Thursday, May 29, 2008

Yankees 4, Orioles 2

Well, I was out all last night, and so missed the game.

My recovery from that 24-hour Alien-in-John-Hurt's-stomach-thing has gone well . . . straight into my birthday, which was today.

The first sign was a phone call from one of my brothers: "I saw the Indy 500, and it reminded me your birthday was coming up. So happy birthday."

Then, on my cell phone duet, Mom and Dad from Scottsdale, singing happy birthday to me. Sweet. I played in on speaker to Astro-Girl.

And: from Astro-Girl:

1) Dinner out last night (steak you could cut with a fork); dinner in tonight (take-out sushi, to which of course SunDevil Joe always responds, "Well, you know, the only real sushi is in Tokyo." Yeah, yeah. Gotcha.)

2) Some Mad Money for my birthday trek to the poker tables of Lake Charles with my brother-in-law (he, Alpha Male Complete, always plays No Limit with Teddy KGB; I, an English teacher, play 3-6-12 with the other tourists, and such is the difference between our games that once my table lost complete interest in a heads-up match, and instead concentrated on game at my BOL's table, during which the mound of red chips formed a pile approximating the dimensions of a pitcher's mound).


3) The gift to end all gifts: Box and Club-Level seats to the New York Yankees-Houston Astros series in June. The Yankees have played twice before in Houston, both times in an exhibition appearance, both times celebrating the opening of a new ballpark: the Astrodome in 1965 (it is drilled into Houston schoolchildren that Mickey Mantle hit the first Astrodome home run, in a 1-0 game), and the (ahem) as-was Enron Field in 2000 (not so dramatic: Yankee Ricky Ledee hit the first home run, and the Astros won 6-4, in a sloppy game. I was there.). However, this is the first Astros-Yankees game in Houston that will count. With the Astros giving the Cubs and Cards chase in the NL Central, and Yankees . . . oh, just never mind . . . these games may count a lot.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"National Primary Vote"

Brendan Loy over at Irish Trojan posts an interesting Hillary missive.

for those who wonder what the next tactic is, you should--as Brendan suggests--pay attention to this phrase:

"National Primary Vote."

In other words, if you discount all the caucus states (including Iowa) and if you include Florida (where no one was supposed to campaign) and if you include Michigan (where only Hillary was on the ballot, and therefore won like thirty billion to nothing). . . do all these things and--presto!--Hillary has a majority!

Two thoughts:

1. If this is an endgame, then--really and truly--Obama is getting off easy. Many Dems just don't know how easy. Bill Clinton was found playing Baron and the Milkmaid with the help in the Oval Office, and such was the brilliance and savagery of the counter-attack, that before the year was out, two GOP Speakers were out of a job. (Yes, yes, GOP over-reaching, blah blah blah, but any of the other 41 Presidents would have resigned on the spot.)

2. Ever since Barack Hussein Obama-drug dealing-roll the dice-like a pillow all fell flat, it's been clear that one of two things have occurred. Either the Clintons have decided that nothing's going to stick, or else their saving their endgame for right before Denver (W's drunk driving, anyone?).

right now--in part because he's a Democrat, in part because she wants on the ticket, in part because there may actually be nothing there--I think the second is true.

"Lay off my wife"

No. Sorry, no.

Not that what I think matters, but:

There really needs to be a bill of particulars regarding who or what is liable for criticism in a presidential campaign.

Rule number one is the same rule as poker:

You can't lose what you don't push to the middle.

Conversely, what you do push to the middle is fair game.

I probably enjoyed The West Wing more than I should have, perhaps because part of the reason I enjoyed it was as a liberal fantasy of a more perfect Bill Clinton: a man possessed of all the requisite political and rhetorical brilliance, but without the horror show of a marriage, without the scandals, and without the shamelessness (the last part, something the Obamites have come to experience).

What counted for a scandal in The West Wing--wht occupied parts of two seasons, for God's sake--was the hero's ability to function as President while keeping quiet his multiple sclerosis, and his MD wife's efforts to medicate him. What President Bartlett made clear throughout his presidency--in other words, throughout the series--that his three daughters were off-limits. They didn't campaign, they didn't publicly speak, they were private citizens, they were off-limits. ("We don't even put them on our White House Christmas cards!" Bartlett raged at one point.)

