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'Twas a night in the offseason, and all through the land,
Not a creature was sitting in the stadium stands.
The stirrups still hang by the lockers with care,
In the hopes that opening day soon would be there.

Cashman was nestled by hot stove (still heating),
While visions on the Post showed Jeter (still eating).
And Mo in his rehab, and Arod’s aging bones,
Make the upcoming season a cistern of unknowns.

When out in cyberspace there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from football mode to see what was the matter,
Away to the internet I flew like a banshee,
Opened up Firefox and googled “new Yankees.”

The mood on the blogs of the new-written posts,
Was resignation at best and murderous at most.
What to my wondering eyes came upon,
Was news of acquiring Beezlebub’s spawn.

An old Boston fielder, so much of a dick,
I knew in a moment this must be a trick.
More preternatural than picklebacks, this must be a fluke.
Now joining the Yankees is none other than Youk.

“Now Andy! Now Pineda! Now D-Rob and CC!
On, Texeira! On Cano! On Gardner and Cervelli!
To the top of division, to the top of the east,
You’ll have to make nice with this ex-Red Sux beast.”

As stomachs that turn before taking the stage,
I felt sick and uneasy, and somewhat enraged.
His bellicose stance compares to rhinos when mating,
And his likeness to this jerk just compounds my hating.

And then in a twinkling, I read on the twitter,
The hemming and hawing over our new 3B hitter.
As I drew in my breath, and was taking it in,
I tried to envision when baseball begins:

Youk’s all dressed in pinstripes, from head to his foot.
And his helmet’s all tarnished, with pinetar and soot.
Wagging his bat, parallel to the dirt,
Like some roided up yoga he’s trying to exert.

His eyes—so depraved! His hair—doesn't exist!
His goatee is like dead moss, his brow—homo habilis.
His skull cap of a head is puffed up like toadstool,
And the beard of his chin makes him all the more a fool.

The wad of his dip once held tight in his cheek,
Distended his jaw and made him look like a freak.
He has a broad frame, and was called “roly poly,”
And laughs like the Pinnochio villain, Stromboli.

He’s not a Greek god, he’s not even Greek,
He’s just a Moneyball prototype, who’s already peaked.
A high and in fastball will cause him to riot,
And not all the tea in China could keep his ass quiet.

I’ll speak not a word when he first dons the stripes,
When opening against Boston (hashtag media hype).
And raising his finger may work in Fenway,
But you’re a Yankee now, bitch. So shut up and play.

He sprung at the deal, to the Sox said adieu,
Now we wait out the winter, for the season anew.
But hear me exclaim, ‘fore I cap off this prate:
“Happy Holidays to all, and to Youk: pull your weight!”

This is how the season ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

No need to recap in detail the debacle we witnessed not just tonight, but really ever since the playoffs started. But what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t use the internet to whine and throw in my 2 cents? A bad blogger.

I didn’t think the Yankees would lose this one, not with Fatso on the mound. But even if Fatso HADN’T been pitching, I’ll still have bet on the Yanks, because, well, getting swept? They wouldn’t do that to us. ‘Sides, it’s not like it’s unheard of to come back from a 3-0 deficit.

Turns out it’s a little harder to do that when your team just can’t shake this nagging [post]seasonal allergy to runs.

Alright, there’s no smooth segue into this, but I wasn’t happy with Arod being benched. I know I’m in a verrrry small minority that defends the guy, and I know he hasn’t given us a lot of reasons lately TO defend him.
But like Shakespeare said, “Love is not love if alters when alterations find.” In other words, there are few things I take more seriously than loyalty.

I don’t think it’s fair to ride on his coattails through the 2009 world series and then immediately revert to demonizing form, the second his supergod performance wears thin. The Yankees are better with him in the line-up. They are.
I’m watching the game with Glenn, Nick, and whatever office loony was nuts enough to come within 5 feet of me and my Budweiser and laptop, hunkered down in the conference room, like a soldier crouched in the trenches of a battle he knew he was losing, but yet refused to leave his post.

The points raised during the sad loss:

CYC/Glenn/Nick: f’d up to bench Arod

Glenn: someone needs to be fired for benching Arod

Nick: something went on behind closed doors that we don’t know about, whether it was an argument with Girardi about being benched the other night, or brass punishing Arod for BallGate Flirtation Scandal 2012.

CYC: if Jeter had done the ball thing, (pause), no one would have been lambasting him like this. I don’t think Jeter WOULD do it, because he’s the captain and takes her lead-by-example role seriously. But when news broke of his habit of sending his one-night stands home with a gift basket of signed balls and memorabilia, it was all “JETER’S SO BADASS!” If Arod had done that, it’d be tacky. Whatever, this is perennial issue with Arod. He can’t do anything right by the public’s assessment.

CYC/Nick: Think the ball thing was atrocious, despite our defense of Arod and belief that he should’ve played. Under NO circumstances should he have done that in the middle of a game. If we were playing softball for work and someone was doing that, I’d be livid. It’s unnecessary. Almost egregiously unnecessary…which brings Nick to his next point:

Nick: Arod is a student of the game. He is a manager’s dream in the sense that he studies the game, reads up on his opponents, plays hard always. (Plays HARD, didn’t says always plays WELL.) That said, the fact that Arod—knowing how his every move is subject to intense scrutiny—still took the time out in the middle of the game to write on a ball and make a show out of this, suggests that he may have just checked out of the whole thing already. Why? Because of that mysterious one fact that “they aren’t telling us.”

CYC: Swish’s presence in the game was offensive, I have no idea why the hell was playing, but ok cheers and thanks for the ribbie that kept the Yankees from not only getting swept, but shut-out on top of that.

CYC/Nick/Glenn: GGBG’s great.

Anyways, it was a tortuous night and I’ll admit that “devastated” wasn’t the emotion washing over me. It was partially that, yes, but there was also a marked degree of relief. No, of course I didn’t want them to lose, but after a few innings of watching them fail to bring any runs in, a few innings of appallingly apathetic defense, and a few innings of watching our favorite ace get battered around…well, how much more could we really take? They gave up on the game. It was hard not to follow suit.

Then Glenn kicked my ass in ping pong, while I made mental notes of all the people in the office who were going to have to sleep with one eye open for the rest of their lives thanks to their relentless poking-of-the-bear.

(At one point, 2 within earshot were discussing “what the one single line would be that could get Kris to just snap and punch us both out.” At that point, “Hey, Kris” would have fit the bill.)

But, to be fair, I am not exactly easy to deal with during the end of baseball season. So I probably owe my entire team a debt of gratitude for putting up with it for as long as they have.

(As if taking steroids—not the HGH kind, the antiflammatory kind—wasn’t hell enough, they hold a side effect risk of making you, well, completely insane. I skipped today’s dose. Figured it had “unemployment  line” written all over that lethal cocktail of office/playoffs/unpredictable drug side effects. Kind of like the opposite of that scene in As Good As It Gets.)

But I digress (Ahh!! I haven’t said that in so long! Felt nice. Felt real nice.)

When I think back on the season, a lot of it is a blur. You know how there are some periods in your life that had this weird dichotomy of both flying by yet seeming to last forever? Yeah, me neither.

