all riled up anticipating you to say, "Whatever, you suck." Or they anticipate you ignoring them which eggs them on more, etc. But they do NOT expect you to answer in a level-headed fashion, devoid of emotion.
One thing I NEVER do is talk shit about a team who lost if my team is long gone. (Unless, of course, a fan goes out of his or her way to antagonize me throughout his team's run. Then he better be prepared for hell once he gets knocked off the ladder.)
So, it's always surprising to me that there are still actually people who are riproaring furious about the Yankees winning. GET. OVER. IT.
THE YANKEES WON.
DEAL WITH IT.
If you want to make this entire off-season easier on yourself, it would undoubtedly behoove you to just suck it up, and accept that the Evil Empire struck back. And lemme let you in on a little something here: you can rant and rave about payroll as much as you want. But the fact of the matter is, we don't give a shit. Because we won, and when you whine, all we hear is this.
The top complaints I've been hearing all stem from one of these core buckets of douchery:
2.) Like it matters, stop acting like you've waited so long when it's only been 9 years
3.) YOU did nothing to help the team, stop acting like you did something
4.) Bandwagon fans
I'll probably at some point go into why each of these reasons is more absurd than the last, but right now, I just want to pose a more general overarching query that supercedes all of these monuments to idiocy:
What does this buy you?
I'd say 95% of the people perpetuating these bitter sore-loser parades are not even Phillies fans. I haven't heard ONE SINGLE PHILLY FAN say anything other than "congratulations." Which means all of these livid baseball "fans" are just people incensed that the Yankees didn't lose.
I know there are always gonna be people rooting against the Yanks, and I don't agree with it (obviously), but when there's a game going on, at least these losers can mask their hate in the pretense of rooting FOR our opponents. But right now, we have none. Baseball's over. So what these people are doing is just a full-out, essentially unprovoked attack (and a wildly fruitless one, at that) on a team that they just don't like.
Yankee fans are besides themselves with joy right now. We're thrilled. If your team has ever won a championship, you know that feeling. And you know nothing compares to it. Now, what in GOD'S NAME does it get you to try desperately to trivialize this? Do you think it'll change the outcome of the series? Do you think we're less euphoric because a legion of losers is throwing stones? If anything, it just makes it sweeter.
Do you think a single Yankee fan in the world right now is thinking, "Wait, wait, wait. Holy shit. Hold on for a second, guys. Are you hearing this?? Oh God. STOP THE PRESSES. STOP THE PARADE. Crap. It turns out the Yankees bought their team?? And didn't even deserve to win??"
Sorry, couldn't hear you over all the WINNING.
I've read (I think) almost everything I could get my hands on about the World Series. I've collected every last commemorative newspaper cover and special edition pull out, to decorate the large barren wall above my couch.
And in my travels, I've seen more than a fair share of enraged fans. While most comments are a dime a dozen ("Congratulations on buying a championship"), there are a few that stand out more notably than others. So I present:
The Top 5 Best and Worst Reactions to the Yankees World Series (from non-Yankee fans)
2.) Email from a Sox fan: "Congratulations! they finally came through and did it!! It was like deja vu again watching Matsui beat up on Pedro after getting him to 0-2 like the good ol days. Hope you have a great time celebrating all weekend!!"
4.) Email from a DIEHARD Red Sox fan, one that even works for them: "A congratulation is in order! CONGRATULATIONS! Call me later and tell me about the parade! :) "
5.) Text message from a Philly fan: "I owe you dinner. Italian next week, oh gracious winner? :o)"
1.) A very nonclever, poorly written, weird attempt at...parody? Satire? No one can say for sure. You'd think that since they've been free since mid October, having won the same number of playoff games as the Orioles, that Sox fans would have a little bit more time to work on something.
4.) From Rachel Maddow: “It’s cathartic for me. I enjoy fighting with Yankee fans,” Maddow joked. And on that recent World Series win? “Well, Yankees cheat, so I’m not disappointed . . . When you cheat, sometimes you win,” she laughed.
(But as I mentioned yesterday, this is a guy who likened my Christmas card to terrorist activity, saying "a picture of the Tyree catch is like looking at a picture of the burning towers." So, all things considered, his sarcastic wish to plague Yankee fans with swine flu is less insidious than originally perceived.)
