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The Yankees break their 8-game winning streak, and Michael Kay and the rest of the baseball free world beats the Arod horse to death.

My sister was getting visibly annoyed, not just at Kay but at my Dad, who has a tendency to just shout out his thoughts as they occur to him, so we can stay abreast of everything that's happening in real time.

So I come into the living room where Dad is rereading his Steinbrenner book, and Lauren is mired in this 7-foot long sketch of a bunch of Bollywood actors. She looks pissed. Dad looks animated.

"KRISTEN! KRISTEN! Did you know that the Yankees are 21-4 WITHOUT Arod and now that he's back, they're losing--"

"DAD! We got it! Can you stop bringing it up??"

Lauren isn't happy. She takes it as a personal affront when someone starts bashing Arod, even if my Dad was just parroting Michael Kay.

The J's take an early 4-0 lead in the first 3 innings, with homers from Wells and Hill. GGBG singles in our first run, but the Yanks were just not gonna come back from this one.

Hill drives in another run. Buck homers. It's 6-1, then 6-2 when Jorge doubles in a run in the bottom of the 6th.

Eh, game was over. Wells gets another ribbie, Arod plates the final run, and the game ends at 7-3. It's almost WORSE that Arod got that last run in, because that just set the stage nicely for a "MEANINGLESS RUN!!!" attack on #13.

Here's the thing. If Arod played the best, most amazing games of his life for rest of the season, there still wouldn't be this kind of disparity. The Yanks could never in a million years have the inverse of that 21-4 record. It's just bizarre.

But real Yankee fans know what's going on.

The only people who think Arod is bad for the team are people who don't know enough the team, aka haters.

The Yankees had that record because they had B-listers playing better than themselves. Think about the Giants playing the Pats in Super Bowl 42. They were overmatched. There was no way the Giants could beat them, unless the Pats choked.

OR if the Giants transcended themselves. If they played a game where every single player gave a performance that was the best they could ever hope to do.

That's how they won.

And that's how the Yankees survived without Arod.

They're only stronger with Arod.

I just hope Arod realizes that.

I don't need to remind anyone how sensitive our boy can be when it comes to media scrutiny. So I hope to God the inevitable attack on his team value isn't called into question in light of these record statistics.

Then we just have to worry about our pitchers.

I was talking to Strange and Keith last night about our rotation, and we all agreed Andy is the key to this (duh.)

Because...think about it...what would our rotation going into the playoffs even BE right now??


I think AJ has earned our trust after what he did in the playoffs last year. Hughes I think needs some quality time with Eiland (one of the things I love about Hughes is that he's a quick study. If you tell him what he needs to work on, if you tell him what he's doing wrong..he changes it. He's a teacher's dream student.)

Yesterday, however, he was a nightmare.

Hughes wound up allowing seven hits and matched a season high by giving up six
runs. It was also the third time in four starts he's allowed at least five
earned runs against Toronto.

"It's almost always about location," Hughes
said. "A fastball right in the middle of the plate on 0-2? That's probably the
worst pitch you can make, and I did it a couple times today."

See? At least he knows what he did wrong!

I think he'll be okay.

So will the Yankees.

We play the O's today, and then it's the weeks of stress and duress.

I'm getting heart palpitations just thinking about it.

(To say nothing of the anxiety that stems from Derek Jeter playing like the Devil renegged on his Faustian arranagement.)


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