I sort of want to talk about that Raul Ibanez home run some more… I mean, I don’t, really, but I do—y’know?
I mean—did anyone doubt it? Was there anyone out there actually lulled into that false sense of security?
If you were, you get my simultaneous pity and envy—because clearly you’re a rookie when it comes to the Yankees’ surgeon-like ability to extract victory from the jaws of defeat.
Of course, defeat was never a real possibility… merely an illusion: a Bronx mirage. The Bombers have an uncommon knack for injecting that insidious, patently horrifying—and poetically brilliant—twinge of bittersweet remorse in the losses they dole out. They dangle victory in front of their opponent for seven innings, eight (sometimes allowing the affair to rattle around in extra innings—y’know, for added effect); then, at the last moment…
Science, or art form—or some evil multiplicative alchemy in-between—I can’t explain it. Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure it’s the leading cause of cancer.
As a lifelong Twins fan, I’ve become extraordinarily familiar with late inning losses at the hands of the Yankees. One run or eight. No lead is safe. There’s a particular incident I can recall—Heydinger was there to witness my meltdown; it was Jason Giambi, then, with a walk-off grand slam. But that was just an early example of the train they would continue to run on us—Sierra, Teixeira, A-Rod, Jeter… the Yankees were like a wall around the postseason (And now we just suck, and the Yankees continue on, tearing wins out of the souls of their opponents).
Who among us hasn’t fallen victim before?
So last night, I knew better.
“Hey, let’s pinch-hit Ibanez here.”
Might as well have the sound-guy cue up the theme song from The Natural while you’re at it.
So it looks like the Yankees might take the division, while the O’s sing for their supper.
It’s already begun.