I had a post on the Banter yesterday, about the Yankees' little-remembered early 80s disaster of a mascot, Dandy.
Sorry for my recent absence -- I've been in major crash mode, working on my book. I have been watching, though. Three quick thoughts:
-No one these days wants to let themselves get too excited about Pedro Martinez's possible impact on the Mets' season, because we all understand that he's likely to tear some major muscle in half every time he bends over to tie his laces. But after watching him pitch last night, even if it was just against the Giants, it's hard not to indulge myself and wonder... suppose Pedro stays healthy? The simple act of my writing these words, from 3,000 miles away, may very well be enough to snap his fibia. But just suppose. That by itself would make the team, but my highly scientific calculations, 15% better and 47% more fun.
-I'm glad Willie Randolph didn't get fired. Sometimes you need to make a change for change's sake, and I can understand that -- but given that he's working with a flawed roster courtesy of Omar Minaya, and that there's no compelling candidate I'm aware of available to replace him mid-season (Wally Backman?), it would have felt like scapegoating to me.
This is also the second time in eight months that the Wilpons have made it crystal clear that they're thinking about firing Randolph, without actually doing so. I don't understand the strategy here. If you don't have confidence in the guy, fire him; if you do, give him a little public support. (And if you want to fire him but can't, suck it up and fake the support). Otherwise you just piss of your manager and your fans simultaneously, which is a neat trick but not really productive.
-Wondering what Hideki Irabu is up to these days? Of course you were! The Times has the answer. You know, it's really unfortunate that when I hear the words "Hideki Irabu," I think not of a trailblazer who pitched intermittently well for the Yankees during their late 90s run of success, but of the phrase "fat pussy toad." Such is the power of the soundbite, I guess. But it sounds like Irabu is enjoying a happy and quiet retirement in California, and I'm glad.
It's a good article, and well worth the read - but damn Billy Witz for drawing parallels, however indirectly, between Irabu and Joba Chamberlain. Noooooooooo!
This weekend I'll be out of town, and likely without TV, as I drown in nostalgia-laced booze at my 5-year college reunion. But I should be back on track and writing here regularly after that.