My thought at the time: Okay, fair enough.

Things were (and until now have been) a little grayer with the real-life Bartlett daughter, Chelsea Clinton. As a teenager, and moreso as a double for the tambourine player on The Partridge Family, she was trotted out and referred to chiefly as a witness to her parents' enduring love. Lately (and not coincidentally), having come out of her ugly stage a hot little number, she's been a central figure in her mother's campaign, at one point sent to have breakfast with a (presumably) horny 21 year-old superdelegate. When David Schuster referred to Chelsea as "pimped out," his language may have been too harsh, but he was onto something.

The inference that Chelsea (who, by the way, is one year older than the age at which Bill's hero Jack Kennedy was elected to Congress) is beyond criticism is ludicrous. So it is with Michelle. You campaign, you take your chances like everyone else.

Jonah Goldberg states it best: "I, for one, want to hear more from her, and she seems perfectly willing to oblige. But if I don’t like what she has to say, I reserve the right to say so, whether her husband finds it acceptable or not."

A small point, leading to a larger one. Throughout the summer, the GOP will be lectured by The New York Times,
CNN and Chris Matthews about what is off-limits: not only Obama's spouse, middle name and past connections, but also his statements, voting record, positions, gaffes, running mate, plus every else plus its opposite: everything, in other words, besides George Bush's record in Iraq, health care, foreclosures and the price of gas.

What McCain unloads on Obama will not be half of what Hillary's crowd came up with. If Haley Barbour (who, if not McCain's running mate, will be roughly analogous to Billy Shaheen) ever called Obama a drug dealer, the race would be over. But eventually, one Republican after another will be driven to ask, "Are we allowed to campaign too?"

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Orioles 10, Yankees 9 (11)

The good news is, I'm feeling better.

The bad news is, right after the Yankees wasted three shutout innings from Kyle/Mo, and then took the lead on a clutch two-out hit from Matsui (after a tough A-Rod double play) there was Human Torch Hawkins, right there, ready to do his best.

So let me get this straight. A-Rod is coming off injury, Posada too. Cano and Giambi are rounding into form, Matsui is playing the ball of his life, Melky cruises along, Jeter is Jeter, and Abreu is Abreu. The hitting will be there.

Meanwhile: Wang will win 17-20; Pettitte and Moose will get theirs, Rasner is this season's discovery, Kennedy will be up and down, and for God's sake, won't Phil Hughes do something?

And, oh yeah, Mo Rivera, with his 0.40 ERA, is pretty much your AL Cy Young Award-winner at the quarter pole.

And, at the very tipping point of the season, Girardi and the brass want to go off and experiment with Joba, who would have made a fool of those Orioles tonight.

Orioles 8, Yankees 1

I was under the weather all day yesterday, and this didn't help.

Don't blame Rasner--how do you win without runs?

This is one of those closer-than-the-score-indicated games--a pitcher's duel until the seventh--at which point LaTroy Hawkins unloaded his tank of kerosene all over Camden Yards, and was quickly followed by his friends: Sparky, Human Torch and Fire Marshall Bill.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yankees 6, Mariners 5

Oh my, what a marvelous game.

With Giambi and Cano coming around, with A-Rod back, the Yankee lineup may finally be acquiring some fearsomeness.

This game had every indication of falling into the arrgh! category. You know: the sort of game you would give anything to replay, just because your guys are so much better, just because your guys kept hitting lasers straight at the other guys and the other guys hit bloopers that somehow fell in.

It was nice to see Arthur Rhodes, though, such a presence in huge Yankee victories down through the years.

What helped today was Matsui in the eighth: busting it out of the box for an infield hit, busting it to second on the throw at the plate on Cano's fly, busting it home on Molina's double--Matsui with the winning run, twice in four days. (Not to be the turd in the punchbowl, but as good as Molina has served as Georgie's fill-in, he could have moved his wide load a little faster out of the box, given that Ichiro was fast after his ball in center.)

While watching the game today, I was struck by the notion that Wang seems to miss Posada more than any other Yankee pitcher does. For all his vaunted chemistry with Spanish pitchers (anyone remember his run-in with El Duque: "Throw a fastball, you f****** pussy!"?), Posada seems to have a special relationship with Wang: Wang's arm motion, his pitch selection. Posada and Wang seem to talk more between innings than any other battery. Posada--who really does deserve co-captain status with Jeter--has, at least on the field, treated Wang as a younger brother since Wang's arrival.

