Monday, April 30, 2007

GAMES TWENTY ONE-TWENTY THREE: You saying Jesus can't hit a curveball?

Not a bad April. Not a bad April at all, capped off as Julian Tavarez was actually really good except during a mystifying three-batter sequence to the 7-8-9 hitters (walk, walk, too wild to let Doug Mzkwhefjrkhvlitch bunt, causing Doug M. to...hit a three run homerun?) marring a solid five innings. Hideki Okajima (Oh-ka-jih-ma, not Oka-gi-ma, announcers) hasn't given up a run since his first batter of the season. Jon Papelbon hasn't given up a run this season at all. David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez (and Alex Cora?) are powering up. The Sox are 16-8 and are only starting to hit, and have their biggest division lead at the end of April ever; it isn't easy to be up by four games already, although the last time they had a three game lead, 2004, it obviously didn't last. And then they won the World Series. It worked out okay.

In New York, the question remains Joe Torre. Or does it? I miss the old Steinbrenner, the one who would have gone through three managers by now, probably Torre, Yogi Berra, and Torre again.

With no fire and brimstone coming, and with a mild desire to have the Yankees get back into contention just for the excitement of it (i.e., postpone total collapse until just after the All-Star break), I'm not sure what will keep the Yankees whole. Although their once Christ-like centerfielder went all Samson on us when he cut his hair, the Yankee pitching staff is still all about the Jesus, and nobody fucks with the Jesus. Although I have seen these subway ads tagged in all sorts of filthy ways. To revise: no one fucks with the Jesus, except in New York, where everyone fucks with the everyone.

If the Jesus plan fails, as Andy knows, there are more important things than baseball, which is good, because Jesus can't give him back his cutter, or give him another chance to protect the lead yesterday. Nor can it give the Yankees David Wells, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, or any other actual warm bodies to fill out their pitching staff. Nor can it give Mariano back his good stuff if he has in fact lost it.

Hmm, maybe Jesus and sports are a mismatched pairing, like Bernie Williams and a recording studio. Or maybe I just need my free brochure.

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