Thursday, October 21, 2004

It Happens

First of all, I completely agree with every last word Donnie wrote shortly after midnight. It's good to have that Fiedlerian perspective back in the Slack saddle again. Things are brighter when you're around, Donald. The People out there love you. Stick around, stay awhile.

Now, let's get down to bid'ness...as a die-hard Yankee fan and an eyewitness to last night's events in the Boogie Down, I'm remarkably and surprisingly not as upset by this turn of events as I thought I'd be this afternoon. It was absolutely miserable being there as it was happening, especially sitting in what appeared to be the Red Sawx section for the first six innings before moving down to the field level, but this afternoon I'm feeling better about things. I witnessed history last night, and I'll remember it for the rest of my life, for better or for worse.

As I've said quite a few times this season, "I'd actually like this Red Sawx team if I didn't hate them so fucking much." The Red Sawx simply deserved it, the players earned it, they fought hard and they wanted it more. The fans in Red Sawx Nation (perhaps the all-time geighest title for a large group of people) truly deserve it, and they've also earned it after all these years of struggling, living and mostly dying with their beloved Sawx. I wish a heart-felt congratulations to the people of Boston and to the Sawx themselves...it's been a long time coming, so you better celebrate your little asses off.

And to my buddy Eric up there, The Firekid, my sports arch nemesis, the guy who loves to taunt me in football the way I love to taunt him in baseball, I can only say this: "You still suck." Nah, as I said to him this morning, I hope this feels as good as I imagine it would. All that being said, if the Patriots go out and beat my undefeated Jets this weekend, I may have to carpet-bomb most of Boston and behead Tom Brady on the Internets. I will spare no one. There will be trouble.

The sad thing is, we were three outs away from sweeping the Sawx. That's what I'm having the most trouble reconciling this morning. Just three more outs...if Mariano doesn't walk Kevin Millar to lead off the 9th in Game 4, this whole surreal conversation doesn't happen. That's what I can't fathom, and that's why it's hard for me to say, "Blow this team up and start anew." We got tired, our pitchers looked hittable, our hitters looked scared and lost, Torre forgot how to manage, we lost our confidence, our pets' heads are falling off, and ultimately got outplayed big time. That's really no reason to say it's all over, sell the Brown and buy the Beltran. We were three outs away from the World Series, and just four days later we're talking about wholesale changes and re-thinking fan allegiances. It doesn't add up. I don't know what to make of this.

But as a Yankee fan, it does make you realize that the era of Torre baseball is officially over in New York, even if he returns to manage next year. This team, even when they were winning, is about as soul-less as it gets. This is merely a collection of overpaid superstars, this ain't no team. And what's worse, it's going to get better before it gets worse. Big Stein is going to play with this team on his own and be at the controls all winter...I don't like that prescription. The days of the 1996-2000 Yankees are over, and have been for a while, but a loss like last night's makes you sit down and pine for those days. Those days when we had warriors who played hard 'til the last out and fought for every hit and walk in every at-bat, guys like Pauly O and Tino and Brosius, role players like Jimmy Leyritz and Joe Girardi, even Darryl or Doc, the Sojos and Vizcainos, the Curtises and Spencers, solid unheralded performers on the mound like Mendoza and Graeme Lloyd and Stanton and Nelson. I miss those days, I miss watching that team battle it out to win the games they always fought to win. Now it's like rooting for Drago over Rocky. We're rooting for Drago. Maybe that analogy's been used before, but it's really appropriate today.

Well, this will obviously sit poorly with Yankee fans all winter long, but that's the beauty of baseball...spring training is never too far away. Hopefully we'll come out smoking next year, and hopefully I won't pay $250 to feel the pain of last night again in next year's playoffs. Next time I want to scalp expensive tickets, just remind me it'll be more enjoyable to get a hooker and watch it on televison. Here's to 2005...and go Jets.

Quickie notes:

--Last night's ratings are in, and the game got a 77 share in Boston...that means more than three-quarters of all televisions turned on in the area were tuned into the game last night. That's just an unreal statistic, that's unheard of. Unheard of! The New York market had a 43 share, which is still pretty damn impressive.

--Just like Soriano's performance in last year's playoffs, Kevin Brown is now on Slack's list of people we'd trade for some french onion soup in a bread bowl from Panera. I mean, how do you start this guy after seeing his performance in Game 3? Vazquez might have blown goats this year (I have proof), but I think he'd have been much more effective had he started. Even Loaiza should have started over Brown. And how does Steinbrenner feel comfortable signing Brown's $15 million check for 2005? Maybe he'll just use his Visa check card.

--Is there ANY doubt that Torre over-used the big three Yankee relievers' arms this season? Halfway through the year it looked like Quantrill, Flash and Mo were going to be lights fucking out in the playoffs. Fast forward a bit, 600 relief appearances later, and these guys were out of gas in a bad way. I heard these guys didn't even have enough arm strength to jerk off over the last few weeks. Well, Flash was using the reverse left hand technique, but the other two, nothing.

