The only time I ever look at the right-wing, lunatic fringe NY Post (note the "100 Days, 100 Mistakes" article ) is after a Red Sox-Yankees game. Specifically, after a Red Sox win over the Yankees, because, well, the hyperventilating, tabloid-y style of the paper seeps into the sports page as well. "Troubles Continue in Surprise Slugfest" screams the headline, followed by "Nothing Goes A.J.'s Way on This Day." Fun reading, even if I do have to take a shower afterwards.
I peruse the rival Daily News more often-it's only slightly less tabloid-y, but far less Klan-ish in it's politics and home of my favorite bemused Yankee observer, Mike Lupica. (Yes, I'm sure there are those of you out there who hate him too, but I'm sorry, if you can't be snarky about the Yankees in New York, then who can you be snarky about?) "Yankees are National Shame of the Week," he notes, commenting on the second time in two weeks the Yanks have imploded on the Fox game of the week. Yankee blogger Mike Feinsand is already trying to scrape Yankee fans off the ceiling with the "it's only April" mantra.
Of course, I get the NY Times delivered to my inbox every morning (home to my favorite outraged Bush observer Frank Rich), and their assessment, as expected, is somewhat more sedate-although just as to the point: "Yanks’ Early Lead Isn’t Safe With Burnett, or Anyone Else."
The Yankees, for all their puffery about the off-season acquisitions of C.C. Sabathia and Burnett and Teixeira, can't pitch. Period. At least, not yet. And even the most banal of major league hitters can hit a mediocre fastball or a hanging curve, and hit it hard and far. You saw yesterday-and last Saturday-what the good ones can do to it. While Yankee bats may get them to the playoffs again this year-ARoid is expected back in mid-May, before schedule, leading one to wonder if there wasn't a little HGH (procured by Andy Pettitte's dad, no doubt) used to speed up healing his hip-they will crumple again if they don't get their bullpen in order. It's been their achilles' heel pretty much every year since 2000. If they want to win a game, they have to score 10 runs to do it, and sometimes that doesn't even work.
Yesterday was fun-any day the Red Sox win and the Yankees lose is a good one-although I'm rapidly losing confidence in Josh Beckett as any kind of true ace. I knew after that 100+-pitch garbage first inning that he was going to be toast for the rest of the day (just once, I'd like to meet a Texan whose performance can predictably come anywhere near to matching his mouth. Yeah, I'm talking to you Rick "Confederate" Perry and George "We Don't Torture" Bush). And if Francona hadn't gone all Grady Little on us and stuck him back out there for the beginning of the sixth, long after it was clear the man had nothing, we may not have needed sixteen runs to finally put these goons away. What were you thinking, Tito? Even the vapid McCarver was shocked.
Still, a win's a win, no matter how ugly it may be. The bullpen, while it didn't sparkle, was sure as hell better than the Yanks (although Paps was clearly channeling his inner Mariano-on-Friday, stronger forces of good finally took hold), and Jason Varitek is reminding us all of times before the dark days of '07 and '08. Mike Lowell is playing with that "trade me? Bah! I'll show you!" chip on his shoulder, and Jason Bay is the latest Yankee-killer to emerge in this drama. So far, so good. Since my friends Marianne and Bill put their Sox flag out (a few days late), the team hasn't lost a game, and there's no reason, really, to think the streak will end tonight, if masterson can hold up. The Red Sox figured out Andy Pettitte a long time ago.
An 8pm ESPN game tonight. Red Sox-Yankees continues to be the biggest draw in baseball, and Fenway Park, unlike the new House That Roids Built, is always full.
GO SOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SWEEEEEEEEPPP!!!!!!!!!