Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pride, Power, Proctor

So the Yankees allow a cast of scrubs to blow a seven-run lead while sitting All-Star relievers Mariano Rivera and David Robertson and some folks give Jose Reyes grief for not being Ted Williams?

Before I get to the conclusion of my brief stint as a Yankee fan, I want to congratulate Jose on becoming the first Met to win a batting title. And there's nothing on the final day to apologize for. As Squawker Lisa points out, the reason we remember Ted Williams' heroics 70 years later is that they are so unusual.

Players sit on their stats in meaningless games all the time. As Mike Vaccaro pointed out in the Post, Bernie Williams left the last game of the 1998 season early to protect his batting title. And as one of Lisa's Facebook friends pointed out, in 2008 Derek Jeter left the game early and sat out the last two games, finishing with a batting average of exactly .300.

I do feel a little bad for the loyal fans who came out to Citi Field yesterday, but they ultimately got what they paid to see - Reyes win a batting title and appear in what could be his last game as a Met.

Reyes' early departure was handled awkwardly, but these are the Mets. And my main concern with Reyes is that the Mets now avoid an early departure for Reyes from his Mets career.


So much for my three-day stint as a Yankee fan. If I had wanted to see epic bullpen meltdowns, I could have stayed in Flushing. But the Yankees are not obligated to use Mariano and Robertson in a meaningless game for them as they prepare for the playoffs any more than Reyes was obligated to play the whole game.

And whatever the Yankees did, it was the Red Sox who were responsible for their own collapse. While I wanted to see the Red Sox win, I have to say that I don't mind seeing the Sox and Braves pass the 2007 Mets on the list of epic chokes.

Especially the Braves.

While my brief stint as a Yankee fan was a bust, my brief stint as a Phillies fan went well, with the Fightins finishing off the collapsing Braves. And the Phillies did themselves proud, with veterans Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and even ancient Raul Ibanez playing all thirteen innings of last night's game.


Thankfully, the postseason is here, so I can go back to rooting against both the Yankees and the Phillies. I just hope I don't have to make another grim choice in the World Series.

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