Leadership is on the Field, Not on the Jersey
Radio silence all over the map. I didn’t walk in the door until about 8:30 tonight. I was careful with that sentence, as it came to my attention that I blew it right out of the gate yesterday, saying “I walked before 8” instead of “I walked in before 8.” Nice to blow it on your third word off the top. Whoops. So tonight, I most assuredly walked in about 8:30. And I hadn’t heard a word. No messages, no texts, no nothing. Not the big boy, not the Sherry brothers, not Vino, not Petey Goods, not Big Joe. Nothing. But that was okay. Because that told me that it was close. And after yesterday, I was okay with close. Note to the Red Sox: This ain’t the White Sox.
So I flipped it on upstairs and it was 2-2. And by the time I got changed and downstairs to the living room, the missus was handing me the remote to flip the channel. And Derek Jeter was up. And he did it. And even though Varitek later tied it up, I knew right there that we had it. Pettitte, as usual, showed up. I really have no words for that guy. If you could put his guts in a bottle and sprinkle it around the locker room, the Yankees would be so confident they wouldn’t bother wearing pants. It all worked tonight. And once again, Dice K demonstrated his limitations. Another so-so performance. He’s not a bad pitcher. It just doesn’t seem that he has another gear. I thought the best criticism of him came early in the year; that he had a big bag of pitches, but none of them was an out pitch. You need to have a go-to pitch. He seems to just be doing the same things over and over out there. He just keeps mixing his pitches up. The problem is that major-league hitters will adjust to the soft stuff, and if you can’t consistently put them away, you’re going to run your pitch count up and you’re a dead man if you make a mistake. I know the statistician magician has pointed out that he has gotten no run support, and that’s a fair point. But he’s pitched three games against the Yankees this year with an ERA over 7. And the Sox still got him two wins by bailing him out with offense. So I’m not a hundred percent sold on that argument. But he needs to be better for them down the stretch. It’s not going to bode well for the Red Sox if the 90-year old Schilling has to be their second starter. You knew Dice was going to have issues after the league got a few looks at him, and it looks like he’s 3-6 in his last 10 starts, so the Sox had better hope for a second wind.
Don’t get me wrong, the Yanks didn’t exactly knock the mound off the field. But they won a close game, and that’s been a rarity for them this year. They hadn’t scored in 13 innings going into tonight, and they just don’t go that long without scoring. You knew they were going to get a few. That’s what they do.
I really don’t know what to say about Seannie’s boy, the Moose. He’s been a good, solid Yankee the last few years. I just feel bad for the guy. I know GM’s don’t have the luxury of that sentiment. So I guess it’s good that I’m not a GM….
Saif, why didn’t you tell me that was you, dude. I wouldn’t have treated you like a stepchild. Sorry about that…
Jason Varitek. You know what it is about that guy? It’s that the Red Sox have no Jeter. Derek Jeter is the epitome of the Yankee tradition, the consummate Yankee. And when he shows up year after year in the batting race, getting his 200 hits, his 100 runs scored, winning MVP’s of All-Star games and World Series’, and being clutch all over the map, he’s everything you could ask for in a captain. And on the Red Sox, Nomar was supposed to be that guy. And let’s be fair. He was that guy for a long time. It was only his last few years that the team began to sour on him. But he was the pride of Boston for a good six years. And then things went south. So now, the Red Sox are trying to make Varitek that guy. And there are a few problems with that. First, his signature moment is still probably the ultimate cowardly moment since Robin Ventura charged the mound against Nolan Ryan. He will forever be known as the guy who tried to pick a fight with Alex Rodriguez while wearing full gear and a face mask…..and then, like Ventura, ended up in a head lock. Dude, your catcher can never end up in a head lock. Ever. Especially not wearing his facemask. Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk wouldn’t ever have stood for it. Next, he’s not that good. He’s good, but he’s not an elite player. He’s a .268 lifetime hitter who averages 15 bombs a year. Okay for a catcher, and good to have on the team, don’t get me wrong. But not as the face of the franchise. And lastly and most importantly…..well, do I even have to say it? I hope the title of this post says it all….