No, but seriously, that’s kind of like what 2012 was like. There were high points, and a lot of low points, and ultimately nothing ever seemed to go right. I don’t mean “right” as in “the Yankees had one misfortune after another” kind of way. I mean “right” as in “corrent.” Nothing every seemed to go the way it should, for good or for bad.

It wasn’t just the Yankees, though. The whole MLB season seemed like the baseball gods decided to hand the reigns over to their wives and put them in charge of being the invisible hands that guided the season. So all these baseball god wives were like, “Really? Ok, great! Ok, yes, yes. We have the list of instructions. We won’t mess it up, we promise. Just go have fun in Barbados, we’ll see you when you’re back!”

Then: “There’s a team called RED? I LOVE IT! Can we make them win every game?”

“Whoa, I don’t know. Is that on the list?”

“I accidentally lost the list.”

“Wait, didn’t they call it the National Pasture or something at one point? National something?”

“Wait, the Nationals are a team. Ok, they’re going to get some love, too.”’

Boston may as well have named themselves
"The Hangnails" or "The Spinning Beach Balls of Death"
or some other term just as synonymous with aggravating.
“THERE’S A TEAM CALLED THE RED SOX? UGH. Do you know that happened to me the other day? One sock. Whole load of white robes? Pink. Why would they name a team after that? They’re done.”

Etc etc etc.

Seriously, it’s the only thing that makes sense, ironically.
Because how else do you explain the Yankees collectively forgetting how to hit after making it to the playoffs by virtue of their knack for the long ball?
How else do you explain, one of the best pitchers I’ve ever seen in my life and will ever see, bookending the season with losses, getting shelled?
How do you explain Mo blowing the save on opening day...and then blowing out his knee exactly a month later?

And yes, it was a pleasure seeing Boston vomit away their season and chance at the post-season, but that doesn’t make it any less weird.

How else do you explain July 8 when Derek Jeter dropped acan of corn pop up, prompting a hush over the Yankee Universe, as Suzyn Waldman quietly says, “That was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” I mean, how else do you explain Suzyn Waldman saying anything quietly??

How do you explain the Yankees going from the guys that always manage to pull it off the final innings, to the only team in baseball that didn’t have a win when trailing in the 8th?

How else do you explain the Baltimore F'n Orioles?
How do you explain the fact that a team who spent the better part of their storied history being the hottest team post-all star break, spent this season cruising right along just UNTIL the ASG?

And how do you explain that the Yankees spent  76 years alternating between pinstripes and away grays only…but this season they had a day when this tradition died?

I’ve said it countless times before, and I’m sorry for repeating the analogy, but really I cannot think of a better one than Marble Madness:

But tonight? After the loss, things didn't feel wrong, for the first time in a while. That's how I knew it was really over.

You know I’m not much of a blogger during the offseason, so it will probably be a little while before I write again. Of course, should the Yankees actually have some “breaking news” or even any news, really, I’ll throw my hat in the ring of opinions. But you know how I feel about the “hot stove.” Kind of like how I feel about meetings: I don’t want all the background information,  just give me the bottom line.

So thanks again for reading this for another year. I like doing this a lot. It keeps me sane. (EYE-RUH-NEEEE!) And it makes me feel really (for lack of a better word) touched when I realize I’m not talking to myself.

I owe a big, nay INFINITE TIMES INFINITE GIGUNDO, thanks to David Cone, forgiving me the plug of a blogger’s lifetime.

I swear, Coney, if you ever need someone to teach your kid piano lessons, or clean your house, or fold laundry, cook, stand around and break eggs on my head for entertainment purposes, you know who to call.

Thank you Charmian, Cricket, K.C., Brett C., Nina, Maria, MJM, Uncle Mike, Jeff K., Rob A., Frank C., Theresa C., Matt W., and Glenys for always being so diehard, without question. And cheers to Alex R. for Game 5, (who I would not have had the pleasure of meeting if not for Coney). I would say he's my favorite Alex who isn't Arod, but it's dead heat with Alex L.

(Actually, you know what, speaking of Account guy Alex L., cheers to our friends in San Francisco, who let me wear my hat to meetings and who text to send condolences after Yankee tragedies.)

And requisite season MVP awards to Ollie, Strange, Keith, Kerry, Evan, Krista, and Pollina sisters #2 and #3. (Season Rookie of the Year award to Matt in Finance department. Season LVP to Ohyob for skipping off to Germany during a High Stress Alert Week.)

Gratias multus, HisDudeness and Infantry Michael for guestblogging. (HisDudeness and I will be working on some CYC site stuff over the offseason, and I hope Infantry Michael will want to blog again come 2013 season..yes? Please?)

Anyways, I'm starting to sound ridiculous (well, more than usual, anyway). It’s just a few months, yeah?

I miss it already. But maybe it was a blessing. My endurance is not what it used to be, and it turns out I’m not invincible after all. Maybe the off season will give me some time to get back to being bionic. Same goes for the Yankees.

It was a rough year, overall. But sometimes you gotta have one of those so everything comes into focus and you know what direction to go. It'll be interesting to see where it takes the Yanks.

So, cheers, Yankee fans! You know what? If we’re fans of another team, the offseason is the 5-month wait for opening day. But since we’re fans of the New York Yankees, the offseason is the 5-month anticipation of dominating the game.

Est magna esse iuvene quod a Yankee.

So here’s the thing. We don’t play, we can’t lose. But the other thing is that I didn’t think—(nay, I KNEW)—we weren’t going to lose. No way the Yankees were going to lose tonight. I was pretty confident about seeing a game on Thursday. But all of this is easy to say because it was a rain out.

Are you f’n kidding me? A rain out? I was all in position, too! I had my secret weapon on hand! You never really know who the good ones are until there’s a playoff situation and people are confronted with the playoff version of your baseline self. The Strangeman family? They’re the good ones. NO ONE, not my sister/parents/other friends, NO ONE knows how to handle CYC during the postseason like Strange.

So, cheers, Strange. For coming out and for ensuring I had a good view of the tv and for being a good one.

So, yeah, it was kind of like the debate last night in the sense my dad waits for it like it’s the freaking New Year’s Eve ball about to drop. And when it didn’t start on schedule, he lost it, a la Mussina style when a game doesn’t start on time. But unlike Mussina, my dad didn’t do crossword puzzles, so much as he paced and drop f-bombs.

Maybe that’s where I get it from. The pacing and cursing thing.

My interest in politics lingers around the level of my interest in the WNBA, slam poetry, rain forests, and gas prices. And yet, last night I probably watched more of the debate than I did the game. My poor parents were subjected to the CYC musical chairs of superstitions.

Yankee strikes out ? “Ok, Mom, you wear the adjustable hat, dad wears the gray hat, and I’ll wear my hat backwards, let’s see if that works.”

My dad drew the line when I started to involve Mo in this lunacy, as pet cemetery owners are WONT to do. (I swear I could be dangling from a cliff by a Brine Lacrosses keychain lanyard thing, and my dad would still be like, “Did you feed the cat today? DID YOU?”)

