Feeling the Blues From Ann Arbor to the Bronx

Mike SalernoCorrespondent IAugust 28, 2008

The first two games of the final version of Yankees-Red Sox in the Bronx has been met with great sadness by many of us in Yankeeland. I assume this is how Bostonians felt in 2006, midway through the famous Boston Massacre (part II) as the Yanks singlehandedly ended the Red Sox playoff hopes in a brutal sweep of a five-game series at Fenway. Before that series, the Sox had climbed to within a half-game of the Yankees in the race for the AL East division crown.

Though the Yankees weren't as close as Boston was in 2006 on Tuesday, there was that familiar feeling of entitlement as the dog days of August came to an end. We were finally heating up and ready to send the city up north into a panic as they left The House that Ruth Built for the final time.

We weren't going to see Beckett or Dice-K in the first two games, so after winning those, we could take our chances against rookie Jon Lester, who's baffled us twice thus far, in the series finale. Even if Lester shut us down again, two out of three from the Sox would've cut their lead to four as the calendar flipped to September. As it stands now, the only playoffs I can be worrying about is with my fantasy baseball team.,and even that ends in September.

Though the Sox won both games, and especially last night's by a large margain, you can't help but feel like the Yankees gave them away. Hell, if the Yankees would've scored half of the runners left on base by Alex Rodriguez alone in game one, they'd have won.

Now, I've always been one of Alex's biggest supporters through it all, and never cursed him, except obviously at a feverish rate after making an out in a big spot for 14 seconds at a time. However, lately Alex looks like Patrick Ewing from Space Jam, just completely lost.

At least I won't have to listen to that idiot Dane Cook talk about every prospective team's postseason chances

To make matters worse, the Mets regained first place in the NL EasY division last night after trading blown saves with the Phillies in a small two-game set at Citizens Bank Park. Well, at least the Yankees didn't make it to the back page of the New York papers.

No, you didn't read that wrong. I said NL EasY. Tampa Bay, Boston or New York would win 140 games in that abomination of a division. Toronto would come in around 115. Don't even get me started on the National League.

Moving on to the other half of what was covered in this morning's Sportscenter (which I painstakingly sat through four times if you start counting at midnight), college football season is finally upon us. The Rich Rodriguez era begins at Michigan, and for me, this season can't go fast enough. Once Terrelle Pryor donned that Buckeyes cap long after National Signing Day, I knew this would be a rough season.

Nothing Rodriguez has done since arriving in Ann Arbor has been productive. He angered Justin Boren, our only decent returning offensive lineman, so much that he decided to do the unspeakable. The unfathomable. The outright disgusting. Leave Michigan for, well, you know where. Ryan Mallett is long gone, and left in his wake are four "quarterbacks" if you will, with a combined total of zero snaps under center. With less than 72 hours until the season kicks off, Rodriguez still hasn't named a starter. We're waiting, coach.

Utah comes to the Big House a three-point underdog, returning too many starters to count from a 7-4 campaign. Well, at least I'll have seen this year's opening day loss coming. Speaking of opening day losses, how could I forget last year's historic loss to Appalachian State? How can I possibly gear up for this year's team when last year's fell so dramatically on its face?

Does anyone else laugh at the fact that ESPN probably hired Lou Holtz to be a decent analyst for College Gameday? Like Rece Davis said yesterday, nobody on that set is biased for or against the Irish. Mark May just calls them like he sees them, and Lou Holtz calls it for Notre Dame.

I guess the only thing I can hope for is that Kevin Grady just keeps on drinkin' and drivin' so we can see more of freshman Sam McGuffie, who has made a living in high school of jumping over approaching defenders. I'll have to start praying now for a win in South Bend in week three, or be forced to sing the Notre Dame fight song to my little brother.

I came to him with the wager a few weeks ago. Betting with pride is always more interesting than money, anyway. The rules of the bet go as follows: The fan of the losing team will be forced to sing, in its entirety, the fight song of the winning team while wearing a jersey and funny hat of the victorious as well. The rendition of the song will be filmed and then put on YouTube.

Since then I've been very generous in helping him learn the lyrics to "The Victors," but lately, I'm not so sure. So uh, how does that song go again?

Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame...