There's a saying I learned while I was a Theater major in college: "One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it"--a principle known as "Chekhov's Gun."
And that's what I thought of tonight when Lance Berkman and all his newfound pinstriped glory, drove in the go-ahead run in the 5th with a long bomb, and then a tie-breaking ribbie double in the 7th.
I admittedly HAD wondered when exactly this whole Lance Berkman acquisition thing was going to come into play. But I guess I should never doubt the Yankees, who evidently are honoring Chekhov's mandates.
Never put an OF on the playoff roster if you're not planning on seeing some important run production from him later on.
It also made me think of the game broadcast from a few months ago (or actually, it could have been a few days ago, I have zero concept of time anymore), when I think it was Sterling who said, "So pretty much 2 out of the 3 guys the Yanks got at the trade deadline, are paying off huge dividends."
He then rattled off Kearns and Wood's stats, while notably making no mention of Lance Berkman and all his DL'ed glory.
But that's all immaterial now, much like everything else that happens prior to October 6.
People get all fired up about March Madness because of all the Cindarella teams and all the upsets, etc (society likes to think it's their humanistic pathos that drives them into the arms of the underdogs, but for my money, I'd say there's actually no greater example of the pervading schaudenfraude that keeps sports fans from cheering on the favorite).
But anyways, so people love the NCAA, but really there's just as much chance as an upset in the MLB playoffs, just given the wild variability that exists as a function of pitching matchups.
And what a pitching matchup it was tonight.
I don't mean in the legitimate sense of the word, a la 14-K performance from The SF Freak. Or the historic no-no from Doc. (PS not to be a contrarian or anything, but technically Halladay's no-hitter wasn't history-making. A perfect game already precedes him. He can be history-CONTRIBUTING. But he didn't MAKE history. Which isn't to say it's anything short of mind-blowingly impressive. Just not mind-blowingly novel. Just saying. You know I'm nothing if not literal to a fault.)
So, yeah, game 2 of the ALDS did not feature any semblance of a history matchup, but it did feature one of the biggest losers ever to taint the Yankees' roster vs one of the biggest heroes and monuments to class ever to grace the Yankees' franchise.
It's hysterical to me that Minnesota, in all their good-natured and guileless fandom, actually embraces Carl Pavano. In fact, those present at Target Field were all wearing stick-on mustaches. (And, as TBoss astutely pointed out, everyone there was somehow managing to wear roughly 10,000 different iterations of Twins' jerseys. How are there that many versions? It was like the most diversity the midwest has ever seen.)
Now might be a good time to make some mustache delineations.
I won't go into too may subtleties. Let's just boil it down to a couple for the sake of this post:
Nick Johnson (ie Don Mattingly, Tom Selleck, most firemen)
Gary Sheffield (ie Patrick Ewing, most 1940s jazz musicians)
Mike Ditka (ie Joel Quenneville, most Down-To-Business control freaks who had a family that they're secretly very devoted to)
Rollie Fingers (ie, Clay Zavada, most men tying damsels in distress to a train track)
Carl Pavano (ie Mark Spitz, Prefontaine, most pedophiles and serial rapists)
So it's one thing if you wanna emulate the look of a fireman or seasoned sax guru.
But Minnesota is celebrating the hallmark feature of every registered sex offender.
Anyways, moving on from THAT...
The Yankees won. 5-2.
Once again, the Twins took the lead early with a sac fly from rookie Valencia. Arod tied it up 2 innings later with a sac fly of his own, and then Sir Lancelot homered to take the lead.
Orlando Hudson followed suit to tie the game, and Target Field had renewed life in them.
(Seriously, Target was the only corporation they could get to sponsor this? Target Field could not sound any less like a sports arena, and any more like a military base, if it tried.)
HOWEVAH, this renewed life was short-lived, as the wild and krazy kooks that are umpiring the game, let Berkman break the game open again.
And boy was Gardenhire PISSED!
So pissed that he got all crafty and staged a prolonged mound visit just to orchestrate home plate ump Wendelstedt to come up to him.
Very clever, Minny.
Upon seeing him, he let loose on the whole bizarro strike zone thing, prompting his swift ejection.
Ok, YES, you're right in the sense that the balls and strikes are really more ill defined than a freshman girl's relationship with upper class men sorority girls during the first semester of college.
HOWEVAH...get over it.
It is what it is. I hate using that expression, but seriously. We all have to deal with it, and sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it goes the other team's way. At this point the only thing you can do is try to capitalize on baserunners.
Which you haven't been doing. At all.
I mean, in fairness (sort of) you only had 3 runners in scoring position all night, none of which you drove in.
On the other hand, NY was 4-10 with RISP. 3 doubles. A homerun. The perfect combination of run manufacturing and long ball.
Pettitte brings out the best in us maybe.
And what is there to say about Mo?
1-2-3. See ya, Twins.
Enjoy your travel day. But in the words of Iowa Jeff, "Don't unpack. It's gonna be a short stay here."