Are the Yankees heading for a reprise of the Don Mattingly era just in time for a new ballpark? After losing two of three to the dismal Mariners over the weekend, including a near no-hitter on Friday night, the pinstripers are now staring up at three teams in their own division, thanks to Toronto’s eight-game winning streak. New York hasn’t finished worse than second place since 1992 — Buck Showalter’s first year as manager. And now it seems almost a lock that Yankee Stadium will be sent off with a whimper after a September 21st tilt with the lowly Orioles. Not exactly how the Bronx faithful had imagined it.
Perhaps nothing sums up the kind of year it’s been for the Yanks than yesterday’s comments by Alex Rodriguez, who failed once again in his 8,917th attempt to become a “True Yankee.”
Take it away, A-Rod (courtesy of NEWSDAY’S Kat O’Brien):
“Toronto’s playing really well,” he said. “I’ll tell you what, a lot of people should be happy they’re not in the playoff race, because they’d be the scariest team, with the 1-2 punch they’ve got over there with [Roy] Halladay and [A.J.] Burnett.”
But, Alex, if the Blue Jays are ahead of your team, and they’re not in the playoff mix, what does that mean about your chances to make the playoffs?
“I’m too tired to answer that; you confused me.”
Also confusing to A-Rod on Sunday was the concept of not getting picked off first base with a runner on second. Trailing by one with two out in the fifth inning and Jason Giambi at the plate, Seattle pitcher Ryan Feierabend (that’s “FEAR-bin” for those of you scoring at home) caught Rodriguez wandering too far from first base — even though Derek Jeter was occupying the base 90 feet in front of him.
What does this team need now? Why, some inspired words of encouragement from the Captain himself, of course:
“Last I checked, we’re not 21 games out,” captain Derek Jeter said.
Now those are the basic mathematical skills you can only dream of having some day, Mr. Rodriguez.