Monday, April 27, 2009

Don't Lose With the Same People

Blowing a 4-2 lead in the 9th, and leaving 15 men on base, on Friday night.

Six-nil, and we fucked it up, scoring 11 runs and still being way out, on Saturday afternoon into night.

Allowing a steal of home on Sunday night.

This weekend's results would have been bad enough if the Yankees had given a solid effort and still got beat by a better team. I wouldn't have liked it, but I would've accepted it and moved on.

What we saw this weekend was unacceptable, and that really had little to do with the Red Sox. Because it was the Red Sox, it gets magnified. But when it happened against Cleveland, and against Tampa, it was just as bad, if not just as glaring.

The 2009 New York Yankees have no heart. They have no sense of pride. They have no awareness of drama, of knowing that there is a clutch situation in front of them and they must come through. (UPDATE: All of this did soon change.)

And Alex Rodriguez getting healthy isn't going to change that. Come on, let's be honest: A healthy A-Rod wouldn't have made a damn bit of difference this weekend, because we know he turns into the $275 Million Bum when the lights get bright.

It gets old seeing people like me defend the old guard, Jeter, Posada, Pettitte and Rivera. But who would you rather defend: Somebody who did it but it was a long time ago, or someone who's never done it?

I'll put it in a Met perspective: No sane Met fan... must... not... laugh... No sane Met fan would trade Jose Reyes for Rafael Santana, right? Or for Bud Harrelson, right? Yet Santana and Harrelson were Met shortstops who won the World Series. Reyes is not, and never will be at the rate he's going.

Maybe the four remaining old guarders will never win another. But the guys we've got now, who haven't been a part of it -- I'm trying to think of how many others are still here from the last Pennant in 2003, I know Matsui is but he's been hurt so much that he may be done -- won't be a part of a championship team until someone comes in and tells them the awful truth.

"This is unacceptable."

As a great New Yorker, Vince Lombardi, put it when he first became a head man, taking a team that had been 1-10-1 the year before, "We may not win, but we will not lose with the same people."

The man generally accepted as the Green Bay Packers' best player at the time was an All-Pro end named Billy Howton. Ever heard of him? Unless you're a diehard Packer fan or a football historian, probably not. Lombardi cut him. And he built possibly the greatest team the NFL has ever seen, getting a winning season in his 1st season, to the title game in his 2nd, and championships in his 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th and 9th seasons.

The time has come to make a choice: Either get the current guys to care about winning, or sit them and start over.

I could tolerate sacrificing this year if I thought it meant that we'd be ready to gun for a title next year. But if Cano, Melky, several of the bullpen guys, and even the big ticket Teixeira don't start playing every game as if it's September and they're one game out of 1st place, then they shouldn't play. Simple as that.

They may file a grievance with the players' union. Let them. At least it'll show that they care.

The time has come to get tough or get out. Especially if you're the manager.

If, by the end of the next Yanks-Sox series, the Yankees have not shown significant improvement in attitude, if not in record, then it's time for Hank Steinbrenner to truly live up to his father's legacy, and fire the manager. And bring in some blood-and-guts players.

And, please, Hank, and please, God, not Donnie Regular Season Baseball. I want someone who knows what it's like to win.


Game 5: Devils 1, Hurricanes 0. Between them, these teams had 85 shots on goal, but only David Clarkson of New Jersey scored. Martin Brodeur notched his 23rd Playoff shutout, to tie a record. The Devils did a pretty good impression of the 1998 Yankees.

Game 6: Hurricanes 4, Devils 0. The Devils did a pretty good impression of the 2009 Yankees (so far).

Game 7 tomorrow night in Newark. The Rangers also lost, blowing a 3-games-to-1 lead, so they have a Game 7 tomorrow night as well, in Washington.

I'll probably be posting my Top 10 Most Hated Opponents, Managing/Coaching/Ownership Division sometime this week.

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