The Harder They Come, The Harder They Fall
by Sam Sowl
We all thought it. This was the best lineup we had ever seen, maybe the best of all time. They were supposed to put up 9 runs a game, just blow every one else out of the water. Instead, they completely failed; they went 20 innings without scoring a run, 5 innings without a single baserunner in game 4. How could this happen? I thought A-Rod was their 3B, not Scott Brosius. Here are 5 reasons why I think the Yankees (if you didn’t know this was the team I was referring to until now, 1. stop reading this article right now, 2. cry, 3. go to www.thefacebook.com and “friend” some people to make yourself feel better, and 4. cry some more) couldn’t get the job done.
1. Joe Torre – When I saw the news that Torre was going to be fired, I agreed with the decision 100%. I was making bold claims like, “Yup, that’s how the Boss works.” Then he wimped out on me and his team. Something obviously has to change for the Yankees. Now I’m not saying that Torre is a bad manager or that it’s all his fault that the Yankees haven’t won the World Series since 2000. What I am saying is that sometimes teams need a change, and a big change like a new manager can be the catalyst for magical seasons (see 2006 Detroit Tigers). Oh, and he batted A-Rod eighth. Give me a break.
2. A-Rod – Ok, so maybe he should have batted eighth. 1 for 14! When you’re the best player in baseball, you can’t go 1 for 14 in a playoff series. What a sad way for A-Rod to end what has been his most difficult and worst season of his career. I already could not stand Yankees fans before this year (anytime you act like you are awesome because the owner of your team spends 30 times more than any other team, you are lame), but now I think they are idiots as well. I’m so sick of all this “we’re paying him 25 million to hit .290 with 35 homers, 121 RBI, 113 runs, and 15 SBs”. First off, remove the first part of that sentence and no one has any room to complain at all, those are awesome stats no matter whose they are. Second off, Yankees fans, you’re not paying him a damn thing. The stupid owner of your team is.
3. Unit – Dear Randy Johnson,
Remember when you went 3-0 in the 2001 World Series? That was pretty spectacular. You won the Cy Young award, the World Series MVP, and a World Series Ring that year. Very impressive. Then in 2005, you signed with the Yankees, a move that most veterans make in order to win that elusive World Series ring. But you already had yours, so I guess you just wanted to win another one and prove that you are one of the best pitchers of all time. Well, you gave up 5 runs and 10 baserunners in 5 2/3s of an inning against the Tigers. I’m sorry your plan didn’t pay off, but come on Randy, it is your own fault. You should have known that any team that made you cut off your sexy mullet and debonair mustache doesn’t deserve to win the World Series any time soon.
P.S. You are really tall.
4. Neifi Perez – I wouldn’t be able to focus on winning either with his ugly mug staring at me from the opposing dugout
5. Lack of role players – Maybe the whole “best lineup ever” thing wasn’t as good as it should have been for the Yankees. Look at the 11-1 in the playoffs, 4-0 in the World Series, World Champion Chicago White Sox of 2005. Not a single player in their lineup was spectacular last season, but they all filled their roles as necessary, and they played like a team. I find it hard to believe that a lineup of 9 all-stars could find that kind of camaraderie that it takes to win a World Series, nonetheless an ALDS. Just look at some of the starters on the recent Champion Yankees teams – Paul O’Neill, Tino Martinez (who is one of the worst analysts I have ever seen; ESPN – please fire him), and Chad Curtis. All were good players, but wouldn’t have even played for the 2006 Yankees. The difference – the 2006 Yankees won’t be winning any rings, while those other three guys have 3.
That being said I would like to congratulate the San Diego Padres on sucking once again. NL – get ready for the Milwaukee Brewers. I would also like to predict why the Detroit Tigers, despite the fact that they appear destined for glory, will not be making it past the Athletics. One of their big fans is none other than Tommy “Snout” Stellard, a Red Sox fan from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who happens to “love” the Tigers right now. People like that are not rewarded in this life, or the next, as far as I’ve surmised.
Sam Sowl's column, "Sowl's Surmisings", appears alternate Wednesdays