I need to thank Joe Girardi. He took great care in reminding me why I hate the Yankees with every fiber of my being.
Look, It's become pointless for me to keep taking shots at the Yankees as I used to do in my early days of blogging. For one, everyone who knows me, knows what I'm about, and has been reading me consistently for five seasons knows where I stand on this. There are certain points that I don't need to belabor. Second, complaining about the Yankees, or more important, expressing sheer joy when the Yankees lose doesn't really change the fact that the Mets have been a rotten organization in the recent past, and talking about them when it has nothing to do with the Mets reeks of "petty". Third, a lot of the complaints about the Yankees center around the money they spend. And I'm one to say that the Yankees are doing everything they're allowed to under the rules, and if you want to complain about them doing that, then a more accurate argument would be to complain about the rules themselves. All the Yankees are doing is what we all wish the Mets would do more of anyway. So to express constant hate for them is belaboring the point, yet pointless at the same time.
But it all came rushing back today. And it feels natural, like that old coat you wore in high school which if you're lucky enough to still fit in it, it feels all warm and fuzzy and brings back great memories. Hating the Yankees doesn't necessarily bring back great memories, but it still fits like that old coat. The best part about it is that I could grow to double my current size and hating the Yankees would still fit.
For those who weren't around for the telecast or the actual game, near the end of the hour and a half rain delay, Joe Girardi had a slightly animated conversation with the umpires about Freddy Garcia needing more time to warm up after being told to be ready for a 2:30 start. So Girardi's response to that was to have Garcia wait until R.A. Dickey was on the hill getting ready to start the game to make his way across the outfield and hold up the start of the game, even though there's a tunnel that leads from the bullpens to the visiting dugout. The Mets didn't seem that upset with it since they didn't dust a Yankee hitter in response, and I'm not even going on my sandbox full of broken records to say that the Mets should have retaliated and that they never retaliate, because with Dickey on the mound and the game remaining close all the way, I didn't even hold out any hope for that.
But that was a bush league move by Girardi, who only did that because he could, and because he knows that there isn't going to be repercussions. His beef was with the umpires, yet he took it out on the Mets by pulling that nonsense. And just like the whole Brian Cashman/Pedro Feliciano "abuse-gate", I doubt that happens if that was the Red Sox out there instead of the Mets. Maybe I'm insane for thinking that, and maybe I'm wrong, but that seemed like a total lack of respect for your opponent to me. An opponent, I might add, who had to work under the same parameters that the Yankees did since the umpires are in control of the start of the game on the last game of a series (not the home team as usual, and hat tip to the Mets broadcasting crew for pointing that out at the start of the game.) but what I do know is that it was a child-like tantrum by Girardi, who really doesn't need to resort to that seeing how good his team is. It isn't necessary, but again, he can so he will. I doubt Joe Torre would have resorted to that.
It's typical Yankee thinking: if everything isn't to our liking we're crying, whining, taking our ball and going home. You don't do wrong by the New York Yankees!!! And of course he'll get away with it because nobody's going to have the stones to fine the Yankees or Joe Girardi.
Robinson Cano had more complaints:
"Cano, by the way, seemed especially upset at the sudden game time announcement. The Yankees didn’t take batting practice today, and Cano felt they didn’t have time to get ready. 'You could see how it went the first three innings,' he said."
Hold on, haven't stopped laughing yet.
Okay I'm done ... no, wait ...
You do know there's batting cages under the stands, right? And again, Mets worked under the same parameters, and they didn't hit much either the first three innings. (Granted, that's because there's no Jose Reyes and their lineup has Lucas Duda, Josh Thole, and the artist formerly known as Jason Bay, but that's besides the point.) Heaven forbid the Yankees don't hit in the first three innings of a baseball game, there must be treachery afoot! Hey, what else would I expect? After all, I was reading about fans screaming "anti-Yankee bias" on the social media Sunday because they had six all-stars but should have gotten at least nine. Excuse me while I get the violin and the sheet music for the sad songs out.
Make no mistake, the argument of: "who cares, we won two out of three and count the ringz, baby!!!!!!111" is irrelevant. Win all the games and rings you want ... Bush league is bush league. And a bush league stunt like that deserves a painful end. I'd say only no-hitter by Dickey would have been better than what actually happened, which was a two-out ninth inning rally against Mariano Rivera from, of all people, Jason Bay, Lucas Duda, and Ronny Paulino ... and then a tenth inning win capped off by Jason Bay (with help from Ramiro Pena and his condition where baseballs look like active grenades.) But I'll take the outcome. I'll continue to be shocked that Jason Bay was the catalyst of both rallies, but I'll take it. With Bay having a hand in both innings, and Paulino getting the big hit, it would be easy to forget Duda's hit, probably the hardest feat of the three to accomplish as a young lefty batter up against the greatest closer in the world. Don't.
I hope the Yankees took advantage of an evening stroll through the outfield grass with their loved ones after the game, since they enjoy that so much.
One last thing: Used to be we looked back upon a season and tried to identify the turning point. Now we try to identify it hours after it allegedly happens. I'm sure some of you are thinking that this is that "springboard" win that leads to six or seven straight. I can't say that, and you probably can't say it for sure either. I've seen too many of these "springboard wins" where the guy on the dive board dives into a vat of lava. Or, in English, three straight losses. I do think that a loss would have been more demoralizing than a win will be uplifting. A better springboard is the fact that Reyes' injury isn't so severe, and that Dickey's nagging glute (or "tight ass", if you prefer) happened to Dickey and not anyone else, since Dickey can probably be mummified and pitch six innings.
But I'd be willing to bet that Sunday's win did springboard into something positive: a happy plane ride to the other coast. And that's good enough for me.