Some days ago, WCBS’ John Sterling bagpiped words into my ear, and those words, for once, were of actual substance: "The Yankees are in a playoff race," he said. Yes, I thought, they are. "They cannot afford to lose a game," he said. Well, I thought, actually that’s not true, because if they lose their next game but then win all their remaining games they’ll probably be in good shape; so you see, John, that they can in fact afford to lose at least one game. And then I thought, my idiotic imaginary conversation with John Sterling is all well and good, but how are the players on the field feeling during these tense, trying times? I found some things, and here are the things that I found.
The Best Pitcher in Baseball
Here we see Ivan Nova wearing a look of utter disdain/rage/fierceness/grittiness/vigor/power—one of those or none of those, you decide—before giving himself a congratulatory fist pump. Why? Because he gets it done, that’s why. He knows how to win, and not only that, but he has the will to win. And who are we to dispute that? Nobody, that’s who. We’re nobody.
Thank you Ivan.
Rookies look up to veterans. Baseball has an unwritten code that defines how one should behave—no showing up other players, no publicly criticizing your own teammates, and all that other ridiculum—and it has to be followed, lest you find baseballs being aimed at your head. It’s important, then, that the older generation in the clubhouse show the young bucks—kids like J.R. Murphy and Austin Romine—how to act and how to react. Consider Andrew Eugene Pettitte, a man of some age, demonstrating the correct jump-clap technique. And for those quieter moments, see Andy’s measured reaction to his defense turning a double play:
Responsible yet vigorous celebration is what I like to see.
A Cautionary Tale
As a result of this chest beating, Eduardo Nunez suffered a bruised rib and will be out for the rest of the season. Let this be a cautionary tale for the viewers at home. Rest easy, dearest Eduardo, for if but one man, woman or child avoids a similar fate by not beating their chest as indiscreetly as you then your suffering will not have been in vain.
Brett Gardner: Gatorade Terrorist
And just moments after writing that previous passage I discovered that Eduardo Nunez had become the latest victim of Brett Gardner, a noted serial perpetrator of Gatorade terrorism. Let’s take a closer look at that horrific scene. Viewer discretion is advised:
And then I found this in the Daily News:
"He was a quiet guy," said Ellie Parker, a neighbor of Gardner’s who did not want to be identified. "We talked a few times, and he always seemed like a kind man. I never thought he’d be capable of something like this."
Said James, a childhood friend of the villain: "I can’t believe he’d do something like this. I can’t believe it and I won’t believe it."
"Gardy’s a gamer!" yelled Yankees manager Joe Girardi through the media scrum before retreating to his office to repair the middle ring on his binder, which had been bent out of shape when Vernon Wells accidentally sat on it on the bench. That was last Thursday, when Boone Logan came in relief in the sixth inning and stayed in until the ninth. "The pages were all out of order," a flustered Girardi explained after the game. "I didn’t know who my pitchers were and nobody around me could remember." Wells was reportedly docked a game’s pay for his folly.
The dowsing shattered the third, fourth and thirty-seventh vertebrae in Nunez’s spine, and he’ll be out until 2019.
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