All season long, the Lighthouse of Hope has been trying to guide the ships full of glass-half-full Yankee fans through their Sea of Negativity and to solid ground. All season long, the negativity, much like the mood slime from Ghostbusters 2, has been trying to overtake the Lighthouse, and all season long it has failed.
Whether it be monsoons, tsunamis, hurricanes, or water spouts half full of hope, the Lighthouse has remained sturdy and hasn’t faltered. The Lighthouse is always here to flip the script from negative to positive. Even in times of despair and deficits, the light always shines through. Through the fog, through the choppy waters, through a critical Game 6 tonight. Can I get an amen?!
As fans, this isn’t a time to be timid and shake in a corner. As fans, this isn’t a time to think of 2004. No, brothers and sisters, as fans this is a time to stand up as one. This is a time to stand up and have confidence in a team that won 103 games. A team that has 52 comeback victories. A team that exorcised their Red Sox demons. A team that always seems to come through when it needs to get the job done. A team that has lost just eight games at home since the All-Star break.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, tonight is the night where you take pride in your pinstripe affiliation. Tonight is the night where instead of worrying about the past, you concentrate on the present and future. Tonight is the night where you all stand as one, stand as one collected and confident group, and watch as the Bronx Bombers go after their 40th trip to the Fall Classic.
Let us Pray. And let’s go Yankees.
Today in Postseason History: The New York Mets rally from three runs down with two outs in the 10th inning to win Game 6 of the World Series.
Karma is on New York’s side on this night.
If you look at your calendars you will clearly see the year we are in is 2009, or for “The sky is falling” Yankees fans, 5 AD. That would be five years After Devastation.
Last time I checked this year’s roster was a little different from the roster in 2004. Last time I checked the starting pitching wasn’t as shaky as the San Andreas Fault. Last time I checked the lineup was about as solid as its been in quite some time. Last time I checked, I weighed 195 pounds. I need to get back to the gym.
Look, I know as well as everyone else that the spector of 2004 popped into every Yankee fans head as soon as Nick Swisher’s pop out with the bases loaded was squeezed at shorstop on Thursday night. The difference between 2004 and 2009 fans? Pitching and defense.
Mark Teixeira doesn’t have the numbers with his bat. Although he has hit a walk off home run, and helped the Yankees claw their way back in Game 5 Thursday night with his bases clearing double in the 7th. The intangible that Tex brings to this team more than his hitting right now, is his glove. He has saved more than a handful of games during the regular season and a couple of post season games as well.
Now the pitching. Game 6 in 2004 you starter was Jon Lieber. Game 6 in 2009 is Andy Pettitte. Advantage 2009. Game 7 if necessary your starter will be CC Sabathia. Game 7 in 2004 was Kevin Brown with Javier Vasquez on deck. Yuck.
The bullpen has been unreliable as of late, but the thing you have to remember is, the Angels are a great team. Phil Hughes will get big outs. Joba Chamberlain will get big outs. They got big outs all season long, and there time will come again in Game 6 and Game 7.
Sure the Yankees could have wrapped this up in four. Sure the Yankees could have wrapped this up in five. They didn’t. We are here for a Game 6. The past is the past.
By the way, all you Yankee haters, and you know who you are, why not succumb? Join the Darkside. Resistance is futile. Wait, that was Star Trek: The Next Generation. Great, now I’ll have the Trekkies as well as everyone who hates the Yankees on my case. Such is life.
Also for the non-believers 2009 playoffs (thanks for the research YES Research staff):
Wins 6 2
Runs 43 (5.4 /G) 23 (2.9 /G)
AVG .257 (76–296) .241 (71–295)
HR 14 4
ERA 2.52 (22 ER – 78.2 IP) 4.60 (39 ER – 76.1 IP)
All the leaves are turning brown, but the sky is anything but gray with the Yankees’ postseason run. Just one loss so far, and with one more win tonight out in Anaheim, the Bombers will be back in the Fall Classic for the first time since 2003.
You should all know A.J. Burnett’s story by now. Last year he was in bed with his wife watching postseason baseball wondering what it would be like if it were him pitching in a big game. Tonight, Burnett doesn’t have to wonder. Tonight, Burnett can pitch his team to his second and the teams 40th World Series appearance.