So, think about it anti-fans. Maybe life would be a lot easier for you if you just accepted you role. Because all this constant whining and blatantly bitter misery is just making you look like bigger losers than you already are.
Tomorrow I'll tackle all this nonsensical drivel you're tossing out, just because it's not baseball season and I have the time to do so. But I will say that I think you're right when you say the Yanks cheated:
I think they actually paid their players to win the game!
My cousin texted me after the World Series ended: "As they say in the end of the 'The Candidate': What do we do now?"The parade is over. Baseball season is officially over. It's 96 days til pitchers and catchers report to camp and we can do it all over again. A very weird feeling to wrap my head around.
Over 1 million showed up to applaud the men who brought victory back to our city, while nearly 200 blocks north, the old stadium was finally really being put to rest. I'm finding it kind of funny, for lack of a better word, how The Powers That Be waited til now to start making significant headway on the demolition.
It's almost as if the only way they could address the problem of the fans who threatened to chain themselves to their seats, was by waiting for these fans to be otherwise occupied. Every Yankee fan in the tri-state area was at Wall Street, and it's like TPTB said to the construction crew, "Ok , GO GO GO! Hurry! You don't know when they'll be back!"
Saying goodbye to the Cathedral is a little less heartbreaking now that Greatness's New Home really feels like home.
"They should do this more often," my buddy Strange commented, as we waited on the corner of Broadway and Exchange for the floats to start driving by. "It's really entertaining." I'm generally one who likes crowds and chaos about as much as I like lead poisoning and 2-day old snow slush. But I can readily make an exception to this when it means I'm surrounded by legions of rabid Yankee fans all galvanizing to watch our team celebrate a World Championship.
"How much would it suck if you were a Phillies/Sox/Met fan right now who worked down here?"
"I can't even imagine."
I had little sympathy, because if you're going to choose to live in our city, then you're bringing it on yourself. As for Mets fans...well, you had the choice to root for the A team or B team, and you chose...poorly.
(Actually, my sister informed me exactly how mature Boston fans were being about the whole thing, citing a Facebook status update saying they, "would feel terrible, just terrible, if a whole strain of swine flu descended upon the Yankee parade right now."
At first, I thought this was a little classless, seeing as how a child just died from it yesterday. But then I remembered, this was the same guy who likened my Christmas card to terrorist activity. I'm not kidding. He said a picture of the Tyree catch is like looking at a picture of the burning towers. So, all things considered, his sarcastic wish to plague Yankee fans with swine flu is less insidious than originally perceived.)
Strange and I miraculously were able to beat the mass exodus post-parade and make it back uptown in 20 minutes. (I really thought I would be spending the night still sifting through the thick and viscous stream of parade-goers who all had different ideas on the best way to navigate the narrow sidewalk.)
We watched the ceremony at City Hall, and I raised the question what exactly a city key buys you or is it just a symbolic gesture of gratitude. My sister likened it to an honorary diploma, which never seemed fair to me, since she studied biology at Georgetown for 4 years, and then they give an honorary diploma to her graduation speaker who came and talked about Indians or something for 20 minutes.
Apparently the key to the city means you are always welcome there, even if you leave and come back. Which makes me wonder if the same courtesy doesn't extend to us mortals who aren't privy to one of these keys. Am I risking possible bouncer rejection at the doors to Manhattan should I ever leave and return? Yet another reason why I don't like traveling. Now I can add "potential refusal to readmit" onto my laundry list traveling problems.
(Also, I did some research on these keys to the city business, and Detroit gave one to Suddam Hussein. Too many thoughts running through my head on this one..)
Nick Swisher was the first to receive his key, and Hal Steinbrenner (on behalf of George) was the last. And "random" doesn't even begin to cover the order they were distributed. It was like that scene in "Silence of the Lambs" when Hannibal advises Clarice: ""Clarice, doesn't this random scattering of sites seem desperately random - like the elaborations of a bad liar?"
Jay-Z came out to do his "Empire State of Mind" bit, and there's overplayed, and there's this. I LOVE that song. Love it. But I'm a little put off by how it's infringing on Sinatra's territory for Yankee anthem.
