"Hell may have no fury like a woman scorned but heaven hath no sweetness like a sports fan vindicated." - Samcat

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Schadenfreude: Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.

I’d say that about sums it up. Not to be, you know, non-graceful about it or anything but I fear that’s just the risk I’m going to have to take as I turn towards New York, stick my fingers in my ears, stick out my tongue and yell, “Neener!”

I fear karmic retribution more than anyone (I’m a RED SOX fan, people), but really, this is just too good. Where to begin…?

Let’s start with Randy Johnson (aka: The Flaccid Unit). Scheduled to start today, Johnson will miss his turn in the rotation because of a “tender groin.” Um, ew. Also, NEENER! I certainly hope Randy “It’s not age, it’s erosion!” Johnson and the free-spending Yankees are enjoying this one. I mean yes, he’s Randy Johnson. He’s a damn good pitcher. He could rebound from this. Things could straighten themselves out. But, as The Sporting News informed me this morning (and which caused me to giggle uncontrollably on the T, scaring the crap out of the Red Line commuters), he better figure it out right quick. The Yankees have him signed through age 44. *snicker* You can’t even use the “Oh, he’s new to the league” excuse because, while it’s true that Johnson lobbied his way over to NY from a National League team, he’s plenty familiar with the AL as well from his days in Seattle. Perhaps he just missed his old Mariner buddy A-Rod? *snicker, snicker*

How about Kevin Brown? Let’s talk about him for a second. You remember Kevin Brown, last seen getting his ass handed to him by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays? Wait, let me say that again, THE TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS! Wow. According to Yankees’ pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, Brown isn’t performing up to snuff because of the poisonous nature of all the losing. “He is having a difficult time because he has had so much success. He isn't used to this." Or, in the Yankee-to-English translation, “It’s hard for him to suck so badly after prolonged periods of only sucking mildly. Also, the clubhouse walls are padded now.” Oh Kevin Brown, you’ve become one of my favorite little Anger Monkeys. Perhaps, as Kerri suggested, when you’re not on the mound, you should wear these at all times:

Worth looking into.

Wanna talk about the line-up shuffle? Yes, let’s.

So Tony Womack is scuffling. Right, because he’s Tony Womack. “I know what’ll fix this!” says George to himself, “Let’s bring up that AAA guy, what’s his name, Robinson Crusoe or something. And then we’ll move Womack to left. What’s that? We’ve already got an All-Star left fielder? Eh, put him in center. Can’t be that different. What? We’ve already got a center fielder too? Well we can’t move him to right field, that’s where my binky Sheff lives. Put him on the bench! Damn guy’s been here longer than I have anyway! I don’t care if you think it’s crazy. I’m the boss. Do It!”

So your new look Yankees boast Robinson Cano, a 22-year-old (that’s younger than me, y’all), minor league second baseman, a former Cardinal second baseman playing left, Ugly Godzilla in center and Bernie Williams – one of the only remaining touchstones to the Yankees' former years of greatness – riding the pine. Williams, never one to stir up controversy, is less than thrilled about this current arrangement. Maybe he can soothe his teammates' pathos with the dulcet sounds of his jazz sax from his lonely corner of the bench.

Lest you think I’m being mean, I assure you, I’m really quite a nice person. Yankees.com is a bit more reserved in their judgment with headlines such as: “Yankees unable to recover after shaky start.” If you call batting around on Kevin Brown in the first inning a “shaky start.” I’m just saying, I listened to the first couple of innings of the Sox game in my car last night and Troup and Joe brought the occasional Yankees/D-Rays highlight. At one point, Troup said, “It’s 6-0 Devil Rays in the first. They’ve batted around on Kevin Brown. There’s only one out.” And Joe responded, “Is…Joe Torre punishing Kevin Brown?” Padded walls indeed.

The real glee comes from reading the New York sports sections, however. I can just see them, all lined up on the Brooklyn bridge, looking towards the Bronx, waiting for the signal to jump.

The usually reserved Times: “The Yankees go from Bad to Abominable,” “Yanks Pay a High Price for Fading Stars,” and “Yankees are Growing Old Ungracefully.”

The always entertaining and sensationalistic Post: “Yankees Remain Brown in Dumps” and “New Look, Old Stink.”

And the tabloid Daily News: “Chump Change.”

(insert Mr. Burns tented-finger cackle here) Excellent.

Buster Olney has even added a new epilogue to his excellent book, Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty. I emailed my dad about it.

Me: New epilogue to Olney’s book. Long read but immensely satisfying.
Dad: Things are getting dicey in the Bronx.
Me: RJ hurt...Brown getting shelled...Bernie riding the pine...Matsui lost in center...good times.
Dad: Happy times are here again!
Me: Like the 80s? The Yankee montage of suck continues!
Dad: Better yet, high priced suck!
Me: Twice the price and twice the suck!

And my dad and I are usually not free with the exclamation points.

Look, I’m not saying this will last. If the Yankees have proven anything over the years, it’s that they’re a team to be reckoned with. I know what the standings say right now and I know what happened last year. But it’s awfully nice to enjoy the schadenfreude while it lasts. Karma may be gaining on me but for now, I’ll just enjoy this tasty bit of Yankees suckage. Mmmm, tastes delicious.