--I saw a fan ejection up close and personal last night, and boy was it hilarious. I was sitting next to two drunken fools last night, one of which was rooting for the Sawx, the other was so drunk he was rooting for both teams ("little bingo, Damon" one inning, "little bingo, Jeter" the next). Anyway, the Sawx fan was about 250 pounds, sitting directly in front of a 125-pound flaming kid who looked like an NYU student or something. I guess the Sawx fan called him a "fucking homo" a few times, which inspried the skinny Yankee fan to stand up and start screaming in this big dude's face. Eventually the screaming turned into weird dancing of sorts. The Sawx fan kept saying, "You're a fucking homo," while the Yankee fan gyrated his body and sang "Do the Rockaway, lean back, bitch, lean back, you fucking bitch" to the Sawx guy. Eventually a cop came over and kicked them all out, but it was a bizarre five minutes.

--We moved down to the field level in the top of the seventh, meeting my friend Corey down there (who was with me in the Stadium for the Brosius comeback, so I felt good). Then they brought in Pedro, and we were feeling reeeeally good. Why the f would you bring in Pedro? While many will disagree, I think it was the most classless move of the series, worse than the A-Rod fiasco from the other night. You're up 8-1 in the 7th, why th hell do you bring in Pedro if not to rub salts on the wounds? I'm convinced this was Francona, Pedro, and Theo being dicks, but people are arguing otherwise. So, I just wanted to get that out there, agree or disagree all you want...Fuck that shit.

--As Corey said to me last night, vote for Kerry. The Yanks just cannot win with this current douche of a President in office. I have other reasons as well, but do it for the Yanks.

--And today is the eight-year anniversary of the 10/21/96 Phish show I attended at Madison Square Garden...what a great show, the show that I walked away from saying, "Damn, these guys are special." Phish breaks up, the Sawx beat the Yanks, my whole world is turning upside down. Uppppsiddde dooown (Rick Vaughn, 1994).

18 Comments:

At 2:12 PM, Blogger ethan said...

good shite ace. i like how you point out the talk of wholesale changes in the pinstripes. i don't get that either. over on my little pretzel keg today, i mentioned how the yanks need to (and should) make very few changes while it is the sox who will be overhauled.

pitchers and catchers in how many days?

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Thanks Ethan...I could honestly go on for another 3,000 words at least, but this sums up most of my feelings and observations.

We definitely need to make a few pitching changes, more and better relievers, someone who can SHUT DOWN lefties like Ortiz. But our lineup is going to be very similar to this year's team...maybe a Beltran added, but I don't know about that.

Pitchers and catchers, not soon enough.

 
At 2:21 PM, Blogger poophopanonymous22 said...

well said

i dont know if any yank ums fans will care about the world series, but, i'll ask this question anyways, can a team with the worst manager in the history of sport win a world series??? i wish i had a web cam when pedro came in to that game, my face looked like liza minelli, gigantic and red. nothing short of a barry pepper in private ryan sniper shot to lowes head should have taken him out of that game in the 7th, obviously, it didnt end up mattering, but still, its not something i am confident with going into the biggest series of my lifetime

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger ethan said...

congrats poopsy, and yeah i'd be shitting myself like the guy in trainspotting with francona at the helm. i honestly don't know why theo doesn't fire him today and run the show from his seat with a cell phone.

this world series is going to be awesome. i mean, i won't be scheduling eating/sleeping/shaving around it like i would if the yanks were in it, but im excited for it nonetheless. what's so great about it is that i don't think anyone has any fucking clue what is going to happen. vegas is probably changing odds every 32 seconds. i haven't seen any espn BBTN predictions and doubt we will. gammons might say sox in 7, timmy k might say stros (or will it be cards??!!) in 4. it's a total fucking crapshoot. my ears are leaking just thinking about it.

 
At 3:05 PM, Blogger poophopanonymous22 said...

thanks survivor ethan, means alot

i think a weekend at bernies approach to francona would be better than a firing.

the world series is gonna be nutso, craisins even

 
At 3:08 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Yeah, Francona is being praised by waaaay too many people...he did a shitty job, and the Sawx are doing everything they can to make him look good.

I trust Kurkjtian over Gammons at this point...is it just me or has Gammons lost some speed on his fastball? The guy stutters like crazy all of a sudden and his insight is very un-Gammons lately. Kurkjtian may be the world's biggest nerd, but I feel like he is the guy I trust most when the pundits weigh in.

Last night I said it would be tough to watch the Series...but as a huge fan of baseball in general, it's gonna be a great series regardless of who wins tonight or who wins next week...

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Whoooa, "craisins" is catching on! My boy PB even said it to me privately yesterday when referring to this postseason. May the term flourish.

