Am I crazy or was Papelbon being a diva in today’s game? Sure, it was raining but how many times can you wipe yourself off with a rosin bag, dig your spikes into a muddy mound and wander around looking like you’d rather be cleaning toilets than pitching? Was it the weather that was bugging him? The non-save situation? The desire to be resting up for the postseason? I kept waiting for the home plate umpire to go out there and make him speed things along – isn’t that their job these days? – but no. Pap needed three rosin bags before it was over. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that.
O.K. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest I’ll turn to the important news of the game, which, of course, was Mussina’s 20th win. Lots of clapping here. I was stuck with the NESN feed and didn’t get to see any post-game interviews, but Moose must be a very happy camper. Good job by Coke, Bruney and Mo to keep things under control, as opposed to Joba, who threw like his head was already back in Nebraska.
While I wait for the nightcap to start (how can this be the end of our season – yikes), I feel compelled to ask: Why would the Mets hold their stadium farewell after their game? I realize that they were playing for their survival today and probably didn’t want any distractions, but how could they not factor in the possibility that they might lose and that they’re “celebration” of Shea might be just a tad DEPRESSING?
Well, who I am to cast stones? My team was eliminated ages ago, or so it seems.
So now what? How do I fill the time? Pick a team that’s in the playoffs and watch their games? Throw myself into election coverage? Start a neighborhood watch and go around making citizen’s arrests?
Wait! I just remembered! Not all regular seasons are coming to an end. Tonight is the season premiere of “Desperate Housewives.” I do have something to live for.
How cool is it to have Posada back in the mix. I almost forgot what a presence he is because he’s been gone for so long. He may not be playing yet but he’s talking. He told Michael Kay that Joba should be a reliever, not a starter, and ignited The Great Debate all over again. I happen to agree with him by the way (Mo won’t be our closer forever and we need a good setup man in the meantime, like Mo was for Wetteland), but I’m sure I’m in the minority among Yankee fans.
Back to JoPo. I love his fire. Who can forget his dugout fight with El Duque? He tells it like it is and could have been kicking Cano’s butt all these months. Like Jeter, Pettitte and Mo, he’s never missed a postseason and must be mighty bummed about the Yankees sitting out this one. I remember in the off season when he was deciding between returning to the Yanks and signing with the Mets. He was asked about the state of the Yankees’ pitching. He didn’t say a word about Hughes or Kennedy. What he said was: “We need to go out and get SANTANA.” He’s a catcher, for God’s sake. He knew the kids weren’t ready for prime time. If only the organization had listened to him.
Not much to say about the Yankees’ win over the White Sox tonight except that I’m really liking Aceves and Coke.
That’s right. He has a mother. All we’ve heard about is the dad who raised him while having polio and getting around on that motorized chair. Now we hear from Mommy Dearest via this link on Peter Abraham’s blog. Judging by the photo in the article, Joba looks exactly like her. Scary. Now if the Yankees were in a pennant race, I wouldn’t really care about yet another dysfunctional family. (Doesn’t Joba have a son too, and who’s the mom there?) But we fans need distractions from our sad season, if for no other reason than to keep us from dwelling on the Sox-Rays game tonight – the opener of a series that actually means something. Call me a big baby, but I’m feeling left out of all the fun.
Wouldn’t you know it? With 24 games left and tonight’s contest at the Trop not meaning much, especially with the Red Sox thumping the O’s, the Yankees finally resembled the team they were supposed to be. Moose pitched a gem, A-Rod hit a homer, Joba threw well out of the pen, and the Yanks won. What’s more, we were the ones that played crisply and cleanly while it was the Rays that looked sloppy, both in the field and on the bases (Upton’s spectacular catch aside). So ironic. Tampa Bay has the best record in the majors and the Yankees are on life support, and yet tonight was like a blast from the past: We were our old swaggering selves and they were the lovable losers.
Last year when I was researching “Confessions of a She-Fan,” I followed the Yankees to every city and every game after the All-Star break, including the games at the Trop. I have great memories of that place. Not because it’s a beautiful ballpark (it’s like an oversized gym) and not because of the delicious food (although they’ve got an Outback concession that was actually pretty good). It was because Matt Silverman, the Rays’ president, was a charming host, treating me to VIP seats for the entire series.
But mostly, the reason I’ll always have a fondness for Tropicana Field is that the Yankees clinched the wild card there last September. After the miserable first half of the season, we rebounded in one of the most amazing comebacks in baseball history and made it to the playoffs.
What a scene it was that night in ’07. The photographers covered their equipment in plastic so the cameras wouldn’t get doused with champagne during the clinch party. While the players celebrated, I sat in my plush seat clapping until my hands were raw. I was so happy.
Well, now here we are a year later. No clinch party but a victory tonight. I have no choice but to settle for that.