Thursday, May 20, 2010

Morning: The Bronx Mauling

Well, that was disgusting.

The Rays came to town, threw out their worst starting pitcher, and proved why they're the current best team in baseball. They made AJ look like a piece of soggy toast, and our bullpen look even soggier bread product. At a certain point, I cued up "Deadliest Catch" on my laptop and glanced up once in a while just to see if the Rays would get double digits.

My excuses:

*This team is injury cursed. Posada woke up and found out he has a broken foot (DL, 3-4 weeks), Marcus Thames actually stepped on his own bat and aggravated an ankle injury, Swish is out, Granderson is out. Nick Johnson is done for the year.

*Randy Winn keeps coming up in pressure situations. Seriously, it's defied logic. Every time we need a big hit, that gaunt motherfucker pussy-foots up wearing his little frown and mentally preparing to fail. I HATE RANDY WINN.

*Derek Jeter is playing like Randy Winn. .180 in the month of May, and he's a ground-out machine. Frustrating. Our 8-9-1 order is Miranda, Winn, Jeter. After Thames got hurt, Ramiro Pena took the 7-spot. Black hole sun, won't you come...and wasshhhh away the rain.

*AJ, as always, is a flip-the-coin pitcher. He's great or he's terrible, with very little in-between. A lot of times, it happens in the same game. Last night, he gave up 6 runs in 4 innings and then looked almost dominant for three innings, taking us two outs into the seventh.

*At that point, it was 6-2, and I made this message board post:

"I'm having trouble seeing how our pen will hold the Rays under 10 runs. This one is about to get ugly."

As I discussed with my pal Spike yesterday, negative predictions are always really disheartening when they come true. When you make them, you still have that speck of hope that things will turn out okay, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And when the worst comes to pass, it just confirms the pessimism.

The point being, our bullpen is a disaster. We're carrying 13 pitchers, and aside from Mariano and 4 starters, the other 8 seem to be completely incompetent.

We better win tonight. Yesterday's win was a statement from the Rays. Excuses aside, they took a reeling team and battered them into the ground. That's what a great club does. The Yanks have a surprising record for all their problems, which comes down to starting pitching and unexpected greatness from Cervelli and Gardner, but we're a leaky ship, and we're running out of patches. We're already starting to see our starters go through a cold spell, and if we can't find a good solution for all the bumps and bruises, we'll find ourselves out of the wild card position by July 1, if not sooner. And if Tampa wins tonight, the 2-game sweep will be complete and a harsh message will be sent: the division is theirs to take.

But what solution exists? People get hurt. It's nobody's fault. Bad luck and age happen to everyone. And as YES announcer Michael Kay pointed out last night, the Yanks are reduced to having their "depth" (guys that should be spot substitutes, at best) in the regular starting lineup.

Good news:

*Teixeira and A-Rod are starting to bash. There's nothing quite like A-Rod when he's in the zone, and we're just about there.

*Cano may be coming out of his horrible slump. He's 6-10 in the last 2 games, with 3 doubles and 4 RBI. That ends a miserable 13-61 stretch (.213) that began on May 1st and threatened to bring his .400 April batting average all the way down to .300.

*I'll be at the game tonight with my girlfriend. She's been to 6 or 7 Yankee games, and they've yet to lose when she's at the Stadium.

*No matter what happens tonight, we have an inter-league series with the Mets starting on Friday. Thank. God. I don't care if Vazquez is pitching, or if Randy comes up with the bases loaded 10 times in a row; we won't lose 2 of 3 to the Mets. What a horrendous franchise. If we sweep them, it might be the end of Jerry Manuel.

On to whimsy: some mornings on the way to work, I hear this commercial on the radio and can't stop laughing. My girlfriend absolutely hates me for it. The voice belongs to Brad Benson, a former Giants offensive lineman and current car dealership owner.

Something about the immaturity of the joke, combined with his totally unironic voice, just tickles my funny bone.

Last point: a lot of bizarre things happen in sports, but if Delonte West was actually screwing Lebron James' mom, it will take the cake. I I don't believe it for a second, but in the off chance that it's true, it would be the strangest story ever.

World Cup stuff this afternoon.

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