In 1963, after a particularly frustrating comedy of errors led to another Mets loss, skipper Casey Stengel uttered those infamous words; "Can't anybody here play this game?"
Back on Aug. 25h, after taking two of three from the Bronx Bombers, Tampa Bay was sitting pretty ... and if they knew the Yankees were going to lose four of the next five, they might have ended things there and then!
Even finishing .500 from that point would have probably done the job - but no, Tampa went into the kind of spiraling collapses which will ensure they never get the kind of gate necessary to make that town a viable attendance draw for the foreseeable future.
Then Baltimore had their chance (no) - then Cleveland had THEIR chance (no), and with the lightest schedule, their road to gold is the widest.
But after last night's Yankee win, even with the news of Derek's season mercifully over, and with Mariano having a career high in blown saves (forgivable at 43), he still leads the league in saves and has less blown ones than the Baltimore reliever with whom he is tied, and where are the Yankees? They are tied in the win column but with two more losses in two more games played, leaving them one game behind in in the second wild card.
But the Yankees have October experience out the wazoo, and Mariano told Joe to burn out his arm if necessary because this season is IT!
So. miracle of miracles, the Yankees are back in it - and the ghost of Casey Stengel is emailing the rest of the contenders with those famous words!
But make no mistake about it - Neither Oakland nor Boston are cakewalks, and Texas at home is still dangerous!
Yankees fan and banana enthusiast Porter Willingsford has decided that MLB, and specifically the American League, should consider adding a third wildcard team for the playoffs.
"3 is a lucky number." Said Porter. "And there's no other reason at all I think there should be a third team. None whatsoever. Zilch."
As it stands now, the wildcard would go to Texas and Tampa. The Yankees are right behind one game back. Adding a third spot would mean the Yankees get in.
"What? Really? Why I had no idea. Oh well, that's cool I guess."
With 16 games to go, buckle up for an exciting finish.
Meet Jersey Steve.
Jersey Steve is a self proclaimed tough guy who loves to start fights.
"I walked into a cupcake place one time and told them their frosting sucks. That pissed them off and it got me into a fight. I love that. I am an adult and I still start fights. It is great. People look up to me for doing it, I think. I go to the gym and take HGH to make me abs look so tough."
So when asked what he thought of the little disagreement last night between Showalter and Giradi he replied.
"Girardi has some big muscles like me. I think Joe should have shown Buck what is up and he should have bucked him up. You get me?"
We are not sure if Girardi was desparate, but the Yankees are losing ground and their chances at making the playoffs.
We will have to wait and see.
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A Yankees fan is betting that the Yankees will not win another game this year after seeing the last few games. Brody Billins loves to bet especially if he knows he has a good shot at losing whatever he is betting.
"I once bet that the sun wasn't going to come up one day. Lost that bet. Another time I bet that the news would come out and say that cigarettes were good for you. Lost that one too."
He has since searched for other places to bet.
"I found one guy in an ally. I also looked online for bookies. I will look anywhere I can. Turn up stones. Look under them. You know, whatever."
It is unclear if his bet will pan out, but we will keep you posted.
Let's hope the Yankees can pull out a few wins and make a run at the playoffs. No guarantees.
From left to right in the above photo: J.R. Murphy as Justin Bieber, Cesar Cabral as Rick James, David Adams as Vanilla Ice and Preston Claiborne as Billy Ray Cyrus (though Joba Chamberlain kept calling Claiborne “Joe Dirt”).
In the halcyon days of Yankee history (and that includes the late 90s too), all (we) had to do was throw our gloves on the field and teams would fold like the day's laundry!
So what does it say when ... even without a super winning streak, Tampa Bay starts playing like the June - July - August Yankees, and all it seemed to take was the team getting back it's basic starting team just in time for the final charge.
Wow! They are 2-9 since the Yankee series.
I mentioned several times how just playing .500 ball would make them all but uncatchable but, hehe, they don't read this blog!
So Tampa has to hope the Red Sox (who definitely don't want to see the Yankees in the post season), can help them out. But, failing that, they still have three remaining head to head games with us. But they are in New York where Tampa should not expect the close calls, and drilling any Yankee batters may require rescue by the riot squad!
Then there is Baltimore, but a careful high wire dance step is required because Tampa's best hope is for a down the middle split of those games.
