Wallace Matthews You Are On Notice for Charges of Lunacy

Friday, October 23, 2009

Time to bust out the FJM format again, this time on a Newsday columnist that I think is just trying to write something preposterous.

Thursday, the Yankees were one victory away away from a triumphant return to the World Series.

Friday, they are two losses removed from the worst postseason collapse in their history. Yes, this would be worse than coughing up a 3-0 lead to the Red Sox in 2004.

Well now that statement is just baffling. 3-0 to 3-1. The rival Red Sox or the nemesis Angels. Ok we'll give him a chance to explain, even though he has zero argument here.

And trust me, it could happen a lot easier than you think.

Last night's 7-6 loss to the Angels, who suddenly seem to have remembered that their strategy of creating havoc on the basepaths only works if they in fact get on base, not only cut the Yankees' lead in the ALCS to 3-2.

What Havoc exactly did the Angels create on the basepaths last night?
1st) Walk, Double, Single, Double, Single. No steals, just straight hitting.
7th) Single, Walk, Sacrifice, Groundout, Single, Single. No steals or hit and runs again.

It also raises the specter of another catastrophic failure, only for this one, there would be no excuse or any consolation. You see, these Angels are not nearly as good as the 2004 Red Sox. And these Yankees are a lot better than the 2004 Yankees. At least, they're supposed to be.

The 2004 Red Sox won 98 games, the 2009 Angels won 97 despite missing half their rotation for the first two months. These teams are comparable.

Despite having what looked like a commanding 3-0 lead in 2004, those Yankees had John Olerud at first base, Miguel Cairo at second and Gary Sheffield in right. The DH was, believe it or not, Kenny Lofton. And the rotation was Mike Mussina, Jon Lieber, Javier Vazquez, Orlando Hernandez and the fondly remembered Kevin Brown.

Which of those players you mention was bad? The 2009 Yankees might be a better team than the 2004 Yankees but you mention players that were all pretty good. Sheffield was a beast in 2004, so I'm not sure why his name is even mentioned. Mussina is a potential Hall of Famer, who saved their ass in Game 7 in 2003. El Duque is amongst the most clutch postseason pitchers ever. In essence the 2004 Yankees weren't exactly a bad team.

And as scrappy and speedy as the Angels may be, there is no Manny Ramirez in this lineup, no David Ortiz, no Curt Schilling or Pedro Martinez in their rotation, not even a Keith Foulke in their bullpen.

The Red Sox also had Bill Mueller, Trot Nixon, Mark Belhorn, and the Sideyard. These players aren't exactly gods. You're forgetting to mention the fact that the Angels rotation is deeper than the Red Sox rotation and that the Sox were forced to pitch Derek Lowe on 2 days rest in game 7.

This year, having added $423 million in free agents, the Yankees seem to be in better hands. And yet, A.J. Burnett, their No. 2 starter, last night put them into a first-inning hole they spent the rest of the game climbing out of. If Andy Pettitte doesn't close out the Angels tomorrow night in Game 6 at the Stadium, they will be asking their ace, CC Sabathia, to win three starts in one series, a feat unmatched since the Tigers' Mickey Lolich did it in the 1968 World Series.

That may be too much to ask even of a stud like Sabathia.

So what you're saying is that the Yankees, lost to the Angels ace, could theoretically lose and even pitching matchup on Saturday, and then have CC not accomplish something that hasn't happened in 41 years, and this would somehow be worse than losing a 3-0 lead which hasn't happened... ever.

Throughout this series, Angels manager Mike Scioscia's optimism has bordered on the delusional, especially after Tuesday's crushing 10-1 Game 4 loss.

"Our guys are confident,'' Scioscia said. "There's nobody in that clubhouse that's down. We're not out of it until we lose four games.''

Now, he doesn't look crazy, just prophetic. Meanwhile, Joe Girardi, refused to discuss the prospect of a World Series matchup with the Phillies. "I'm just going to focus on the Angels,'' he had said, "because that is the task at hand right now.''

Ok we get it, there's a chance they can lose. It's baseball. How would this be worse than the Sox series again?

That task seemed even tougher when the Angels took a 4-0 lead off Burnett. But after the Yankees rallied with six runs in the seventh, it all seemed to crumble for the Angels. Someone even had the chutzpah to wheel Champagne into the Yankees' clubhouse in anticipation of a clinching party.

But the Yankees' bullpen has been combustible, too, and Burnett, Damaso Marte and most disastrously, Phil Hughes, allowed the Angels to retake the lead, 7-6, in the bottom of the inning.

The Angels' coronary closer, Brian Fuentes, loaded the bases before getting Nick Swisher to pop out to short to send the series back to New York.

"Well, we've got another game Saturday,'' Girardi said. "This is the time of year when everything gets a little bit tougher. We've had it happen to us before.''

He meant lose a playoff game and come back to win.

Ok when are you going to get back into how this would be a worse collapse?

They've had it happen the other way, too. But never as bad as this one would be. Not in 2004. Not ever.

Oh wow what a closing line. So what you essentially brought to the table is that in your opinion the Yankees in 09 are better than 04 and that Boston 04 is better than Anaheim 09.

You're missing everything about that series. First off Game 3 was an epic beat down of the Sox. The series looked dead and done and the Yankees took a quick 2 nothing lead in Game 4. You didn't mention once how Mariano blew two games in Fenway park. You didn't mention how the Red Sox hadn't won a World Series since 1918. You don't even mention once how a 3-0 comeback never was accomplished before but 3-1 comebacks had. All of these things facor in way way way more than simply whether or not the talent discrepancy is is that much different than it was in 04.

Posted by Simon at 2:24 PM   Digg! submit to reddit BallHype: hype it up!


Post a Comment

Advertise Here!