Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mystique, Aura, and Carsten Charles

I ain't as good as I once was,
But I'm as good once as I ever was.
- Toby Keith

On Thursday night, which marked the fifty-fourth anniversary of Roger Maris hitting "61 in '61" and breaking Babe Ruth's single-season home run record, the New York Yankees earned the 10,000th victory in franchise history, vanquishing their historic rivals - the Boston Red Sox - and earning one of two American League wild-card berths.  With their victory last night, they guaranteed themselves of playing at least a 163-game season, which they had last done way back when...in 2012. 

While I doubt very much that he shall do so - and I find myself checking my forehead for evidence of fever as I type this - I would like to see Yankees Manager Joe Girardi give the start in Tuesday's "Win or Go Home" Game to CC Sabathia.  Sabathia is most assuredly a mere shell of the staff ace he one was, the workhorse upon whose back the Yankees were carried to a win in the 2009 World Series as well as to trips to the ALCS in 2010 and 2012, a four-year period of excellence during which he went 74-29 in the regular and 7-2 in the post-season.  It is a point on which there cannot be a reasonable, intelligent difference of opinion.  Neither of course can the point be argued that over the season's final month, he has been their most consistent, most reliable, and most successful starting pitcher.  Facts are facts.  

However, he need not be what he once was in order to be successful.  He needs, only, to harness all of his ability, all of his energy, all of his pitching smarts, and all of his heart one more time.    Easy for me to say, of course.  I am not the one toeing the rubber.  Nor am I the one who would be responsible for making such a decision.  I recognize that it is a whole hell of a lot easier to name the Yankees' starting pitcher for an elimination game from the comfort of my living room than it is from the crucible that is the Manager's Office.  

If Girardi selects Tanaka or, even, Severino to start the Wild-Card Game on Tuesday, then even if the one chosen spits the bit and the Yankees lose, he will be fairly well-insulated from second-guessing (legitimate second-guessing anyway - not to be confused with the folks who call into sports talk radio after remaining on hold for 45 minutes just to blast someone with whom they are upset).  If, however, he rolls the bones on his big lefty and instead of "the CC of Old" he gets "old CC", then he very well could get run out of the Bronx on a rail.  

If the decision was mine to make, I know to whom I would hand the ball.  It is not my decision, which - based upon the preceding three paragraphs - may very well make my fellow Yankees fans ecstatic.   Perhaps I am simply crazy but I believe - at least a little - in mystique, aura, and the possibility of a miracle

Go ahead, check the date on that last one.  

Hmm...

-AK 

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