Bill Cosby, Temple University track star, had a story about his first time headlining as a comedian in Las Vegas. This was in the early 1960s, when a black man starring in a comedy show, or in anything else, was still quite rare. Apparently, his newfound fame wasn't helping him win in the casino:
You should never challenge "worse." Don't ever say, "Things couldn't get worse." Worse is rough ... I was down to my last two hundred dollars. I mean, not to my name, but I lost all I could sign for. And I said, "I'm gonna win something! It can't get worse!"
I went over to the roulette wheel. And got two hundred dollars' worth of quarter chips. Covered the table -- I mean, covered the table! Red and black, even up. I'm going to win something before I go to sleep. And the guy spun the ball and it fell on the floor.
The Yankees just got swept 4 straight by the Mets. Two in Flushing, two in The Bronx.
It can't get any worse than that.
Yes, it can: The Yankees could have lost the 2000 World Series to the Mets. If they had, that would have been a thousand times worse than what happened with the Red Sox 4 years later.
Ah, but the Yankees didn't lose the 2000 World Series to the Mets. The Yankees won it.
Counting that World Series, and the 4 games just played, the Yankees have won 58 games, the Mets 41. That's a .586 winning percentage for the Yankees, drawn out to 162 games it's 95 wins.
And there are some Met fans crowing on Facebook and Twitter over this sweep.
One of my Facebook friends said, "If the Mets were to sweep the Yankees four straight in October, maybe I'd be a bit more impressed."
One of his friends, a Met fan, said, "Let us enjoy the moment!"
In the immortal words of Crash Davis, "Moment's over."
Maybe I was wrong, a few days: Maybe the Mets aren't "the Tottenham of New York," but their fans are the Tottenham fans of New York. They think their team is a big club, but it isn't. They're forever in the shadow of a big club in town. Their fans crow more over the slightest of achievements (a win over the Yankees, a one-hitter that they want to say is a no-hitter, a come-from-way-behind win over the Atlanta Braves that did absolutely nothing to get them back into the race, their all-time greatest player getting his 300th win as a pitcher against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium when he wasn't a Met anymore).
And, like Tottenham, their season ends in May.
27 > 2. Eight-six, never again. Please watch the gap.
Okay, now that that's out of the way, time for me to treat yesterday's game as if it happened against any other opponent.
Vidal Nuno started for the Yankees, and he pitched well enough to win. He pitched 6 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. The bullpen -- Shawn Kelley, Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain -- pitched 3 innings, allowing 1 run on 1 hit and 2 walks. Hardly a bad performance.
Robinson Cano hit his 14th home run of the season, and added a single. Other that that, the Yankees got just 2 hits, singles by Brett Gardner and Brennan Boesch.
Against Dillon Gee, whose record advanced to 3-6. Mets 3, Yankees 1.
Keep in mind, in the last 2 games, Met starters Jeremy Hefner and Gee came in with records of 0-5 and 2-6, respectively, and they both won, because the Yankees didn't hit, leaving Nuno (1-2) out in the cold. (Though, to be fair, the night before, Phil Hughes didn't pitch well enough to win against the Bad News Bears.) Bobby Parnell got his 9th save for the Mets.
36 innings, 7 runs. That is unacceptable, I don't care who your opponent is. And in only 1 of those games did the Mets score more than 3 runs. Unfortunately, it was the 1 game in which the Yankees did the same, and the Mets won, 9-4.
So where do things stand? Well, the Yankees are no longer in 1st place in the AL East. They trail the Boston Red Sox by 2 games, although only 1 in the loss column. The Baltimore Orioles are 2 1/2 (2) back, the Tampa Bay Rays 3 (2) back, and the Toronto Blue Jays 9 1/2 (9) back.
The Mets? They are 9 (8) behind the Braves in the NL East, and 9 1/2 (8) out of the NL's 2nd Wild Card.
Wow, that sweep really made a difference for the Mets, didn't it?
The Mets' record is 22-29. The Yankees' is 30-23. If they were in the same division, the Mets would still be 7 (6) games behind the Yankees, even with the sweep.
In other words, this sweep doesn't prove that the Mets are the better team. Not by a long shot. Please watch the gap.
All that series proves is that the Yankees didn't hit the way they'd been hitting until that series, and that they need to start again.
As in, tonight. As in, all those runs the Yankees didn't score against the Mets? They better be saving them for the Red Sox this weekend, because The Scum are coming to town.
Tonight, 7:00: CC Sabathia vs. Jon Lester.
Tomorrow night, 7:00: Hughes vs. Felix Doubront.
Sunday night, 8:00 (ESPN): Hiroki Kuroda vs. Clay Buchholz.
Yes, things can get worse. Much worse.
We could be the Mets.
Time to stop "worse." BEAT THE SCUM!