MILWAUKEE -- They did it the way you knew they would, with pomp and ceremony, and by blasting Frank Sinatra's New York, New York 6,000 or so times. That's not a knock. In that city, in that stadium, I could listen to Sinatra's New York, New York 60,000 times.
From what I saw on television, the whole night was nearly perfect.
Except for one thing.
The snubbing of former manager Joe Torre was awfully small for such an outsized organization.
The fact that they blew off Roger Clemens wasn't surprising, because that's apparently the way we're going while emerging from the Steroid Era. You see it in San Francisco with Barry Bonds -- or rather, you don't see anything in San Francisco with Bonds.
For years, baseball's official position on performance-enhancing drugs was to pretend they didn’t exist.
Now, baseball's official position on players who pumped up and set records and won World Series is to pretend they don't exist.
Is it right?
Of course not.
But is it right when you bump into an ex-girlfriend at a party that you hem and haw and avoid her?
It's just the way it is with awkward circumstances.
Mostly, we just avoid dealing with them.
Clemens helped the Yankees win two World Series, but if there's anybody now who believes some of his career numbers aren't vastly inflated with PEDs, I'm a part-owner of the new Yankee Stadium.
Having Clemens there in person, or even unspooling highlights featuring him on the scoreboard, would have been a huge distraction for an historic evening. Given the way Clemens even threw Andy Pettitte under the bus, I don't blame the Yankees for conveniently forgetting about him.
The snub of Torre, though, was classless.
Esepcially on an evening in which the always classy Derek Jeter delivered an eloquent final address that ranks right up there with some of the great ones in Yankees history.
Likes: Teams that are out of it right now that still play hard. Case in point: Cleveland, which had won seven consecutive games heading into Tuesday night's contest in Boston. I've always thought that's one way you can identify a good manager, if the players keep playing hard when there's nothing to play for. And the Indians' play speaks very well of manager Eric Wedge. ... Same for Trey Hillman, with Kansas City winning eight of 10. ... Maybe it's because I live in Southern California and spend half my life trapped in freeway gridlock, but I always enjoy driving through the Midwest, where traffic generally is light and population bases are few and far between. I also love some of the sights, such as a couple I passed while flying across I-94: Signs for the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum and the Mousehouse Cheesehaus. I only wished I had time to stop. Especially at the cheese shop. ... Really enjoyed the Chrysler Sebring convertible rental and the Sirius satellite radio on the trip, too. It's beautiful right now in this part of the Midwest, right around 75 and no humidity. Crisp, clean days.
Dislikes: Aw, I'm going to be working during the first presidential debate Friday night.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio
"A nation turns its lonely eyes to you"
-- Paul Simon, Mrs. Robinson