Thursday, March 10, 2005
If a pitcher pitches and there's no one in the stands, does a strikeout count?
Time to have some fun with the Yankees, I'm thinking. I spent pretty much the entire offseason so far ignoring them (insofar as it was possible, anyhow-- the national media's the same out here as it is everywhere) and letting them stew in their own, um, choking soup. Or something. Anyways, I've noticed something interesting and think it ought to be pointed out.
Giambi, Giambi, Giambi, Johnson, Johnson, Johnson, A-Rod, A-Rod, A-Rod... that's all we've heard all winter and spring. Maybe a mention here and there of Derek Jeter or Mariano Rivera ("I didn't throw a single ball all winter! In fact, I was so averse to the idea of moving my arms this offseason, I had a special backpack made with robotic arms on it, so I could just let my hands dangle uselessly at my sides for four or five months. Personally I think that the atrophy is a great look on a reliever."), a mention of the fact that Old Fashioned Style Yankee Tino Martinez was back, an article or two about Bernie Williams, ambassador to all the little children of the world... but beyond that, not much.
Specifically, not much about Jaret Wright or Carl Pavano. I mean, honestly, have we (as Red Sox fans) even said Pavano's name since we failed to get him?
Obviously this is a cunning plot, devised and forcibly implemented by Steinbrenner, to give Wright and Pavano time to acclimate to the hostile New York environment. I mean, really, people, Pavano has spent the vast bulk of his career in Montreal and Florida. Montreal. And Florida. If there was ever a combination to make someone supremely unprepared for the New York media, that would be it. I mean, fercrissakes, look at that photo at the top of this entry. That's in Florida. That's during a game. You see all that blue in the stands? Those are empty seats. Empty seats, in the lower rows. That wouldn't happen in Boston during freaking batting practice.
If you spend most of you career as an Expo and a Marlin I think you'd probably have trouble adapting to the Detroit media (which is, on any given day, way more occupied with who got shot in the middle of downtown than the shortcomings of the minor league system), let alone New York. Wright spent most of his career in Cleveland, which isn't Canada, but still.
Steinbrenner, who is possibly an obsessive control freak and certainly evil but probably not completely stupid, knows this. So, think about it. He releases some juicy tidbits about how he called A-Rod into his office and told him to stop deferring to Jeter like the lily-livered coward he is at heart. He throws El Unito in the limelight as fast as he can, makes him cut his mullet (one small step for conformity, one giant step for good taste!), maybe pays some cameramen to harass him. He keeps his front office busy commenting and not commenting on the Giambi thing just enough to keep interest from dying. He tells the media to harp on all these stories endlessly, or he threatens to make sure none of them ever have a job again. Heck, maybe he even calls up Omar Minaya and encourages him to take some big-name free agents over on the other side of town.
And Pavano and Wright have time to get used to the way things work in New York, without being exposed to the full-on, mid-afternoon-sun-with-a-hole-in-the-ozone-directly-overhead glare of the usual media scrutiny. Clever. Diabolical. And, thus far, successful.* Those sneaky Yankees.
If you haven't read the latest entry of The Professional, the Idiot, and the Tailback, you're missing out. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. 'Tek, god bless him, could probably never get his mouth around half those words in real life, but it is truly a delight to see it written by one who clearly knows her Shakespeare and her baseball.
I'm going to stick an update on the last RantBlog up at some point, as there's been an upheaval in the land of group blogs. All-baseball's been gutted, and there's a toaster in town. I also will probably make fun of the Yankees' roster mugshots whenever I next get a chunk of time and a healthy dose of boredom going, so there's that to look forward to. I'll also want to do a Detroit enemy at some point, but there's really nothing as strong as the Boston/New York rivalry, obviously-- who do we think I should do? I'm thinking the ChiSux (we've got Magglio, and he seems healthy, neener neener!), but I'm open to suggestions from people who spend the entire baseball season in the D.
Probably should end this entry now, though... er, it's not as though I'm sitting in the middle of photography class or anything. Cough. Ahem.
*OK, I know there's a chance that someone's going to read that and take it way too seriously. It's sarcasm, you asshats. I don't actually think that this is what happened. I merely note that scrutiny has been unaccountably light where these guys are concerned and propose this humorous explanation of why it should be so. We all clear on that?