Friday, August 29, 2008

Hope Stick

Everyone's got that warm heartfelt emotional meaningful vs. cold logical mathematical dispassionate dichotomy going. So while the numbers assure us- the Sox lead the Yankees by 6 games in the wild card race with only 29 games remaining, and according to some metric listed on the ESPN standings page, the Sox have an 87.6 percent chance of making the playoffs, whereas the Yankees have a minuscule 2.3, this 3-2 Yankees come from behind win gives the Yankees warm heartfelt emotional hope.

And when there's hope, the numbers be damned. Hope, optimism, determination yielding the miraculous, spring in your step joy in tomorrow. Yankee fans shouldn't have that. Though the odds are against them, they're not dead yet. The Sox missed their chance to put the nail in the coffin, to bury the Yanks along with their stadium. Though the numbers may hold up, for one day, at least, the Yanks get to transcend the numbers, to feel, to hope, to dream, to revel in the alleged meaning of their legacy, to ignore the cold hard numerical financial reality of leaving their traditional home.

Yet somehow the YES network got the whole emotional heartful meaningful vs. cold numbers thing wrong. During the 8th inning, they played a promo for Yankee stadiums' final hurrah with maudlin music and clips of Yankees legends with angelic auras gazing meaningfully into the distance, towards the end of which Kay's voiceover says 'come celebrate the final season of Yankee Stadium with Yankees calculator day. The first 15, 000 fans get a Yankees team calculator...'

Nothing says 'meaning and sentiment' like a calculator. And of course, they'd need one to calculate the astronomical discrepancy between the payrolls of the yanks and rays, the team taking their place in the postseason.

But I bristle. I can't get over Francona giving them hope; you just can't pitch to Giambi as a pinch hitter with two outs as the tying run in the 7th with first base open. Walk Giambi, you put the tying run on base, yes, but it's Damon up with two down, and then potentially Jeter, and neither home run hitters. Against the Yankees, I'm always defensive. Minimize the catastrophe; avoid the agony. Don't gamble on getting Giambi to pop out, even if that's the likely scenario. Against the Yankees, do whatever you can possibly do to avoid the worst case scenario, the humiliation. If your OBP is less than .500, the number says you're more likely to get out than not. But you can't give them hope, the hope that goes over and above the numbers. It's the Yankees, goddam it. I just can't stand to let them have a hero, to be dramatic, to beat the odds, to put dollar bills in the thongs of Mystique and Aura. Those women should put on reasonable clothes and take a nice desk job, by the book. Maybe some number crunching. Nothing too exciting.

1 comment:

Rooster said...

Good point about walking Giambi. That would have made sense, but Giambi also has a low batting average, so you're playing the odds (which did not work out so well). Too bad, would have loved to have seen Lester get the win.