 
At 3:16 PM, Blogger poophopanonymous22 said...

wow, i was going to talk about gammons too, but i thought about it and gave him a mulligan, he's as much of a red sox fan as any one else out there, so think about it, one of the most outrageous scenarios to ever play out just happened and it involved your team, ok peter, we're live in 3,2, (gesture with the townsend like motion and finger point), thats a pretty big matzah ball. i'd have been shocked had he been able to even muster up opening his mouth and flipping his lower lip with his fingers a few times

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger ethan said...

gammons can't write any colums this week cuz he's too busy touring with theo's band. and stuttering. definitely stuttering. kruk can get him flustered with merely a wobble of one of his (many) chins.

 
At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, Ace, thanks for your kind words to the Sawx and Sawx nation. As a Sawx fan and someone who knows you well, I never thought I'd hear you praise our team, let alone our fandom. Now that that is out of the way, you are dead wrong to say that putting Pedro in was worse than A-Rod swiping at Saturn's glove on the way down to first, then looking incredulously like he didn't know what he was doing. You are also wrong to say that it was equatable to "putting salt on a wound." As a Sawx fan I was stunned and amazed to see little Petey/Darryl Jenks come in. Here goes Francona, doing the only possible thing the Sawx manager could have done to allow the Yankee fans, and the Yankees, back into this game. There was little doubt in my mind that Petey would promptly give up a couple runs, and I imagine there was even less doubt in yours. That was your chance. That was your typical, timeless boneheaded Red Sox moment for you to capitalize on. Ace, you can chime in here, but on tv it seemed the Stadium was dead quiet the first six innings. In comes Pedroni, and it's loud as game 2, "Who's your Daddy," "1918" and all. Granted, the hole you dug was too big, the momentum insurmountable, but how you can say that move was insulting and classless on the part of Pedro, Terry and Theo and not just plain idiotic? There is absolutely nothing good that could have come from letting Petey pitch with that lead in the Bronx. I'd have rather seen Dave McCarty pitch in for a couple innings. The Birds or the B's...it don't matter. Title time in Beantown.

 
At 4:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, Ace, thanks for your kind words to the Sawx and Sawx nation. As a Sawx fan and someone who knows you well, I never thought I'd hear you praise our team, let alone our fandom. Now that that is out of the way, you are dead wrong to say that putting Pedro in was worse than A-Rod swiping at Saturn's glove on the way down to first, then looking incredulously like he didn't know what he was doing. You are also wrong to say that it was equatable to "putting salt on a wound." As a Sawx fan I was stunned and amazed to see little Petey/Darryl Jenks come in. Here goes Francona, doing the only possible thing the Sawx manager could have done to allow the Yankee fans, and the Yankees, back into this game. There was little doubt in my mind that Petey would promptly give up a couple runs, and I imagine there was even less doubt in yours. That was your chance. That was your typical, timeless boneheaded Red Sox moment for you to capitalize on. Ace, you can chime in here, but on tv it seemed the Stadium was dead quiet the first six innings. In comes Pedroni, and it's loud as game 2, "Who's your Daddy," "1918" and all. Granted, the hole you dug was too big, the momentum insurmountable, but how you can say that move was insulting and classless on the part of Pedro, Terry and Theo and not just plain idiotic? There is absolutely nothing good that could have come from letting Petey pitch with that lead in the Bronx. I'd have rather seen Dave McCarty pitch in for a couple innings. The Birds or the B's...it don't matter. Title time in Beantown.

 
At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, Ace, thanks for your kind words to the Sawx and Sawx nation. As a Sawx fan and someone who knows you well, I never thought I'd hear you praise our team, let alone our fandom. Now that that is out of the way, you are dead wrong to say that putting Pedro in was worse than A-Rod swiping at Saturn's glove on the way down to first, then looking incredulously like he didn't know what he was doing. You are also wrong to say that it was equatable to "putting salt on a wound." As a Sawx fan I was stunned and amazed to see little Petey/Darryl Jenks come in. Here goes Francona, doing the only possible thing the Sawx manager could have done to allow the Yankee fans, and the Yankees, back into this game. There was little doubt in my mind that Petey would promptly give up a couple runs, and I imagine there was even less doubt in yours. That was your chance. That was your typical, timeless boneheaded Red Sox moment for you to capitalize on. Ace, you can chime in here, but on tv it seemed the Stadium was dead quiet the first six innings. In comes Pedroni, and it's loud as game 2, "Who's your Daddy," "1918" and all. Granted, the hole you dug was too big, the momentum insurmountable, but how you can say that move was insulting and classless on the part of Pedro, Terry and Theo and not just plain idiotic? There is absolutely nothing good that could have come from letting Petey pitch with that lead in the Bronx. I'd have rather seen Dave McCarty pitch in for a couple innings. The Birds or the B's...it don't matter. Title time in Beantown.

