I was interviewed for my pal Paul Francis Sullivan's Sully Baseball podcast for a preview of today's New York-Houston Wild Card game. Sully, the Astros fan interviewed before me, and myself are all calling this matchup The Gravy Game. Meaning that since we never expected our teams to make it to the playoffs this year, just having one postseason game is gravy to u!
Way back in March, I couldn't foresee the Yankees making it into the postseason. Heck, I said then I didn't think they would win more than 80 games, and I figured they wouldn't finish any higher than fourth place. I've never been so happy to have been wrong! (I did correctly predict, though, that the Mets would have a better record than the Yankees. And that A-Rod would have an epic year, although even this A-Rod apologist couldn't have predicted 30+ homers!)
Most baseball prognosticators didn't even think either the Yankees or the Astros (or the Rangers or Mets, for that matter) would make it into the postseason. Check out the teams 80+ experts predicted for ESPN; the vast majority of the teams picked didn't even make it into the postseason!
Don't get me wrong. I want the Yankees to win it all. I can't tell you how many times I have run this year (I am training for a half-marathon that I'm running this weekend) when I have visualized the Yankees winning the World Series, and Alex Rodriguez winning the World Series MVP. I want a Subway Series, too. It would be good -- make that great -- for the Squawkers! I have big plans for world domination. They start with a win tonight!
All that being said, I have to remember that just being in the postseason this year, with this team, is a pretty good accomplishment. A-Rod talked some yesterday about how the Yankees are the "major underdogs" this year. He told Newsday:
"I think with everything we've done this year, we've surprised a lot of people, and that's hard to do when you wear pinstripes," he said. "But I think going into this year, if you rewind seven months and told us we'd have an opportunity to play at home and defend our home court in a wild-card game, I think we all would have signed up for that."Daily News this about CC Sabathia checking himself into rehab:
“It’s a very courageous thing to do,” A-Rod said. “We play for CC now. CC has gone to the mat for us many, many times. … So now we go to the mat for him.
“CC is a friend and a great teammate; like a brother to me. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have a championship ring from ’09. What he did was very courageous. It takes a very tough guy to do what he did.”I wish CC well. He is my second-favorite current Yankee, after A-Rod. And it says a lot about the esteem Sabathia is held in that he has received such positive feedback about his decision to enter alcohol rehab at the beginning of the postseason. (That being said, I have to wonder if there is something that happened this weekend that precipitated this!)
In addition to talking about CC, and also how the Yankees won in 2000 when they slumped at the end (something Joel Sherman also covers in his column for the New York Post today), Sully and I discussed how amazing it would be if Alex was the big hero tonight. Dare to dream!
On the podcast, I also blamed the lack of greenies for causing the older Yankees to drag towards the end of the year. Yes, I went there!
Anyhow, I'm calling for a Yankees win tonight. And I really want the house to be rocking. Bring back the home field advantage, Yankee fans!