So last night:. “ Ok, Mo. Scram. Off my lap. Go sit in the other room facing  Northeast.”

“Kristen. Enough. “

That’s how I knew it wouldn’t be fair to subject them to my inanity tonight. They dodged a bullet, maybe 2 bullets since tomorrow’s schedule was apparently the fruit of Beezlebyb himself. Yeah, nbd. Game 4 at 4:00 on a Thursday. Good move, TBS. Which will heretoforth be identified as “Tortured By Scheduling.”

Yeah, you heard me. TBS. Pshh.

So, in the absence of a game, I’m free to, well, do whatever it is people who don’t like sports do. How do non-fans function in real life? Seriously. What do they talk about?

So today at 4, the Yankees will try to get the game in. This sucks for a lot of reasons, not least of which is the fact that I’ve made a point to avoid my coworkers ever seeing in game mode. It looks like it’s going to be unavoidable today. Hide the staplers.

...that for the first time since the playoffs started, I was annoyed at something other than the Yankee bats.

Justin Verlander pitched almost a complete game shutout. He was pitching 99 mph in the 9th inning, with well over 100 pitches already under his belt. THAT is astounding. Mind-blowingly impressive. I can be objective, contrary to popular belief. Or, well, what my nickname may suggest.

That said, he wasn't nearly as stifling as the announcers have made him out to be. Yes, his W put the Yankees in an 0-3 hole. Yes, that 0-3 hole will subsequently trigger a non-stop barage of "the LAST time to come back from a 0-3 deficit..." reminders (which, not for nothing, is almost as bad as the loss itself. I'm not kidding.)

But Justin Verlander did not mystify the Yanks in the way that Sanchez did. He whiffed 3. And, most importantly, the Yanks were batting the ball all over the place. And "by all over the place" I mean, wherever there were fielders.

Seriously! I know everyone is going berserk right now, and have already written off the series. But I think a lot of that has to do with the fact every Yankee fan had TBS drilling it into their brains for 3 hours that Verlander was absolutely unhittable.

Not true. He was hittable. They made contact--good contact--with the ball. I wasn't mad at the Yankee bats.

Maybe this had something to do with the fact Arod and Swish were out of the lineup, leaving me with...what? A bunch of people who I can't get mad at because they've either just been introduced to the playoffs, like, 8 hours ago.

Or because they aren't some "overpaid player blah blah who keeps striking out." Grandy and Cano strike out all the time, no doubt about it. But they aren't overpaid. And for some reason, Grandy has become Sean Casey/Jim Thome's successor in the over-the-top perception of Mr. Congenialty assignation.

So, while I am in fact really sad about this pickle we've gotten ourselves into, I want to be clear that it ain't over til it's over. The Yankees hit the ball. Phil Hughes let up 1 freaking run. PHIL HUGHES. One run.

It's eerie, really. That a team that was Georgia-asphalt-in-Augusta hot, COLLECTIVELY went hooking-up-with-your-best-friend's-ex cold. All of them (as indicated in "Collectively"). Not even staggered. A simultaneous hush over the bats. It's like Ibanez and Tex and Sneach were absent from class the day xyz-Disney-villain put a ridiculous curse on the protagonist.

I like how 80s cartoons pushed
the envelope in terms of terrifying
their target audience. Unapologetically.
I wonder if they have survivor guilt for being spared from whatever evil has been bestowed upon the rest of the lot.

So TECHNICALLY Sneach had the only 2 hits for most of the game (of course), while the Tiggers posted 2. Then the 9th inning comes around and it's 2 outs and the Yankees are down to their last strike, and Tex works a walk.

Cano's up. Gets on base. Yeah, nbd. Cano got a base hit. See ya, hitless streak.

Ibanez is up, who is the ONLY person on that entire team, with the possible exception of an amputated Jeter, that can bat in that spot with carte blache.

Swish really dodged a bullet there, because you know that if he got up with bases loaded and 2 outs, he wouldn't 100% popped it up and inspired a riot. It also would've have been the last time he ever held a bat wearing Yankee pinstripes.

I swear, Swish almost looked PO-ed when Nunez went yard.

Nunez went yard. That felt weird writing it. I don't know what the hell is going on anymore. Is this real life?

Alright game 4 tomorrow. No one's going to sweep the Yankees with Round Boy on the mound, so rest easy, Yankee fans. One game at a time.

And buzz off to all the "only time a team came back from 0-3" dramatics, because you know what, sports world? The Socks were only the first baseball team to do it. Hockey had been doing it for years. It should also be mentioned that Boston was the last team to RELINQUISH a 3-0 lead in the playoffs.

I heart you, Flyers.

Ahh, I apologize for the brevity here. It may be because I know there's a win in store for us tomorrow. It may be because I've been losing my sleeplessness endurance. It's painful to write right now. I miss being invincible.

Annnnd the MVP award this week goes to Matt in the Finance department, for giving me a 1-year old box of Valentine's chocolates that tasted like dusty bubblegum mixed with a yodel. It was the thought that counted though, and maybe I should give my entire office MVP for accomodating me during the playoffs.

Ahh, the MLB playoffs. The great unifier, the great divider.

I'm happy to be on the same side of the fence as Yankee fans.

And as my dad would say, "Don't worry about the game tomorrow. It's a rerun. I've already seen it, and the Yankees win it 4-2."

Potissimaque res in vita, est bonus amice et bonus bullpen.

"Fredo, you broke my heart!". Raul Ibanez has been the best Yankee bat during this postseason, however, even Superman fails sometimes. The Yankees put on a strong show in the 9th inning but fell short. But once again the Yankee bats were largely silent throughout much of the game, before the 9th, Ichiro had the only two hits in the game. Now I'm sure that much will be said about Giradi's benching up Arod and Swisher, but the way Verlander was pitching no one can say whether or not it would have made a difference. JV was a man on fire, in the zone, doing no wrong, pitching like a man on a mission. What I do find fascinating is that not only did Nunez NOT make an error, but he scored the only run of the game with a home run, bringing us within 1 run of sending it into extra innings. It just goes to show that if you buy enough scratch off tickets, your bound to win something. I am still convinced, however, that Nunez will never replace anyone on the Yankee roster short of the team ownership receiving a really great deal on lobotomies, but for today Nunez, you were the man. Savor it, get that clip from ESPN, because I still think watching you play is like watching a Nascar race, everyone is just waiting for the crash to happen. But tonight, you can hold your head high, you gave us a chance. Hell, until he hit that home run, with the exception of Ichiro, the Yankees appeared to be auditioning for a walk on role in The Walking Dead. Robinson Cano broke out of his slump and we have to hope that this wasn't just a solitary event.

The bright spot in my opinion was the Yankee's bullpen. They shut out a very powerful Tiger lineup, holding the MVP Miguel Cabrera to one hit and an RBI, as well as putting a giant goose egg on the Fresh Prince. And sadly that brings me to an issue that gave me horrendous nightmares the night before when I realized that Phil Hughes would be taking the mound. Ok, I know what you're thinking, he only gave up 2 runs, but I say that is only because his back gave out and he had to leave the game. But,  I noticed quite clearly, that once someone got on base, he seemed unable to find the strike zone. Three walks and one strikeout. And in fact, if it weren't for some excellent field play, the score could have been much worse.  I mean for once, just one time, for the love of everything Holy, DUDE, can you PLEASE, go just ONE game without giving up a home run? I mean really, just one time! 

