16 minutes ago
The Devil Rays are annoying as hell. More than the J's even. I attribute this 99.9% to Joe Maddon. He is such an affected bastard. Probably my least favorite manager in the game. He takes the glory when they succeed, and isn't proactive or aggressive when they're failing.
On August 29th of last year, this was the Toyota Poll flashed across the YES screen:
"Do you think Tampa Bay has given up on their season? Text your answer to..."
And it was a legit question. Maddon was being a weirdo. Arbitrarily benching Crawford, being an absentee managerial voice...but it's a whole 'nother ballgame when they're taking the first place spot away from the detested Evil Empire.
Regarding Dan Johnson's offensive monopoly that won the game for them:
"My goodness," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "This guy does nothing but get big hits."
"My goodness"? PLEASE. GIVE ME A GODDAMN BREAK.
You're so coquettish now, yeah? Big man in the Trop.
Pshh. Fuck that noise.
The admittedly impressive young'un had an almost as irritating response:
"It's something about the calm feeling that comes over me in those situations," Johnson said. "Once you've done it a couple of times, you feel like you're going to do it every time. I think that really helps you in those situations. If you feel like you're going to do it, you're probably going to do it."
He's called up from the minors but 2 years ago, and now he's already giving us tips and pearls on the philosophy behind hitting in the clutch. I'm in all likelihood reading too much into it, and perhaps am just annoyed that he single-handedly took the game away from Hughes (and the division lead away from the Yanks.)
But let's ignore that rational thought camp in favor of just ratting on the guy. You know what it reminds me of? It's like that scene in Clueless when Tai is holding court regaling everyone with her brush with death at the mall.
Meanwhile, Cher's looking on like, "Give me a break. Get off it." Or maybe it's like in "The Office" when David Wallace calls Michael Scott to the corporate office because it turns out the Scranton branch is the only one doing well, and he wants to hear how Michael manages to do it.
And Michael is soo excited by this opportunity to peacock that he just runs with it to ridiculous, outlandish extents.
Alright, let's not polish your Mr. September/Mr. Clutch cuff links yet, buddy. You're still just a small fry.
I went to dinner with my sis and my buddy and we sort of followed the game as well as we could on the 1 blurry-beyond-the-telling-of-it-to-the-point-where-it-made-me-feel-blinder-than-I-already-am television set that was tucked in the corner of the Italian restaurant in midtown.
1-0. Woohoo! Cano's single brings in Jeter and we take the lead early. Big Game James, my ass.
Big Game Dan is another matter. His 2-run bomb in the 5th gives Tampa a 1-run lead, and once again, we're trying to come from behind.
(I don't even have the heart today to throw in the obligatory TWSS right there. Forgive me.)
Then some infuriating-by-any-other-team-name-is-not-a-rose play occurs. Seriously, at the time, I'm all for this, but if I'm being TOTALLY honest with myself? Not happy with the dramatics .
Jeter makes a big show of getting hit by a pitch. Keeling over, wincing, the whole 9. Until the YES-Mo reveals that in fact the bat cleanly and squarely knocked into the base of the bat. Jeter gets a base. Maddon gets an aneurysm.
Jeter freely admitted to his straight up faking. What he said makes sense, like "What am I supposed to? He wants to put me on base, I'm not gonna ARGUE with that." Uh, sure. I guess.
But, ehh, something about it was cheap to me. Jeter's better than that. Yeah, he's slumping, he can barely a buy a hit these days, and it's actually getting kind of hard to put on base, (let alone keep him from being an automatic double play generator at the plate).
But saying that basically you'll take what you can get...it's not what I want from him. Whenever me and my sis play pool or beirut at a bar, we'll invariably run into some yahoos who try to cheat. Who make up rules, who try to find an edge wherever they can, even it means being the most annoying petty losers since Ace's gang in "Stand By Me."
And every time, me and Laur will just roll our eyes, let them talk themselves into a frenzy then a hole then an awkward uncomfortable silence...then assert that we'll concede and give them the extra shot or cup or ball or whatever it is they're looking for. And tell them to remember it when we beat them. Know that even with that gift, you still couldn't win.
Jeter didn't just shrug and take his base. He played it up. I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but that's the type of thing Josh Beckett does. Not a New York Yankee.
Grandy brought him home immediately after with a rocket homerun roped into RF.
Hear me out but maybe it's BETTER we lost this one? Because seriously, every Yankee hater from here to 3rd world countries, would be flapping their arms about how we shouldn't have won, that Jeter's a cheater, that we're all smoke and mirrors, etc.
At least now the haters can just get their kicks out the fact we've lost 8 of 10 in the current road trip.
Because we're running out of strongholds in the domination department.
And we're quickly racking up warning symptoms of a disappointing postseason.
First on that list of presenting signs: the unwavering collective allergy the team shares when it comes to getting hits in the clutch.
After payroll and steroids, there's nothing a hater likes more than to bathe in a demonstrated clutchlessness.
It's painful. SO painful. I can dismantle the payroll complaints like it's a lincoln log house, but right now, I got nothing against the cries of "NOT. CLUTCH."
It's been a steady decline, really. First there was the inability to bring in RISP. Then just an inability to put RISP. Now it's the inability to bring in RISP when it's important.
I believe our starters will be great/solid come playoffs. Our bullpen consistent. But our offense? Kevin Long, where are you? Girardi, why is the batting order so weirdly constructed every day?
And Yankees, why are you acting like this? Please please please please. Don't do this to us.
Losing the game is bad enough. Losing your spirit is opprobius.