There will be no real Yankee season without Posada. He, Jeter, A-Rod, Rivera comprise the franchise.

Okay, that's tomorrow's problem.

But for today: please, what a marvelous game.

Sunday in the Bronx. Cloudless day. Believe me: Heaven. I've been there before. I wish I had been there today. What a marvelous, marvelous, marvelous game.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Yankees 2, Orioles 1

Biggest win of the year?

Yes.

Most necessary win of the year?

Yes.

Good Lord, the way the Yankees converged around Cano, it was like somebody had just won Game Seven.

Easy, boys.

And yet.

Tonight, we saw Robinson Mendoza come up with maybe his third important hit of the season. We saw Ian Kennedy pitch the game of his short career (don't tell me about the Birds, who chased Moose in the first two days ago). We saw, Lord Sakes, Kardiac Kyle go 1-2-3 in the eighth, in place of Joba Who Will Start Soon.

Rivera, okay.

This, tonight, is the team the Yankees need. They must understand the risk here, breaking up the one thing that has worked all season, the starter-Kyle-Joba-Mo baton that has preserved whatever lead the Yanks could hold through six innings.

Starter has to go six, minimum. Kyle has to throw strikes. Mo has to be Mo.

And. And, they gotta hit the ball.

And. Yeah, Girardi, nice dramatics.

Best win of the season.

Yankees 8, Orioles 0

Saw this one via the scoreboard at Minute Maid (and by the way, Blue, have you been noticing the Astros lately? If Roy Oswalt were anything like his dominating self, they'd be five games in front already).

Came home to find out the A-Rod seems fine, the Darrell Rasner might be this year's Aaron Small; and that Joba is set to move from the pen to the rotation.

It's hard to imagine the Yankees playing as poorly as they have for the last two weeks. Moose, who fopr awhile looked like circa '97, didn't get out of the first on Tuesday, against Baltimore. Pettitte struggles to put together two good starts in a row. Even Wang (who Joe Morgan awarded the Cy Young Award to last night, before he went out and got banged around by the Mets) is up and down. Phil Hughes is hurt and wasn't terribly effective before that. Ian Kennedy tries.

And the rotation, of course, has been only the second-worst thing about the Yanks in May. A projected rotation of, say, Wang, Moose, Pettitte, Joba and (for now) Rasner is a pretty decent one, but there are times when a team simply must go out and win 12-10. This Yankee team has shown no indication it is capable of that.

Still, good to get A-Rod back.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mets 6, Yankees 4

To amend: when you hit three home runs off Johan Santana, you have to win.

Last place II, Electrice Bogaloo

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yankees 2, Rays 1

I say it here . . .

If the Yanks get a solid start (2 runs or less through six, 3 runs or less through 7) from Wang, Moose, or Pettitte, or if they have a lead after six and give the ball to Farnsworth, or if they lead late and give it to Joba and/or Mo, they simply have to win.


It comes out there.

Understand: Moose pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings before being lifted (though he was charged with the Rays' lone run), and Joba pitched a scoreless eighth and Mo shook off the previous night with a 1-2-3 ninth. In other words, the pitching was about as good as you could hope for, especially in that little basketball arena they call a baseball field.

The result? A one-run victory. Thanks to contributions by, of all people, Ronbinson Mendoza, er, Cano, and Morgan Ensberg.

Cano did have a sweet none-out over-the-shoulder catch in the ninth, which pretty much sealed the game. Most times, the only way to beat Rivera is to get the lead-off man on, send in a pinch-runner if you need to, then move him around the bases (see Roberts, Dave).

Yeah, yeah, the '98 Yankees won a lot of games by one run. Tell it to the Marines: those Yanks won plenty of games by ten runs as well, and that ain't happening any time soon, not with these guys.

Two other things.

When one of the announcers remarked that the Yankees would not return to Tampa until September, I caught myself feeling relieved. The days of going 14-5 against the Rays are on hold.

But really, outside of White Sox telecasts, has there been a more brutal listening experience than the last three nights? Some yahoo with a cowbell found himself near a microphone, next to a guy with an air horn, next to a kid who yelled, "EAAAAASY OUT!!" every time a Yankee came to bat.

