Well, the ALDS series are going exactly as I'd hoped, the NLDS the exact opposite. Also, my prediction that all four series would go the full five games seems a tad unlikely since all four series currently stand at 2-0. Colorado continues to roll against Philadelphia, Arizona is making the Cubs look like the Cubs, and Boston has been too clutch for the Angels to handle.
But it's the Yankees-Indians that I want to talk about.
Let's look at some numbers. Since taking a 3-0 lead over the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS, the Yankees have a combined postseason record of 3-12. This streak, of course, began with the franchise-crippling collapse as Boston took the last four games of that series. Yes, the Yankees have made the postseason every year for over a decade, but since 2000 it's been only to lose. Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees' everything-but-champion thoroughbred, who had a gaudy 6 homers and 13 RBIs in New York's six-game season sweep of Cleveland, is 0-for-6 in the first two games of the Division Series, and the Yankees are hitting .121 as a team.
I've got news for you, Yankee fans. Your team is the new Red Sox. They're a regular-season powerhouse, good enough to get you there, but there's something broken or missing in their spirit, the something that wins championships. Now you're starting to learn how it feels to root for a team that's cursed, or that has lost 10,000 games in its history: desperation disguised as hope and every confidence marred by crossed fingers. It may be time for Joe Torre to ride off into the sunset, not because he's not a brilliant Hall-of-Fame manager, but just because after seven years the magic and chemistry of the Yankees' late-90s run is simply, demonstrably, just not there any more.
For more evidence that the very elements are conspiring against the Yankees, look at poor Joba
"Don't Call Me the Hutt" Chamberlain, whose eighth inning appearance was one of the strangest things I've ever seen in sports. A swarm of insects descended on the Yankees in the field, concentrating around Chamberlain on the mound, circling
his head and sticking to his sweaty skin. A time out had to be called for Off spray to be applied; it did nothing. Holding a tenuous 1-0 lead, Chamberlain walked Grady Sizemore
on four pitches, then threw a wild pitch which allowed him to advance to second. After a sac bunt moved Sizemore
to third, the pitcher bounced another wild one past catcher Jorge Posada
, allowing the Indians
to tie the game.
Seriously, I'm moving my Bible study back to Exodus to look for evidence that Moses was a Sox
fan. Who let the bugs out! Bzz! Bzz bzz! Bzz bzz!
I half-expect frogs to descend on Yankee Stadium for game three.
It's sure looking like Cleveland-Boston Arizona-Colorado LCSes. Can the Yankees (or the Cubs, the Angels, or my beloved Phillies) come back from the brink of elimination? Sure they can. For inspiration, all they have to do is look to the example of the 2004 Red Sox to see what a legendary comeback looks like.
Or they can look at the 2004 Yankees for an example of legendary collapse, a disintegration which seems to continue three years later.