Tonight, as the Red Sox forced a few more runs across just for fun in the top of the ninth, and the Yankees' old bellwethers, who can still remember four World Series together, swallowed hard and tried to look dignified, there arose a discussion about whether or not to feel pity at this juncture.
I was the bleeding heart of the group, who acknowledged the sadness on the faces NESN zoomed in on in Yankees caps here and there, among cackling Red Sox fans and empty seats. I didn't exactly regret what was happening, but I felt a little sorry for the few remaining die-hards (and yes, there are die-hards, anyone in a New York cap who stayed at the Stadium tonight till the bitter end earned some respect from me). The last ruins of the dynasty look like they're crumbling into dust. Joe Torre looked like he was swallowing back vomit in the dugout. Mo Rivera's face looked like Sanjaya's when he finally got kicked off American Idol.
Lifting Rivera at the Stadium with two outs in the ninth? For Mike Myers? Brutal.
My friend Ryan, who is a few years older than me, listened to all this and paused, considering his answer carefully before saying, "I'll take this.
"With chocolate on top."
With Red Sox clubbies bringing the Papel-bot carefully out of kill mode in the Stadium bullpen after the Sox finished out the beatdown in the ninth, it was Joel Piniero who wound up closing out the game. Ouch.
"Screw 'em," said Ryan.
Once again, Matsuzaka is almost an afterthought by the time the game is finished, which has oddly been the case in his effective starts so far. He has been solid, but there have been times he has alarmed me, like in the fourth inning tonight (the fourth inning being a disturbing mini-trend right now). Still, he minimized the damage after walking the bases loaded, letting up two more runs but getting away from much more, and in the next two innings he looked like nothing had ever happened.
The thought has occurred to me that the multi-dimensional culture shock he must be in right now would probably be enough to have an average human peeing themselves out there. He must be amazing even to be solid under these ridiculous circumstances. So I still totally love him.
The much-vaunted Monster vs. Godzilla matchup came out decidedly on the Red Sox side, with Matsui ofer with a walk. Hideki Okajima blew him away with one pitch in the eighth, inducing a wobbly grounder right back to the mound. A-Rod suffered a particularly brutal strikeout, with the call that he had swung at ball four coming as he trotted halfway along the baseline to first. Julio Lugo probably still can't believe he hit that home run. And I remain steadfast in my prediction that Mike Myers is never going to get David Ortiz out. Not even once.