Welcome back Baseball
I have been just flat out lately, but I've still managed to catch some innings in the early season. There's lots of new faces, new theories, and on the whole, it's going to be a deeply interesting season for Sox fans. Could be great, could be terrible, but it won't be boring. But I can't write about that tonight. It's Sox/Yanks,and we'll focus on the Bronx Boppers for this post.
No Jeter: The end of Yankee magic
I have heralded many a time a poor season for the Yankees. I tried to call the year that Rivera would fade; Jeter would get old; that the free agent pickups would flame out. Each year, every year, for a long time now, the Yankees would use chewing gum and duck tape to cobble together a winner.
Baseball is back, baby!
A new hero or two each year. Just enough to keep them near or atop the division. Frankly, I got tired of watching them do it with mirrors. But you know what? Jeter was probably the straw that stirred the drink. He is GONE. Has the luck run out like the final sands in a hour glass? One would think so. If it wasn't for Ellsbury, Texeria, A-rod and Sabathia, I wouldn't even know who these guys were. To me, they look awfully ordinary. Of course, for 15 years they've basically been fielding current and past all-stars at every position. Not so today. If they don't stink this year, I'll be really impressed.
A-Rod: The gift that keeps on giving
But lets be honest. The real reason I'll be following the Yankees this year isn't their record, or their threat to the division. It's the human car wreck, A-rod. Will he hit? Will he hit so much he earns third base back? Will he flame out? If he flames out, how long will the Yankees stick him out there batting .210? Will the Yankees really NOT pay him his bonus money for hitting his HR milestones? If he doesn't get paid will he sue them? Again? Will he sue the league again? Will he keep playing the good soldier? Will the team rally around him? Will New Yorkers start booing him at every plate appearance if he stinks? Have the Yankees already decided they will cut him - and pay him 50+ million to go away? Will he get caught using PEDs AGAIN? And get banned for life? Will the Yankees frame him just to avoid paying him?
And I could go on. This just scratches the surface. He's been on his best behavior, but that won't last past April. There is so much money, pride, and ego at stake, you know it will end badly. And I'll be watching.
Could the Yankees become - lovable?
For as long as I've been watching, the Yankees always had players you loved to hate. Just really talented bad actors, ego maniacs, classes guys - they always had a few. A-rod was hardly the last in the series, and he's not even at the top of a long list. But this group of underdogs - should they come together, will become easy to root for. A bunch of nobodies playing for a season most NY beat writers have already written off. They'll have their moments in the sun, but I wonder if it'll be enough. It's the first team in a long time though that I don't already hate. Ellsbury is a former Sox hand, as is Stephen Drew, McCann is a good guy, Gardner is the guy who won't quit, and everyone else is not a strong enough personality to really care one way or the other. A-rod, of course, is impossible to root for, in any capacity, and Texeria is more difficult to root for, but they are no longer one of a string of watchable, but unlikable stars.
As for the series
Well, it's early. The Sox have been pounding on the Yankees as I type, with Miley cruising - and looking very sharp tonight. While the Yankees have looked limp and error prone. The Yankees have found success in the sixth, but still trail. If all 19 look like this, it'll be good for the Sox. They won't though. We will have something of a handle on both team by the end of the series. If nothing else, we know they'll be trying for sure. Hey, look at that! Yankees get two, but still trail, 3-2, and that's the end of the sixth. We'll see how the Sox thump their way through the NY bullpen, which is good, but not deep. Should be fun.