September 12, 2006

So Then David Was All, Like, Johnny Likes Me Better Than You, And Derek Was Like, No Way, He SO Does Not...

Randy Johnson was not at his best (perhaps because he's FORTY-THREE damn years old), but the Yankees staged a comeback win last night against the motley collection of misfits that the Orioles insist on referring to as their bullpen. And Joe Torre is now third on the Yanks' all-time manager wins list with 1,068, behind only Casey Stengle and Joe McCarthy, which is kind of staggering when you think about it; even if you don't think Torre had too much to do with some those wins, you still have to be impressed by his sheer longevity.

There’s been much discussion in the last few days about David Ortiz, who rather cattily explained to ESPN why he thinks he should win the MVP award, arguing that a team’s position in the standings shouldn’t be a factor. Not to take anything away from Ortiz -- he’s undoubtedly a great hitter, and indeed is the only baseball player I’ve ever had appear in a recurring nightmare -- but as I was just saying on Sunday, if the standings don’t matter, then the MVP should probably go to Travis Hafner or Ortiz’s own teammate, Manny Ramirez. If not Johan Santana. Regarding Jeter, Ortiz says:

"Don't get me wrong -- he's a great player, having a great season, but he's got a lot of guys in that lineup… Top to bottom, you've got a guy who can hurt you. Come hit in this lineup, see how good you can be.”

Well. I bet that went over well in the Red Sox clubhouse. He has a valid point, of course, but this is nevertheless the kind of observation that, if you’re Ortiz, you should probably keep to yourself. Jeter’s response to all this was classically boring, except for the last line, which I do believe is a bit of a zinger:

"I don't have to do it in his lineup... I'm not thinking about winning the MVP. I'm just thinking about winning the division. No one's focus here is on individual awards. We've got something to play for."

Then, of course, they ran and asked Johnny Damon what he thought. Can somebody please explain to me how the tone of this conversation differs from one you might overhear in a randomly selected middle school cafeteria? It might be unfair to criticize Ortiz, though: I bet he was going to say, “I don’t care about individual awards, I just want to help my team,” but found that Jeter had finally had that phrase officially trademarked.

MUSTACHE WATCH ’06 – SON OF MUSTACHE WATCH: Back by popular demand! Randy Johnson, having realized the error of his ways, is re-growing his signature lip fur. At least I think he is. There’s something on his face, anyway, so for his sake, let’s all hope it’s facial hair.


Devine said...

It was a dumbass thing to say. Ah well. Just hit #51, Senor. That's all I've got left to watch for. In fairness...have you seen some of the Red Sox lineups in the past couple weeks? The kind where Youkilis bats clean-up?

There's no way Ortiz wins the MVP this year. No way in hell. There's basically no way he'll ever win it unless some year they inch the Yankees by a game and he hits 120 home runs.

Rob (Middletown, CT) said...

Funny post, Emma. Nice blog, by the way.

In fairness, Devine, Ortiz's absence pretty much overlapped that of Manny, so it's not like Youklis was hitting behind him for any appreciable span of time. For the vast majority of Ortiz' ABs, Manny hit behind him, and Youklis/Loretta in front of him.

Ortiz could have won it this year if he had stayed healthy, continued to collect dramatic game-winning hits, and if the Sox had hung with the Yanks. That's not to say he necessarily would've been the MVP in my opinion, but he certainly could've won.

Instead, he missed time and the Sox fell out of it. Meanwhile, other candidates continued to play.

Devine said...

Augh, no! Yankee fans from YFSF! The support is here.

Rob...yeah yeah yeah. Quiet down with your objectively correct analysis, I'm a wounded man talking to my (Yankee fan!) friend. I know I'm not being fair and I'm not trying to be (see the bitterness in my last paragraph above). My wounded self detects a little smugness at the end there, too. Just remember, one day you'll have to endure this (maybe you have before if you're old enough and were a fan then and all).

Emma said...

Thanks, Rob! Of course you can't really blame Ortiz for missing a few weeks with an irregular heartbeat, but you're right, he certainly had all the protection anyone could ask for with Ramirez hitting behind him most of the year.

I doubt the Sox would ever really trade Manny -- but, if they do, anyone who pitches to Ortiz in a close late game should be fined.

Emma said...

Sorry, Dev. It's been a rough month. This still isn't like the 1980s Yankees, though... Having Manny, Ortiz, and Papelbon is like having 4 or 5 Don Mattinglys (Mattinglies?).

Rob (Middletown, CT) said...


Sorry. I have lots of Sox fan friends (and a Sox fan wife) and I'm generally avoiding rubbing anything in. August was just horrific for the Sox, to the point where I wouldn't really wish that on anyone.

No smugness was intended at the end at all. It is, unfortnately for Ortiz and Sox fans, just the literal truth.

Emma - the Sox trading Manny would be immensely stupid, in my opinion. I just don't see how they could possibly get enough value back. Manny is the best MVP candidate on that team right now, in my opinion, and it goes unnoticed because he hits like this every year and because he doesn't hustle (which is a fair criticism that gets overblown). Every year he's one of the top 5 hitters in the AL. Ho-hum.

Emma said...

Rob, yes, I agree -- they'd be crazy to trade him. Maybe there's something else going on there that we don't know about... but seriously, unless the guy is snorting heroin and physically abusing Coco Crisp,I don't see how you can get rid of him.