Three nights in a row, without fail:

Yankee batter announced.

Cowbell.

Air horn.

"EAAAAAASY OUT!!"

A brief flurry of play.

Next Yankee batter announced.

Cowbell.

Air horn.

"EAAAAAASY OUT!!"

The good news is, they get to go to Shea now.

To face, tomorrow night, Johan Santana.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

No margin for error, cont.

Reader Blue writes:

No margin for error. So now all you Yankee fans know what it's like to be "gulp!" average. It hurts doesn't it?

It's not so fun to pretend you have players that only a payroll of only $60 million can buy, is it?


Let us understand what this status means. Absent A-Rod and Posada for now, absent any meaningful contribution from either Hughes or Kennedy (I honestly, out of the blocks, would have settled for one of two), absent any meaningful production out of Cano or Giambi, the Yanks simply cannot lose a game llike last night's: a solid start (1 run, 7 innings) from Wang, timely hitting late from Matsui, and an appearance from Fanrsworth, Joba and Mo. For the nest three weeks or so, there will be too many 7-1 and 9-3 games, too many 5-0 deficits by the third inning. Too many times the Yankees are simply outslugged, outpitched, outran, outcaught, outfielded.

If the Yanks get a solid start (2 runs or less through six, 3 runs or less through 7) from Wang, Moose, or Pettitte, or if they have a lead after six and give the ball to Farnsworth, or if they lead late and give it to Joba and/or Mo, they simply have to win.

One key: In the space of two weeks, the catching situation has gone from Well-at-least-we-have-Molina to Molina-at-.205-is-killing-us. When the bats are cranking, Molina, in for Georgie, is content to move runners over in the eighth hole, call his game and throw base stealers out. Now? When he came to bat last night, Kenny Singleton noted his 0-for-11 and pronounced him "due."

Uh, no. David Ortiz at .205 is "due." Albert Pujols at .205 is "due." Jose Molina at .205 is . . . Jose Molina, another dead spot in an order that recedes, some nights, to Jeter, Abreu, Matsui and six other guys leaving the tying run at third yet again.

The one saving grace is the so-far mediocrity of the American League. As of last night, with about a fourth of the season played, 11 of the league's 14 teams were jamed between 18 and 24 wins. Unless the Red Sox or maybe the Angels slam it in gear (and don't bet against either) 95 wins appears to be the ceiling.

Say, 92 for the Wild Card.

74-50 from here on in.

As Rocco Lampone said to Michael Coreleone: Difficult. Not impossible.

Or rather, turn it around.

Not impossible. But (in the team's current composition) difficult.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rays 2, Yankees 1 (11)

I actually saw this coming.

No, really: Norm Chad, an entertaining enough talker and writer for about half as long as he thinks he is (he's like a guy going through a divorce who just had three beers, whose bitterness and bile spur him on to a few hilarious riffs, after which the laughter encourages him waaaay too much, so he talks for 15 minutes longer than he should)--but someone who, when writing about, you know, sports, knows crap-all.

Put it this way: Tony Kornheiser is the thinking man's Norm Chad.

There, I said it.

So Chad's column today advanced this idea: Mariano Rivera could finish the year with a 0.00 ERA!

So, of course, when Rivera came in in the 10th, I knew the Yanks were toast.

Never mind Giambi "guarding the lines" (translation: moving to the left of the precise location the ball was hit), Rivera was done.

The Yanks have to win games like this. Absent A-Rod and Posada, the team's margin of error is just too narrow.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rays 7, Yankees 1

Sigh. And Kennedy on the way back.

SOMEONE call a halt to this.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Now, where was I?

Personal note: this was my first year wholly back in the classroom, after a dozen years as head of some department, call it English or Arts & Humanities or what have you. Hence, I was, for the first time since 1995, taken wholly by surprise by the storm surge of papers, finals and end-of-semester paperwork that hit me--always, always worse in spring than in fall.

My sister-in-law's son is two-and-a-half. I stacked everything I would need to read and mark up, as a prelude to addding up and assigning a grade, and had my nephew stand next to the stack. The pile reached the top portion of his kneecap.

What happens in these times is that baseball games race past you like picket fences on Route 95--you find out, Wait, an afternoon game? Who knew? You hear Moose has won his fourth game in a row--another step closer to an improbable Hall of Fame plaque, and you missed the whole thing.

