Saturday, October 6, 2007

The buzz from NY

"Bugs are bugs. You can look at it a million ways, but when it comes down to it, we're in the loss column due to the fact that I didn't do my job." -- Joba Chamberlain as quoted in the (NY) Daily News.

Yankees rookie Joba Chamberlain is not about to get caught up in the what-ifs that are being heard throughout Gotham today.

Depending on who's doing the talking here, the Yankees find themselves down 2-0 to the Tribe because: a. they can't hit; b. they were done in by the swarm of flies at Jacobs field.

In two New York Post pieces today, there's no agreement among their writers.

In the game story the Post's George King writes:

Termites in the bat rack, not Lake Erie midges, did in the Yankees last night. Though a brief but fierce invasion of Jacobs Field by the local bugs helped the Indians tie the score in the eighth off Joba Chamberlain, the top reason the Yankees are one game away from baseball death in the ALDS is that their bats have been turned to dust.

King's colleague at the Post Joel Sherman has a bit different take:

So here is a new Joba Rule: He is not lord of the flies.

Chamberlain's biggest opponents last night were pesky and relentless. And he also had to deal with the Indians.

In a bizarre bottom of the eighth inning, Chamberlain did all the swatting. Cleveland never got a hit. He faced the first six hitters in the Indians lineup, but was done in most by a species known as the Lake Erie midge.

The Post also devoted a fair number of column inches to Fausto Carmona's pitching as a probable explanation for the Yanks' loss.

Over at the Daily News, the bugs took top billing in the game story, but the Tribe got some credit too.

The Yankees are one loss away from a third straight first-round postseason embarrassment. And they have a Perfect Swarm to thank.

Confounded by the Indians - and countless gnats - the Bombers lost, 2-1, in the 11th inning last night

The Daily News' Filip Bondy wasn't satisfied to blame the flies for the Yankee loss, he also had to take a shot at Lake Erie and the fans and fun at Jacobs Field.

There was no deflecting these cruel critters, dispatched from Lake Erie or some other polluted lagoon into the tropical, breezeless night. They buzzed Joba Chamberlain's eyelids and perched on his neck and turned the poor guy into a human sugar cube. It wasn't enough that the rookie was thrown into this game with chaos enveloping him from all regions of the park. There already had been silly rally pies floating across the scoreboard and loud apocalyptic music and 44,732 people waving white towels.

Note to Filip: You don't even have to be the central figure in the Christian religion to walk on the water of the Harlem River (just outside the House that Ruth Built). The music and the volume of it at Yankee Stadium is as bad as any. And they have their own silly traditions (The Great Subway Race for one, not to mention the Cotton Eye Joe) at the Stadium too.

In the New York Times, Selena Roberts credits the gnats with not only toppling the Yanks last night, but threatening Joe Torre's job and the collapse of the Yankee Empire.

Any Orkin Man can explain how a termite is capable of destroying even the most expensive superstructures. Any farmer can explain the devastation a weevil can inflict on a field of endless bounty.

What about gnats?
Are they capable of wiping out the Yankee Empire as we’ve come to know it?

Later in the piece, after recapping the game and placing at least some of the blame where it belongs - on the Yankees sawed-off bats - Roberts explains further how the Empire may be felled by thousands of Canadian Soldiers:

One more loss, and they’re out in the first round for the third straight year. One more loss, and Joe Torre could be out as the manager after an impressive tenure. One more loss, and everything about the Yankees could change. A-Rod could take flight, for one.

Then, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada could follow. Pettitte, too.

Except for the part about the classy Torre, one can only hope it's true.

It's worth checking out the above sites if just for the headlines. They are very clever, even in the staid Old Gray Lady.

I haven't been out of the house since the game last night so I'm not sure what the rank-and-file of Yankee fandom is saying. I will be attending a local high school foootball game this afternoon and an Army football game tonight, so I should get a good sampling.

For me, the bottom line is this. Fausto was not flustered. Mariano had no problems (other than a nasty 14-pitch at-bat by Grady). The bugs were a factor to be dealt with. Like crowd noise, catcalls and the bright media lights that accompany the post-season.

Everyone else coped. Joba didn't.

Maybe the Yankees should think twice before filling their post-season bullpen with guys who were called up in August and September.


Jason said...

I can't believe that DAY-O anyone who DAY-O has anything at all to DAY-O do with the Yankees would DAY-O complain about the DAY-O sound effects or DAY-O music used at another park.

But then again, I'm not a narcissistic New Yorker.

Ron Vallo said...

very well put DAY-O

Ron Vallo said...

They still do the freekin' Y-M-C-A for God's sake!

Pissedoffcabbie said...

Isn't it grand to be living in the Fausto Era?

moose said...

two series over and two more to go today

the phillies bats sure got shot down fast

question who is DAY-O ??

Ron Vallo said...


You must remember the Harry Belafonte song about bananas

"Hey mister tally man tally me banana" Daylight come and me want go home"

It starts out with Belafonte or someone crying out DAY 0.

For some reason whoever runs the Yankee Stadium sound effects thinks that is relevent to something and when things qet a little quiet he plays it. Just the Day O part. It gets annoying after awhile.