So after the eighth, the buzzards were circiling and the fat lady was warming up, but as said before Nunez uncharacteristically became the belle of the ball. Then Tex and Cano woke up and realized a ballgame had broke out somehow. The Yankees were still alive, the fat lady sat down, and I thought, if only we can get to Raul, if somehow someone other than Ichiro can  - to use the old baseball adage - 'hit it where they ain't ' , then everything would be okay. I felt that then, it would be like a sign from God that everything was going to be alright. But in a heart breaking moment, Mighty Casey struck out, and there is no joy in Mudville.

The Buzzards are back, and the Fat Lady is humming. We have CC tomorrow, and he has to have the game of his life, but boys we got to get serious real fast and start pounding the cover off the ball or else the Tigers will be playing for the Championship that is OURS. I want that 28th World Series title, but you guys have to want it too, remember the words of our Captain, "You don't just accidentally end up in the World Series." 

Getting close to a win, or getting close to a title is as far away as the moon is from the earth. And lastly, remember the great Ricky Bobby, "If you ain't first, you're last"

See, I didn't even have it in me to "pause" the title of the blog post.

I'm exhausted/sick in every sense of the word(s). I just spent the last 3 hours doing pro-bono copyediting for someone I barely even talk to. I know there are at least some people out there who understand the compulsive need to proofread, yeah?

Alright, re: the Yankees...

I am not all "WAHHH, they're DONE!" alarmist. I am sad that they waste outstanding outing by their pitchers game after game.

It's just so ironic and annoyingly so, that we spend every season, all season, biting our fingernails about how we can POSSIBLY survive in the postseason with a half-ass rotation.

We spend the entire season wiping the accumulation of sweat on our foreheads, when the big bats bail out the pitching game after game.

And now? Look at us. It's a shame, really.

You know what else is a shame? That Jeff Nelson is employed by MLB.

"The hand did not get in before the tag," Nelson said after seeing a replay. "The call was incorrect." Ok, great. That and a subway card will get us uptown.

Here's the weird part, though. I'm actually relieved that the Yankees were shut-out. Because if the Yanks had so much as scored ONE run, I'd be spitting nails about the impact of that bullshit call at second.

I'm having a tough time listening to the announcing, by the way, since they're starting to sound like drunk chicks talking about football. Or that scene in Saved By the Bell when Zach tricks the dorks from Valley into mixing up their sports knowledge.

I'm pretty sure after Detroit took a 1-0 lead that I heard, "And the game is now tied!"

But, hey, I guess the real story of the evening was the fact that Robinson Cano broke the all-time MLB record of longest streak without a hit in the postseason. It's funny because at one point in the season, we were counting his hit streak. Not funny-haha so much as funny-headexploding.

Then there's Arod. Who got a hit in the 9th. He also struck out a bunch, as he is want to do. But don't worry, he had some reassuring words for everyone: "We've been through stretches like this all year. It's been a very volatile stock market for us this year."

Cute! Metaphors! HIT THE #*$& BALL.

Grandy went 0 for a million. Pretty much everyone did. 4 hits all game. 0-5 with RISP. 7 LOB. Whatever, it my head it was a 1-0 game, because all those runs after the 2-out missed call at 2nd don't count.

Still, a 1-0 game is a Yankee loss. Just means a shorter recap, I guess.

I'm not worried. I don't know why, but it's too ridiculous. All of it. It's like when Roy Hobbes went from being Miguel Cabrera to Mario Mendoza (at best) Arod (at worst). It was bananas. And frustrating. I mean, in terms of emotions evoked by a fictitious character who's slumping, anyways.

But he came back eventually. It'll be cool when we get to see an entire line-up take turns hitting the lights out of the stadium stands. Cue up the the Natural Theme. Because if there was ever a good time for a preposterously improbable renaissance, it is against the best pitcher in baseball.

Yeah, we're gonna tee off on Verlander.

That may be one of the more ridiculous things I've ever written on this blog, which is saying a lot. But then again...

I had a bunch of notes written down from last night's game. Naturally. Some of them were really funny, too. But I don't want to think about last night. At all. It was horrifying. As you know.

So, today Miami_Yankee. leaves a comment giving us all something to think about:

So we lost Jeter, now what? I know we have a whole team, but isn't there a saying "that we are only as good as our weakest link?" That being said who is that weak link, and how good or bad does that make us?

Swisher. Swisher is our weakest link according to my dad, who turns in Rainman talking about Judge Wopner, whenever #33 steps up to bat: "This guy's a clown. A clown. You know what he shoud be doing? Wearing red clown shoes in the dugout. Kris, you know what he looks like? A clown."

After Swisher "lost the ball in the lights" aka "lost the game," my dad started yelling at the tv like it was the presidential debates. First screaming at the screen, then realizing the tv wouldn't respond, turning to me to repeat everything he just said to the tv, then redirecting it back to the tv for symmetry, I guess.

Me? I was too devastated to get worked up. How can you, after a game like that? It's like, "WHAT ELSE?" can go wrong. 29384 men left on base. A missed chance to have a magic night in the stadium courtesy ZPack#1. Oh, yeah, and the best hitter on the team is out for the rest of the postseason.

It's all very "Varsity Blues."

Seriously, I expected to see Ali Larter on the sidelines weeping in a Coyotes cheerleading uniform when Jeter was being carried off. So Jayson Nix becomes the Jonathan Moxon of the New York Yankees. Yeah, who's the "Cinderella" team now? Ugh. Shoot me now.

So, to answer your very astute question Miami_Yankee, I don't know. I know, I'm really going out on a limb there. I'm inclined to agree with my dad here, but I'm trying to not let last night's bonehead play color my objectivity. Yes, apparently, objectivity is a concern of mine when I'm tailspinning into hopeless anxiety.

You know what, though? Granderson may be my choice here. Swinging at one bad pitch after another. It's bad.

I think the Yankees will be fine.

It will be okay in the end. If it's not ok, it's not the end.

I need a drink.


Sorry about the delay on this--as you can imagine, I was flying a little low to the ground this morning. I woke up in the city and it was beautiful day out and I remembered that the Yankees beat the O's last night and life was good.

It still is. Because the Yankees have finally gotten rid of those pesky Orioles. Thank God. Good try, Baltimore. You gave it a good run, but let's call a spade a spade her. Hammel vs Fatso? What did you think was going to happen?

I went to the game with Alex R. and his coworker buddies, who are a murderer's row of awesome Yankee fans. The "aggressive-booers-of-opposite-teams" types that I adore.

(I don't know how it works out like this, but I think I have maybe at most 3 friends that AREN'T lawyers. And every time I hang with lawyers it makes me even more rueful that they get to have their job measured by a win loss record and I don't.)

Anyways, so Alex 100% gets the Chevy Player of the Game award for last night. Stanley and Amir get runners up for joining me in harassing the Fordham baseball players with Red Socks caps 2 rows in front of us.

