Tuesday, August 30, 2005

 

Resentment over Pitching Discrepencies

Our friend peter* made the comment here on Reb Sox this morning that "It would be nice to see the Yanks lose a few." If you all are wondering why peter* has an asterisk, I gave it to him a while ago in appreciation of his fine comments. And he lives up to his reputation today by bringing up an important, albeit obvious point. In fact this is the central theme of what I promised to write about, the situation our boys have dug us into...

Thanks to the rain delay, much of the game last night occurred at the same time as the yanks playing out in Seattle. During this time I sat on my bed, tv tuned into YES with the sound and the computer monitor next to it tuned into NESN via mlb.tv. As our boys in white were whooping up their second rally in the seventh, I noticed some close-up shots of a concerned Mike Mussina on my tv. In the bottom of the fourth Seattle led the yanks 2-0, runners at the corners with nobody out. Ball three. Moose winces. Jorge gets up from his crouch as Mel jogs out to the mound. The camera shows a close-up of Torre, whose expression in past years seemed stoically confident, and this year seems more resigned to a fate of eternity in hell. Perhaps it's the lighting but his eyes are always in shadow in these close-ups, a creepy and ghoul-like effect. Of course, as is the custom with the yanks, the entire infield approaches as they form a too-cool-to-huddle "meeting of the minds". I say this in sarcasm, obviously, since the only one at the party with any significant brain power appears to be keeping his mouth shut. His expression can partially be explained by frustration over how his arm is throwing on this particular evening... yet there is another element I see often in Mussina, no matter how he's pitching. As the camera centers in on Derek Jeter, who seems to be doing much of the talking even though the meeting is theoretically about something he has nothing to do with, Mike appears to be concentrating on holding a straight face as he waits for the meatheads to finish their meaningless conversation so he can get back to work.

There was a bit discussion here at reb sox last week about how cute Moose is, and whether or not we ought to loathe ourselves for admitting it. I rationalize my lack of guilt here by fantasizing about Moose's opinion of his teammates. It seems clear to me when I watch him interact with them that he is barely able to tolerate their simple minds and over-aggressive egos. He seems to grit his teeth and will his eyes not to roll as he has to listen to their prattle. He rues the day when he sold his soul to steinbrenner and wonders hopelessly if he will play the game with men of integrity and intelligence ever again.

Mel walks back to the dugout. Finally Jeter is done with his pep-crap and the party breaks up. They all get back to their positions, and Moose scrunches his shoulders up - y'all ever notice how he looks like Frankenstein at the pause just before his wind-up? The pitch... ball four. Torre steps out of the dugout and heads toward the mound. The infield gathers up, once again, and this time Mike is booted from the party. He hangs his head a bit in disappointment as he walks to the dugout, but there is no fire in his eyes. Instead he seems slightly relieved to be done (for the night) with his active contibution to a team he despises.

Last night was a perfect example of our current situation, which I promised to discuss, and yes, I'm finally getting to the heart of the matter here. Moose, the only pitcher of actual quality on the yanks, struggles mightily on this evening in Seattle and leaves the game having retired just nine batters. The yanks, however, are saved with two "towering homeruns into the upper decks" (read that with the voice of the insufferable Michael Kay in your heads, please) by none other than back-on-the-juice Giambi, and the usual excellent performance by Small, who by the way could not pitch his way out of a plastic grocery bag until he made his arachnid vows to the devil. Meanwhile our boys smack away at the plate, building up a formidable lead which our bull(shit)pen promptly does it's very best to squander.

The victory by the yanks last night was merely irritating compared to several ridiculously disgusting come-from-behind bottom of the ninth walk-offs we've seen pulled by the yanks in the past week or so. If I have to listen to my sister and her husband smugly tell me about the five runs their evil team racked up at the very last minute to win a game they had no business claiming victory of one more time in the next month I might start punching things... that is, if I'm not close enough to just kick my bro-in-law in the balls. I expect a little rage once in awhile with my whole quitting-smoking endeavor, but this kind of thing is making me unreasonably violent.

Let's go over this with the logic which is surely being applied by theo & company. We have a bunch of quality pitchers, none of whom seem to be able to get their shit together long enough to pitch a quality game. Now that we've rid of Mike Remlinger, we seem to have a pen consisting of some degree of talent. Often they pitch very well through the first two outs of an inning... Well you know where I'm going there, right? All year long we have been losing games we ought to have won because of implosions by our pitching staff, both starting and relief. The confusing part? It doesn't appear that personnel is really the problem. We have talented pitchers who've been tossing out batting practice at inopportune times throughout the season.

Meanwhile we have the yanks. Their pathetic performance this spring should have been enough to put them away for the year. Sadly, our unexplained mound issues have left the door wide open. Their pitching rotation, on the other hand, is a veritable mess. They are putting guys up on the mound on a regular basis this year who practically have no business in a major league uniform. They have been driven to this in desperation, as their expected starters keep going down with injury. No sooner do these lo-talent tossers don the pinstriped uniform complete with arachnid head gear, when they suddenly look like cy young contenders. Is georgie paying someone full-time to sit behind the plate and put a confusion hex on each opposing batter? (with the recent performances of Moose & the shriveled unit, maybe he's only employing the witchcraft part-time).

So you see my frustration.
Our pitching- quality: decent, performance: crap
Their pitching- quality: crap, performance: decent

What the devil is going on?

Comments:
Go Red Sox!!!
 
Bull(shit)pen-----priceless.
 
The Yankees have used up their luck , or are using it up so fast that they will run out of it before they run out of games. That's good. I can't wait to play them, especially if Moose has to miss 2 starts. I fear him more than Randy at this point. Playing all these games at the Fens is sure fun. The only loss so far was the game on that awful Saturday where we were up 6 and Bronson Annoyo (great-that name will stick unless he gets better. It seems he flings the ball without any prior thought sometimes) frittered it away. Did I say fritter? Last night during a commercial I watched an interview with one of the survivors of Katrina and his young son. They were looking for his wife and daughter, and his words brought the TV interviewer (and me) to tears.
 
The situation, as you described (and with which I agree) suggests that we ought to have a hell of a lot more games between us. This is why I will be incredibly pissed off if we don't take at least 5 out of these 6 (TB + BAL). Furthermore, we should win every series at home until the end of the regular season. No excuses.

I do not fear their starting pitching, nor do I fear their relief. Or the skull himself, Rivera. We are more than capable of snuffing them out for the division title this year, so it's time to prove it.
 
They've also been treated as a charity case, & have a # of games DONATED to them.
 
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