So far in the postseason, with the exception of being a little wild, Burnett has given the Yankees two solid starts. He’s pitched 12.1 innings, allowed a combined three runs on six hits, and the Yanks have won both games by the final of 4-3. As fans you would probably like to watch games without wearing out the leather on the edge of your seat. However, regardless of how they did it, they won both starts and are just one win away from baseball Shangri-la.
Five more wins. Coincidentally for Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, five more wins equals FIVE GOLDEN RINGS! Calling birds, french hens, turtle doves, and partridges in pear trees sold separately. Christmas is just a little over two months away you know. I couldn’t help myself.
Have you ever ordered six bagels? Six donuts? Six geese a laying? Six anything? Well how about we all order six more Yankee wins?
Did you know you can almost count to six on one hand. If you’re Antonio Alfonseca, you actually can count to six on one hand. Google him if you don’t know him, or if you’re too lazy, he was a relief pitcher in the bigs and he has six fingers on his right hand. Much like Count Rugen from “The Princess Bride,” but Alfonseca didn’t kill Inigo Montoya’s father.
“HELLO, MY NAME IS INIGO MONTOYA, YOU KILLED MY FATHER, PREPARE TO DIE!”
Sorry couldn’t help myself.
So just six more wins and the Yankees will be parading down the Canyon of Heroes. It won’t be easy though. If the Yankees get past the Angels, they will have to deal with the Dodgers or Phillies. By the way, let me just say right now, I am hoping the Phillies win the NL pennant. Are you asking, “Why Chris?” Well if you are, here’s why. If the Dodgers and Yankees make the World Series, it’s not going to be about the Dodgers and the Yankees. It will be about Joe Torre and his return to the Bronx, and if he can be beat the team who let him go.
I don’t want that.I want the games to be the story. I don’t want Torre being the story. So “Access Hollywood,” “Inside Edition” and all you entertainment shows drooling over the possibility of this happening, I boo you. Stick to Jon and Kate, it’s what you do best. Leave sports to the people who cover it all season long. Leave the Yankees to the people who are there for Baltimore in April and the Nationals in June. Thank you.
Now, even with a 2-0 lead over the Angels in the ALCS there is still some cause for concern. This is a good team. They have a great manager. The Angels aren’t going to just let the Yankees walk in to their house and let them walk right over them.
The temperature in Anaheim is much more baseball friendly; the forecast is 71 degrees and sunny. There won’t be any ski masks, or any hats with ear flaps, unless Elmer Fudd decides to make an appearance. That’s his normal wardrobe. The next three games are on the left coast. Game 3 this afternoon, Game 4 tomorrow night, and Game 5, if necessary, on Thursday.
I’d rather not see pinstripes again until October 28th.
Seven more. Yesterday it was eight. Today, the Yankees magic number is seven. To help us all understand a little better, I put my thinking cap on (dusted it off from first grade) and came up with a math problem for the Yankees post season. I guess it would be algebra. I’m not quite sure. Considering I couldn’t decipher an algebra problem if it jumped off a piece of paper, smacked me in the face, and said, “I’m an algebra problem, solve me!” Maybe if I called on Vanilla Ice during my SATs I would have had a better score. Let’s face it, Robert Van Winkle did tell us all, “If there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it.” I need to seek help. This I know. Follow this logic though, if I make it up, I can understand it. Here we go:
7 W + 7 OL = 27 WS. I think you can figure it out if I made it up, but for those of you who need me to break it down, seven more wins plus seven more opponents’ losses will equal the Yankees’ 27th World Series title.
Seems like an easy equation, but to get too geeked over one win, especially my rollercoaster fans on Twitter, who live and die with every pitch in the Yankees season. I give you guys all the credit in the world for being the fans you are, but you are certifiable. Case in point, against the Twins, CC Sabathia gave up a leadoff double to Denard Span, and all of my Twitter Chicken Littles thought the sky was falling.
The Angels are better than what we saw last night. They’re not going to go down without a fight. Even if the Yankees take Game 2, the next three games are in LA, or Anaheim, or in LA of Anaheim, I don’t know ask them.
