The Weekend Buzz while you were catching up with Stephen Colbert's shenanigans in Pennsylvania before this week's big presidential primary:
1. Mary, Queen of Victory, Pray for Them: Remember when the New York Yankees had one single mission in life, and that mission was to suck every ounce of oxygen, joy and life out of each baseball fan on the planet who wasn't wearing a cap with an interlocking NY?
|Welcome to the Bronx, LaTroy Hawkins, where fans and teammates decide what number you will wear. (AP)|
Those proud Yankees never would have signed off on $50,000 to jackhammer through the concrete of a new stadium simply to dig out a David Ortiz T-shirt.
This was the organization that cursed other teams, not a club that jumped like a scared kitty at the mere thought that they themselves were even capable of being hexed.
Those proud Yankees inspired their fans to aspire to skyscraper heights. The whole was greater than the sum of the parts. That lesson was played out over and over every time a whiny old outfielder acquired from Cincinnati named Paul O'Neill took the field. Never much of a threat with the Reds, O'Neill began out-playing his talent level as soon as he landed in the Bronx, and that helped launch the Yanks into orbit.
Back then, this was the organization that retired (and retired, and retired, and retired, and kept retiring) numbers of the only true greats. And its fans, who would settle for nothing less, taunted players on other teams, not one of their own.
Today's Yankees are paranoid that a cotton shirt may wield more power than all of their resources combined, their fans are obsessing over the numbers on the players' backs and the best prospects in their rotation are pitching like they're auditioning for the, gasp, Florida Marlins.
No wonder Pope Benedict XVI was presiding over Mass in Yankee Stadium on Sunday while the Yankees were off in Baltimore, attempting to avoid being swept by the Orioles in three games there for the first time since 2005. Sunday, charity began at the Yankees' home.
Everyone knew Hughes and Kennedy would need time to grow into their Yankee pinstripes. But few figured the duo would be a combined 0-5 with a 9.20 ERA in the season's first three weeks. Opponents are scorching them for a .344 batting average.
Another month of this and folks are going to start questioning why the Yankees didn't jump this spring to grab Kyle Lohse (now pitching extraordinarily well in St. Louis) or even move last week to land Jeff Weaver (now warming up for Milwaukee in the Brewers' minor-league system).