If you'd have told me that the Yanks would get 10 baserunners against CC Sabathia, in five innings, I'd have said the Yanks win the game.
But then, I didn't count on the ghost.
I mean, that must be it, right? Because I remember the 2004 playoffs, when the Yankees could have used some help from a player like Kenny Lofton. And even though Lofton himself was listed on the Yanks' playoff roster, it was as if the veteran speedster didn't exist. Afterward, people kept acting as if Lofton were still...y'know, with us, but it all sounded like so much malarkey. Sure, there were rumors--Kenny Lofton's playing for the Phillies, Lofton's out in L.A., he's replacing Gary Matthews, Jr. in Texas--but it was a lot like people still seeing Elvis. Sure, it's hard to let go of a guy like Kenny Lofton, but I always thought it was just people being unable to face reality.
But in tonight's game--and I know this sounds crazy--I could have sworn I saw him, too. After all that time, after Joe Torre buried him alive on the Yankees' roster so many years ago, after we all thought that he was gone...there he was, singling in the first inning, knocking in a pair of runs. Could it be true?
I mean, I always thought that those UPS ads--you know, the ones where he's traded to New York, and Chicago, and Japan--were just a bit of macabre humor. But in the fifth, there he was, singling, knocking in another run, stealing a base. I couldn't believe it. It was like the Count of Monte Cristo--Lofton had come back from the dead, to get his revenge on Torre and the Yankees.
I'm still holding out hope, but it's been a lousy 48 hours. Aside from the vengeful apparition in Cleveland, we had Josh Beckett looking just shy of unhittable against the Angels. The Yanks are down 1-0 in a five game series against a team that doesn't resemble the fellows they rolled six straight during the season. This might not be a kind October, at all.