Before the game Alex tells me, "Amir is celebrating his anniversary tonight."

"His anniversary of what?"

"Um, his marriage?"

(My mom will use that exchange as a testament to how low marriage ranks on my priority list. I don't think that'd be entirely inaccurate.)

His 14-year anniversary, to be exact. "Ooh, you know what that means?"

"That they've been married 14 years?"

"NOOO. Well, yes. But also that Granderson is going to have a big game!"

What a game. What a game. What a night. Fatso was brilliant. Really, just stunning.

I was in the bathroom when the first run was scored, and I alllllmost didn't return. Because, you know, the reason they scored was because I had to go to the bathroom.

The game started with two hard hit balls that went deep. Oh, shit. This game was going to be grueling.

Who But WB Ibanez. I don't if that makes sense,
but I just spent the last 20 minutes making that on
PowerPoint, so it's going in. (pause.)
But my God, Tubbo is good. 9 innings. 4 hits. 1 run. 9 strikeouts. Unreal. What the hell would we do without the big guy?

Can't we just clone him and make many more of him (as cloning would suggest)?

Any other pitcher on the mound would have been Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Perfect game. Which is what Not Cole Hamels was doing against us for about 5 innings.

Bottom 5 and Tex singles, STEALS SECOND (I know!), then Who But ZPack#1 drives him in to put the Yanks up 1-0.

Sneach doubles in Jeter an inning later, making it 2-0, and then in the bottom of the 7th...TA-DA!...Grandy goes yard.

SEE? I told you Grandy would have a big game! Happy 14th Anniversary of marriage to Amir and happy 1st hit for Grandy since the Reagan administration.

Baltimore singles in a run in the 8th but pishposh, no match for Round Boy, who pitches a complete game and makes the final out of the game by getting Wieters to ground out.

See ya, birds. At least you didn't have the worst exit from the playoffs, which would belong to the Nationals. The best team in baseball for most of the year, and they had a 6-0 lead in Game 5. At home. And then the Cardinals manage to beat them 9-7 with a 4-run 9th inning.

Man, StL fans...cough, Chris Dorrian, cough...were very happy campers last night. Congrats, birds. Not you, Orioles. The birds that won.

Also, congrats to the Yankees! You know what was also awesome last night? After the game, we're getting after it on 161st street at Billy's, and it's bedlam up in the Bronx really, and Alex checks the time and he goes, holy shit.

"What, what is it??"

"It's 9:00."

"Shut up."

"Yes! It's only 9!"

Amazing. I like these 5:00 games after all.

Life is good. Time for Detroit. Here we go....

Facturi estis latratote tota moriuntur, parum il cannus cat? Vadis ad morsum?

Strange, I'm gonna need you on Friday.

There are less than 5 people on the planet who know how to deal with me during "High Stress Alert" Yankee games. The forerunners are my sister, Strange, Ollie, and Keith.

Ollie hates the Yankees but is my most thoughtful/reliable friend.

Keith=me, so it's difficult to know what to say to yourself.

My sister is gold, but so gold that I almost feel bad about the fact that she knows what to say and I don't.

Strange likes the Yankees and me the perfect amount. He knows what to do and what not to do. I don't know how, but he does.

So here we go. Game 5. Two Game 5s. TBS and TNT must be having their own clubhouse celebrations right about now.

Me? No. I'm sitting on the beach like a homeless person. A homeless person with an ipad and enough devastation to eclipse concern about sand getting into the ipad.

Not my best day. So I get out of surgery this morning and it hurts but not as much as CYH, so it really wasn't so bad. But unlike CYH, CYM* is a bigger incision and starts opening up around inning 12. It was all very Seth in "Superbad."

Oh, wait. It was just BAD. Not super at all.

*Crazy Yankee Muscle

Do we need to talk about this game? No. I'm tired and sad and want to do what Crazy Yankee Hamster (RIP) used to do in times of crisis:†

†That wasn't my hamster. My hamster passed on, but he used did a similar thing where he tried to climb under bedding when he was uncomfortable.

This is a viable option for rodents, but not for humans. To be clear. I'm writing that more to remind myself than inform others.

I had a headache. It seemed like a good solution.
At any rate, the Yankees lost. I am a wreck. They lost because of the following issue:

If your mother's life depended on it, who do you want at the plate?

The fact that I immediately start thinking of ways to sidestep this ultimatum ("well, who exactly is holding my mom hostage? Who am I up against?") is a bad sign.

Seriously, who do you want at the plate? I would go with Jeter or Sneach. I remember having this conversation with Fingers about 3 months ago, and he asked, "What stadium are we playing at?"

Of course he did. I shouldn't have expected a straightforward answer, because Fingers is the consummate walking advertisement for fantasy baseball.

"I don't know, Jason. The guy holding your mom hostage won't tell you. He says you just get to pick a batter."

"Ok, so someone's holding her hostage right now, and--"


"Like, right now? Currently?"

"No, in a hypothetical situation that occurs 20 years in the future. Currently. Right now. Your mom is about to die. Name a batter."


Granderson. It was a good pick. Well thought out. Sort of. But a good decision.

Answer that question right now, and my choice becomes a function of who my mom would most like to see batting on her behalf or who would be the easiest to kill if I had to.

That was a just a really circuitous way of saying that the Yankee bats are pathetic. 1 run in 13 innings. Against the F'N ORIOLES.

0-9 with Runners In Scoring Position.

10 men Left On Base.

That is horrifying.

It's the 3rd time today my stomach has turned.

Arod is getting more and more difficult to defend, mostly because he's not lining out. He's striking out. Over and over again. He's going all in on 3 5 off suit because he's hoping for that ONE TIME when he flops a nut straight and it'll all be worth it.

It's really sad. He's not going to have a big hit. I just realized this. I've been defending him all this time and holding on to this naive hope that it'll happen, but sometimes you have to abandon your faith and face the facts. He's not going to come through for us. Once in a while he'll get on base and I'll clap extra loud and be all, 'SEE??' but then when we really need him 2 innings later...well, I won't belabor the point.

Take Arod out of the lineup, Joe. There's a game 5 situation that doesn't afford us the luxury of baseless trust.

Quite literally, baseless.

Alright, in terms of recapping it: the f'n O's won off JJ Hardy's go-ahead ribbie in the 13th off a very admirable David Phelps. The Yankees wasted a superb pitching performance from Hughes, who let up 4 hits in over 6 IP, while whiffing 8.

I close-to-detest-but-dont-REALLY-loathe-because-my-mom-says-we-dont-actually-really-HATE-anyone the following things right now:

Everyone who gets off on pitching duels and finds these games enjoyable. I want the Yankees to tee off on Hammel. A good old fashioned, unexciting yet exciting, pinstriped slugfest.

Everyone who updates their facebook status to something that establishes themselves firmly in political partisanship. No one won. You know how I know? BECAUSE YOU CAN'T CHECK THE SCORE OF THE DEBATE ON YOUR PHONE. It's not a sport. It's like saying, "Hey who won the sleeping yesterday?"

"Let me check Yahoo Stat Tracker... Oh, yeah they're both asleep. Hard to tell who's in the lead, the bad guys just coughed, but the good guys just rolled over. know. Sleep. Yeah."

