Tuesday, May 23, 2006
A most glorious fact came to my attention tonight.
Watching the game, I saw a ball bounce past the Yankee leftfielder… the… the Yankee… leftfielder… the… who the devil is that?
Then it became clear.
You guys, the Yankees are playing Terrence Long in left field.
I mean, you know, last I heard, he was still drowning in the Kauffman Stadium fountains or something.
Seriously. Terrence Long, who had one sort of good year for San Diego because the National League hadn’t seen him in ages. Terrence Long, who was so aggressively mediocre that not even the Kansas City Royals felt any particular need to hang onto him. The Kansas City Royals, who right now are running people like Esteban German and Emil Brown out onto the field.
The Yankees, you guys, the proud and exalted New York Yankees franchise is grubbing in the scrub player heap like a wild hog rooting for mushrooms.
*insert obligatory reminder of what Mike Timlin does to wild hogs here*
Now, I identify myself as a fan much more strongly by positive impulses (the activities of the Red Sox (and Tigers)) than by negative impulses (the activities of the Yankees). But that does not mean that I will not take immense, wide-ranging joy from their sufferings. They have four pitchers on the DL… four! Octavio Dotel is allegedly coming of it in the realm of soon, but Chacon just went on, WOTS just had his shoulder surgically torn to bits, and Pavano has a permabruise on his rear or something.
Sheffield is out, Crosby is out, Matsui is missing an entire hand and is having a replacement fashioned out of silver metal as we speak, a la Harry Potter.
And those are just guys on the official DL. The Chinless Wonder has a sore back, and who knows how thoroughly that can heal during an active season for a catcher. The Farns has a sore lower back, something he pitched through at times last year with varying degrees of success. Damon has a cracked traitorous bone in his little traitorous foot. Small and Villone are about a month away from being severely and irreparably overworked. Bernie Williams is probably one giant mass of overly-ripe ache by now… he shouldn’t even be playing, this was supposed to be his year of occasional DH duty and graceful exit, and instead they’re asking him to hurl his withered husk of an outfielder’s body around out there like some, well, some AAA call-up.
And Randy Johnson? You know that boy ain’t right these days.
That isn’t to say, of course, that the Sox aren’t also banged up to some degree. David Wells has been a loud but absent member of the staff so far this season. Varitek’s most closely-coveted anatomy has been stiff and sore since the spring despite the sincere offers from every female (and no doubt many male) members of Red Sox Nation to help massage it out. Coco Crisp went down with what looked like a relatively minor break and stayed out with crystallized business in his viscera. Foulke has knees made of chicken gristle. Mike Holtz is on the DL which, um, right, well, I’m sure it’s severely detrimental to the team somehow or other.
And that’s just the thing. Both their corner outfielders go out and they’re throwing Melky Cabrera, a kid who needs more time at the AAA level and whose development is probably being horrifically stunted by this; the ghost of Bernie Williams; and Terrence freaking Long on the field. Our centerfielder breaks himself into a fine powder, and suddenly Wily Mo Pena is hitting .327 and lumbering around the outfield like he actually belongs there.
Pavano goes out early, and no one new really steps up. Wells goes out early, and Josh Beckett decides to be the next coming of dominant Schilling. Hell, Schilling decides to be the next coming of dominant Schilling.
I don’t even have to mention what Papelbon has done in the ‘stepping it up’ department.
The Yankees get injured, and they bring in people who are either too old or too inexperienced. The Red Sox seem to, at least for now, have a better handle on the situation. The guys who are stepping up are young, but not inexperienced—Beckett, Pena, Papelbon. The unexciting, not at all flashy offseason acquisitions are hitting .295 (Loretta, and admittedly with no power), .333 (Lowell, with power), and, uh, .197 (Gonzo, with, er, defense?).
Youks’ OBP is a very Greek god-like .424.
Even Little Alex Cora was getting fanwank from Jim Rice after the game today for being SO GODDAMN FUNDAMENTAL.
So, yeah, I’m going to relish this point in time a little bit. Because everyone’s falling apart some, but the Yankees are handling it with all the elegance of Arod if a dead sea lamprey were to be hurled into his shower stall while the Red Sox are trucking along.
Also, travel and weather and all that permitting, I’mGoingtotheGameTomorrowi.e.TodayEeeeeeeeee!
Oh, and I would just like to point out that Jake Peavy struck out 16 Braves in his outing tonight. And the Padres still lost.
Labels: baseball, injury, MLB, Terrence Long, Yankees