Alfonso has played well above his seasonal stats, and now so has Reynolds. And make a mistake against either one of them promises to get you another ball toseed in by the umpire! Combined, I would say that makes up for the loss of Tex this season (except for defense, which is clearly deficient vs Tex's).
Mariano has now got to deal with the (retirement) renege speculations because, quite simply, he continues to defy his birth certificate. All Yankee fans are glad he has tied Hoffman's MLB record for 9 seasons of 40 or more saves - it is so fitting that he did so.
It's now down to three in the loss column, and Tampa knows its whole season might come down to three lousy games at the big ballpark in the Bronx.
It is always good when the Yankees win and Phil Hughes is on the mound. The only problem with this situation is that Hughes didn't really pitch much of the game.
A rain delay caused his early departure, but that was alright with one fan.
"The guy isn't Kevin Youkilis. He can't do anything right. We want anyone but Hughes in." added Arnold Tricycle Jones.
And that is what happened. Hughes barely pitched so the Yankees were able to get a win. The Yankees are looking to get wins anyway they can, and that is exactly what happened.
They need each game from here on out.
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The subject (if you've never heard it or heard of it before) are the famous words from the old testament (Daniel) that down through the years has become known as "The handwriting on the wall".
Translation - if we can't win even with our ace on the mound, then how are we gonna play the .700 ball almost necessary now to steal even the second wild card?
J. Happ has personally tried to dismember our team this year, and how has he been paid back, other than sucking as a pitcher?
Take a lesson from history - In the days when the pitcher batted, you would think that made it easier to drill him. But the fact that he would take a stance with one foot halfway back to the dugout made him not so easy a target.
The late Tommy Tresh showed us how it's done! Even with a five run lead, this power hitter bunted up the first base line such that only the pitcher could play it because the 1B was naturally playing deep. And when he fielded it, Tresh would run out of the baseline and drill the S.O.B. so hard in the collision, the 2B could field him!
Knowing exactly what was what, the umpires in those days recognized payback and ejected the offending player without warning - - - but you CAN'T eject the message that was conveyed!
In 1972 playoffs, and it was an ugly incident, make no mistake about it, Bert Campaneris was doing so well against Detroit that Billy Martin ordered him drilled with a pitch. Hindsight proves that Billy was often prone to do this, justifying it by "necessity to win" standards.
But Bert KNEW it was intentional (even if only in his own mind) and he whipped his bat at Detroit pitcher Lerrin LaGrow - and I mean he WHIPPED it - it could've seriously hurt him!
Naturally Martin had to be physically restrained! Campy was suspended, but too late for Detroit to do anything except watch Oakland go on to win the 1972 World Series!
BUT, no one ever threw at Campy's head again!
Tampa Bay locker room earlier on Sunday:
"Listen guys, we don't give a rat's tail about Cleveland or Baltimore, right now! We need to bury these Yankees while we can, before they realize that "not" throwing high & tight would curtail all the homers several of us in the A.L. have been using to feast upon them.
Longoria here has homered six times off them, and against six different pitchers, including Mariano, this season. I'm sure Chris Davis in Baltimore and that Klingon Cabrera in Detroit have also feasted because they knew the Yankees would pitch them low instead of high & tight.
So we must bury them ourselves, end their season, and let Detroit take care of Cleveland. Ironically, the Yankees will help us vs Baltimore.
This kid Nova can pitch anywhere from nearly untouchable to being relieved in the 5th, but if he is beating us low, let's hit them at Nunez, who hasn't fielded ten in a row cleanly, all year! Overbay is also over-rated on D at first base, so there are two avenues to exploit.
As the game gets late, our bullpen is a good match with theirs, no problems there, and we have the hammer.
All we need to do is stay out of double plays and we should sweep them right out of Florida!"
The Yankees, as if they needed this, will finally lose to Toronto, in Toronto next week. That's just by the laws of averages.
How they can possibly recover is anybody's guess, but it will almost certainly require folds from two other teams, and Tampa Bay has served notice that they will not be one of them!
So how is the Home Run race doing? As of 8/25...
Maris 50, Mantle 46, Davis 46 so far ...
Back to tragic number?
Tampa Bay, at Sunday's beginning of play, is now in FIRST PLACE! Boston is percentage points behind, though in a virtual tie.