Hopefully Mother Nature cooperates with us and we get this in because we have Giants football tomorrow. We’ve gone from rain, to no rain, to chocolate rain, to rain again. It must be nice to be a forecaster. Nostradamus they are not. Hopefully Nostradamus isn’t Nostradamus. However, I have been looking through quatrains to see if the Yankees will beat the Angels. So far, nothing to report. I’ll let you know.
Update: After reading some of Nostradamus’ Quatrains I found this:
The Royal scepter will be forced to take
that which his predecessors had pledged.
Because they do not understand about the ring
when they come to sack the palace.
Century 7 Quatrain 23
Ring? Sack the Palace? Was Nostradamus a Yankee fan? I know its a stretch, but it’s pretty cool.
Eight wins. Just eight wins stand in the way of the Yankees and their 27th World Series title.
The Bombers won 103 games in the regular season, so eight may not seem like its much. However, the last eight wins will be the hardest eight wins of the season. It will mean the Yankees would have beaten a very good Angels team four times, and either the Dodgers or Phillies another four.
On a side note, speaking of the number eight, if you’re Dick Van Patten, “Eight is Enough.” There I go dating myself again. Eight is also the number Grover used to paint on the blue bald guy’s head on Sesame Street. Why couldn’t the SATs been more about primetime television from the 80’s, and not Geometry and Algebra? A2 + B2 = Chris is going to a college after he gets good grades at a community college because his SATs were awful.
Me and my tangents.
Anyway, a couple interesting facts for you about the Yankees and this series. This regular season, the Bombers were 15-0 when the score was tied at the end of the seventh inning. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the second longest streak in Major League history. Only the 1906 Giants had more wins in a row. They had 16 when the game was tied after the seventh. Why is this important you ask? I think this series will come down to the bullpens. The starting pitching is lights out on both sides, and the Yankees have the edge in the pen. They have the best pen left in the playoffs, hands down. So if the game is close or tied late, Shearn: Chapter 1, Verse 1 of the 2009 ALCS Bible says, “It’s advantage Yankees, boys and girls.”
Another cool stat to keep all of my Twitter followers from committing Chip Caray in the first inning after a lead-off double: The Yankees were a combined 21-14 against the teams in the AL that made the playoffs — 9-9 against the Red Sox (after starting 0-8, by the way), 5-5 against the Angels and 7-0 against the Twins.
If you are an avid reader of, “Off the Wall” or you listen to the “Off the Wall: The Podcast,” you know what I think about things “on paper.” If it’s on paper, it means it’s in the past. You can break down stats all you want. It’s a new season, it’s a new day, and at the end of this series, there will be new heroes to revere.
Every time I make my way to the field at Yankee Stadium, whether it was the old place or the new Pinstriped Palace, I instantaneously turn into a kid again. I can’t help it. Doc Brown and the Delorean not necessary. It’s just how it is. I can’t help it. Didn’t I just say that? I know I’m a reporter, and a journalist, but when I interview Yankee legends it’s like a natural high. Look, when Reginald Martinez Jackson walks over and says he’ll answer a couple of questions, well then I just turn into a babbling mess. Like I said, I can’t help it, I’m a fan. I have been since I was a fetus. (My mother still has the ultrasound where they saw the interlocking NY on my forehead)
Of course, I’m kidding, but you get it, I’m a huge fan.
Okay, back to Reggie. The man hit three home runs in a single game in the World Series. He will always and forever be a part of Yankee lore, and here is a kid that grew up a Yankee fan in a small town called South River, New Jersey, on the field before a postseason game interviewing a Yankee legend. It’s going to affect me a little bit. Sorry if everything I learned in Broadcast Journalism goes out the window.
Sometimes I have to jump back and pinch myself. I have a pretty cool job, I have to admit. Should I be a rabid fan when I do an interview? No. Should I be detatching myself from my fandom? Yes. I know that. But I can’t help myself. Everyone on my block dreamed that one day we would be a New York Yankee. Well, I am as close as anyone will ever be, they all live vicariously through me, and I’m loving every minute of it.