Like, I'm bananas for the song "This is Why I'm Hot." But would I want it to replace the Wedding March if I ever end up getting married?
(Well, maybe, actually. A better question, would my mother ever allow this to happen?)
So there was the parade and ceremony. A sublimely fantastic culmination of the past season, which I still cannot believe is actually over.
It has been quite a season indeed. We never doubted them though. Psh, never question my resolve. I made this my New Year's Resolution (the first time I've ever made one about baseball. Usually it's to pay attention to people's names when they introduce themselves so 2 seconds later I don't realize I "forget" what they said, when in reality, I never even listened to what they said in the first place.)
And in my preseason preview of the Yankees, I said to 'Trust me on this one. The Yankees are winning the World Series."
They had to. They HAD to. It's 2009. Maybe I couldn't turn 29 like I wanted to, but I'll be damned if my team isn't winning the World Series in the year of my favorite number. It all was aligning. I moved into a new apartment (on the 9th floor!) on July 29, and on that day, my Yankee Stadium chair finally arrived: Seat #9 (I didn't even special request it!)
I said throughout the year that we'd have the last laugh (comparing this to a Bugs Bunny cartoon, a J-Lo movie, and a host of other nonsense that stemmed from a hysterical outrage that any opposing fan would talk shit about a team that was DESTINED TO BE CHAMPIONS.)
In fact, I'm going to Chicago next weekend to visit a buddy I haven't seen since April 3, on a night where I had to pass off my Cubs-Yanks exhibition game tickets when O'Hare decided they weren't gonna do the whole "connecting flights to NY" thing.
I ended up going out that night with a friend from college, and drunk and angry at Chi-town for holding me hostage while the Cubs were playing in the Bronx--I was out for blood.
"I bet you $100 that the Yanks finish the division in first. Yeah, ahead of the Sox and Rays."
Seemed fitting I would go back to Chicago to bookend the season.
I also got a dinner coming from a Phils fan next week thanks to a won bet.
Soo...thanks for the added bonuses of a championship, Yanks!
From April straight through to November (good God, NOVEMBER? That's another issue.), the Yanks delivered us to the standard ebbs and flows of satisfying fandom.
For me, the season netted out as follows:
- The aggravating mind-blowingly bad start that saw losses to the Royals, Rays, and O's, and saw many Yank fans scratching their heads wondering if playing .500 was too much to ask
- Re-emerging from surgery on opening day to see CC getting his ass handed to him.
- The game immediately following when I hobbled out of my apartment just to watch a 23213-3 game (22-4)
- Getting swept by the Sox, notably the Jason Bay walk-off game.
- Wang going from being a 19-game winner to the biggest liability on the team
- The Phillies series when I had a 102 fever all weekend, and the Yanks' amazing win-streak got snapped
- After losing opening day and having to hear about it from every single Yankee hater in the country, BUT then seeing my sisters demonstrate why Yankee fans are so much better than everyone else
- Seeing A-Rod go deep on the first pitch he saw of the season
- The 15-inning pitcher's duel against the Sox
- The 4-game sweep against the Twins that saw 3 consecutive walkoffs
- Mo getting his 500th save
- Mo getting his 1st ribbie
- My first game at the new stadium (thank you Krista)
- Getting to sit in the luxury suite
- Meeting Goose Gossage and David Cone
- A random moment when Melky tripped running to second in the regular season Phillies series which prompted fits of hyteria from Cano
- A-Rod's walkoff pop-up against the Mets
- Every pie-off
- Damon's double steal that helped win Game 4 of the World Series
- Winning the World Series
And now it's all over. The parade, the fanfare, the celebrations. Of course, it's not REALLY all over. Because DVDs will be made, and there's paraphenalia to be bought and bets to be settled. There's still commiserating to be done, and reconnecting with all my fellow fans who I've been missing in the last few days on account of the complete whirlwind of activity.
It's a weird feeling, and I first felt it when I finally reluctantly made the decision to call it a "night" at 7am on Thursday morning. Because I went to put on clothes to sleep in and the red sweatpants that I refused to wear (red is bad luck during baseball season, according to me) were suddenly an acceptable pajama choice.
