So much for David Price stopping Jeter’s ride into history. What a great at bat, letting the rookie show him a few pitches, then smashing one into the seats to tie Gehrig. Jeet did it so many ways – beating out a grounder, beating out a bunt, hitting one of his trademark inside-out opposite fielders, going yard. I’m thinking he should run for President in 2012.
And oops, there goes Pavano. Did he strain his hip? His groin? Or did he tweak those tender buttocks again? Get the MRI tube ready!
A five-out save following a four-out save yesterday. Every time I watch Mo I try to imagine what my Yankee fan-life would be without him – and I can’t. He never changes. Same stoic demeanor. Same compact delivery. Same unhittable cutter. Sure, he’s human. But compared to every other closer out there he’s Superman. And, from what I’ve heard, he’s a unique person too. While I was on the road following the Yankees last season for my book, I kept hearing story after story about how he reached out to help people – not only other players but members of the media. I only hope that an 8th inning set-up guy finally emerges (Bruney? Uh-uh. Veras? Nah. Marte? Not happening. Edwar? Nope. Joba? I wish, but that’s a whole different post), that he turns out to be what Mo was in the John Wetteland era, and that he morphs into our closer when Mo’s done. We’re gonna need somebody and Mariano Rivera will be impossible to replace.
Just a word about Pavano. Did anyone expect him to pitch six shutout innings and beat Burnett? Did I hallucinate tonight’s win? Even though the Red Sox are thumping the White Sox as I write this and our destiny is no longer in our hands, it felt like there was energy at that stadium. At least we’re not going down without a fight.
OK. So now everybody on the Yankees is stepping forward to claim responsibility for the crappy season. Hank said it would be all better next year because he would MAKE it all better. Cashman said it’s all his fault. Girardi said the buck stops with him. A-Rod said he deserved to get booed.
Who’s to blame for the injuries? Nobody. Duh.
Who’s to blame for building a rotation around two unproven kids? Cashman. He’s also the genius who signed Igawa and Pavano and didn’t grab Washburn or Byrd when we needed an arm or two. And don’t get me started on Santana. I admit it. I wanted him. I was willing to trade Melky and Hughes/Kennedy. I honestly think having an ace on the staff would have made the hitters relax a little and we would scored more runs.
Who’s to blame for our anemic offense? This is the one that keeps me up at night. Girardi’s constant juggling of the lineup has been a classic case of overmanaging and couldn’t have helped. Lefty. Righty. Who cares? Just play the hot hand. Put the guy in the lineup who’s getting hits and leave him there. Players like stability. Cano has been on my blame list. He’s frustrating because he’s so incredibly talented. But what happened to him? Was it losing Bowa and his tough love that caused him to regress? Was it the big contract that made him lazy? He went down to the Dominican during the All-Star break and came back on fire. Was it something in the water there? And Melky. Well. I miss him in CF. Watching Damon not catch balls and not be able to throw is painful. But Melky was never a spectacular Yankees centerfielder. He was never going to be Bernie.
I could rant about A-Rod, but what’s the point? He’ll probably have another MVP season next year (he has them in odd years, not even). The Yankees need to find him the right shrink or the right Kabbalah Centre or the right best friend (I say bring back Mientkiewicz). He’s a head case but he’s our head case for the next nine years.
Not expecting a happy ending to Pavano vs Burnett tonight, but I’ll be watching anyway. Maybe Pudge will actually get a hit.