Sunday, January 25, 2009

Torre Confirms What Everyone Suspected

I can't imagine Joe Torre's new book is going to have too positive of an impact on his legacy as Yankee Manager.
Teammates frequently called Alex Rodriguez "A-Fraud," and the third baseman was obsessed over his rivalry with shortstop Derek Jeter, "The Yankee Years" reveals, according to the New York Daily News and New York Post.
Wait, what? You mean the thinly veiled fraudulence that shines through a TV screen like high beam xenon headlights coming towards you on a two lane road is evident to the people who spent all of spring training, the entire regular season and possibly one series in October with him?

Let's just say that a little nymph that dwells on one of his frosted tips told me where he was on New Year's Eve, he has a limp dick handshake and that despite his Dominican heritage he has the dancing skills of a UNIX programmer named Preston. He was wearing a fucking sweater even though he was celebrating south of the Tropic of Cancer but north of the Equator.

I want to like this guy, I swear. I've never booed him at the Stadium and probably never will. His 2007 was the stuff of legends. Um, .314/.422/.645 as a competent third baseman, 24 SB to only 4 CS, 54 HR, 31 2B and 156 RsBI (h/t FJM). Surreal. He's driven in over 100 runs in every single full season as a major leaguer except one (when he still earned an All-Star berth).

No matter what, we've got him for another 9 years; under no circumstances is he getting traded. He's a consistently incredible force behind the plate, solid in the field, but an unimaginable headcase. He's got a strange mix of cockiness and insecurity found only in Phil Helmuth, Oscar De La Hoya and other such very successful but transparently douchetastic phonies.

Really though... Wow, Joe Torre. I didn't think a tell-all book was in your future. Ironic that you once famously said to Michael Kay, "I don't need you to be Rona Barrett around here" in reference to the long time gossip columnist and now you are spilling your guts like a 13 year old girl. I'm guessing this means that there might still be a single digit number up for grabs in Monument Park?

Number of Days Until Spring Training: Aaron Boone (#19)

Uh, remember this?


Remember when the Yankees were invincible and the Red Sox were just a bunch of gagging choke artists trying to suck three dicks at once?



/regains composure

The night Aaron Boone singlehandedly caused a record 326 heart attacks and 114 suicides the the greater Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I was attending Bentley College, in Waltham. My college tenure (2002-2006) coincided with some of the fiercest skirmishes in the history of the Yankees vs. Red Sox version of the Hundred Years War.

We were sophomores and happened to be living in a dorm populated by almost all seniors because my freshman year roommate won the 2nd pick in the housing lottery. My roommate Kevin and I got together with a few other Yankees fans (Kristen, Katie, Allissa, you out there?) and watched it in our room.

When the Red Sox were winning 4-1 in the top of the seventh, a few Boston loving, lobstah cracking, Storrow Drive driving, Kelly's Roast Beef loving (btw there is no fucking way you "created the orignial roast beef sandwich"), Jim Koch blowing, Boston Stranglin', Reveeah Beach walking (America's first public beach, huh? THEY WERE ALL PUBLIC WHEN THE FUCKING NATIVE AMERICANS LIVED HERE YOU RACIST OPRESSORS), yellow rain slicker wearing, NESN watching, chowdah gulping, Bernie and Phyl's shopping, Tia's on the Waterfront sweating, Tequila Rain dancing, Who's On First patrons who also happened to be motherfucking giant shiteating, fuckfaced fish mongers from fackin' Sawgus, Walpole, Reading, Taunton or some other godforsaken shithole, thought it would be a good idea to bang on everyone's doors and scream unintelligible shit.

Sorry, I lost it again for a second there.

It was before the ubiquity of the DVR and pretty much everyone on campus was watching the game at the exact same time. If you weren't tuned in, you probably still had a pretty good idea of what was going on, just by the collective audible reactions echoing throughout the dorms. It was fucking electric, and I can't imagine a baseball game ever getting to that place again.

The Red Sox have obviously since smartened up and became the Yankees pimp in recent years, so I guess there could technically be an epic playoff rematch, but I highly doubt it's going to come down to an 11th inning, Game 7, walk-off home run by a guy who never slugged .500 over a full season.

When it happened, everyone in the room went from deadly stoic to deliriously ecstatic in one swing of the bat. Being that most of the student body is from New England, we were one of the few rooms going absolutely insane, literally jumping around like a bunch of four year olds on a trampoline for the first time.

Because of that Perfect Storm, the aforementioned Matt Damon idolizing, NKOTB fawning, dock workers ended up eating a giant bag of shit for their premature celebration while the other Wellesley living, Nantucket vacationing, Tea Party having, Charles River trail running, Jordan's Furniture investing, Volvo driving, Phillips Exeter grads cried into the J. Crew sweaters draped over their shoulders and about 200,000 pink Sox hats got put back in the closet until the next October.

Whatever Sox fans, you won in 2004, con-fucking-gradulations, but Johnny Damon's 2nd inning grand slam could never hold a candle to Aaron-Fackin-Boone. Admit it. You were still worried until that last out was recorded. You will always be our collective bitches. Why don't you have a couple of glasses of Jameson and go for a drive?

For fuck's sake, can the season start already? Shovel off the Zeusdamn fields. I'll play!

Did I mention I hate Boston?

[Ed. Note: I could never have come up with all these Boston stereotypes by myself, and thus enlisted pretty much everyone I know that spend some time out there, including my sister, Joe, Kevin, Will and Cliff]

Number of Days Until Spring Training: Dave Righetti (#19)

Dave Righetti a.k.a. “Rags” was a Yankee starter from 1981-1983 and reliever from 1984-1990. He was the first pitcher in MLB history to both pitch a no-hitter and also lead the league in saves in his career. Dennis Eckersley later matched the feat.

In the strike shortened season of 1981, Rags won the AL Rookie of the Year Award and led the Yanks to the World Series where they eventually fell to the Dodgers.

His most memorable moment in Pinstripes was in the Bronx on July 4, 1983 when he gave owner Geoerge Steinbrenner a no hitter against the Boston Red Sox for his birthday. It was the first Yankee no-hitter since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series, and the first by a Yankee left-hander since 1917. Red Sox slugger Wade Boggs was the final out after he struck out on a slider. The game is now a mainstay on the YES Network.

Because of a glut of starting pitchers in the Yankees rotation, in 1984 The Big Ragu was moved to the bullpen where he replaced Hall of Famer Goose Gossage as closer. In his 7 years in the Yankees pen, he averaged 32 saves per season and was named an All-Star in 1986 and 1987. In 1986, his 46 saves set a MLB record for the most saves in a single season. This record is still the AL record for most saves in a single season by a left hander.

Following the 1990 season, Righetti signed as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants. While with the Giants in 1991, he broke Sparky Lyle's major league record for left-handers of 238 career saves; a record that stood until 1994 when John Franco broke it. Dave is now the pitching coach for the Giants. Perhaps someday he will be back in the Bronx in that role.

If not, thank you for the memories and YES content!