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger spicoli said...

So glad to see the Donald back on the slack. First and foremost, congrats to Boston. Next, I'd like to say that during that serious (time-intensive) blog reading of Ace's, my favorite was the reference of..."our pets heads are falling off". Good work! You rule!

 
At 5:17 PM, Blogger Dorsey said...

Ace, as usual you are the man - I couldn't possibly agree more with your sentiments. It's time to rid ourselves of the Kenny Lofton's of the world and replace them with some real dirtbags. I'm not talking about Kevin Millar-type dirtbags, as Millar falls more into the dirty shitbag category. I'm talking about the Brosiuses and Paulie O dirtbags of the world. Guys who leave their blood and sweat on the field every day. Guys who don't approach every at-bat as a war, they approach every f'ing pitch as a war.

Truth be told, I loved this team. I didn't think it was perfect, but I thought it was good enough to take it all. We couldn't account for Flash suddenly losing 5 MPH off his fastball, Olerud not being able to drop his bat properly (can you practice that?), or the better part of our lineup going cold for 3 1/2 games in a 7 game series.

Today was awful. I've hated the feeling I've had in my stomach for the past 20 hours. I've received more hugs today from coworkers (not the gay ones) than i did at my grandmother's funeral 2 years ago. There's something seriously wrong with that.

Keep on truckin' Ace, I'd still rather be us (just maybe not today) than them.

 
At 5:36 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Dorsey, fantastic little comment...so true about the old schoolers' approach to every pitch.

I miss that warrior in right field more than ever.

 
At 6:29 PM, Blogger Akaky said...

two things: the yankees hit more home runs this season than ever before and that they came from behind 61 times during the regular season. to me, that sounds like a team with lousy pitching and i think that's going to be steinbrenner's focus in the off season.

what happened last night is the culmination of a lot of things that've been said quietly around yankee land for the past few months. this is a team that got way too dependent on the long ball to pull them out of their troubles. the problem with homers is that they almost never arrive when you really need one; that's why when you do get one, i.e. bucky dent and aaron boone, the event is so memorable. and flash and mo cant pull the yanks' bacon out of the fire every time; they have to get some rest. the yanks' starting pitching this year has been damn near criminally awful. steinbrenner would have been better off spending the money he spent on a-rod on randy johnson instead. the unit may be old but he's willing to fight; with a-rod steinbrenner is the proud owner of a lamborghini up on cement blocks: looks good but doesnt travel much.

and a wholesale dumping of the prima donnas is in order in the bronx. keep jeter, matsui, olerud, posada, and sheffield; trade the rest of them away if possible, and ask bernie to hand in his retirement papers; it's over, guy, face it. a blind man could see what happened after game three: everyone was trying to look good for their aaron boone moment; everyone wanted to hit the walk off homer. the sox saw what was happening and closed the yanks down offensively. joe torre should've reminded those guys that before you can hit the game winning grand slam someone's actually got to get on base before you do.

and i still cant believe that torre didnt have the yankees bunting on schilling. not our game, i heard him say. well, sox fans, you best hope the astros win, because if st. louis gets in you can bet your ass tony larussa will have the cards bunting on schilling until his ankle pops out of his leg.

as for the curse, well, the curse is still on, isnt it? the curse is that they havent won the world series since 1918 and they still havent won the world series; playing the yankees is not the world series, although i dont even remember who beat the yanks last year because i was so happy they beat the sox. and one last thing for red sox fans, before you start thinking about how much better than the yanks the sox are, remember this: the yankees got to the playoffs the oldfashioned way, by winning the most games in the regular season, which is how baseball worked prior to 1993. the sox got in because the owners changed the rules to allow a second place team to play in the post season.

 
At 7:56 PM, Blogger Tortfeasor said...

Although I swear allegiance to the almighty Metropolitans, I am feeling somewhat sorry for the Yankee fan. His appearance today was strangely akin to that of the much maligned Met fan--shock and incredulity gave way to a fatalistic sorrow. I feel as though, for once, I can empathize with this odd breed. I fear, though, that the George's guillotine will emerge soon enough, and its blade will bid a fond farewell to the Cash-man...

On a lighter note, 10-21-96 is the anniversary of my first multi-show run at the Garden. That night I lost a Birkenstock, lost two friends to the infamous Garden "red-coats", and scored some incredible nug off some dude who believed he was a glass of orange juice...

 
At 9:32 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Well, we now know that Cashman's job is safe...that's comforting. And the Boss put out a pretty congratulatory statement, which shcoks me completely. So maybe this offseason won't be as painful as we thought.

As for 10/21/96, it's definitely not my favorite show in the world but like I said, just a very special night for me. And it's always a pleasure when you can look back and say I saw a "Life on Mars."

 

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