Tagged: Johan Santana

I know, I know. It’s only May. So what?

I still don’t like losing – May or no May. In fact, this is practically my anniversary of the article I wrote in the New York Times announcing I was divorcing the Yankees after they lost a series to the Mets.

CHEERING SECTION

To Love and to Cherish for All Eternity, or Not

Published: May 27, 2007

I am no stranger to divorce. I am a two-time loser, having severed my unions with both the man I married when I was too young to know better and the man I wed when I was too work-obsessed to pay attention.

But I honestly thought I was over that particular brand of heartbreak — the accusations, the recriminations, the tears, the lonely nights, the division of property. I was determined not to put myself through another breakup, and yet I do not see any other way out. My current relationship has unraveled.

I gave it everything I have. I am sick and tired of the “I trieds” and the “What do you expect me to dos?” I’ve been begging for answers and all I have gotten are platitudes. Enough is enough.

And so I am divorcing the New York Yankees — all 25 men on the active roster, in addition to the manager, the coaches and the general manager. Oh, and the trainer, too. And, of course, the owner and all his baseball people.

The grounds for the divorce will be mental cruelty. I mean, I made a commitment to these guys, emotional and financial, and they betrayed and humiliated me by allowing the Red Sox — the Red Sox! — to run away with the division. When I think how I defended the Yankees to their legions of detractors, it hurts. It really hurts.

I was so loyal, so trusting, so willing to shell out $165 so I could buy Major League Baseball’s Extra Innings package and watch all the games from my house in California. And yet look at how they treated me. I will tell you how they treated me — as if I were a Kansas City Royals fan.

Yeah, I know. There have been injuries. A sore back. A cracked fingernail. A bone spur. A hammy. Please. I am not stupid. If a guy does not want to show up for me, he should simply say so and stop making excuses.

And yeah, there have been disruptions in routine. But again. A rainout is no reason to act all out of sorts and say, “I guess I just didn’t have good stuff.”

When, exactly, did I fall out of love with the Yankees? (To clarify: I will always love them, but I am no longer in love with them. There is too much anger, too much baggage between us now.)

Maybe it was when Cashman started spending a fortune to acquire pitchers who suddenly could not pitch, at least not in pinstripes. Vázquez. Loaiza. Contreras. Weaver. Wright. Pavano. Every time one of these guys would take the mound (or consult a surgeon), my heart would crack a little more. I kept wanting to slap Cashman, to make him feel the pain I was feeling, to strike back against what I perceived to be his abusive behavior toward me.

And do not get me started on how he breached my faith by overpaying for Clemens, a man who forced me to care about him only to leave me for Houston. It is still too raw.

Or maybe the love died when Zimmer quit and Torre had to make managerial decisions on his own. There were all those nights when Joe would call for Tanyon Sturtze in relief — so many nights that he turned that poor guy’s arm into a pretzel, the way he is doing now with Scott Proctor. There were also the nights when he would pull Mussina or Wang or whichever starter was actually pitching brilliantly and efficiently in favor of a reliever who would blow the game. (See Sturtze.)

And then there was his flip-flopping: “I won’t use Mo in the eighth”; “I have to use Mo in the eighth.” Those mixed messages can really get to a person in love. We all need to know where we stand, don’t we?

But my passion — that mad, crazy, dizzying feeling — really petered out as a result of the team’s collective offensive slump. (No, this is not about you, Jeter, although I have not forgiven you for not sticking up for A-Rod last year; and Jorge, you are not to blame, given your smoldering-hot bat.)

When I first fell in love with the Yankees, players knew how to bunt. They knew how to get runners over and get ’em in. They knew how to make productive outs. And — here is the biggie — they knew how to hit consistently and in the clutch.

Watching the current lineup flail at the ball was what finally made me decide to take action. I will pack up my Yankees T-shirts and caps and anything else I own with the interlocking N and Y and donate them to charity. I will stop checking the scores hourly. I will no longer dream about what might have been.

The truth is, I have already started to look elsewhere for satisfaction and companionship, which is how you really know a relationship is over. I have been watching the Devil Rayslately, and let me tell you: They do for me what the Yankees could not. They entertain me. They make me laugh. They put me in a good mood. They run and hit and they are young and cute. They do not win often, but they are fun!

Do you know how refreshing that is? How liberating? I am feeling frisky and free and unburdened now that I am with the Rays. (That is our little pet name.) It is not quite love. Not yet. But I am open to it.

As for the Yankees, if they suddenly start winning and somehow become not only the American League champions this season but the World Series champions, I will take that as a sign that they want me back and I will give them serious consideration. But as of right now, we are over. I am not that into them anymore.

Jane Heller is the author of 13 novels. The latest is “Some Nerve.” She lives in Sant
a Barbara, Calif., but grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y., worshiping at the cathedral in the Bronx.

The article led to my She-Fan book, which led to this blog. Fortunately, I came to my senses and got back together with the Yankees for better or worse. Still, watching tonight’s game made me remember the “worse.” Poor Yanks. They looked like this.
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Sure, they teased us with yet another late-inning comeback, but it was too little too late and the series was lost. Santana was great and CC was horrible and the offense continues not to be clutch. I really expected Girardi to shuffle the lineup, just to shake things up, but no. So here’s what I think needs to happen to get the boys back on track.
1) AJ should shove a whipped cream towel in every player’s face, just to remind them what come-from-behind wins feel like.
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2) Their traveling secretary should arrange for oxygen masks to be available during the entire charter flight to Minny.
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3) On the plane they should be forced to watch nothing but this.
Any other ideas? Besides hiring a faith healer to work on everybody who’s injured?
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My Favorite Kind Of Game: A Blowout

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So weird. The Yankees couldn’t do a thing against Nieve, who probably doesn’t even bother to dream about the Cy Young Award, and yet they absolutely destroyed Santana, whose Cy Young dreams have long become a reality.
Johan didn’t make it out of the fourth during the Yanks’ 15-0 thrashing of the Mets, and gave up a career high nine earned runs.
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The Mets’ relievers didn’t have much either, as Jeter, Damon, Matsui, Melky and Cervelli (love this guy) just kept piling on.
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But the star of the day was AJ.
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Except for a lapse in the third (two walks, bases loaded with nobody out – yikes), he threw seven sparkling innings of shutout ball and looked more like the guy who tortured us as a Blue Jay.
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Aside from his throwing error, the Yanks were crisp on defense too. I loved watching Sheffield try to take Jeter out on that double play. (Nice try, Gary, except that you’re old in baseball years.)
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In the seventh, Pena was in as Jeter’s replacement at short and flashed leather.
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Robertson and Hughes did a great job in relief and spared me from having to watch Veras, Coke or Aceves create a hair-raising experience.
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And then there was the Bruney/K-Rod pre-game fracas. Bruney was stupid to open his mouth in the first place about K-Rod’s celebrations on the mound. K-Rod was stupid to confront Bruney during batting practice today and allow the exchange to be caught on camera. Just shut up and pitch, people!
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I’m in New York, so I got to watch the game with my family – all Yankee fans. It was a nice capper to the weekend in Westchester before I head into the city for the rest of my trip.
My 92-year-old mother thinks I act like a crazy person when I watch baseball, but she let me turn the She-Fan Cam on her during our visit. Here she is. Does she look 92? I don’t think so, either.