Monday, November 2, 2009

The Two-Thirds Rule

Three thoughts pulsated through the undersized brain that rattles around the oversized carrying case I call my head as I drove to the office this morning. For you, three thoughts may seem like no big deal. For me? It is usually a month's work.

The first one was that I hope Jimmy Rollins was right. Rollins is the super-talented shortstop for the Phillies who, during the fourteen-week hiatus the Phillie had to endure between the end of the NLCS and the start of the World Series went on Jay Leno's TV show and predicted that the Series would last but five games. In the interest of full disclosure, Rollins predicted a Phillies victory in five games. As a Yankees fan, I hope that while he erred as to the ultimate outcome, he accurately predicted the length of this year's Fall Classic.

I am certain that there will be columnists, talk radio hosts, television commentators and Yankees fans who will look to hoist Rollins on the petard of his prediction if the Series wraps tonight. Not me. Rollins is one hell of a player who did prior to this Series what he does prior to every big event in which the Phillies participate. His predictions have an eerie tendency to come true. Just ask any member of the New York Mets. Besides, Rollins made his statement on Leno's new (but aging rapidly) 10:00 p.m. show, which ratings indicate no one other than Mrs. Leno and the head of NBC is watching. If a prediction is made on television and no one actually watches the show on which it is made, does it count?

The second thought rattling around 'neath my skull cap this morning was that if the Yankees win tonight, then this evening's game may very well be Johnny Damon's final one as a Yankee. Damon is an intriguing guy since he was one of the centerpieces of the Red Sox team that rallied from the precipice in the '04 ALCS to win a series 4-3 that it had trailed 3-0 who only one year later was told by the Red Sox that his services were no longer required. In the off-season between '05 and '06 the Yankees signed him as a free agent, willing to give him what the Red Sox would not: a four-year contract. During the first three seasons of the deal, Damon helped the Yankees win exactly ZERO rounds in the play-offs. He has battled injuries during his time in the Bronx and his play in left field has not served as the basis for a series of instructional videos. A lot of time and ink was devoted this summer in the sports pages of the New York papers about how much Damon would like to come back to play for the Yankees next season and how uncertain a possibility that appears to be.

I thought of Damon and his four-year deal last night right about the time - in the top of the 9th inning - that his baserunning instincts took over the game and he stole two bases on the same play, which set the stage for Alex Rodriguez (yes, THAT Alex Rodriguez) to deliver the game-winning hit. I thought that if Brian Cashman had not signed Damon to a four-year deal four years ago, he may not have been where the Yankees needed him to be last night, which was in the middle of the action in the top of the ninth inning. But for Damon, the Yankees do not win last night's game in the ninth - and perhaps not at all.

The final thing rattling around inside my head this morning was that this morning is the one that kicks off the worst time of the year for me. I loathe the whole "setting the clocks back" nonsense for it ensures that between this morning and the morning in the Spring after which we have set the clocks ahead again an hour, I shall not see my home in the daylight five days out of seven every week. I arrive at the office well before dawn six days a week and Monday through Friday I usually do not get home until sometime after the traditional evening commute. Now with darkness falling in late afternoon for the next several months, there is zero chance of me ever arriving home before dark. It is an incredibly depressing thought and one that wears on me and, I presume, on everyone else similarly situated. How many days is it until March 14, 2010?

-AK

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