Friday, May 18, 2007

Is It Always Darkest Before the Dawn?

It's been a rather miserable week in Yankeeland, with the ice-cold squad getting a two-day layoff thanks to a Monday off-day and Tuesday rainout, then splitting a day-night doubleheader with the White Sox, followed by Matt DeSalvo's first loss in Chicago. The team's record stands at 18-21 (just in case any of us Yankee fans forget, don't worry, Bill Simmons will remind us...) just as the team heads into a six game swing against their two biggest rivals, who also happen to be winning about two-thirds of their games, each. Oh, and they're going to have to call up yet another rookie, most likely Tyler Clippard, to pitch Sunday's nationally televised game

There's nothing I'd love so much as to see the Bombers give these teams a good, strong kick in the teeth--sweep one, take two out of three from the other, If there was ever a nice time for Alex to break out a ten homer barrage over the next week, this is it. Ever a good time for Andy Pettitte to throw 16 shutout innings over his next two starts? This is it. Ever time for Bobby Abreu and Robinson Cano to remember that they are actually hitting machines? Now. Time for Enter Sandman to be punctuated once again by the sound of opponents' bats breaking? Now, now, now.

But I'm not feeling it. This club, this $200+ million juggernaut, feels thin. Fragile. The lineup leans too far to the left, and the bench features way too much Miguel Cairo. Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi--who apparently, thought this was finally the right time to publicly admit that he used PEDs--are in a strange, possibly permanent "not 100% because of nagging injuries" zone. And the whole group lacks energy right now, seemingly resolved to the see-saw where good run support means bad pitching, and good pitching means cold bats.

Usually, at a juncture like this, the solution would be a trade to change this team's look and feel. But I can't even begin to imagine how this would work. Who on this team is actually movable with all the eight figure salaries and over-30 bodies attached to them?

Meanwhile, the Yankees' white knight gets in the saddle tonight, as Roger Clemens does his first tuneup start at Class A Tampa. We'll be watching, either on ESPN2 or But by the time the Rocket comes riding in, the season might be irreparably broken. Pardon my Spanish, but it's cojones check time for the Bronx Bombers.

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