Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Monday, October 08, 2007

Down Goes Torre . . . and a Dynasty

(Beware -- serious schadenfreude lies ahead)

Ok, so it's not yet "official," but tonight sure did have that feel about it, didn't it? Somehow, someway, the Yankees after 2001 have become the Atlanta Braves. As I was watching this team over the last few days, especially tonight, it all just looked so tired and played out. I'm referring to so many things here -- and I'll start with the team itself in this series. Chien-Ming Wang was hopeless. Alex Rodriguez was once again horrible -- at least until it didn't really matter and his team was already down by 4 runs. Captain Awesome (a.k.a. Derek Jeter) was equally bad until picking up a couple of hits in his first two at-bats tonight. Jason Giambi needn't have bothered to put on the uniform. Yes, I admit that I was getting a little bit worried when Joe Borowski came out for the bottom of the 9th -- but that was because it was Joe Borowski, he of the 5.06 ERA this season, and not because I thought this Yankees team had any magic to fall back on.

Really, though, there was so much more that seemed, frankly, a bit desperate. Ronan Tynan singing God Bless America? (And this is not a patriotism thing -- I have no problem with the idea of singing God Bless America -- I have a problem with the pomposity of it all as it plays out in Yankee Stadium). Yeah, we've been there many, many times before -- and do the networks (well, TBS) really need to keep covering this? It's pretentious. How about the theme to The Natural playing when Bobby Abreu took Borowski deep in the ninth -- a homerun that cut the lead to two runs. Seriously? The Natural? For a homerun that still left the team behind? Guess they were pulling all the stops out on that one.

My point with all of this is that it's time for a change in Yankee Stadium, and we're about to see one. Joe Torre is probably gone -- and really, it seems as if that's the right move. Honestly, he hasn't been at his best the last few years (not that he's gotten much help from his superstars). A-Rod will probably take this opportunity to exit stage left. If I were Jorge Posada, I'd be testing free agency as well. Mariano Rivera might actually retire to become a priest (remember that wild rumor from a few years back?). And really, let's be honest here -- this current crop of Yankees isn't going to be winning the World Series anytime soon. They just don't have the fire. I expect to see an overhaul, starting in about 10 minutes.

I'll finish this rant with one final thought -- for the past several years, I've hoped throughout the season that the Yankees would miss the playoffs. Frankly, I'm sick of seeing them in the post-season every year. Let's see Seattle, or Toronto, or the Twins instead. But tonight, after watching the Yankees bow out in the first round to a team that the whole city of New York thought was going to get crushed by the Yankees machine, I have to wonder whether this way might just be more fun after all.

OK, I lied -- one more thought, this one centered on how I could actually lose my irrational hatred of the Yankees (it's not as far fetched as you might think). First, they have to miss the playoffs. Next year would be good. And really, a three-year absence would be ideal. Then, they have to continue what they're doing by developing pitching. Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes -- good start. Heck, developing more players like Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano wouldn't hurt either. Stop giving washed up pitchers (ahem -- Roger Clemens) ridiculous sums of money just because you can. Hire another class act like Joe Torre as the new manager of the ballclub. Retire George Steinbrenner to pasture, and turn the team over to someone a bit less megalomaniacal. Then, maybe, I and the millions of other Yankee-haters can get over it -- because we are, after all, talking about the single most storied franchise in baseball history. I want to get the feeling that a playoff game in Yankee Stadium is a special event again. Until then, however, I'll keep on feeling gleeful that another season has ended without a 27th Yankee World Series crown. Sweet dreams, non-New Yorkers -- and go Indians!



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