A few quick notes on the Yankees' shameful demise while suddenly feeling a hell of a lot better about the state of the Red Sox . . .
• Repeat after me: Alex Rodriguez, shortstop, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He simply has to go. It is of course not entirely his fault for what happened here, but he is the bat-strangling poster boy for the Yankees' postseason failings since Game 3 of the '04 ALCS, and it's readily apparent that his physical ability will continue to be overwhelmed by his mental weakness and insecurity so long as he's in New York. He's talking a good game as always and saying he won't go unless it's made clear to him that he's no longer wanted by the Yankees. Don't worry, Slappy. Soon enough, it will be.
• Regarding A-Rod, I'm pretty sure the following is the best-written paragraph you will ever read on this site:
The sheer fact that he takes up too much of the air, suffocating this franchise, himself, with the grandness of his burden, the monumental nature of his frailties, his insecurities, is enough reason for the Yankees to find a trade for him this winter. Even if A-Rod ever produces again in October, it is no longer worth the soap opera that comes with him getting there.
It comes from Adrian Wojnarowski's column in the Bergen Record this morning, and I recommend it to Sox fans and Yankees fans alike. It's fantastically well-reasoned for a deadline piece, and there's enough venom to appease the most bloodthirsty New Yawkah today.
• It's hard to pin any of this on Teflon Jeter, who at least looks like he sincerely gives a damn and always plays his ass off 'til the last drop . . . but at some point, doesn't all the talk about the "businesslike" clubhouse and the 25 players, 25 private planes mentality reflect a negative light on the Yankees' captain? Rather than unifying this team, in tough times he always seems to go out of his way to make the point that this is a "different group" than the 4-time champs, almost as if he's disingenuously distancing himself from the mess. He's a wonderful player, but the more I see, the more I believe his leadership is entirely by example - at best.
• Wonder how many Yankee fans realize the Tigers acquired Jeremy Bonderman in a three-way deal that sent 2003 World Series goat Jeff Spicoli-Weaver to New York.
• As great as Robinson Cano can be at the plate, he plays second base with Mark Loretta's range and half the effort.
• He can beat a cameraman to death with his tripod for all I care. After what Kenny Rogers did in Game 3 - namely, pitched the Game Of His Life when no one thought he'd do it - he's all right in my book from here on out. And somewhere in the darkness/the gambler, he broke even . . .
• By my estimation, Randy Johnson's Game 3 stinkfest made Barry Zito an extra $5 million per year.
• Let's make this clear right now: I DO NOT want Gary Sheffield calling Fenway Park home next season, particularly if its as Manny Ramirez's alleged replacement. He's 38, he's indifferent, he's a mean-spirited pain in the ass, and he's coming off a major injury to his greatest asset as a player, his wrists. No. Thanks.
• Andy Phillips, Yankees spokesman. Somehow, that seems appropriate.
• The fallout from this might actually include the Yankees management finally realizing that collecting every soulless All-Star available is not the best way to construct a team, that maybe you're better off staying the course with the enthusiasm of Melky Cabrera than splurging on an overpriced Bobby Abreu just because you can afford it. Bringing in Johnny Damon seemed to boost their chemistry, but it's readily apparent now that they've got a long way to go to even approach the collegial atmosphere of the Tigers, let alone the joyous idiocy of the '04 Sox. Maybe the Orioles will have mercy and trade them Millar.
• That said, I fully expect the ultimate soulless All-Star, Barry Bonds, to be the Yankees' DH next season. Georgie-Porgie won't be able to resist pimping the Asterisked Chase For 755 on the YES Network.
• There's no truth to the rumor that Torre still has Scott Proctor warming up in the bullpen, you know, just in case.
• There are few things that make my wee-hours, hour-plus commute home from Boston than listening to WFAN after a Yankees gag-job. "Vito from His Mother's Bomb Shelter, you're on with Tony Page . . . "
• Aw, c'mon, Sterling, one more time, just for the sport of it: "Groundball to second . . . Polanco has it, throws to first . . . ballgame over . . . series over . . . THAAAAAAAA YANKEES LOSE!!! THAAAAAAAAAA YANKEES LOSE!!!!"
• As for today's Completely Random Baseball Card:
Introducing the likely manager of the 2007 New York Yankees . . . and what the hell, let's take a moment to note that Piniella is an A-Rod fan, while Mr. Torre is a Jeter guy. Will the fun never end? . . .