Then, step out on a Friday night--bang, a loss.

Then, Saturday, another Fox plot to rob you of your viewing pleasure. A Yankee-Tiger game taken off YES, and put on Fox, but not your Fox affiliate, since Fox has determined that everyone who lives between Philadelphia and Denver must be a Cubs fan. A hundred-and-twenty Cubs games go out on basic cable every year, yet Fox grabs the Cubs, then grabs the Yankees, and freezes seventy percent of the country out of the Yankee game.

The current Fox arrangement is almost as bad as CBS's brief, unfortunate foray into baseball starting in 1990, during which the network bought baseball in order to bury it, save for the All-Star Game, the post-season, and a mere nine Saturday games, which qualified as a sop to real baseball fans (like my father, my brothers, and myself) who had fallen in love with baseball mainly through NBC's annual 25 Saturday Games of the Week.

So: I've caught up. And Rasner and Moose have won a combined six in a row.

Finals, man. You have no idea.

Some ideas about the Yankees. Tomorrow.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Yanks avoid sweep

Was out watching the Astros last night; as bad as that game became, I was able to look down to the 6-3 final score.

Does this ever happen--you're driving around and you found out on the radio that your team has an afternoon game? Hate it when that happens.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Indians 3, Yankees 0

Can't complain about a shutout, unless there are major baserunning blunders.

You're not the only team with talent.

Just salvage a win tomorrow, guys.

Re: Clinton v. Obama

Jimmy writes:

It's been over for a couple of months. His lead has been too much for her to overcome. Have you had a chance to watch Chuck Todd talk about the math at all? I used to think that guy was an idiot. At any rate, you were right, and I was wrong, way back when you said Clinton would get dirty. She did. It's nice to see Obama brush it off.

The Astros are becoming fun to watch. Berkman gets five hits.


Me: I thought it was over, too, way back on February 22nd. Still, the metaphor of campaign-as-boxing-match has never been so apt, with Obama in the role of Jimmy Braddock/Billy Conn/Ray Leonard, losing rounds but staying upright, and Hillary as Max Baer/Joe Louis/Marvin Hagler, trying to land the one haymaker that would lay Obama out flat. Presumptive nominees have imploded before (Gary Hart, George Romney), and I would not have been stunned if Obama joined their ranks. It could have happened; it just didn't.

As for the Astros: Jimmy is the second contributor to compliment the boys in a week. Lord knows if they'll win anything (the Cardinals' resurgence took everyone off guard) but with the BLT (Berkman, Lee, Tejada) in the enter of the line-up, they'll sure be entertaining.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Indians 5, Yankees 3

The only person feeling worse than Joba Chamberlain tonight:

Hillary Clinton.

This was not only a bad loss, it was the sort of game you hate to lose, with the hitters getting Pettitte off the hook for a bad pitch (and goodbye what's-his-name, the beneficiary of the two worst pitches Lefty has thrown all season); with Matsui ripping the cover off the ball; with Cano at least contributing with his glove; with Jason Giambi, for sweet mercy's sake, even lending a hand, busting down the line faster than he had in his life (though slower than your nephew in a Little League game) to break up a double play and allow the first Yankee run.

Throw in a serviceable catching from Molina (with a from-the-knees throw-out that I don't know Posada could pull off) and a sudden renaissance of Kardiac Kyle as a seventh-inning set-up man (one bloop, not much else), and the game seemed a boat race, with Joba and Mo set to go in the eighth and ninth.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us comfort ourselves. The question is not whether a late-innings stopper will get slapped around. Of course he will. (Well, except for Mo in '96, setting up Wetteland: Mo, cheated out of not only the Cy Young, but the MVP. Another story.) Sparky Lyle won the Cy Young as the Yankee closer in '77, and he lost five games. Goose Gossage came in as closer the following year, lost on Opening Day, lost 10 games by the All-Star break, lost the All-Star Game itself, lost one game in Toronto and simply curled up in a ball in front of his locker and cried. And? And then, came home with a 2.01 ERA, and in the bottom of the ninth of The Greatest Game Ever Played, said to himself, "Well, the worst thing that can happen is I'll be hiking in the Rockies tomorrow," then popped up Yaz to win the pennant.

