August 21, 2006

Dispatches From My Lunch Break

Am I a bad fan for being totally stunned by the events of this series? I seem to have seriously underestimated this Yankees team. Joe Torre showed more emotion last night than he has in the last 10 seasons combined, so I guess he was impressed too.

I hate to pile on Terry Francona, but I honestly cannot imagine why he didn’t go to Papelbon to lead off the eighth. I was dumbfounded, and in fact, it came as a kind of strange relief when he finally did get him in there - all that futzing around with Timlin and Lopez was making me confused and uncomfortable. Once he came in, Papelbon lived up to the hype. And, while it physically pains me to do so, I have to give Curt Schilling credit for a truly gutty, tough game yesterday. He’s one of my absolute least-favorite baseball players, but you have to hand it to him, the pompous jerkoff delivers.

All in all, what a painful loss that must have been for the Sox. With the possible exception of an error, there's no worse way to lose a ballgame than a bloop single (I give you Game 7 of the 2001 World Series). Though to give Jeter his due, he's the master of bloop singles, and I don't doubt there was as much skill as luck involved. In any case, ouch. Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter: honestly not overhyped.

As to today's game, I can't help it: I still like David Wells. I always enjoy it when people who have absolutely no right to be good athletes have so much success. Okay, so Wells isn't exactly his old self anymore and obviously, I would be happy to see him roughed up a little this afternoon. But that fat drunkard threw a perfect game for the Yanks, very possibly while hung over. And for that, he has earned our undying respect.

So after all this... after games featuring Mike Mussina, Randy Johnson, Chien-Ming Wang, Josh Beckett, and Curt Schilling... this is the pitcher’s duel? Cory Lidle and David Wells? Go figure, man. What a strange and wonderful series.

1 comment:

jonkatz said...

Strange, but really wonderful? I don't know. The games had moments, but I always find the collapse of a team's season a bit sad, too, even if it is the Red Sox.
I don't think Emma underestimated the Yankees so much as perhaps we all missed the emergence of a different team.
The Red Sox bullpen collapse is not explicable to me. I suspect it was Boston that was overestimated. And looking ahead, we have a new reality to consider. I think there is no better team in baseball right now than the Yankees. There is no team about which I would say they could absolutely beat the Yankees in the playoffs. Gulp. You know what that means. I say time to look ahead and get psychically prepared.