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

Monday, April 27, 2009

How Sweep It Is!

(Photo from Yahoo! Sports)

So that was a hell of a thing, no? I speak, of course, of the sweep of the Yankees at the hands of the Sox over the weekend series though really, there are any number of things I could be referring to. Expert pitching by the young'uns, not so expert pitching by the veterans, Mike Lowell/Jason Bay/Kevin Youkilis' tattooing of the ball in dire situations or Jacoby Ellsbury's balls of steel and feat of derring do with that theft of home last night. But really, the whole series was remarkable.

And each game, despite the fact that the first two seemed to morph into one game lasting many weeks, had it's own distinct flavor. Friday night's was the patented Sox walkoff. And because something is up with him this year and he's yet to his his first home run of the season, David Ortiz kindly allowed Youkilis to take the reigns with the dramatic heroics. Of course, Youkilis doesn't get the chance if Jason Bay doesn't act in a way that I can only assume is contrary to his friendly, Canadian nature and welcome Mariano Rivera to the game quite rudely. Oh, Jason Bay, you never cease to delight me.

At one point during the tenth inning of that marathon contest, I turned to my boyfriend and said, "You realize we are going to die here watching this game. It will never end." To which he replied, "Bears are going to eat us." You see, he picked up the lingo quickly. Once the game headed into the 11th inning and each team seemed to be working on their fifteenth pitcher, I remarked, "I sure am glad this game is saving the series for the next two. Good thing we're not blowing through our bullpen tonight."

"At least," he replied, "we know that tomorrow's game is going to be high scoring."

And how. That certainly proved prophetic, no? My father called shortly after the dust had cleared and the Sox had been declared the victors of Game 2 in a 16-11 bloodbath. "Just calling to see if there's much discord around the homestead after that insanity," he wanted to know.

"No," I said, "things are fine here, and we are about the have a lovely dinner with friends. But I would probaby not want to be DeMaso Marte around these parts anytime soon." Because, you see, my boyfriend, being a Yankees fan, has much the same reaction to DeMaso Marte that I used to have to Rudy Seanez. That being a blood-curdling, cover your face and hide the children scream. Warranted, it seems. So I can feel his pain. I've been there is what I'm saying. The flip side of which is, of course, that personally, I'm growing rather fond of Marte. Him and all his friends and their double-digit bullpen ERA. But I do not mind telling you that Jason Varitek's grand slam? Surprised no one so much as yours truly and you all know I've long been a 'Tek apologist. A thousand pardons, Captain, I should never have doubted you.

Then of course, there was yesterday. While Friday's game was fraught with drama and tension and Saturday's day-into-evening slugfest was about nothing so much as seeing how long these two teams could keep trading touchdowns, yesterday's game meandered along with a 1-1 deadlock for five innings where nothing much happened and you're left with the brain-cramping task of trying to make sense of whatever nonsense Joe Morgan is babbling. A fool's errand, surely. So in response, I fell asleep. That is, until just before Ellsbury made like Jackie Robinson with the larceny. "I have never seen that," I exclaimed as my phone blew up with text messages from all over the northeast. Somewhere, from the depths of the couch I heard, "Siiiiiiigh." You see, it's a give and take. However, I enjoyed nothing so much as Terry Francona's reaction to Ellsbury upon returning to the dugout. Tito being so dad-like and all, he hugged Ellsbury who couldn't stop smiling, and did that Italian grandfather, grab the other person's face thing, and looked to say something to the effect of "That was great. Way to go, son. Don't ever do it again." No one seemed more surprised that Tito. With the possible exception of Andy Pettitte.

Steve Phillips, in a rare moment of lucidity and sense - though really anyone seems like a Rhodes Scholar when sharing the booth with Joe Morgan - described every Yankees/Red Sox series as a "war of attrition." Usually one team wins when the other one runs out of arms. There was talk of how, in this young season, the Red Sox seem to have more answers than the Yankees but, you know, they're the Yankees. You can't count them out at any point. They can and will always acquire new players. Though, I did have to wonder out loud, at a team that added Burnett, Sabathia and Teixeira over the off season, "Who else is there?" Clearly, I'd forgotten about the Yankee-Robot Genetic Testing and Research Labs located under the concourse in the new stadium. It's only a matter of time before the robot prototypes are ready. Until then, however, I'll revel in the sweep. Won't you join me?