Friday, July 22, 2005

Barkeep, Another Vodka Tonic...

I just wish I could find this exact quote, but Google is doing me no favors in my search. Anyway, I remember reading earlier this week an article about Vladimir Guerrero, and people’s various favorite “Vlad Moments.” While they all seemed exciting enough, I sympathized more with Texas SS Michael Young, who said (paraphrased):

I play in the AL West; I don’t have any favorite Vlad moments. I have plenty of least favorite Vlad moments, though.

Everything seemed to be going fine for the Yanks last night. The homers were flying off the bats. Randy looked to be in good shape. But then the bottom of the 7th happened.

I was sitting at a local bar, chatting it up with a few people I hadn’t seen in a while when my buddy Horn tapped me on the shoulder and said, “uh, dude, bases loaded and none out.” I peered at the screen only to see Buddy Groom standing on the hill, much to my dismay. Making matters worse, I see that Torre wants to leave him in for a lefty-lefty matchup against Darin Erstad.

Thankfully, Buddy actually did something right and K’d Erstad. How he did it I’ll never understand. But here comes the big bat, and Joe decides to go with his big arm, Tom Gordon. And, I have to say, I was not displeased with that move. I don’t know about Sturtze’s availability, but it’s not beyond Gordon to come in and get five outs.

It’s just tough to get that first out when his name is Vladimir Guerrero. And I’m not even going to blame Gordon for serving that one up to him. That was a great swing by Guerrero, and I’m convinced that 99.9% of hitters would have whiffed on that pitch or fouled it off. But we all know what Vlad’s capable of, and he flashed it, not only by hitting an otherwise unhittable pitch, but by doing it in the clutch.

So at that point I laid my head down on the bar, and called for another drink, which was snatched from me when I was reminded that I was driving. But, not letting that deter me from my need to drink following such a moment, I immediately left the bar, headed to a friend’s house, and began putting them back. Because if there ever was a Yankees moment to start drinking, that was sure it.

I’ve said before that I’d settle for a split out in LA. That would send us home with a 7-4 road trip. Not stellar, but not really hurtful, either. Obviously, you’d like to take the next three and go home 8-3, and likely only a game or so out of first. But four against Boston, three in Texas, and four out in LA can be quite taxing for any team.

We get to see Leiter’s second offering today, and while I’m trying not to have any expectations regarding him, it’s tough to forget what a pleasant surprise he was on Sunday. I guess all we can do is hope for a quality start, at which point we should have a rested enough bullpen to hand the game to Sturtze-Gordon-Rivera.

Or maybe Vlad will drive me to drink again.