Friday, May 4, 2012

No Mo Mo?

Last night, Alex Ponikarovsky scored an overtime winner to put the New Jersey Devils up 2 games to 1 over the Philadelphia Flyers, putting the Devils to within 10 wins of the Stanley Cup for the first time since winning the whole thing in 2003.

But it's hard to care about that right now.

An era may have ended last night.

*

March 23, 1985: At the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, the Kings are about to move to Sacramento, and they're beating the New York Knicks, who are plagued by injuries and will end up getting the top pick in the next NBA Draft. (This turns out to be Patrick Ewing, for all the good that did.) Bernard King, their leading scorer and most exciting player, jumped to make a defensive play, an tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). That 'Nard, an offensive superstar, was hustling so hard on defense is commendable. But his career looked like it was over. It wasn't, but he missed most of the next 2 years, before making a comeback with the Washington Bullets (now the Washington Wizards).

May 3, 2012: At Kauffman Stadium, Mariano Rivera is in the outfield during batting practice, trying to catch one, and he appears to have torn his ACL. He is probably out for the season, and, with his contract running out after this season, he may never pitch again.

Moral of the story? Not, "If you're a New York sports superstar, and you value your ACLs, don't hustle on defense." More like, "If you're a New York sports superstar, and you value your ACLs, stay the hell out of Kansas City."

*

In the wake of the Yankees' devastating loss last night, it seems understandable that they also had a pathetic defeat.

The shocking thing is that, as down as they must have already been, before they knew any kind of diagnosis, they came as close to winning as they did.

David Phelps started, and only pitched 4 innings. A home run by Mike Moustakas (no, I'd never heard of him, either) made the difference, as the Yankees got 13 hits but only scored 3 runs: A double by Mark Teixeira in the 3rd, a sacrifice fly by Eduardo Nunez in the 6th, and a sac fly by Teix in the 7th.

The Yankees stranded 2 runners in the 1st, 1 in the 3rd, 1 in the 4th, 1 in the 6th, 2 in the 7th, and 1 in the 8th (along with a stupid stolen base attempt by Nunez, possibly costing us the game); plus double plays in the 4th and the 9th.

Royals 4, Yankees 3. WP: Danny Duffy (2-2). SV: Jonathan Broxton (5). LP: Phelps (0-1).

I'll have more to say about Mo later in the day. But we're all a little shell-shocked right now.

I do want to remind Yankee Fans of one very important thing: As bad as this appears to be, Mo will recover. Whether he ever pitches again, we don't know; but he will be able to live a normal life.

We have seen worse than this.

Much, much worse.

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