Everyone who walks around unaffected by the MLB playoffs.

Everyone who boos someone on their own team.

I don't know who's left, but it's kind of an interesting game of "Guess Who." I wonder who's left after that elimination process. I bet it's someone with my long lost Yankee hat.

Speaking of betting, I bet the Yankees win tomorrow. I say that for many reasons, but all of which are immaterial. Just know that I bet the Yankees win tomorrow.

It's a must-win. So we'll win. Done. Mind over matter.

And above all:

Have faith in the Yankees.

Seriously. They do. Words, I mean. In the failing sense. I just spent the last 10 minutes trying to think of a pithy post title to encapsulate what we just witnessed. But, again, words fail me.

Generally my recaps tend to err on the side of long (pause), but tonight, of all nights, I'm gonna have to be brief. Or try to be anyway, as I have to wake up at 5am to get to NYU at 8. Not only does this mean I can't really stay up all night finding links etc, but it meant I couldn't eat or drink anything after midnight.

I think I'm going to adhere to to the hospital instructions ALDS-style. Which is to say that I'm going to go with the best out of 5. All I have to do is 3 of the above, and I'm golden.

You know what else is golden?

RAUL F'N IBANEZ. Otherwise known (to me) as ZPAK#1.

If you want to know what happened in the game, well, then you're a weirdo because that meant you didn't watch it. I was just telling my coworker today that it never ceases to amaze me how I'll be walking down the street during the playoffs, all tense and agitated and loaded for bear...and there will be people just walking around and they have no idea what's going on.

They're like completely oblivious to the fact there are baseball games being played that are so important that they pretty much govern my emotions.

So, yeah, if you're a weirdo, here's the game in a nutshell:

  • Gonzalez was a stunningly effective combination of Martin Short and unhittability.
  • The O's 2 runs were scored with solo shots from their 8th and 9th batters. "Baseball's a funny game, Suzyn." Yeah, I wasn't laughing.
  • The O's started laughing and hugging too soon. Like 7th inning time frame, when they pulled Gonzalez. I'm not sure why they did this since the guy was showing no signs of letting up. I guess, when in Rome, etc.
  • HOWEVAH, Girardi leaves his boy Kuroda in. Much to my confusion since he WAS actually starting to let up.
But you know what tonight was, secondary to the ZPAK#1 Show?

It was a demonstration of why we're not all managers, and why Joe Girardi is.
  • He pulls Arod in the 9th, which I thought was kind of BS and bad karma, despite the fact the guy couldn't hit water if he fell off a boat.
  • Puts in Ibanez, who ties the game.
  • He keeps in Kuroda, and the game goes into extras, which meant we had a fresh pen.
  • He keeps in R-So, then D-Rob, no overmanaging.
  • He pulls Jeter when he's hurt.

He did a good job.

So did Kuroda, R-So, and D-Rob. Really, the pitching in this game was one for the books. Books about how the Yankees are awesome. 18 Ks between the 2 teams.

So, yeah, the defense was great, and who doesn't like a nice defensive game where everything is really impressive and neat?

The funny thing about those pitching duels that everyone loves so much is that it just elevates the pitching performance without condemning the offense. Yeah, Gonzalez is good, but cmon he's not freakin Roy Halladay. He hit all his pitches (a point that my dad underscored about 249 times before I started getting irritatable. Dad likes to repeat observations when he's right, which makes him very vulnerable to getting a "Dad, how come you say this pitcher is wild? He looks pretty accurate to me.")

As I was saying, he hit all his pitches with paralyzing precision, but we're the Yankees, dammit. The fact that the only hits of the game came from Raul, Swisher, R-Mart, and Jeter.. is disturbing.

But that's a sentiment that I'm not going to harp on because it's bedtime for Bonzo and the Yankees are 1 win away from taking the division.

This game was huge. What Ibanez did for the Yankees is bigger than this game.

Technically it was Arod's spot that Ibanez was filling in, so maybe those clutch long balls can be partially attributed to Arod? No?

Ok, can we at least stop booing him though? That's not helping anyone. Karma is fragile, and you know I'll kill anyone and not bat an eye, if I discover reckless endangerment of superstitious corrollaries.

Time for Round Boy to close shit out for us.

Congratulations, Yankees. And by Yankees, I mean Raul, Jeter, and the pitchers. The rest of you need to do what Sneach does and bring your bat home to cement the rapport. Alright, you know what? I'm starting to sound like Smoltz in the booth, whose pitching analysis was starting to sound like a college drama professor describing how to find your character within yourself. Or stage blocking.

Yeah, my wine-and-tired-induced delirium is starting to sound very much like that. Cheers, Yankees! Til tomorrow...

Reperio solidum cum accelerare vespertilio caput.

(That's what Arod's life coach told him to repeat at the plate over and over and over. Well, in English anyway. Maybe he should go old-school Mass style, and recite in Latin for more effect? Where is Kevin Long, btw?)

PS, apparently the debates are on tomorrow. I'm already preemptively planning ways to eviscerate the "can we turn the debates on?" ilk. When I say eviscerate, I mean real Hostel II-esque violence. Does eviscerate mean that? It's a pretty word, it should mean something nice. Not this week, though.

For obvious reasons.

Now I'm cranky(er).

It's Monday, which I hate. My best friend went home yesterday, which I also hate. I'm tired, which is so unfamiliar to me that I hate it by virtue of not knowing how to handle it.

And the Yankees lost. Game 2. Playoff series. Shit's about to start getting real.

The Yanks scored first in the most quintessential Sneachiro move ever in the history of Sneaching.

Cano doubles to right in the first inning, Sneach sneaches into homeplate territory, the ball beats him by about 3 feet, yet somehow he manages to touch the plate first. Because he's Sneach. And he looked like he was playing some kind of a weird hybrid of dodgeball, steal the bacon, limb, and tag.

(Prior to scoring, he reached first when Reynolds tried to bare hand a bouncing grounder. Sneachiro is basically that thing on Sesame street that was like a plastic cup that just appeared out of nowhere and could mover through walls. There. I said it.)

Unfortunately, the Yankees picked a really bad time for their RISP-allergy to have a flare-up.

Yeah, I kind of forgot about that whole issue with that getting runs in. I definitely remember thinking just a couple of weeks ago, "Boy, the Yankees better learn to score with men on" (pause) "if they want to make it anywhere it in the postseason."

I mean, not that this was a unique thought. But the point is, I guess we all knew that eventually this problem would manifest itself in the playoffs.

Maybe we should be happy they got it over with in Game 2 of the ALDS, right before they break for home.

I don't even want to go into all the missed opportunities they had, but suffice to say they were hitting .250 with RISP (not too bad) but left 10 men on (bad). Our Mr. October on the Mound was less thatn October-y. Unless he's Mr. Kevin Brown October on the Mound or something. Which he's not.

Chen, the Taiwanese rookie, (I swear that has gotta be a logo lockup somewhere because I don't think one can be said without the other at this point), pitched average ball, really. He got the player of the game award, which was kind of ridiculous seeing as both he and Pettitte pitched almost EXACTLY the same game. Except, well, Pettitte lost.

