Thursday, October 06, 2005

Anyone Check A Calendar? It's April Again!

I’m greedy. Real effin greedy. Gordon Gekko greedy. I wasn’t like a lot of fans, complacent with splitting the games in Anaheim. The Yanks had to win last night, dammit, and with some fine pitching by Wang and a little bit of offense, they damn well should have won.

The analysis of the game is simple: the Yanks blew it. It doesn’t take a sabermetrics expert to tell you that if you give a team like the Angles extra outs, they’re going to capitalize. Yanks did their part, and so did the Angels, stealing (and yes, they did steal that one from us) Game Two, 5-3.

It wasn’t just the errors that cost the Yanks. Four guys left in scoring position is never a good sign, especially when they’re in four separate innings. And A-Rod getting caught stealing…sure we got a few gifts in that form, but after watching the replay, the pitchout was the obvious call. It didn’t take Joe Morgan to see that Alex was leaning a bit gratuitously.

I won’t blame it on Alex, but after his caught stealing the Yanks lacked a single base runner, sans Jorge’s bomb in the ninth. It’s almost like they saw that they were down and all the sudden put the game on autopilot. What does that sound like? April maybe? May, anyone?

That doesn’t give me a good feeling heading into Game Three. The Yanks beat themselves out of a sweep, and now they have to come back and play like last night never happened. And A-Rod has to play like this is just a series in mid-June. Because, as much as I hate to say it, he has an obvious case of the playoff jitters. He’d better find his old self, or, in the words of Jake Taylor, he’s of no use to Torre or the team.

What does all this mean? It depends on how you look at it. The series is headed back to New York with Randy Johnson on the mound, so it could mean a missed opportunity to close it out on Friday. On the other hand, the Angles were bound to win a game this series. There are worse things than splitting on the road.

Like not finishing at home. That’s the whole idea of splitting on the road, that you’ll come back home and finish the series, avoiding a return trip to Anaheim for the potential Game Five. So as long as that task becomes a reality, I’ll be happy.

But until then, I’ll be pissed about throwing away a chance to go up 2-0. And even though I’ve backed him countless times, I’ll still be a little peeved at A-Rod for 1) the inexcusable error and 2) swinging at ball four in his last at bat. Sure, it was Francisco Rodriguez (and since Felix has been told to go home, can I just refer to Francisco as F-Rod?), but he’s Alex Effing Rodriguez, winner of the AL home run crown.

Game Three: bring ‘em to the brink.

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Since this subject is increasing my gray hairs exponentially, I’ll head to a more lighthearted subject: the non-baseball things I noticed last night.

I’m sure everyone caught it as well, but Joe Morgan gaffed when talking about the Yankees “$200,000” payroll. And he did it twice, without correction from Jon Miller. You think they had a mid-inning pow-wow about that one?

Each and every time Juan Rivera was mentioned, the ESPN crew felt it necessary to add the “former Yankee farm hand” qualifier. It wasn’t just Miller, but the guys on SportsCenter, too. This wouldn’t bother me as much if Juan Rivera was merely a Yankees farm hand. Remember, he was the starting right fielder at the end of the 2003 season and into the playoffs. No mention of that, or that he was part of the Javy Vazquez trade, which was a pretty major one.

It was very strange watching hockey scores scroll by during the 28/58 update. I think this is all the time anyone should dedicate to hockey. Rangers won, that kid Crosby didn’t do anything. That’s about all I need to know.

Oh, and Andy Pettitte has more hits in this year’s postseason than A-Rod.