Monday, May 17, 2010
THE SORE FOUR
By Tony Mangia
BIG WEEK AHEAD AT YANKEE STADIUM
The past week or so has been a busy time for our elders. Betty White got the Ensure Tour rolling on Saturday Night Live. Then the Rolling Stones got it rocking, on Friday, with a re-issue of the classic album, Exile on Main Street. Now, the world prepares for the release of another"Sex and the City" movie this weekend. Oh, those four fashion-obsessed ladies-- Carrie, Samantha...and the other two. Anyway, those four central characters have carried the SATC franchise for over a decade--and maybe now a little cellulite is bubbling out from under their wind-blown skirts. The movie will still draw legions of fans and high grosses. It's called staying power. This leads me to another long-standing New York foursome with a penchant for pinstripes---the Core Four. Now, Yankee fans think this group's slip is showing after one blown game.
Yankee fans, shouldn't panic over Mariano Rivera's first blown home save since 2007. The grand slam he allowed against Minnesota was a long-time due. Minnesota has been New York's punching bag for too long---12 losses in a row. The Twins are a good, scrappy team and Mariano has owned them for years. Look at the Stones' Keith Richards. Don't stare too hard; it could hurt your eyes. He looked ancient four decades ago and he's still stumbling around, making good music. Richards really has nothing to do with baseball, but he fits my "old" theme. Twins manager, Ron Gardenhire, even addressed Rivera's bad pitching (let's say It looked like Richards threw them) and said, "It's not something that you will often see." Yankee fans---all cocky with the title and good showing so far---might overreact at their star closer's one inning breakdown. They hear Metallica, see his trot and figure its automatic---especially against the Twinkies. Rivera had to get his first blown save at the new stadium some day. Worse, it could have come against the Sox or Rays.
The past week has been an eye opener for the Yanks. There was the power outage against a tough Tigers team last week. Good Detroit pitching quieted most of the Yank's bats. The Core Four's leader, Derek Jeter, continues to slump but always regroups in a big series. Jorge Posada seems to have overcome his nagging injuries and pounded the ball pretty good over the weekend. Andy Pettitte is still defying nature and improved to 5-0. I wouldn't compare him with Golden Girl White, yet, but 37 is pretty old for a starting pitcher. Outside the core, Mark Teixeira continues to bash his way out of an April swoon. He leads the American League with 16 RBI's during the month of May.
The upcoming week will be a good barometer of where the Yankees are headed. Boston comes to town with a chip on its shoulders. They are 7 1/2 games behind the East-leading Tampa Bay and 5 1/2 behind New York. A pair of loses could knock the Sox out of contention, even at this early stage of the season. The Rays have a young pitching staff, look strong and aren't going to fade like last year. The Yankees, themselves, can't afford to drop two and let Boston back into the race either because they face-off against Tampa for two games after the Sox leave town. Boston has an even rougher path after New York--upcoming road series against the Phillies and Tampa Bay. Finally, later in the week, the Yankees leave the stadium for a three-game series against pesky, cross-town rivals, the Mets. By weeks end, the Yankees could easily be north of the Rays in the standings or nipping at Boston's heels for third place in the east.
Say Hello to the Second City, LeBron
Know how I know LeBron James isn't coming to New York? Because Mayor Bloomberg threw his two cents into the ring. Look at his sports recruiting record with the Olympics and the west side stadium fiasco. The city is dealing with terrorists and getting money from Homeland Security and our mayor is worried about the Knicks' salary cap. New York, begging for anything, ain't right.
Belmont will be without the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winners and now the New York Racing Association says the Belmont Stakes on June 5 could be the end of New York horse racing because they have run out of money. Now they know how I feel at OTB.
Try Some Tiger Balm
Tiger Woods says he is taking off for an extended period while his neck injury heals. Doctors have recommended "soft tissue massages and medication" for his "bulging disk." Wasn't that exactly what he was doing all those years with his bimbos and Ambien?
It's Called 'Four a.m. Memories'
The new scented candle that smells like White Castle hamburgers will go great with my gym socks cologne. Does the candle come with a scowling burger flipper in a hairnet?