Monday, October 12, 2009
Derek Jeter enters the Twilight Zone
It was bad enough seeing the Yankees dispose of the Twins on TBS, but at least I wasn't listening on ESPN radio. Squawker Lisa tells me that she heard, via Fire Joe Morgan's KenTremendous, that Jon Miller said Derek Jeter must have had a "third eye" to spot Nick Punto failing to stop at third when Jeter fired the ball to Jorge Posada, who then threw Punto out at third.
So Jeter is not simply a future Hall of Famer - now he is a superior entity straight out of the "Twilight Zone." (Spoiler alert: Clip reveals the ending of my favorite Twilight Zone episode - "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up.")
Sure, Jeter made a good play. But Jeter could be the smartest player in the history of baseball and there's no play to make if Punto even had ONE EYE on his third-base coach, frantically trying to hold him up.
By the time Jeter got the ball, batter Denard Span was almost at first base. Did Jeter need a fourth eye to notice that?
Once Jeter saw that he couldn't throw out Span, his options shifted to the other runner, Punto. Jeter simply did what he was supposed to do.
As someone who watched way too much of the 2009 Mets, I certainly do not take smart infield play for granted. A 2009 Met middle infielder might well have hurried a throw to first - past Daniel Murphy and into the dugout. Punto could have been the hero instead of the goat.
But Punto was not the only goat. Ex-Met Carlos Gomez showed he really was trained in the Met farm system when he made his own baserunning gaffe in Game 2. And then there is Joe Nathan, who blew Game 2 and put Game 3 out of reach.
Seeing Nathan take dirt from the Metrodome mound after the Twins were eliminated that was irritating. Nathan was responsible as anyone for the Twins' quick demise, and here he is taking a memento after giving up two hits to turn a 2-1 deficit into 4-1. What's next - asking A-Rod for an autographed baseball:
To Joe: Shoulda pitched around me! [signed] Alex Rodriguez :)
It reminded me of when the Mets blew the playoffs in 2008, then put on the tribute to Shea Stadium. It came off a lot better than I thought it would. There was a lot of history to celebrate, just as is the case with the Twins. But I am glad I did not notice Scott Schoeneweis or Luis Ayala, who gave up eighth-inning homers that day to seal the Mets' fate, taking dirt from the mound.
Instead, it is the Twins that are covered in dirt, while the Yankees roll on. I look forward to an entertaining and competitive series featuring Mark Teixeira and Bobby Abreu facing their old teams. I don't see anyone stopping the Yankees, but at least it can be close.
Unfortunately, I also don't see anyone stopping Squawker Lisa's crowing. It is shaping up to be a long winter.