Chen wasn't slapping his glove in anger. Pettitte was.

The Playoff Veteran: 7 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 5 Ks
The Taiwanese Rookie: 6 IP, 8 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 3 Ks

I mean, obviously the Playoff Veteran outpitched the Taiwanese Rookie, numbers-wise. So it's pretty obvious that it wasn't Pettitte who should've been tagged with the loss, but rather, the Yankee lineup that couldn't bring in runs.

I woke up this morning to my dad saying, "Kris, it's 7, time to get up. The Yankees need to get rid of Arod. What train are you taking?"

"Arod is fine."

Seriously, let's back off Arod. Just because he struck out to end the game, doesn't mean the problems started with him.

We should take a cue from the other thing that I woke up to this morning. Which was Mariano Rivera and his best friend, who doesn't always do much in the way of giving back, but Mo adores him just the same:

Teddy reminds me of Ohyob and Arod. Basically he reminds
me of any collection of random letters.  

Today is an off day, so I can work on getting tickets for the home games, as well as getting my blood pressure to go down. Things could be worse than heading home with a split series. I mean, you could die or step in dog shit. Both of those things are infinitely worse.

Though if the Yankees lose on Wednesday? Then I'm going to have to recalibrate my "What's Worse" barometer.

Credo victoria nostra erit.

Annnnd it begins.

Game 1 of the ALDS defied conventional time continuums. Kind of like one of my old jobs, where somehow, after 2 years there, I managed to feel like I’d both been there for 14 years but also like those 14 years lasted 2 weeks.

Similarly, the Yankees and Orioles waited 2 and half hours to start a much anticipated start to the postseason, and then breezed through the game like it was one of those speed chess matches you see in Washington Square Park or something.

Yankees take a 1-0 lead when Sneach drives in Jeter early.

Baltimore answered in the 3rd after a few base hits set up McClouth to bounce a 2-run single off the wall. O’s, 2. Yankees 1.

Tex ties it in the 4th by roping a double single into the outfield and ok, we’ll give him some latitude because he just tied the game and because he’s recovering from a strained calf and all. But it was single. You're not in a position to try to stretch things unless it's before a game and involes your ligaments. 
And ESPECIALLY don’t go for 2nd if you’re gonna run like a 60 year old woman in the cool-down phase of an aerobics class in a Florida retirement community.

Also, nice shot, Tex.

2-2 game for, like, ever. 8th inning was terrifying. I had no idea what time it was at that point, just that I was tired and tense at the same time, that my activities from the weekend were catching up to me in spades, and that a 5-game series had to have been invented by the same insidious masterminds behind autocorrect, the martini glass, the Capri sun juice boxes, and the umbrella.
The same manufacturer of lime tostitos and those trident gum containers with the flap that invariably open up in your bag, leaving you with unchewable gum everywhere except in your mouth.

Then the Yankees managed to get out of trouble. It meant nothing to me though, because the f’n Orioles somehow got here by pulling wins out of their asses for an entire season.
I feel like I spent much of the year watching ESPN scoreboard do some kind of “Ambitious Ace” card trick on me, where it’d be like, “Ok what score am I showing on the board now?”

“0-3, Texas.”

“Ok, now knock on my fist, and say Abracadabra and refresh your computer screen. Now what does the score say?”

“5-4, Orioles in 13.”


So, yeah.  A 2-2 game in Camden didn’t make me feel great, heading into the later innings, despite the fact that Fatso was dealing his heart out. 8 hits, 2 runs, 7 Ks. That’s the guy I’m gonna marry.

Hammel was good, too. But I hate giving the Orioles’ pitching any credit, because if there’s one thing you learn to repeat ad nauseum in baseball arguments, it’s “Pitching wins championships.” And yet, you’d be hard pressed to find any average baseball fan who can name 3 pitchers on the Orioles. They’ve got one of the best teams in the league, so where is their championship-winning-rotation?

Hammel? Not even Cole Hamels. It’s like one of those perfumes you buy at Duane Reade that are like, “If you liked Clinique Happy, you’ll love Duane Reade’s new scent ‘Gleeful.’”

So the 9th inning happens, and R-Mart, who leads the league in optimism in the face of poor personal performance, comes up to bat and jacks one off Johnson, who lead the league in saves with 51.

Yankees up by 1.

Then a hundred more hits happened, which almost made me feel bad for R-Mart, because I’m wondering if he’s thinking, “Oh man! I wanted to be the hero!” Probably not, he’s probably just happy they won.

Sneach had a swinging bunt, because he’s a weirdo. Swisher drove in the 7th run of the game with a sac fly, Ibanez and Jeter followed R-Mart’s bomb with singles, and Cano had a 2-run double.

Still, I wasn’t convinced that Baltimore wasn’t going to somehow invent a 6-run homerun or something in the bottom of the inning.

But…they didn’t! Yankees take game 1 of the playoffs. Round Boy comes through for us. So do our bats. The Yankees punched a hole in their Win 11, Get One Championship Ring Free card.

10 more to go.

I’m patient when it comes to some things. Like batting. I never swing at the first pitch. I am patient at the plate. But I’m not patient when it comes to most other things, ie scoring runs. I felt like that guy in the movie who had to cut off his arm after being stuck between 2 boulders for 127 hours. But like my dad used to always say in response to any sentence that begins, “I can’t wait until…”

“Well, you’re gonna have to. So you CAN, in fact, wait.”

All my patience is going towards baseball. God help anyone or anything else that demands it from me for something other than this.
Decem amplius vincit ego donec rideat iterum.

Cheers, Boston. I was worried this series was going to be the official swan song of my cardiac health, but you bookended the season nicely. I love symmetry. On a more humane note, I will say that in Girardi's first season as the Yankees' manager, they missed the playoffs for the first time in ever (in ever, Jerry. In ever.)

And it was compounded by the fact it was our big last-year-in-the-stadium thing. Just like it was the Socks' 100th year at Fenway. So maybe don't lambaste that self-absorbed nincompoop who led the Socks into an abyss on which the Mets have had a strangehold.

And that is called "magnanimous in victory."

The Yankees are called "AL East Champions." Another descriptor for them is "Possessing best record in the AL." How that happened. I'm not sure. The Yankees made it happen just like the star feline of this creepy film. 13 times in 17 years. Good God.

The New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Socks (using whole names to make it official a la college diplomas) in a 14-2 rout that featured multi-bomb performances, filthy pitching, and unrelenting aggression. You know what it reminded me of?

The way the NY Giants played the Pats in 2008 on Dec 28. Regular season game. They've already secured playoff spot. But they didn't rest their starters. They didn't save anything for the swim back.

The Yanks had to play for a win. But they played for the jugular.

Infantry reserve into the center.
But, my lord, you've taken the field.
Now we'll take their spirits.

The Yanks weren't playing to embrarrass Boston. That was just a cute byproduct. They were playing to remind everyone (and maybe themselves) that a few weeks of sluggish sub-par playing wasn't going to define them. They're the Yankees, dammit.

They're go yard or go home. They're "New York, New York" and October and 2-out ralllies and classy comraderie.

