I admit it.
I didn't expect anything from Pedro in game two which saw him go 6+ innings and give up a few runs, two of which came via the home run to Traitor Tex and Hideki Matsui respectively.
Let me rephrase that. I expected one thing out of Pedro—I expected him to get rocked by the experienced Yankee$ lineup. Something along the lines of 10+ runs in three innings wouldn't have surprised me in the least. But to be fair, I also expected A.J. Burnett to get similarly hit hard, but to a bit lesser degree as he got absolutely smashed in his lone interleague matchup against the Phillies where three home runs were hit, if memory serves me right.
I've been listening to the over-hyped, and frankly, lame "Yankees are my daddy" quotes that the ESPN-hype machine is trying to drum up. Hopefully it's Martinez who can claim after the game, "Who's your Daddy, now, Yankee$?"
I honestly don't know what to expect tonight, but something tells me that this Pedro is too good to be true. After all, he pitched brilliantly in game two only to lose to an even better Burnett. It would be wise for the Phillies to 1) finally run in this series on the basepaths and 2) additionally try to create some early scoring opportunities by swinging at the first pitches like they did last game as Baseball Tonight's John Kruk accurately noted.
Don't let Pettitte get into a groove, especially an early one. If the first-pitch thing isn't working, work the count, get into that vulnerable inexperienced bullpen.
Cole Hamels can still play a big role
Earlier this week it was reported by just about every media outlet that Phillies reliever, Brett Myers got into an altercation with former Phillies ace, Cole Hamels after a recent game. Allegedly, Myers asked Hamels "What are you still doing here? I thought you quit" referring to Hamel's reply when pressed by the media how he felt after his last outing, to which he talked about not being able to wait until the season was over.
Much was made and depending on who you believe, Hamels actually said this after reiterating how much he wanted the ball in Game Seven, if and when there indeed is one. A few guests on the "Jim Rome is Burning" show earlier this week also remarked how manager Charlie Manuel is in a bit of a bind since he "risks losing Cole forever " should he decide not to pitch him in a possible game seven, as expected.
I disagree with this analysis as you go with the hot hand and I'd personally go with ace Cliff Lee on three day's rest. The Yankees do it all the time with SOBathia and are prepared to do it tonight with un-tested Andy Pettitte who hasn't done this since his younger days.
Still that's not to suggest I don't expect a good game. In fact, I could see this one being a suspenseful scoreless game into the fifth or so until someone makes a costly mistake. Who will it be?
Pedro drama aside, can you similarly imagine the feel-good response from Hamels should he pitch the Phillies to their second consecutive World Championship after the controversy that ensued? That would be a bigger headline than the 3-1 choke job at the hands of the Yankee$ in their new billion dollar-plus playground.
Not that I'm saying that's going to happen as I expect the high priced hired guns to will their way to their 27th World Title which is easy to do when 2/3 of your rotation isn't really yours as the ink from Burnett's and SOBathia's contract's is hardly dry. Must be nice, Yankee$ fan$, must be nice, but then again, you never really played by the same rules as anyone else anyway, have you?
Damon, Matsui next to go
Much has been said, and will be said about possible MVP Johnny Damon, who at current time is hitting .381 with a particular penchant for getting two out hits and keeping innings alive. However, watch how quickly the greedy Yankee$ abandon one of their own, after the free agent to be is let go this winter in favor of a younger player with a better arm.
Johnny, I hope you keep this in mind when signing your next contract. Too bad neither the Orioles or Jays have any room or use to you, and your simply too expensive as a role player. Also, rationale Yankees fans, and I, know there are a few of you. Play close attention to the Bernie Williams like treatment Damon gets this offseason from his mother team. Just saying.
Matsui, you think your immune? Think again. I remember when you spurned my Orioles years ago, as they were the only other team in the bidding for your services before you forced your way onto the Yankee$ inspired by their wining tradition and large Japanese fanbase. Never really that clutch, you still remain solid, and fiercely loyal, as to be expected from Japanese players, you reminded me of a David Justice or Williams type where a big hit was never that far away as you still have that potential.
Still, you're 35 and similarly a free-agent-to-be like Damon. Watch how the Yankee$ drag their feet before offering you a token one year, incentive laden contract-that is, if you're that lucky. Never one to sit around, the Yankee$ are constantly in the market for upgrades and your position and roster spot might be too tempting to pass up, even if it is expected to be a weak market.
Now you may be asking "Why would the Yankee$ simply get rid of players like Damon and Matsui? This isn't their history." If Williams is any indication, they'll spit in your face if they think they have a chance to improve elsewhere and you are no exception.
As equal a shame it would be to award a Championship label and official ring to overrated Yankee$ first baseman, Benedict, I mean, Mark Teixeira, who's hitting a hefty .105 (2/19) in the World Series, to be fair, so to would it be for the similarly un-clutch Ryan Howard who has just one hit more in the same number of at-bats.
One of them is bound to get hot and justify his status and salary. Lets hope it is the latter. We've had to hear about Teixera's childish boyhood crush on Don Mattingly and his signing with the Yankee$ immediately told me he's simply a coward-wannabe who is trying to imitate him from his team selection to his position on the field. Fortunately for him, as his jersey number implies, (25 vs. 23) he simply doesn't add up and falls just short-yes that is a shot at you Tex.
That jackass aside, twenty years from now we'll probably hear about how A-Roid was on something in this World Series should they win it and he get token MVP, which as discussed earlier, should go to Damon at this point.
Encouraging for non-Yankees fans, no matter what happens tonight, someday Derek Jeter is going to retire along with Mariano Rivera and I don't care how good Joba Chamberlain projects to be as a future Yankee closer or whoever the next hired gun the Yankee$ steal in attempts at trying to replace a local legend, both will be instant downgrades by default. (this is about as complimentary as its gonna get Jeter/Rivera so take what you can get).
Naturally the Yankee$ won't be as good as they are right now. They are going to lose Posada too in similar fashion perhaps as soon as after next season when he is replaced with Joe Mauer as I've already predicted numerous times. These members of the old guard got it done. These young punks are simply along for the ride.
Will it end tonight?
Enjoy it if you get it Yankee$ fans, you bought it.
And you know what, Yankee$ fans wouldn't have it any other way-partially through no fault of their own as they simply know no better.
Turns out all you needed to end your "embarrassing" nine year funk was a brand new $1.2 billion dollar braggart stadium. Nice. Keep on enforcing what we already think about you—that being "look-at-me!" self-centered, self promoting people who live in their own little world absent of reality. And you wonder why the rest of the league and majority of the fans can't stand you?
It takes a special person to be a New Yorker. Many words come to mind, none of them flattering. But you don't care, right? After all, it's always about you—we're just lucky you let us share the experience with you, right?
Game Seven or bust.