I was awol this past weekend, wandering through the dry foothills of Sonoma County, playing pretend connoisseur at wineries along the road, splashing like a toddler in my future parents’-in-law pool. I was the protagonist of John Cheever’s "The Swimmer": drunk, at peace, and totally in denial of the grave reality around me. But since I’ve returned to the world, or rather, the taxi-cab of absolute reality has crashed back into me, I have to face the facts as they are. Things aren’t as pretty as they seem when it’s sunny and you’re gargling red wine like it’s mouth wash. Here are the cold hard facts as I see them now:
- The Yankees have three starters that are above replacement-level. Mike Mussina and Chien-Ming Wang have been great. Randy Johnson has been awful then brilliant then awful then brilliant. He seems to have turned it around this past month. However, the Yanks’ 4th and 5th starters are terrible. I didn’t believe in the idea that Jaret Wright was pitching well at the beginning of the season. He was logging in 5-inning 2-run "masterpieces" which featured a lot of baserunners and very few strike-outs. He was lucky. His last start is more likely the real Wright. As far as the fifth starter situation: Turns out, Sidney Ponson is Sidney Ponson.
- In case you haven’t heard, A-Rod is under-performing. Great players struggle. It happens. But since this is A-Rod and Alex Rodriguez is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, let’s psychoanalyze him, scream loudly that he should be traded when his value is lowest, and boo him so that he indeed plays even worse. Makes sense if you’re a Sox fan since, after all, a Sox fan doesn’t want the Yankees to win. For a Yankees fan, it’s masochism, the kind that hurts.
- Jason Giambi has not hit well in a while. He’s not getting booed by Yanks fans because he’s lived up to his expensive contract, and has brought nothing but integrity to the Yankees franchise. I’m not advocating booing Giambi because I want him to do well but it seems odd that one player gets so much crap and another not so much. Yanks fan booers, please explain the double-standard.
- Brian Cashman reportedly has shot down any idea of trading Phillip Hughes before the trade deadline. This is good news, and, if it means that we don’t make it to the post-season for the first time since dirt was invented, then I think Yanks fan should be okay with it. The team needs to restock its farm system and develop from within. In the long-run we’ll be thankful.
- This is YFSF, so I’ll turn my thoughts to those bastards in Boston. If you had to do over again, would you still trade Bronson Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena? Another thing, are people still excited about Coco Crisp? Anyone of you guys want to admit to being a little disappointed? Or is it "In Theo We Trust" all the time in RSN? Forgive me my jerkiness, after all, it’s the beginning of the working week and I’ve got a headache.