The Red Socks took control of this game first, as much as the Red Socks can ever really control a game. A 1-0 lead, says my phone. Blech. I followed the last game of the season at a Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) charity auction.

Almost every speaker was a lymphoma or leukemia survivor, and every last one of them began his address with a Yankee score update. They beat cancer. Yankees beat Boston.

(Apparently there was a debate on, too, but I only like things with objetive, quantifiable measures. If the debates were determined by who could make the other debater clear his throat or repeat the question, then I'd be more into it. No, I really wouldn't. I think it's boring.)

Anyways, cheers to the LRF for an outstanding evening. And for supporting the demolition of the ultimate villian (cancer) and the demoralization of the also-ran one (Red Socks.) Thank you for all the work you do, you no doubt had a part in my dad's own lymphoma recovery.

So it was an interesting evening in baseball. Gonna be a hell of a postseason. And, you know, just plain hell. It's painful to be so tethered to something. But thankfully, tonight's win means it's only gonna get worse. That makes sense to baseball fans.

When Grandy hit his [first] longball of the game, I eased up a little. It took a little bit of getting used to, the fact that I didn't have to really scoreboard watch, since we've spent the last few weeks eying the O's the way I watch whatever I put in the office microwave, my nose pressed up against the glass as if to indicate to onlookers that there's no cause for concern, I'm not going to hold up the microwave usage by leaving unattended leftovers in there.

It became some psychotic game of Red Light Green Light 123, where we couldn't keep our eyes off them for a second without them sprinting towards us.


So, we can review the game but the only innings I actually saw played live were the last 3. However, I did get to see one of the greater parts of the night, which was when the Orioles' loss was broadcasted to Yankee Stadium. And in the middle of Arod's at-bat, the Yankees starting celebrating their AL title.

Yesterday my mom said, "I know you don't want to hear this, but I almost feel sorry for the Red Socks."

Unabated contempt < genuine pity.

It's true. The Red Socks have been reduced to having even the most combative Yankee fans feeling mercy. In essence, Boston's galactic failure this year was SO EMPIRICAL AND CONSUMING that I can't even get any kick out of being obnoxious about it. I mean, when they collapsed against the Orioles last year, I was in hog heaven.

"Everything you know is wrong."

Alright, moving on, this isn't about those losers. It's about the winners. The rest of game was a delightful series of score refreshing on my phone until I could steal away to a bar with a tv.

It was a game that featured offensive brilliance from basically everyone who has a hand in the Yankee franchise. I'm pretty sure Cashman's grocerer had an at bat at some point.

In other words, this wasn't the Yankees scrubs getting some "look mom I'm playing!" time. This was the playoff starting roster demonstrating what they're capable of.

This has been a really, really weird season. I don't know what's going on. But that's also what I said on opening day of this year.

So, yeah, get your affairs in order because it's officially post-season time.

Read that sentence again. I can't do it without feeling nauseated and geeked at once.

Here we go...

Magic little number,
One more game is all it takes.
Thrilling combination
And Orioles will lose the race.
One win and suddenly the AL east is locked.
You know we'll have to remember to thank the Red Socks.
Alright, I'm getting wayyyy ahead of myself.

That's what happens when you lose control of your thoughts.Taking my thoughts to a pennant race is like taking a kid to FAO Schwartz or something.

So, the Yankees beat the Red Socks on Tuesday night in a 12 inning game, that involved Ibanez hitting a tying 2-run bomb in the 9th with 1 out, and then Ibanez roping a walk-off base through the infield to score Super Mario from 2nd.

Yes, Cervelli is on the Yankees. How do I not know anything? Oh wait, it's probably because he hasn't picked up a baseball bat since GI Jane was in theaters No, seriously. Cervelli's been officially a New York Yankee for a month. But the last at-bat he had was in August.

And yet somehow, after falling behind 0-2 with 2 outs in the 12th, he manages to draw a walk. And then he somehow makes it home, beating the throw from left with a slide that looked like some kind of cross between trying to boogie board on a sand dune, and a stop-drop-and-roll fire safety measure.

He made it there and was safe because the throw from left field was launched using a nerf bow and arrow and now a major leaguers arm.

Time for dungeon level! Scary.
Alright, so the game was a real rollercoaster of emotions because the Socks took a 2-0 lead early BECAUSE THAT'S HOW EVERY GAME EVER STARTS. And then ZPack3 drives a run, which doesn't make up for all the runs he's cost, but it kind of does because this is the one we remember.

2-1 game. May as well be 1-0. Didn't I just recap this game? Bowno.

Then it's 3-1 and our buddy Glenn emails me to say he "knows how this game ends, and it's not exciting."

Boy, was he was wrong!

And a jackass. Why would you tell me the end of the game if you know how it ends? I guess since we were both watching it live, I should've taken it with some salt. Only my dad is allowed to make ridiculous claims of having seen game reruns. Mostly because they're not ridiculous. He probably has seen them already.

Anyways, Phelps doesn't do too bad a job, really, as opposed to the Yankee bats which had logged something like 10 hits after 6 innings, and STILL could only get 1 run out of it.

Somewhere, I'm hearing a "that's statistically impossible" huff. may very well be. 4-11 with RISP and only 4 runs on 16 hits? Ok obviously it's possible because it happened. This is why I hate the concept of "imaginary numbers" because I feel like it gives all shady math an automatic default.

"Oh, um, yeah. Well, it's not a statistically impossible, PER SE, not if you consider the imaginary number element of the proof. Did you do that? No, I didn't think so."

No one cares how the Socks got their runs, right? Suffice to say Looney [sic, but it shouldn't be] took R-So deep. Video game noise of game over.

Then Ibanez ties the game, as he is want to do. Bonus life, +1, level up video game noise!

3-3 game, lots of mini-threatening situations, and you know how the Yankees hate that. That want to score their runs in private. With no one watching them from the bases.

The pen was superb btw. Really, really great. And I'm not just saying this because they won, ok fine maybe I am, I can't even finish that thought in good conscience--but I think Girardi managed his pitchers perfectly. It was weird. No overmanaging. Not even when he yanked Phelps after he struck out Cody Ross, who is good despite not have only-been-called-by-his-last-name status.

But, yeah, even then. Right move. I guess he's the manager for a reason, as we are just the rabid fans for a reason.

Derek Lowe--good work. That was helpful what you did.

Arod--I've never seen you so mad at a lineout near the warning track. It was weird. Good hit though.


GGBG--Picked off again, huh. Sneach is snickering because he's faster, probably.

Every starter got a hit except Tex. I hope Padilla says something about that, because it will amuse me.

Padilla looks like the troll thing in "Labyrinth." Hoggle?

The Red Socks used about 89 pitchers and at one point, I think there was talk about Bobby V trying to get that sand piper bird who stopped the game inexplicably, to start warming up.

And about 230 hours before the Yankees finally recorded their 4th and winning run of the game, the Orioles won their game in a neat little 1-0 battle against the Devil Rays.

The final game of the regular season is Wednesday, and the Yankees need a win to secure the division. The Orioles need a win to hope for a tie.

Time to go one more round.

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