And don't forget the Sainted Mo, the Hammer of God. Elevated to closer in '97, Rivera blew three saves out of the chute, game up that homer to Sandy Alomar in the playoffs . . . then didn't blow another post-season save until . . . no, we're not going to revisit Arizona today.

Anyway. Joba. Walk, bunt, walk. Two on, one out. Up comes (speaking of Diamondbacks) David Delucci, a lefty aiming for the porch. I thought, "Umm, he can turn on an inside fastball. Joba, you may want to . . ."

Joba threw an inside fastball. I pointed at the TV screen. Delucci's homer landed precisely where I pointed.

Ah well. The kid will be all right.

As to Hillary.

The Democratic primaries have, since, February 22nd, been Sunday at the Master's for me.

The week of the Wisconsin primary, I received an invitation to Barack Obama's February 22nd rally at the Toyota Center in Houston. I declined, and lived to regret it, as the evening stood as Obama's best evening for two-and-a-half months--in short, until tonight.

Politics is like sports for me: with no horse in the race, I root for the event. Unless the Yankees or Astros or involved (or at least affected, as in a pennant race), I root for extra innings. In the Master's, unless Mikelsson is in the hunt, I root, if anything, for the course. The more humiliation the better.

I've spent ten weeks rooting for the course with the Dems. But I think it's over.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Yankees 8, Mariners 2

Still, time for Plan B.

Phil Hughes is out, for at least a month, and Ian Kennedy is off to Scanton.

Remains to be seen if Brian Cashman has another Aaron Small in his quiver.

And the Daily News is reduced to reporting that even Robby Cano hit a homer yesterday.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Yankees 6, Mariners 1

I forgot Abreu.

And, I guess, Moose.

Mike Mussina, proud owner of 254 career wins--and about as many IQ points--will, in all likelihood, get to the Hall of Fame before his ex-teammate Rocket.

Chances are, Moose will retire with:

*Zero Cy Youngs
*Zero 20-win seasons
*Zero World Championships
*Zero No-hitters . . .

Though this last one is painful, folks. Moose has twice come within one out of a no-no, the last instance on Labor Day Sunday, 2001. This was the final game of a three-game Fenway series the in which Yankees had entered with a 6 1/2 game lead over Boston and had won the first two games, and so now led by 8 1/2 games--in other words, the regular season was over. The Labor Day Sunday night game, hyped for a week by ESPN, was basically a non-event . . .

Except that Moose, brought in to essentially replace David Cone, was painting the corners; and David Cone, brought in by the Sox to compete with Moose, was scarcely worse. The game was 0-0 through the better part of the games, with Moose not allowing a runner, and with Cone, though allowing his modicum of runners, not allowing a run.

(Intermission. Was there ever a pitcher who had less concern for the long-term effects of his actions than David Cone? I mean, the Hall of Fame is filled with pitchers who begged out in the late innings, or sat out wiht any kind of arm twinge: Jim Palmer, Steve Carlton, Don Sutton. There is a whole would-be wing of the Hall for pitchers who pitched through all kinds of pain and hated to be pulled: Luis Tiant, Mike Flanagan, Mike Boddicker, Vida Blue, Bret Saberhagen. Cone is their patron saint. I have always thought that Cone's first infant words had to be, "Skip, I can get this guy.")

Anyway, Moose retired 26 Red Sox in a row. Then Carl Everett--the anti-Moose in every way imaginable--gets a base hit. This was Mussina's career in a nutshell: admirable, praiseworthy, and just coming short of any definable benchmark. We may remember that 2001 was the year the Yankees came within two outs of winning the world series against the Diamondbacks . . . another story, sure.

Anyway, if Moose has another 12 or so wins in that right arm of his, the Yanks may yet make this close.

Yankees 5, Mariners 1

It is clear at this point that the Yanks' fortunes depend upon Wang starting every fifth day, Joba and Mo at the back end of the bullpen, and whatever production can be mustered by Matsui, Jeter, Damon and Melky.

It is the team's great good fortune that no one seems capable of running away with either the division or the Wild Card. A good half-dozen teams seem capable of clustering in the 88- to 95-win coterie.

The task, then, is to hang on like hell until A-Rod, then Georgie, are well.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Bengals Sweep

Time for Wang to act like a stopper and stop.