Monday, April 19, 2010

Victory Is Sweep: Yankees dominate the Texas Rangers

It was nice to see the Yankees put a full-scale whooping on the Texas Rangers in the Bronx this weekend, especially when it happened during the same time that the Boston Red Sox were getting thrashed around by the Tampa Bay Rays.

It's all been very quiet in Yankeeland this year, thanks to the winning. How good are things, now that the Bombers have won their first four series in the row, for the first time since 1926? The two biggest controversies so far this year have been John Sterling's home run calls for Curtis Granderson, and Javier Vazquez getting booed by the fans.

New York Times writer Tyler Kepner talked about the calmness in Yankeeland in a column this weekend, writing:
When the Yankees won their earlier titles under the elder Steinbrenner, the threat of an outburst was never far away. Every mini-slump could trigger an eruption.

The players, at least those in recent years, were largely insulated by the calming influence of the former manager Joe Torre. But as the seasons without a championship added up, starting in 2001, the specter of Torre’s future was rarely far from the surface. That is not an issue for the new manager, Joe Girardi. Even without a contract past this season, his status is secure.
I'm compelled to correct this mythmaking here:

1. George Steinbrenner hasn't been Big Stein, aka the firing fool, for at least a good 15 years. If he were, Joe Torre would have lost his job a lot earlier. Like after the worst collapse in baseball history. And what eruption is Kepner talking about? Yes, once in a while, when the Yankees were struggling, the Boss would have some pep-talky quote, usually ghostwritten by his spokesman. But to suggest that it was a real threat is laughable. Kevin Brown got to keep his job in 2005, after punching the wall just before the playoffs. In the old days, he would have been on a one-way ticket to Palookaville.

2. Kepner writes, "The players, at least those in recent years, were largely insulated by the calming influence of the former manager Joe Torre." Oh, please. You mean like how when Johnny Damon had a midcareer crisis of confidence, not sure if he wanted to play baseball anymore after the death of Cory Lidle? And how St. Joe of the Bronx took their private conversation and published it in his book? Charming. Or when Torre sabotaged Alex Rodriguez at every turn? Yes, I'm sure A-Rod misses Joe's calming influence!

3. How long is it going to take the media to realize that Joe Girardi, not Joe Torre, is the one who takes away the drama on the Yankees? After all, Girardi doesn't have a contract for next year, yet it's not a big story, because Girardi is not making a big deal over it. If it were Torre, we'd be hearing about it every five minutes, as Mr. Green Tea would make sure to have his buddies in the media constantly mention it. You know, kind of the way Torre's made his contract status a never-ending drama in Los Angeles. But Girardi low-keys it, not making himself the story, the way his predecessor constantly did. Too bad the media still believes their "St. Joe was the calming influence" myth.

* * *

A few other thoughts on the weekend:

* Our long national nightmare is over: Both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira finally hit their first homers of the year!
* I listened to a good portion of Saturday's game on the radio. Man, John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman have zero chemistry together. It's as if they're broadcasting from separate booths.

* What made the sweep even more sweet was what was happening elsewhere in baseball this weekend: The Mets lost two of three to the Cardinals, although they did win that 20-inning game, with an assist from Tony LaRussa (taking Matt Holliday out with the double switch boggles my mind.) And the Red Sox lost three in a row to Tampa Bay. Good times!

What do you think? Tell us about it!

1 comment:

matthewmoreno said...

Did you forget about what Torre did from 96 to 2004? He was, without a doubt, a calming influence! I love both Joes! To turn on Torre now is ridiculous! I suppose you'll find a reason to dislike Donny Baseball too! Girardi is great! But, so is Torre! You don't win Championships with talent alone. And, of course, 2004 was really bad, especially collapsing to The BoooSox! But, 4 rings in five years should not be overlooked, ever!

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