A Little Perspective For Yankee Universe — Let The Good Times Roll In 2011!
A father passing by his son's bedroom was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then he saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to "Dad".
With the worst premonition he opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter.
Dear Dad: It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you. I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice.
But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercing, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am. But it's not only the passion—Dad she's pregnant.
Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children.
Stacy has also opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone. We'll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy.
In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better. She deserves it.
Don't worry Dad. I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.
Love, Your Son,
PS. Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the Report Card that's in my center desk drawer.
I love you.
Call me when it's safe to come home.
This funny little lesson in perspective was emailed to us about a week ago.
This past Thursday the Yankee Universe got another jolt of the same though one wonders if that sizable base will respond, or continue to respond with the same light hearted chuckle we did when we realized clever John was just pulling a fast one on dear old dad.
Andy Pettitte, superb southpaw in a long Yankee line of superb southpaws, (Lefty Gomez, Eddie Lopat, Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry), shoulda' been surefire Hall Of Famer, (but now somewhat steroid tainted), one of the top money pitchers the game has ever known said an official goodbye to New York on February 3rd, 2011, and amidst an endless breath of fond goodbyes something a little closer to panic then unrest manifested itself amongst a particular type of Bomber brethren, (fan's and management members alike), who go into every season embodying the pervasive if not altogether unrealistic point of view that nothing less than another trophy in the championship case will do when it comes to quenching the unshakable thirst of the Great Pinstripe Gathering that can never get enough.
Perhaps sensing the forthcoming season might not be one entirely enmeshed in glory, plagued by aches and pains akin to an aging body, pulled Southwest by his wonderful sense of family, and in the simplest sense not greedy enough to capitalize when the Yank's were willing to throw huge money his way, ($12 million was bandied about, but what to you want to bet $15 million wasn't out of the question), Andy Pettitte threw a little, left hand shot of perspective to Yankee lovers everywhere.
And you can be pretty certain when this Texan says he's riding off into the sunset he means it. There won't be a mid-season change of heart, Clemen's or Favre like liberties taken.
That's it, Andy Pettitte is off the shelf, out of the five man rotation and residual to that, (some other offseason mechanization around the league), the New York Yankee's find themselves in the odd position of being nobodies favorite to emerge as World Champions in 2011.
And still somehow the sun rose on February 4th. If not as some defining portent of future well being, at least an indicator that this 2011 season can still be a great one, highly entertaining, and yes, very importantly, a hell of a lot of fun for viewers and participants alike.
For starters the Yank's have a kid behind the plate named Jesus Montero. He's big and strong and scouts say he has Miguel Cabrera like potential with a bat in his hands. Unburdened by the constraints of a must win season we might actually get to see the kid develop that potential this year, (the Russell Martin signing notwithstanding) and become a potential fifth jewel in a Pinstripe infield that still measures up pretty well with Tex, Cano, Jeter, and A-Rod lining the way from first to third.
Heading into his fourth major league season let's see if speedster Brett Gardner can just let it rip in 2011, hit .290 and steal 70-80 bases out of the nine hole. If multi-talented Curtis Granderson can build off last years schedule ending run and work his way thru a full season that includes 30 or more homers, doubles and stolen bases.
Let Swish be Swish, Posada offer up his best offensive output in years hitting the plate as a well rested DH instead of a leg heavy, veteran catcher whose best days were already behind him.
Pretty decent possibilities all, and even if it doesn't entirely come to bare you can figure the Yank's will cross the plate plenty in the 162 game segment to come which segues neatly to the pitching side or starting rotation, currently known as Sabathia, Hughes, Burnett, (the Yankee's hope) and a compelling prayer for rain.
But even there, the back of the rotation, a ray of light slips through. The kid Ivan Nova showed some pitching smarts in 10 or so starts end last year, enough to put him in the four or five spot and just leave him be for at least a comparable number of appearances to begin the 2011 campaign.
There are those who would love to get a look at 6', 10", former number one pick Andrew Brackman at some point and off the Rafael Soriano signing even Joba's still worth a look as a number four or five isn't he?
That's right, all hands in the air for a ready injection of youth into a team that needs it, and while you're at it you can absolutely stop talking to us about the washed up likes of Bartolo Colon and Andrew Jones whose greatest combined talent at this point—and for several years leading up to this point—has been attacking the clubhouse smorgasbord as if all their banked millions will fail to ever buy either of them another meal anywhere.
Baseball can be rather funny that way. Rarely if ever a strict issue of what you have on paper, it seems like every year now we see teams come out of nowhere who just play it like it was written up—pitch it, catch it, hit it when it needs to be hit—to great success.
In more cases than not those surprise teams embody a looseness, a sense of comradery that propels them thru the 162 season. Yes, they're having fun, and why not? Playing a child's game and getting paid for it too.
In fact, everybody should be having fun. We understand the price of tickets has gone haywire, but generally speaking the air is warm, the soda, beer and ice cream cold, people are holding hands, kids are awed by the enormity of their surroundings.
Each game can be an event onto itself, and while everybody wants to win, (more often than the alternative at least), in the end only one team of thirty will hoist the grand trophy, get to have the ticker tape parade or something like it, and to go in with the attitude that the last is the only satisfactory result, over seven months from pitchers and catchers to the end of September, well that just doesn't make any sense, even for a team and it's backers that has taken home a notable total of twenty seven such trophies since MLB baseball started giving them out way back in the turn of the previous century.
Whether they can grab another title in 2011 or not the New York Yankee's will win plenty of games and along the way they can put some blocks in place that will be requisite to the team being able to win in the future.
We say enjoy every moment of it, like you should cherish every breath you get on this planet as it's all too fleeting to be washed away in a cascade of supercilious expectations.
Or, as it says up top–Just Let The Good Times Roll!
It sure beats a kick in the pants.
Or a Dear Dad letter from a weisenheimer like John.
And that's a little perspective for the day,
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