Is the acquisition of Sir Sidney a sign of desperate times in the Bronx, or should I just give up baseball now?
By Matthew Taylor
I'm not going to offer any reasoned analysis on this one. Instead, this will rank as one of my least-reasoned postings to date, even though there's competition in that category. No one has ever accused me of being a rational sports fan.
Sidney Ponson is now a Yankee. Based on his troubled tenure in Baltimore, I cheered against Sir Sidney in St. Louis. And I like the Cardinals. I do not like the Yankees, even a little.
Any thought, no matter how unlikely it might be, of Ponson reviving his career in pinstripes and helping the Yankees to late-season success troubles me deeply. As the O's continue their ignominious streak of losing seasons, the one thing that keeps me truly interested in baseball these days is the possibility that the Wild Card will go to the AL Central, the Red Sox will win the AL East, and the Yankees will miss the playoffs for the first time since 1993.
Tortured soul that I am - especially so after attending college in Yankee territory - every acquistion made by that dreaded organization seems in my mind like a winner. It's a natural thought among rivals; my fiancee hates the Tennessee Vols and insists that, last season excepted, the universe aligns itself in favor of the Good Ole Boys in hunter orange. Well, my universe perversely aligns itself toward the city that never sleeps ... and the University of New Jersey at Durham during basketball season.
As an example, I convinced myself prior to the 2005 season that Carl Pavano was destined to be a Cy Young winner and World Series MVP. Forget playing the games, just give the Yanks their rings. Instead, Pavano's 4-6 with a 4.77 ERA as a Yankee, including an injury-prone 2006 campaign. The Yankees have won the same number of World Series titles during his tenure that the Birds have won. That would be zero if you're scoring at home, or even if you're alone. Sigh, don't you miss the Keith Olberman SportsCenter years?
But I digress ...
Jose Canseco has a World Series ring as a Yankee, so I'm entitled to some illogical baseball thoughts. (Okay, the proper tense is "had" since Canseco sold the ring on E-Bay, but you get the point.)
And what of Luis Sojo? Four World Series rings? A two-RBI, game-winning single in Game 5 of the 2000 World Series? A freakin' website in his honor? I guess Braves haters have Francisco Cabrera, he of 10 regular season at-bats prior to his game winner in the 1992 ALCS, but I still think the sun shines on a Yankee dog's rear end more often than it does on any other canine in the pound.
Even if my Pavano premonition was to the left of the foul pole, I still felt a sense of anxiety today upon learning that the Yankees had acquired David Wells' old running buddy. Should this latest premonition come to pass I might just have to pass on baseball altogether.