Surely You Jest
I have been suffering from some major Bloggerhea today, and for that I apologize. But I was just over at ESPN.com and found this little gem on the Yankees' upcoming series with the Diamondbacks by Yankees apologist Bob Klapisch.
One of the gifts - or curses - of interleague play is that it opens doors into a franchise's own time tunnel. The Yankees are visiting Dodger Stadium this week for the first time since 1981, a memory too distant for their new-millennium players. But three games at Bank One Ballpark summon a rush of images from the 2001 World Series, most of which still sting.
After all, the Bombers haven't won a world championship since Mariano Rivera blew a one-run lead with three outs to go in Game 7. That touched off a frenzied offseason that not only rearranged the roster but sent owner George Steinbrenner's payroll into orbit: Jason Giambi replaced Tino Martinez, Paul O'Neill and Scott Brosius both retired, Chuck Knoblauch moved on, while David Wells negotiated a two-year deal with Steinbrenner in a hamburger joint in Tampa, breaking a deal with the Diamondbacks.
The Boss couldn't stand the thought of losing Boomer to Arizona owner Jerry Colangelo, not after the Diamondbacks had stunned the Yankees. Steinbrenner defeated Colangelo -- for Wells, anyway - but other scar tissue remains. The Bombers were ousted by the Angels in the 2002 Division Series, and lost in six games to the Marlins in the 2003 World Series.
Mariano Rivera doesn't have pleasant thoughts from the last time he pitched in Arizona.
Could the three-year roadblock be traced back to that one fateful inning in 2001, when the BOB was so loud, the decibel-level practically damaged one's ears? Rivera says, "I try not to think about that game anymore. All I can tell you is I did the best I could and I don't look back."
Oh, man. That three-year roadblock must be real tough.
You know, I really hadn't been thinking about the Yankees much till I read this, except as it related to the Red Sox' place in the standings (or when one of my MFY trolls made the subject unavoidable, as they like to do). I think it's pretty crappy that they managed to come back twice--once in extra innings--against the Padres (proving once and for all that they don't really win, per se, other teams just collapse), but really, I've been thinking more about Pokey Reese and the air pressure at Coors Field than the Bombers.
But this, wow, this just brings all the soul-shriveling hate right back into focus, doesn't it?