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May 21, 2012

"Sometimes when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated." -Lamartine

I know this will come as a shock to a lot of you, but I'm pretty superstitious. I hide it well with my completely rational facade. Nope. So when the Yankees are playing like this, it never really occurs to me to attribute it to anything related to performance pitfalls, but rather, it's clearly a function of some cosmic misalignment.

(Similarly, I'm realllly struggling with MR and Hug these days, as we continue to try to identify the perfect permuation of game day interaction, that brings about a Ranger win. And we need to identify it soon, as the series is now tied at 2-2, after an absolutely painful 4-1 game last night.)

The Rangers game was painful. The Yankees game was terrifying.

Something's missing.
I think my horrified paralysis set in when, with a runner on 3rd and 1 out in the 6th, Falu grounds to Tex, who fields it about 2 feet from the bag. Without ever stepping on 1st he looks to hold the runner at 3rd, allowing Falu to reach. The inning ended without Gordon ever scoring from 3rd, but to me that misplay embodied the Yankees' performance as of late: confusing, cloudy, careless, delirious.

They're in a daze. Not slumping so much as they're playing like the Coyotes in Varsity Blues, after they go out all night at the strip club. But at least the Coyotes seemed to care they were struggling. The Yankees look lost. They're not throwing bats in disgust and cursing under their breaths. They're sighing and shaking their heads.

It's LWM.

Life Without Mo.

When Mo went down, I criticized all the non-Yankee fans who were acting like they all stood a chance now. I shot back that they see Mo once or twice a month, and it's a fraction of their lineup, AND he only comes in when they're losing anyway.

But now I'm thinking differently. Mo was more than a closer. Maybe he was the linchpin of their stability. He is, after all, the very quintessence of reliability. The control in an experiment. The immovable constant.

And when that's dismantled, things come undone. The center cannot hold.

(Melodrama. Ugh. I hate myself.)

HOWEVAH, here's what I was thinking about last night:

And this.

And this.

And after a few hours of thinking of this superstitious mishmosh, I even arrived at this episode of Fraggle Rock where one of the Fraggles loses his lucky hat and is no longer brave. Yeah, it was a long, weird night of introspection.

So, if Fraggle Rock et al have taught us anything, it's that whenever people lose the source of their power and suffer a streak of bad luck or ineptitude, it always works out for the best in the end. The hero deprived of his or her luck rises like a phoenix from the ashes and everyone learns an important lesson about self-reliance.

Bottom line: the Yankees are killing us right now. (And we're about the only things they're killing.) And maybe it's the absence of Mo that's propelling them into a tailspin. But they're the Yankees. And even without a beret/feather/spirit stick/lady in white/muppet hat, they'll end up on top.

The pitching is uninspired, the hitting is futile, the fielding is soft. All we can do is have faith in the Yankees. And hope Mo gives them some kind of inspiring speech about how they need to do it for the fat lady in Bayonne. (Which is what my dad always tells me. As usual, it makes no sense. And as usual, it makes perfect sense to me.)

"You don't need the Wolf to win!"

If the Beacon Town Beavers can win without Teen Wolf, if the Ducks can win without Adam Banks, if the Coyotes can win without Lance Harbor, if the Ladybugs can win without dressing up a guy as a girl, then the Yankees will find a way to win without Mo.

That, or we're gonna have to go all Mr. Miyagi, hand-clapping panacea-style on his ACL.


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