Postgame Spread
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Monday, October 02, 2006

The Last Word On Sox-Yankees For 2006    

YANKEES
This edition is more detestable than any in recent memory.  Let's just give them the goddamn trophy now instead of sitting around for weeks of bullshit.  Yeah, I'm aching to see whether Oakland loses to New York or Minnesota does.  Must-see TV.

RED SOX
the whole third-place thing
I just looked at the standings for the first time in a month.  THIRD PLACE?!??!?!?  Bra-vo, guys.  Just when I thought I was done getting punched in the face, I get one last parting shot.  Thanks a bunch, cocksuckers.

First of all, the injuries were staggering.  Wakefield, Clement, Varitek, Manny, Foulke, Fatty Wells... it just wasn't gonna happen.  If you're going to start in with the scapegoat act, you have to bear in mind that you'd be firing people because Varitek got injured.

Second, their reaction is to fire the coaches?  Um, are you goddamn kidding?!?  Yeah, firing a great hitting coach and a great pitching coach is clearly the answer.  You know, because it Papa Jack's idea to bat Coco Crisp in the leadoff spot instead of a red-hot on-base machine.  Dave Wallace got Tim Wakefield injured.  Did I mention that these firings were brought to you by the guys who signed Matt Clement, Rudy Seanez and Edgar Renteria?

jon lester
Poor Jon Lester.  I think his cancer did more to rip our souls out than the Massacre.  As if losing the season wasn't enough, now the future's screwed up too.  Great.

But let's be callous for a second.  Remember the "not on your life!" trade that Atlanta proposed at the deadline?  Coco Crisp, Craig Hansen and Jon Lester for Andruw Jones?  Given that Crisp hasn't played anywhere near his promise, Hansen hasn't done a damn thing to major-league hitters, and Lester has fucking cancer... I mean, kinda seems like they should have done this, doesn't it?  Forget the implications of losing Lester at a time when the team was dying for innings.  The Yankees just proved that it doesn't make a damn lick of difference what your need is as long as you add somebody.  Maybe Jones would have done more good than Lester's absence would have done harm.

2006 in brief
This year, I learned that 2004 changed absolutely nothing.  The Red Sox will always be at a disadvantage, unless they spend as much as New York does.  The fight against the Yankees will always be uphill, and will end in misery more often than success.  If you know it's not fair, and you know it's pointless to try, who gives a shit?  I can't go through this anymore, it's just too depressing.  The high points aren't high enough, and that's keeping in mind that the aftermath of the 2004 championship was one of the best periods of my life.  It's just not worth it to care.

BASEBALL IN GENERAL
In fact, this whole season has been an absolute bloodbath.  Like any other where the Yankees triumph, everything that generated a lick of joy for other cities (Detroit, Philadelphia, Houston, even the Mets) has been beshatted by injuries, collapses, and too-little-too-latery.  The result is that no team in the playoffs is playing its best baseball, save the Yankees, who can weather any storm by throwing a bunch of money into it.  Oh, then there's the Mets, who bought the NL, only to have their investment peter out.  Now they're shitty too.  Great.  It is flat-out sorry.

I've been anti-salary cap for a long, long time.  (I'm a pro-union guy.)  This season's results have convinced me that you can compete without spending the most, but you sure can't win.  Baseball needs a salary cap.  I'll gladly watch the Red Sox dwindle back to last place as long as the Yankees are coming with.

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