It hit me. I could eat New England clam chowder again. Philly cheesesteaks (although that was a sacrifice that only lasted for the playoffs). Boston cremes. All red articles of clothing. Hell, I can date again.
All my season superstitions are no longer relevant. The only thing that remains is the fact the New York Yankees won the World Series. And for the next year, whenever you see a Yankee fan on the street, you can give the knowing nod.
And whenever a bitter anti-fan sees us, they'll have nothing to say.
There will still be the everpresent "Yankees suck!" drivel, although it will be particularly ridiculous this year.
And of course, we're gonna have to field countless dismissals of the validity of our title because of the payroll argument. And when that fails to sate the haters appetite for destruction, they'll trot out "bandwagon" fans.
But in the words of Brian Cashman, "Call us anything you want. You're also going to have to call us world champions."
I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.
Well, I'm finally just getting out of bed, after celebrating the World Series Championship of the New York Yankees up until about 7am. None of us wanted the night to end.
Ball game over. World Series over. Baseball season over. Listening to asinine hating anti-fans drop the "who's won more in this century" over. Having to hear people say they "can't wait til the Yankees choke" over.
First year at new stadium over.
Nine years without a ring over.
Ball game over.
The Yankees win. The Yankees win!
What a night. The hours and day(s) leading up to last night were saturated with critics attacking Girardi for pitching AJ Burnett in Game 5 because it meant not only would Andy Pettitte have to go on short rest for Game 6, but CC Sabathia would have to pitch his 2nd short-rested game in a row, should a Game 7 be needed.
Funny, though, how these naysayers were oddly silent up until the point AJ started getting shelled. THEN it was a fatal flaw. THEN Girardi was a moron. And all I heard about for all of Monday night through 8pm last night was how that move will change the face of the series, and there's no way Andy will be able to go on 3 days rest, and Girardi should be fired, etc.
The consensus was that if the Yankees win the World Series, it was be in spite of Girardi, not because of him. I really couldn't disagree more on this one. And this is coming from someone who spend many a game banging her head against the computer, screaming to no one in particular that Girardi is an idiot for not using [fill in name of bullpen reliever who wouldn't have let up runs, in my estimation].
My dad even said, "Kris, I could have won a championship with that team. Look at them."
True. But how much different are they from any other one of their teams in the last 5 years? What about when they got Randy Johnson? And Carl Pavano? A-Rod? Those were big name guys, and they never brought us to a title.
Something was different this year. There was no Torre doing ungodly things to his pitching staff's arms. There a case study in "Eff you, critics" performance from A-Rod. A relatively steadfast batting order that wasn't seemingly determined by picking names out of a batting helmet. Patience at the plate (cough...Cano...cough).
I don't think it's easy to manage a club no matter how good they are. And the fact that Girardi took this team through the World Series is not something that should be trivialized. He didn't always do thing we agreed with, but his strategy of a quilted motley crew of relievers to support precarious starter situations, worked out beautifully.
The Yankees were able to ride a 3-man rotation through the entire playoffs, all 3 of them going on short rest at some point (some faring better than others).
And it worked out. It %&#@E worked out. The New York Yankees are Kings of the World once again.
And my God, it feels good.
The Phillies were good, and put up a good fight, so much so that there was even talk of Chase Utley getting World Series MVP even if the Phils didn't win. (Of course, you can't really make that argument when a guy on the winning team somehow manages to knock in 6 ribbies in one game to tie the World Series record. Thank you, Hideki.)
Ryan Howard was abysmal all series, save one long ball he knocked off Petitte last night to bring the score to 7-3. It was too little too late though, and the Phils weren't able to overcome that kind of damage in a rocking stadium filled to the rafters with fans salivating for, in the words of Cole Hamels, "it all to be over with."
Pedro Martinez was no one where near as sharp as he was when he dueled with AJ Burnett in Game 2. (And of course, now the scapegoat blame gets applied to Charlie Manuel for not taking Pedro out when Hideki came to the plate with bases loaded in the 3rd, with the lead only 4-1.)
The Phils scored on a sac fly by Shane Victorino, who I was half hoping would enter the game with a bloody batting glove and give the Fox announcers something to distract themselves away from hating on the Yankees for 2 seconds.
