The Yankees have to be joking. Perhaps, it's an elaborately conceived yarn the team is playing on a nerve-frazzled fan base, seeking to ease their overwhelming, unaccustomed anxiety.
No, this is not a New York Met fan's bitterness at play. Well, perhaps it is a bit, but only a bit. In last night's Yankee-Oriole game (September 8), Mark Teixeira was called out at first base on a game-ending double play. He was clearly safe. If called correctly, the Yankees would have tied the game. Afterwards, manager Joe Girardi appeared livid. The veins in his neck were straining to burst right there outside the locker room. He followed that near medical emergency with a screaming match with reporter Joel Sherman. Teixeira indicated he thought the umpires were through umpiring for the night, wanted to go home, call it a night.
All this caterwauling occurred for a break that skittered away from the Yankees and into the other dugout for a change. Have the Yankees completely lost sight of the obvious? Historically, the Bronx Bombers are the luckiest sports team in the universe. Break after break through the years have aided Yankee causes. Some of them are umpire-assisted. Most of them are bounces that tilt their way. If you're a person of middle age, you've heard "the Yankees received a huge break there," from broadcasts a couple of hundred thousand times. Some of them are unlikely-player-to-succeed breaks, with unheralded guys of no note making enormous contributions.
Oh, by the way, the most substantial break of the day concerned a thumb, not a play. The Yankees start anew with the next game, while the Orioles lose one of their best players, Nick Markakis, for the season after C.C. Sabathia clipped him with a pitch.
It's all for naught anyway. There's no way the Orioles can contend with the day-to-day heat of a September pennant race the way the Yankees can. All of the commotion surrounding this four-game series will be a blurry footnote in a month or so.
It's all the more reason for them to pipe down and enjoy their blessings.
Glenn Vallach has been a New York Mets fan since foolishly abandoning the mighty Yankees in his youth after Mickey Mantle retired. Since the fond, fleeting memories of the Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Tommie Agee years, he sits quietly yearning for a fraction of the success enjoyed annually by the team that inhabits the borough in which I was born...waiting and hoping...waiting and hoping.