Sunday, May 21, 2006

A Golden Opportunity

Alright, so we got a hell of a lot of rain over the past couple of weeks here in New England, and my basement was one of many in the area that was inundated. So we got the sump pumps going and all, and I check it every morning before I go to work. Well, one day last week I open the front door and look down at the hoses and lo and behold - there's a freaking mini Yankees helmet sitting there - the kind you used to get at Dairy Queen after a big Little League win. It was so random that I was perplexed. How the heck did it get there? One of my friends playing a practical joke on me or something? Is the paperboy a closet Yankee rooter? I honestly had no clue, but I knew one thing - I couldn't in good conscience go to work and just leave it there. No way. So I pick it up - almost like it's a turd - and I carry it into the house and throw it in the trash can. Why am I telling you this? I don't know - just thought it was interesting. In hindsight, maybe I should have held onto it and used it as a voodoo helmet all year.

To make the transition to real-life baseball, the Yankees come to Fenway tomorrow night for the start of a three-game series, and it's high time for the Red Sox to put some separation between them.

I rag on the Yankees a lot, but I do respect (most of) them. Right now, they're in absolute tatters. Matsui is a huge loss. Sheffield has been out. Posada's hurting. Their starting pitching is a joke. Pavano did something to his elbow and needs another surgery. Their $200 million lineup this week will most likely feature Kelly Stinnett, Melky Cabrera and Miguel Cairo. NOW is the time to build a lead over these guys, and I think the Sox sense the urgency. It was nice to see Francona give the quick hook to DiNardo today.

I know it's only May, but the Yankees are ripe for the picking and the picking has to begin tomorrow night. Let's take 2 of 3 and build a small lead (Yanks are losing right now to the Mets, 4-2, on Sunday night baseball). My theory is that the role reversal between the Sox and Yanks began with that epic ALCS rebound in 2004, and the only thing left now is for Boston to actually win the damn division for once, which I believe will happen this year. The last time the Sox won the AL East (in a full season) was in 1990. They also won it in 1995, the strike-shortened year. It doesn't guarantee anything, I know, but it would be symbolic and sweet.

We know the Yanks will bounce back. A's GM Billy Beane had a great quote in this week's Sports Illustrated: "The only thing faster in New York than the time between the light turning green and the guy behind you honking is the time between an injury to a Yankees starter and reports of the names of guys the Yankees will go get." Very true. Right after Matsui broke his wrist, we heard names like Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter. Peter Gammons was just on ESPN saying they're looking at guys like Jay Payton, Richard Hidalgo, or Terence Long. Not scary.

We need to hit 'em while they're down, and keep hitting until they're unrecognizable. Starting tomorrow.


Sox tried to come back against the Phils today, but the twin gas cans (aka Tavarez and Seanez) held them back and they ended up losing 10-5. Utley, Abreu and Howard are damn good hitters. If the Yanks lose tonight, the Sox lead will stay at 1.5 games. Providing Billy Wagner doesn't have another meltdown.

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