Posted on: October 19, 2008 12:50 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2008 12:53 pm
News Flash: You know that saying, “momentum in baseball only goes as far as your next starter”? Fuggetta bout it. Yea, that would be wrong. Its cute, as baseball sayings go. 100% wrong. There’s plenty of momentum in baseball. How else can you fully characterize the 2007 Colorado Rockies? Or the 2004 Red Sox? Or the ’03 Yankees. Morgan Magic? Teams do get on a roll and when they do, the factors that compel them are both tangible (bear witness the twenty first century Bash Brothers of Ramirez and Ortiz) and intangible. Momentum is intangible. You can’t pencil it into the three spot. You can’t acquire it in the draft. It’ll never negotiate a contract or take a swing in the batting cage. When it shows up, it hangs all around you like an unseen cloud. And every ball that gets hit finds a patch of green; bloop singles generate three RBI’s. And every line drive hit to your weakest infielder falls into his glove like a babe in arms. B J Upton hits less than his weight for the season and then becomes Reggie Jackson in October? Say what? You don’t coach that change in production. The Baseball Gods, and this is where we have to tread even further on the ice of intangibility, the Gods simply Will it. You can’t insert momentum into your call-up roster. But you pray to those Gods that it shows up. The second thing we know about momentum is that it’s fleeting. “Only goes as far your next starting pitcher” comes from is a well intentioned colloquialism but momentum is just as likely to be derailed by the next day’s starter as it is say, throwing a couple of baseballs three rows into the seats behind First Base, randomly, sporadically. Or leaving your bullpen full of lefties with a righty on the mound against Ortiz. Maybe the bench coach tells the right fielder to back up on JD Drew seeing’s how he beat you there 48 hours ago. Maybe he doesn’t. Because the thing is, when that old momentum goes, she goes fast. Ball is over your shoulder, momentum is gone. The only sport where you can lose momentum faster is boxing and that’s only because it takes 1-2 seconds for a fighter to drop to the canvas wherein it takes 3-4 seconds for Bucky Dent to hit a ball over the Green Monster. This is the final thing we know about momentum. When she gets lost, she also gets found. Yea, that’s right. The cruelty of it all. You rocketing along in your Teflon uniforms with all the momentum in the world when suddenly she’s gone. And not just gone but gone to your enemy. Now the other team has momentum. You have none. Momentum never goes away but she’s always willing to change sides. So, how do you steal back that which is fleeting and intangible? Well if I knew that, I’d be collecting a better salary. But has it been done? Oh yeah. Going into game 7, it would seem the Red Sox have the momentum. We’ll see how the starting pitcher does. Yes?
Posted on: September 20, 2008 9:04 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2008 10:13 pm
Illinois Congressman and Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and several of his congressional colleagues have leveled a number of harsh allegations regarding the combined private and public funding appropriations for the new Yankee stadium, aka the House that a Great Deal of Money Built. Among the accusations, that the Yankees and perhaps the City of New York "revalued" the project in such a way as to trick the IRS. Apparently money was involved. Who knew?
Oh, and in dire straits for a $366M television screen, it has been suggested that they passed the cost of said Sony along to the taxpayers in a manner that was less than transparent. Less than transparent? How the heck does one move $366M less than transparently? Can somebody enlighten me? Won't somebody share? Does it work the same for say- $10K? Or $20K?
The City and the Yankees insist if you look closely enough, everything is copasetic. And really, who am I to judge?
And yet, I still feel just a little bit sad. After closing out the century in 2000 with a Championship, New York has relinquished it's AL East dominance and is without a ring in the new Millenium. An inability to translate minor league talent into productive ball players has left them scrambling. Aging players and diminishing talent has left them a bit scuffed. A bit tattered one could say if one were to judge by the standards that the Yankees themselves have set. It would seem an era is ending; the greatest franchise in baseball history is evolving.Sure they'll be back but when?
A guy was telling me a great many old time Yankees will march in a procession from the old ballpark to the new. They'll be honored, no doubt with a terrific ceremony on the new field and then they'll be gone. Their old bones won't stand the rigor of a single inning. And all that will be left is the newest Cashman concoction fighting in the toughest division in the AL. Be still mighty warrior, the darkness falls on thee. Times that are hard indeed.
So this stadium thing is probably, and I say this from the heart, overkill. It's a little like throwing dirt on a grave. There are times when we need to have a collective conscience. I propose we forget about it. Consider it a debt forgiven. You cooked the books and didn't invite us to dinner. We'll give ya a mulligan.
I know. I know. I hear the outcry from the masses. And yes, it's possible that the new Yankee Stadium cost taxpayers a few bucks. But I say screw it!
If we can bail out a huge bank that I i've never set foot in with a Gazillion dollars of taxpayer money, we can help Hank. If we can bail out a brokerage firm that I'd have no reason to visit with two Gazillion dollars of taxpayer money, we can drop a few bucks on the Yankees.
It just somehow seems right. This is America. We protect our institutions.
And let's not get distracted. Just today, I hear they want to send another Gazillion dollars to Detroit but I say the heck with the Tigers. I know somebody in Washington gets paid to print the money, so get him working and make us some for Yankee Stadium. I really don't hardly think we'd notice. Do you?
Posted on: September 20, 2008 8:49 pm
Don't know if it's true but I did hear a rumor. A guy I know said...
In the off season, the Yankees are expected to do some serious power shopping. Rumor has it they're going to buy the entire Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff if the Brewers throw in a beer company and a couple hundred live taxpayers. It's also rumored they've found the wreck of an unusual flying vehicle in Nevada and the six survivors, four of which they've already signed, are five tool players that don't require water. Came at a price.
Final number on the 2009 roster is expected to reach the GNP of three European countries combined. He didn't tell me which three but he said it was reliable information that came to him from Copenhagen.
Oh, and there's high level talks about cloning Joe Torre by 2012.
What have you heard?
Posted on: September 20, 2008 7:40 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2008 9:47 pm
It's not over yet. The Rays could falter. They could lose 6 out of their last 10. But then it could have happened in July too and it didn't. Could have happened in August but August turned out alright. Even the old timers said wait and see September and here we are.
Worst to First stories do not come along every day in any sport. But when it happens in a game played over the stretch of 162 games, I don't care what team you root for, you just gotta love it. At this point it would take a real collapse of sorts for the Rays to not win the division. From the worst in the division a year ago to dethroning the World Champions from their American League mantel.
What were the Vegas odds of the Rays winning the AL East? And how much did the two guys who bet it win? Olympic Gold Medals, Celtics, Giants- amazing stories in '08 sports. The Rays are in that group.
They enter the tourney in real good shape. I congratulate each and every member of their unfortunately scant fan base and encourage the citizens of St Petersburg to get on board for the ride.
Psst: While I'm thinking of it, now's the time to buy those seasons tickets. The price only goes up from here. Trust me.