They are again the Bronx bombers, especially the giant giant named Aaron Judge. They have a Hit Machine at the top of the lineup called DJ LeMahieu. They have a Cy Young candidate called Gerrit Cole. They have their closest Aroldis Chapman on the way back from COVID-19. They have Masahiro Tanaka back on the mound since they took a 112mph missile over the head from Giancarlo Stanton. And their Next Men Up are superior to the Next Men Up of all the others.
They have been knocking on the door in the past two years, 10 consecutive seasons in which their self-imposed World Series-o-Bust mandate has fallen apart, and are obsessed with kicking that door.
Aaron Boone, so perfect for this market and this storm, knows he has a Dream Team, his stars back in good health and aligned, his Savages in the box and on the mound that make an unstoppable freight train that maybe just a virus can stop.
And suddenly it seems the bottom of the ninth for the Yankees and Major League Baseball.
Dr. Fauci on the mound.
And what a pity it would be.
Especially for Boone̵
Baseball gods can’t be so cruel to Yankees, can they?
Tanaka returned to the saddle for 51 shots, the judge returned home for the fourth consecutive game, Gio Urshela detonated a grand slam and Nick Nelson was an unmoved hero in the Yankees’ 5-2 victory by 6-1 on the Red Sox.
The judge, finally healthy, remembers the fearsome 2017 vintage version.
“One of the great players in the game,” said Boone.
But despite the big game of the Yankees, the coronavirus is still persistent. Forget hindsight is 20/20: MLB should have built a bubble. Or two. Or three. Whatever it took.
Money always speaks. But bulls always walk.
As they pushed for the sport to return, “Tell us when and where” has become the battle cry of the players.
None of them, from above, had any idea that the virus was telling anyone who was listening to the same damn thing.
“I am not a bitter,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred.
Nor is it the virus.
Six teams had their seasons on hiatus.
“If anything, this season has taught us, and the virus has taught us, that this is always a day to day, week to week situation we are in,” Boone said before the game.
Chief George Steinbrenner would have been proud of how his son Hal’s Yankees managed the pandemic.
“If your leadership is showing how important it is and you have the front office as we have it here to take it very seriously, I think it will hit the players to take it seriously, I think it’s a leadership thing and it’s something we all have to take on serious, “said James Paxton.
It seems inconceivable that a Marlins team owned by Derek Jeter and managed by Don Mattingly could behave as recklessly as Billy Martin after hours and cause Manfred’s contempt for threatening to call the strike three on Friday and close a season that started too late before it ever started.
The news that four other members of the Cardinals’ organization tested positive forced their Saturday and Sunday games against the Brewers to be canceled caused more consternation and severe anxiety throughout the league.
Brewers All-Star midfielder Lorenzo Cain became the 16th player to give up on Saturday. Expect others to follow. And who could blame them?
“It’s manageable,” said Manfred.
Until it is.
Manfred, the owners and the television networks will continue to whistle in the dark, of course, until it is.
Baseball Dance with Doomsday is what happens when:
His leadership bet that he could have watched the sport outside of a bubble assuming that the country would have better control of the virus. Tragically, unjustifiably, the country is not.
It was inevitable that there would be players long short of stupidity and short of common sense and consideration who either underestimated the virus or considered themselves indestructible and chose to ignore warnings that were not loud enough or persistent enough.
This is a toxic beer and a toxic mess.
Should hotel lobby monitors now prevent a player from looking for chilli chicken wings? Better late than never, right? Maybe a small army of compliance officers would help.
“Your decisions off the pitch this year will put all our seasons at risk,” said puppy outfielder Steven Souza Jr on Friday.
I am not joking.
Especially outside of every bubble, there must be shared responsibility on each team and zero tolerance for anything other than disciplined and obedient behavior.
Even then, it shouldn’t have been lost for anyone that the virus could strike anywhere at anytime. Unfortunately, he was lost on some when he cannot afford to get lost on one.
Is Jerry Hairston right when the cardinals celebrated in a casino? SMH.
This hasty baseball experiment was doomed from the start.
You feel for all the teams that have carefully followed the protocols and done things in the right way possible.
Despite the MLB’s irregular battle against the coronavirus, The Boss would have loved these Yankees – 14 humeri in the first seven games, 306 omer in 2019. Vince Lombardi too: Winning is not everything; it’s the only thing.
Brett Gardner was part of the 27th team in the Yankees championship. This could be his chance for issue no. 28.
“Obviously there are 30 teams in the league, so I think it’s important to take them all very seriously and be as smart as possible, not only on the field and on the field but away from the field,” said Gardner.
There is no margin for error.
Alas, to err is human. Starting from the top of the sport.
Play with the ball? Or play bawl?
“I think everyone wonders, be they players or fans, even the league in general … and I hope things improve, numbers improve and the things we have seen in the last week or so are the worst” Gardner said.
Hope is not a strategy.
Nightmare looming for a Dream Team.
Lower part of the ninth.
Dr. Fauci on the mound.