When we saw it go (is it still going?) we thought A-Rod’s monster home run would be the story of today’s game. We suppose not. Mariano doesn’t blow a save too often (and in this heat, all is forgiven), and we were glad to see his rescue came at the hands of Bernie Williams, who gave us another in a career of big hits for the Yankees.
Readers of this site know that we’ve long lamented Bernie’s presence in the Yankee outfield this season. But that’s a failure of the organization, not the man. We’ll always appreciate Bernie and be grateful for his service. If there’s any player, over the years, with whom we’ve been able to identify, it’s been him. Bernie is not, as his critics so often point out, a “natural.” He has poor “instincts.” For those of us who aren’t supernaturally gifted at the things we do—those of us who get by, with some degree of success, on a combination of intelligence and hard work and what native talent we might have—can’t help but enjoy such a human superstar. Jeter, by contrast, strikes us as essentially Olympian—a vision of our most perfect selves. (And we like that kind of hero, too.)