But the Yankees were doing what they do best, which was knocking the ball all over the park. Even the foul balls were long shots, even the outs were well hit liners. This is to be expected, perhaps, when Pedro is throwing 87 mph fastballs.
When Hideki's 2-strike, 2-out, single put the score at 4-1, I was a little more relaxed, but I never stopped compulsively flicking at my hat brim and pacing and grinding my teeth, until he hit a 2-run double in the bottom of the 5th to make it 7-1, following Mark Teixeira's base hit that had scored Jeter.
A 6-run lead isn't any guarantee, but it was comfortable. And that was when we all started to let it prematurely sink in. The Yankees were going to be World Champions soon. I think this implosion from good old Petey should be indicative of how short rest or normal rest, an erratic pitcher in his 30s isn't going to always be lights out. I don't think AJ was knocked around on Monday because he wasn't well rested.
I think he was beat up because he's AJ Burnett, and that's what he does. He surprises us with either Good AJ or Bad AJ, and let's be honest, we all knew this when we bought him, so let's not act so surprised when he gets chased early.
Pedro gave a mirror image performance of that, but it was a little more untimely than AJ's crap outing. If I were a Phillies fan, I'd point fingers directly at the decision to pitch Pedro in Yankee Stadium for Game 2, when they should have pitched him at home.
And more significantly, the decision to pitch Pedro in Yankee Stadium for an elimination game!! I guess they didn't have much choice in the matter, but if Cliff Lee had pitched instead of Joe Blanton on Sunday, they wouldn't have been in that situation in the first place.
(Eh, whatever. Like I care about what the Phillies do with the pitchers.The Yankees just won the World Series. I got all day today to read every last word written about the game, and then all day tomorrow to get lost in the masses of people tumbling into the Canyon of Heroes.)
With 2 outs in the top of the 9th, the bar packed wall to wall, the stadium deafening with every pitch Mariano Rivera threw that made the title that much closer...it started to feel like New Year's Eve. Well, if the year lasted 9 years.
All of us expectantly waiting for the ball to drop, so to speak. All of us exploding in raucous, bleary eyed, delirious, euphoric celebration when it did.
"New York, New York" blared through the streets. Then "We are the Champions." "Empire State of Mind." The text message congratulations. The shots. The dancing. The screaming. The hugging. It was heaven.
It still is.
I've kept my mouth shut about retaliating against all the shit-talkers that tried their damnedest to curse the Yankees, who tried to rain on our playoff parade. I've limited my jabs to half-kidding trash talking towards our opponents.
But as I mentioned in the recap of Game 5:
If someone makes a point to go out of his or her way to poke the bear,
unprovoked, then there's the exception to the rule. Because if the Yankees
should end up winning the World Series this year, I will make a pit stop before
riding off into the sunset, to dole out heaps of karma three-fold.
Instead of just letting us enjoy the fact our team was playing in the World Series, and that we were really happy and excited about it, NYC was teeming with assholes that wanted us to be as miserable as them. They were unrelenting in their banal insults, their pathetic and predictable Yankee shots.
Maybe we couldn't be bothered, or maybe a part of us was secretly scared that if we responded in kind, that we'd be putting ourselves in grave danger should the Yankees happen to choke it away.
Whatever the reason, it's immaterial now. BECAUSE WE WON.
Everyone out there with your "I can't wait to see them blow it the ALDS" and the "I can't wait til they choke against the Angels" or "I can't wait to see Pettitte get lit up on short rest" etc etc etc... HOPE YOU ENJOY THE NEXT FEW DAYS OF SEEING NOTHING BUT YANKEE COVERAGE.
And I hope your commute to work is significantly screwed up because of the ticker tape parade.
And until the 2010 World Series, the Yankees are the World Champions. So every time you see a fan walking down the street with a Yankee hat on, and your knee jerk reaction is to say something negative, just remember:
The Yankees won. And you're out of material.
The Yankees did it. They won their 27th championship, the most of any team in any sport. In the first year in their new stadium, they christened their home with champagne and victory...just as they did to their last stadium, when they won the World Series in its inaugural season in 1923.
Congratulations, Yankees. Thank for you bringing the trophy back to where it belongs.
Thank you for everything that you've given your fans this season.
Thank you for #27.
- Dave Anderson
The New York Times