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The Yankees are out of excuses. Not that there is really any place in sports for excuses ever, but if there were, then all of the excuses have been effectively voided. After a panic inducing weekend with the ORIOLES, the Yankees headed to Tampa to try to reassure the world that, whatever, no big, they're fine. Just a little rusty lately,  but one blow out game or dazzling pitching performance should put the universe back into the correct order. 

Except that was the opposite of what happened. 

Instead of doing anything to placate their anxiety-ridden fans, instead of just throwing us a bone, we got nothing.

We had our boy on the mound. We had A-Rod back in the clean-up spot. We had no injuries impacting the outcome of the game. No one was tired. We weren't facing King Felix. 

And they lost. The Yankees lost for no reason whatever beyond the fact that they are simply not playing well. 

What happened, exactly? Can anyone pinpoint just when the Yankees started to phone it in? It's tough to say. But there comes a point when maybe it doesn't even really matter. Like, yeah, maybe for diagnostic purposes we should localize the problem, but there's also the fundmental bottom line of who-the-eff-really-gives-a-shit-what-the-root-is-just-fix-it-goddammit.

The Yankees fall to an early 2-0 hole, thanks in part to BJ Upton's 17th bomb of the year. James Shield kept the Yankee bats at bay for most of the game, and our fomidable offense could only muster up 5 hits through 9. Two of which came off the bat of R-Mart, so that right there tells you that the whole game was ridiculous. When almost half of your offensive production is coming from someone who spent most of the season as the Yankees' token "Tiny Tim" in terms of misfortune and anemic performance...well, then it's fair to say that his hits are generally anomalies and not to be assigned much importance.

Z-Pack numero uno was effective as usual. I love how ridiculously consistent he is. It's like his contract says, "just tell me what you want me to do and I'll do it, as long as it is without reason." His triple plated ARod in the 4th to tie up the game, and when that happened I thought the Yankees were going to win. I thought they were going to have mercy on their fans and just pull off one rally to restore faith.

Unfortunately, Z-Pack sort of broke contract when he muted the rally in the 9th by grounding out. I don't really remember that as much as I remember Grandy striking out to end the game. Those game-ending K's are so uncomfortably brutal and depressing. Especially, ESPECIALLY, in SPADES, when it's an away game. But you got a symphony of cheers punching you in the gut, and then there's the fury of watching another team do the Yankees' signature move of standing after 2 strikes thing. And then the inimitable deflation of the ball game being over.

I'm getting ahead of myself though. Not that this is going to end well, of course. But Ima plow ahead.

I didn't anticipate D-Rob screwing things up. He came in the relieve Round Boy in the 8th, and it's a tie game, but this is what D-Rob is getting paid for. Holds. Don't let the score change. Instead, he gave up hits and runs in every way imaginable and then the score is 4-3 by inning's end, thanks to the bookended ribbies from SUPER SLUGGER GIMINEZ. I'm just kidding, Giminez is not a super slugger at all. He's barely a baseball player, really. He's hitting below the Mendoza line and has 6 ribbies all season, but against 2 of the best arms on the Yankees, he is freaking Roger Maris. Fantastico.

So, then it's the top of the 9th and the Yankees are down to their final outs, etc. Thanks for spelling it out for us, Kay. Because we were all so confused about what this meant for the Yanks. Also appreciated are the interminable stream of reminders about how the Yankees "have to start winning games." This is brand new information!

Unless, of course, you're one of those people who are sitting pretty right now, blowing on your newly manicured nails, smugly musing to yourself, "Like the old saying goes, the less you win towards the end of the season, the better shape you're in." Or unless you're subscribing to the philosophical school of thought that contrary to conventional wisdom, no one really HAS to win a game to really WIN a game. Which means the Yankees are in a satisfactory position right now.

As you know, I am really not one to aggressively question managerial decisions (most of the time) because, like parents, they know more than us. Always. As a rule.

HOWEVAH, that said, I don't get why Girardi took out Dickerson this weekend after he was playing like Roy Hobbes. I don't get why A-Rod is back in the clean-up spot in his maiden voyage. Or in any voyage, really. He's a base hitter for God's sake.

But alas, what are our options?

(Stan, in My Cousin Vinnny: "My alternatives? To what? You? I don't know. Death. Suicide." That was a funny scene!)

In all things it is better to hope than to despair. Come on, Yankees. Don't do this.

The summer just ended, and maybe it's time you ended this bullshit, as well.

Populus non notat si est hieme nec estate quando sunt felices.


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