The Futility Infielder

A Baseball Journal by Jay Jaffe I'm a baseball fan living in New York City. In between long tirades about the New York Yankees and the national pastime in general, I'm a graphic designer.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Da Woist

That was, without a doubt, the single worst day I have ever had in nearly three decades of life as a sports fan. The Yankees, expected to storm through the American League playoff bracket on their way to yet another World Series, were eliminated in four games by the upstart Detroit Tigers, and nearly no-hit on their way out the door. The Dodgers, themselves a surprise to be in the postseason at all, were swept out of October by the New York Mets after running out of mirrors, miracles, and middle relievers capable of recording three straight outs. And Buck O'Neill, one of the game's great ambassadors, passed away at age 94. It really couldn't get much worse.

Actually, it could; this morning marks the beginning of the annual Blame Game in Yankeeland. The Associated Press is citing a New York Daily News report based on anonymous sources within the Yankee organization that manager Joe Torre will be fired, drawn, quartered, doused in gasoline, set aflame, shot out of a cannon, then vaporized by an intercontinental ballistic missile. His ashes will then be gathered, pressed into a high-density pellet and smashed with a diamond-encrusted titanium hammer personally wielded by George Steinbrenner as the Tampa mafia sacrifices 72 virgins in unison, using their blood to anoint Lou Piniella the new Yankee manager while Satan himself massages his nipples in the background.

Or something like that.

The Daily News article in question appears to be this one by T.J. Quinn (thanks to Derek Jacques for the pointer):
Several sources within the organization said there has been a widespread feeling that Torre has been increasingly disengaged from the team, and that his failure to get out of the division series yet again, despite his autonomy, is more than Steinbrenner can stand.

...Members of the organization now speak of a Torre who they think is distracted by his outside interests, his family, his Safe at Home Foundation. All are admirable pursuits, but a Yankee's only mandate is to shave frequently and win constantly. When Torre took over the team in 1996, sources said, he was a manager and little else.
Blah, blah, blah. The Torre Out/Piniella In meme is an old favorite, one that got a lot of airing after the Yanks were eliminated in the first round last year, and one which Fox "sideline reporter" Ken Rosenthal was hyping by the middle innings of Game Four. In his guise as a writer for Fox Sports and the Sporting News, Rosenthal long ago surpassed Peter Gammons as the league leader in scoops, but that doesn't mean you should buy what he or any of the other breathless pundits pushing this are selling. The bottom line is that until the Yankees call a press conference to announce a change, all we're talking about is an echo chamber based on what tabloid-minded types and irate fans WANT to see happen rather than what will happen, a mixture of bullshit, bloodlust, and mob mentality.

Take a deep breath and hope that the tenor of the past decade, the Yankees' Golden Age of Reason, will prevail. And if it doesn't, Yankee fans should be far more irate about that than about being bounced out of the postseason by a hungry young team whose pitchers had everything working for them for three straight days.

Back with more later...

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