Sunday, September 04, 2005

Sunday Afternoon Soliloquy

I was at a family cookout on Saturday, so I completely missed the Yankee game. That being said, when I got home at about quarter to two in the morning, I logged on and saw that Biggie Small came up huge again yesterday. A complete game shutout? Doesn't get any bigger than that. Giambi crushed a three-run shot and A-Rod and Matsui add two RBIs a piece as the Yanks win 7-0. Combine that with Angels and Indians losses and you have another three way tie in the AL wild-card standings. The Sux won so, we're still three and a half back in the AL East.

How the hell are the Yankees still in it? We don't know if Moose is coming back, Jaret Wright is iffy, yet we're still in command of our own destiny? With all the problems that this team has had this year, how does that happen? How does a team that has loss every starter at one point in time to injury still have a chance to make the playoffs and possibly win the division? And what does a team like that do in the playoffs if they make it? Win it all? Get knocked out in the first round? What?

This is why talking heads who write teams off in June or July should be fired and shot in the head. Bill Madden said it best in his column today. The baseball season is a war of atrition. You can't hang on one win or one loss too long because you have to come to the park and play tomorrow.
It is the Janet Jackson of seasons. What have you done for me lately?

While I love the excitement of a pennant race, it does wear on you as a fan. In the past, when the team has had a comfortable lead in the standings, you didn't mind missing a game or two to go and live your life outside of baseball. Now, you're glued to the tv or the sportsticker every chance you get. You stay up until 2 in the morning to watch West Coast games when you have to be up at 6:30. I'm getting into blog arguments with Mets fans who take shots at the Yanks without having their facts straight (Scroll down). At five in the morning!!!!

Yankee fans have been spoiled rotten over the last 10 years. In Flushing, they talk about playing meaningful games in September. How about 10 years worth??? Wow, it may not feel like it now with the angst of this year and what happened last October, but I hope Yankee fans look back on this time and feel blessed. Only one other time in the team's history have they prospered more. And they got to see it live and in living color.

While that doesn't mean that I'm not going throw my hat at the TV when Cano make a costly error or leave Blondies' angrily when we lose to a team like the Mariners. I'll at least try to add some proper perspective to the situation. The goal isn't to win every year, but to be in the conversation. To be relevant. That's what the Yankees have acheived. If you had told me 15 years ago, that the Yanks would draw over 3 million people consistently and have a chance drawing 4 million, I would have smacked you. Yet that's what's going to happen. A place that George wanted move out of desperately, has a chance of being one of only three places to draw over 4 million fans in a season. Only Toronto and Colorado have done it.

So while I want us to knock the smug grins of infidel nation. While I will be extremely pissed if we fall short again. At some point after I smash something or someone, I'll take a deep breath and appreciate being given the opportunity to watch a pennant race and a decade of excellence. And I'll smile.

Then I'll kill Metstramdamus and Uncle Buck.

Speaking of the Mets and their sooth-sayer, it looks like the honeymoon is over for Carlos Beltran and the Mets faithful. His numbers have been quite Bernie like this year and I don't mean 1995-2002 Bernie either. It was a signing the Mets had to make to let the baseball world know that they were serious about being big-time team again. Knowing what he knows now, Omar Minaya still makes the deal. He's young and there's a great chance that he'll bounces back next year. That being said, $119 million is a lot for someone who has never had to be the man on his team.

On the Royals, he was the best player, but it was Mike Sweeney's team. And they sucked. In Houston, you had Bagwell, Biggio, Berkman and Clemens. Here, you have two good but not great outfielders (Floyd and Cameron). An aging first ballot Hall of Famer who has never been a clubhouse leader (Piazza). And two budding stars who had yet to play a full season of baseball at the beginning of the season (Wright and Reyes). Minaya expected him to be his Reggie. His Jeter. His Mantle. It hasn't worked out that way. This is Pedro's team right now. And in the future, it looks either Wright or Reyes will be alpha males on the Mets. Beltran could put up some great numbers at Shea but I don't know if he'll ever be the big dog.

Beltran should have stayed in Houston where he didn't have to be a leader and would have benefited in playing in that bandbox of a park. Or he should done the unthinkable.
Signed with the Yankees for a year.

I know that with Scott Boras as his agent that that would never have happened. And there's the chance that what happened at Shea would have happened in the Bronx. But I think he would have been a better fit with the Yankees than the Mets.

He wouldn't have to be the Alpha male. We have several of those already. He would have had an established manager(Torre) and one of the best team leaders in sports (Jeter) to guide him through the rough patches. He wouldn't have to be the focal point of the offense. He would probably have batted either second or sixth in this lineup. A lot different from batting third, a spot designated for your best all-around hitter and toughest out. He would also had his idol Bernie to mentor him as well (Bernie said that he would have gladly given up his spot in center for Beltran). And he could have blended in without having to stand out.

Granted, with his talent he's going to be a standout. But he doesn't have to be the straw that stirs the drink. Matsui was the biggest star in Japan. But he's blended quite nicely with his new team. Jason Giambi was the star of the A's. Here he's one of the guys. Even Sheff(despite a few grumblings) and A-Rod have acknowledged the pecking order for the most part. They know that if they put up their numbers and play the game the right way that everything else will take of itself. Plus if he has a monster year and the Yankees win, he can go into negotiations with Cashman's short and curlies in his hand. That's what Matsui did. They wanted to sign him long term but he decided to opt on waiting until contract ends after this season to renew. With the year he's having, he's going to make a killing.

I know it never would have happened. But it's nice to dream.

More later....


Blogger FenwayParked said...

Dear Darth,
You go on and on in your Sunday afternoon rant and the WORLD CHAMPION BOSTON RED SOX are barely mentioned.
I am disappointed. Are you saving yourself for September? Oh yeah it is September!
The reason I stopped by is to mention that I have forgiven John Olerud for having worn Crankee Prison Stripes.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

Get a job, infidel....

4:27 PM  
Blogger FenwayParked said...

Letterman has his top 10 list, now I've got mine.

Top 10 pictures I should put beside
my comments. (Cue the music )

10. Dave Roberts standing on second base.

9. Dave Roberts standing on second base.

8. Curt Schilling's Bloody Sock

7. Mariano Rivera looking dazed and confused.

6. A Who's your Daddy Sign

5. Jason Varitek in Keith Foulke's

4. The trophy at the Victory Parade
in BOSTON. (Pick your player holding it up high)

3. The Yankees watching the ring ceremony (They were a class act that

2. The giant banner hanging from
the green monster.

1. Dave Roberts standing on second base.

3:17 AM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

SEE YOU 2090, infidel....Oh wait, I won't....because you'll be dead!!!

5:46 AM  
Blogger FenwayParked said...

Dear Darth,
I am truly disappointed in you. While you remain a good writer in the view of this loyal member of the Red Sox nation, your comeback skills appear to be sorely lacking.
Using the phrase "See you in 2090" which was "borrowed" from a Daily News headline is a painfully enept comeback.
You should sharpen your return fire to keep this interesting.
If you don't well Darth you'll prove to be a dud worthy of a spot in the Crankees pitching rotation.

1:15 AM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

I'm saving my best material for Sept. 12th....

7:07 AM  

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