If I have learned anything during more than half a century on this planet it's this; Always go with your first instinct! Whenever I have deviated from my original "gut decision" I usually end up in an unpleasant situation. To change your mind at the last minute, and not to trust your internal barometers your brain and your heart usually is a desperation measure, and ends badly.
The New York Yankees deviated from their original plan on Monday night as they faced the Cleveland Indians in game four of the A.L.D.S. They originally had Mike Mussina scheduled as the starter for the game. However soon after they won game three Sunday night, to stay alive in the series down 2-1, reports started to emanate from New York that a change of plans was in the works. The Yankees feeling they were in a do or die situation, decided to put game one starter Chien-Ming Wang on the mound after only three days rest. They would pay dearly for changing their minds.
Wang who was less than effective in game one was downright awful in game four. He pitched only one inning, allowing four runs on five hits including a leadoff home run to Cleveland centerfielder Grady Sizemore. Mussina took over in the second but now with a 4-0 deficit. Cleveland starter crafty veteran Paul Byrd did what he had to do. He battled for five plus innings allowing only two runs on eight hits. New York kept chipping away scoring single runs in the second, the sixth, the seventh, and the ninth . The Yankees had homers from Robinson Cano, in the sixth, Alex Rodriguez, in what could be his last game as a Yankee, Bobby Abreu in the eighth, and Cano again in the ninth off closer Joe Borowski. But the Tribe had added two more runs in the fourth and Borowski held on for the save.
For Cleveland it is another step in the process begun by manager Eric Wedge and General Manager Mark Shapiro in 2003. Cleveland who had been a dominant team from 1995-2001 had been broken up by Shapiro during the season of 2002, after inheriting a team with aging stars and no farm system from former boss John Hart. Shapiro, pledged to the fans that the team would be competitive by 2005, and they were before they went on a losing streak the last week of the season to knock them out of what looked like an assured playoff spot. However the team had still won 93 games and hopes were bright for 2006.
But Cleveland took a step back last year, falling out of contention early and never being a legitimate factor. However Wedge and Shapiro kept their faith in their "Blueprint For Success" and although they tweaked the team, they did not throw in the towel and start from scratch. Cleveland will now face A.L. East winners the Boston Red Sox in the A.L.C.S. starting Friday at Fenway Park. Josh Beckett goes up against C.C. Sabathia
One of my favorite comedy bits is an old George Carlin routine where he talks about rummaging through the refrigerator and coming up with something unidentifiable. You're not sure if it's meat, or it's cake, it's meatcake!! The New York Yankees a team in transition, are they a veteran team of Bobby Abreu, Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, and Roger Clemens? Or are they a team with their eye on the future, with Melky Cabrera, Phil Hughes, Robinson Cano, and Joba Chamberlain? With the present mix it really is meatcake!
King George Yankees owner George Steinbrenner told the Bergen County Record that manager Joe Torre could be very well be out if New York falls to Cleveland. Although he allowed some buffer to change his mind, one wonders whether it could be time for a change. Joe Torre is certainly not the problem, but the real question is is he the solution? Does Torre have the fire in the belly to put up with Steinbrenner for another year or the New York media? Torre who has always been the epitome of stoicism actually shed a tear when the Yankees clinched the Wild Card. While I certainly do not look at this as a sign of weakness, I do wonder if it was sadness rather than joy causing the reaction thinking that in his mind he was ready to walk away.
If Torre is out after this year there are two in house candidates who appear to be the front runners. Yankees broadcaster and former New York coach and Florida Marlins manager Joe Girardi, and "Donny Baseball" Yankees coach and legendary player Don Mattingly. Girardi has the experience, but is not known for his diplomatic skills, having been fired after one year with the Marlins after getting into an argument with the team owner. Mattingly has no managerial experience at any level but does have a magic name in the Bronx. Perhaps he will have a longer honeymoon period, as New York makes the transition to the next era.
© Copyright 2007 thesackattack.com