Ok, what the hell is going on here?
The Yankees apparently "Fall into a tie for 1st place" which is a weird headline to begin with, but that's immaterial. The operative word here is "fall." Which they have. Sort of. They've been skidding. We can't deny that, not even me, the perpetual optimist.
I was talking to my coworker Joe yesterday, and he was saying, "the biggest difference between 2009 and 2010 is that last year, if the Yanks were down 0-3 in the 9th inning against Tampa, with 2 outs, I'd still just assume they were going to win. No deficit was too big for a rally. Now it's like they have just as good a chance as any other team to come back, which isn't necessarily a whole lot."
Similarly, it's like if the Yanks, say, hit a homerun to take the lead, I don't necessarily think the game is in the bag. I don't know, I think most Yankee fans can attest to this phenomenon of just KNOWING which games they'll win. It's weird. Like how after watching Sunday football for so long, you just KNOW at what point to change the channel between commercials, so that you can switch back to the game RIGHT as the commercial break is ending. It's just a cultivated 6th sense.
But I will say that last night, I didn't really expect them to lose. I didn't think it was in the bag, but I definitely didn't foresee the 5th inning playing out the way it did.
Me and Ollie went out to play pop-a-shot, only to discover with my frustration that the machine was broken at Ryan's Daughter. Argh. He watched Johan get shelled on one bar tv, while I watched the Yanks squander a 2-0 lead on the other bar tv.
I didn't see them fold entirely, though. Right before the 5th inning could even get under way, we decided to try to find another bar game to amuse ourselves, and Aces&Eights was only a couple of blocks away. What could go wrong, right? We'd walk over during the commercial break, and watch the Mets continue to suck and the Yanks stage a great comeback, while partaking in activities like: 1) arcade boxing, 2) beirut, and 3) ski ball.
We sat at the empty bar, threw in money in the jukebox, and shared a pitcher and, upon noticing my preoccupation with the tv, Ollie said, "Relaaaaax, your boys got this one."
"Um, what does that score say?"
"Yeah...wait, the J's have EIGHT???!! What the hell happened in the walk over here?"
SEE?! PROOF THAT TIME HAS CEASED TO ABIDE BY NORMAL CONTINUUMS!!
Yeah, so that's where I'm at.
In the 5th inning, the J's knocked in 6 doubles. SIX. DOUBLES.
2 came from Travis Snider, and I know it's a bad game when someone from my "Wart's Veggies" fantasy team is going crazy. I'm in 3 fantasy leagues, and predictably at least 1 has fallen by the wayside and is just riddled with players that have "DL" and "NA" next to their names. It's a joke, I try to keep on top of all 3 leagues, but really only "Hoodrat Stuff" is the one pulling its weight and making a run for the championship.
So any time a player from WV is exploding...I know it's bad.
What happened, AJ?? You looked great at first.
But the long ball started killing him. Wells started it, putting the J's on the board in the 2nd with a solo shot. (This is just as much the year of the Senior Citizens as it is the Year of the No-Hitter, I swear.)
Then the 5th...well, I don't want to go into the gory details, but it from I later saw on Encore, it was just painful.
8-2 by the end of the top of the inning, 8-4 by the beginning of the 6th, thanks to a 2-run blast from Tex. Hey, we're not outta it!
Then a ribbie single from Big Irrelevance Berkman. 8-5.
Swish's 2nd bomb of the day put it at 8-6.
See, the thing is, the Yanks didn't roll over and die if you're going by the scoring summary. But if you're going by a nuance such as, I don't know, MEN LEFT ON BASE...
Well, it was less than pretty. 1 for 8 with RISP. 7 LOB.
And that doesn't even really FULLY paint the picture of how bad it looked.
I feel like every time I looked up at the screen, someone was striking with men on.
I'm not going to lambaste Arod for not hitting 600. At this point, I don't even really care. Isn't it kind of a formality (for Yankee fans), or for Yankee haters, kind of a green light to re-open the whole dismissal-of-unassailable-skill-and-talent-by-virtue-of-steroid-admission can of worms?
So yeah, the elusive 600 is immaterial to me at this point. The elusive W-streak, however, is far from it.
The three-time MVP isn't worried about the home run drought. "I only have 16 homers," he said. "It's not like I have 30."
Can someone tell me what this means? Is he saying "I'm not worried because it's not like I was that good to begin with this year"? Because if so, well then that's just the worst tautology ever. Kind of. You're Arod. Stop shirking from the responsibility of being awesome. It's not easy being amazing, but high expectations is the price you pay for greatness.
It's a small price, if you ask me.
Jeter, Cano, Grandy, Arod, Jorge...I think practically the whole team took turns striking out with runners on. I mean, cmon, at least ONE of these guys should have been able to put in it play in such key spots. I'm a little disappointed.
I don't, however, see yesterday as a BIGGER PROBLEM situation. It's not riot act time, it's not panic button time. I think it's an isolated incident type of thing. And not just in baseball but in life, when you look at things like this, everything is a lot more palatable and manageable.
So there it is. Swish has emerged as our homerun king as of late. Trying to nail down what exactly AJ's problem is, is about as simple as nailing down a tomato seed with a butter knife. Arod...eh keep swimming. And the rest of our offense was just having an off day. It happens.
But we're tied for first now, and the Sox are in town this weekend, and the Yanks need to surge in a manner similar to what happens in Mario Kart when you pick up a Mushroom.
It's go time. And here's a little infuriating behavior from our favorite "retired" Red Sock to get the fire-lighting-under-the-ass going!
UGH, I'm gonna default to my buddy Freddy K. on this one, to encapsulate how I feel about this... Just about says it all.
...And to end on a happy note: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO POLLINA #3, my youngest and lovely sister Amanda! Happy 24th, Ames! :)