There is just too much to say for me to try to fit it into the comments on Red’s fine post, so I decided to bring you all of the anger and hostility in the form of a late-morning second post. If you haven’t taken in Red’s late-night contribution, please scroll down and do so.
OK, it’s official. For at least the next week, I am living on Tylenol, Pepto and coffee, lots of coffee. I may write a book about it, call it The South End Diet, and be done with baseball. Or not. So, where does one begin to talk about last night’s game? Let’s start with Schilling. The “ace”. The “workhorse”. The “warrior”. He was brought to the team with one goal, to bring Boston a championship. Last night he failed miserably. By the third time he was shown wincing as he bent to tie his cleat, I wanted to reach through the TV and put a double-knot in it for him. Please, Curt, you’re better than that.
In the third inning, it came completely clear just how inept Francona is. OK, it was pretty clear all season. But if there were any doubters, I think he erased any faith they may have had in him. First, he tries his best to hold to his 7-run minimum for a starter when Schilling had nothing. No velocity. No location. Nothing. Anybody, with the exception of Grady, would have yanked Schilling after the bases-clearing triple and tried to stop the bleeding. Not Tito. Leave him in to finish the inning, that 6th run won’t matter, right?
Now we go to the 4th. The starter gets shelled early, we all know the plan. Bring in Lowe. Ahh, that’s not Lowe, that looks like Leskanic, and that looks like Myers warming up? So, are we going to play righty-lefty match-ups for the next 6 innings? Terry, I don’t think it will work. But it was too late, Francona was on the bench in the dugout, rocking back and forth and mumbling “five minutes to Wopner”. Mendoza pitches the 5th and Mussina is still cruising with a perfect game. Here come the Yankees in the 6th…against Wakefield?!? Isn’t he our game 4 starter? Five pitches later Lofton is in his homerun trot. Instead of a Tim Wakefield with the fire of redemption burning in his eyes to start game 4, now we have another pitcher wondering about his effectiveness.
By now, I’m seriously rooting for someone, anyone, to break up the perfect game. Everything to me is ugly, in particular the mutant facial hair of Ortiz and Millar. I’ve also chewed three fingers on my left hand down to the second knuckle, thrown up in my mouth twice, and came within one Aaron Boone replay of becoming a mass-murderer. Then, things change. The bats come alive and Mussina looks more like he should be playing banjo in Deliverance than pitching in Yankee stadium. Ortiz comes within a foot or two of tying the game, while simultaneously making Matsui look like a complete ass-monkey trying to catch the ball. Unfortunately, the 2003 playoff version of Mike Timlin is nowhere to be found and the Yankees quickly get two back. Rivera bends but doesn’t break in the 9th, and we are down 1-0 in the series.
Based on the first 6 innings, the loss was not nearly as devastating and demoralizing as it could have been. In fact, I believe the Sox (at least our bats) have some momentum going into tonight’s game. As always, I love our chances with Pedro on the mound. He is a fierce competitor with a lot to prove to everyone, including himself. I expect big things and that we will come back to Fenway with the series tied and “Brandon” Arroyo ready for game 3.
A few miscellaneous rants about last night:
– Why were Buck and McCarver talking about Jeter’s eyes? That was creepy.
– I expected to use words like “somber” or “focused” to describe Rivers, but he looked freakin’ JOVIAL.
– Jeter walking around in the dugout smiling for no reason other than that the camera was on him was one of the times I threw up in my mouth.
– To elaborate on Jeter, every move, every facial expression, every adjustment of his glove is scripted to fit his “calm demeanor” aura. He is a fraud.
To end on a positive not (and to explain the picture), Matsui will be the goat that results in the Yankees losing at least one game in Fenway. He can hit, but he looks like a 3-legged giraffe trying to shag a fly.
And Pedro is still the ace of this team – you’ll believe tonight.