Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Renaissance Men

True confession:  I had no inclination - none at all - that as the summer careened its way towards the end of July the New York Yankees would be two weeks above .500.  While I have no affinity for the taste of crow - for it tastes not at all like chicken - I am happy to eat it.  Their success thus far this year has been - for me at least - nothing short of a revelation.  Whether it lasts long enough to allow October baseball to return to the Bronx for the first time since Sunday, October 14, 2012, which was a Game Two loss in the American League Championship Series to Detroit in a series in which the Tigers would sweep the Yankees 4-0, I do not know.  However, with one hundred games played the likelihood that the Bombers will play in the post-season this year look better and better.  Joe Girardi has once again this season done a job that has been nothing short of extraordinary.  It has been damn fun to watch the Yankees this season.  I could live without the angina that Chris Capuano brings to the mound with him during his "every once in a while" start.  I have no argument however with the way in which his mates picked him up in Texas on Tuesday night.  I am not certain, but I believe the top of the 2nd inning finally ended about thirty-seven minutes ago. 

Second true confession:  While I tend to pay little to no attention to any teams other than (a) the Yankees; and (b) the team the Yankees are playing on a particular day, the New York City area has been energized as well by the terrific performance of the New York Metropolitans.  It has been a very, very long time between sips from the fountain of success for the Mets and their fans.  This season, on the almost-unworldly arms of the young core (DeGrom, Harvey, Syndergaard, and (before he was hurt) Matz) of their starting rotation, they have engaged the heavily-favored Washington Nationals in a good, old-fashioned street fight since Opening Day.  Although the Mets thus far this season have, generally speaking, swung the bats in a manner that could fairly be described as terrible, which has led them into a couple of fairly dark stretches, they have not flinched.  Terry Collins has a fairly resolute bunch of fellows in his clubhouse, including but not limited to the one who looks back at him in his bathroom mirror every morning.  Washington arrives in Citi Field on Friday night for a three-game weekend series, which could end with the Mets in nothing less than a flat-footed tie for first place in the NL East, and in which the home team shall pitch Harvey, DeGrom, and Syndergaard.    

A baseball summer in a great baseball town.  It is more than just a hell of a thing.  It is a renaissance.   


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