Sunday, September 22, 2013

Serenity Now....

Now the lines have all been read
And you knew them all by heart
Now you move toward the door
Here it comes the hardest part
Try the handle of the road
Feeling different feeling strange
This can never be arranged
As the light fades from the screen
From the famous final scene....
- Bob Seger

Today was already slated to be a tough day in the Yankees Universe.  Today is the day the Bombers marked on their calendar to salute the career of the game's greatest-ever closer, Mariano Rivera, who informed the world before the start of this season that this year would indeed be his final one.  As the season has wound down towards its conclusion, this date has loomed ever larger on the calendar.  Yet its presence having been fixed by Rivera way back when in Spring Training, its spectre has been blunted somewhat.  Sadness, not shock, was the anticipated order of the day.

Just two days ago in this space - writing then as well (at least in part) about Rivera - I remarked offhandedly that it would not surprise me to see 2013 be Andy Pettitte's final season in MLB too.  At the time I wrote it (and do not believe for a minute that I awaken daily at midnight to produce that day's work - even if more often than not what appears here reads as if it was penned by a half-asleep asshat) I had no idea that (a) Pettitte had decided months ago that this year would be his last; and (b) Pettitte had been talked into holding a press conference - by both Rivera and the Yankees apparently - on Friday afternoon to publicly announce his retirement.  Friday had a real "Who's Sporting His Psychic Underroos? THIS GUY!" vibe to it for Yours truly. 

Two of my favorite Yankees are saying their public goodbye this afternoon.  A third member of the Core Four preceded them into retirement a couple of seasons ago.  A picture that was taken of the quartet during their final World Series - in 2009 - seems this morning to belong to a bygone era.  Even though it was taken just four years ago, I reckon it is. 

Pettitte and Rivera's joint passage into retirement now leaves only Jeter as the Last Man Standing from the team that has had a simply marvelous run these past eighteen years:  5 World Series Championships, 7 American League Pennants and 16 Post-Season appearances.  Truth be told, Jeter is reduced to the role of "Last Man Limping" at this point.  One wonders what he is thinking about this morning, watching the final two members of his particular Band of Brothers exit the grand stage.  One thing is for certain:  he will never share his true feelings publicly.  You are as likely to hear a revelatory comment about Derek Jeter from Derek Jeter as you are to hear the truth - about any goddamned thing - from Alex Rodriguez. 

Autumn arrives this afternoon at 4:44 Eastern Time.  A season ends.  A screen fades to black.  You may as well take it calmly and serene for it shall happen whether or not you do.  All things come to an end. 

The ending of a good thing simply hurts more....


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