|Don't whine, win |
Nobody whined about having to do it, the way anonymous whiners in the Yankee front office are whining now. Media members didn't wring their hands about the power and greed of television and what it has done to their day-baseball notion of the integrity of the game.
The Yankees flew across the country and won Game 5 from the A's and finally won it all, because that was a team that would play you on the field at Macombs Dam Park in the middle of the night and beat you in a big game.
If this Yankee team is good enough, it will do the same.
And if it isn't good enough, it won't be because the Fox television network wouldn't give a match-point game that involves the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels to another network so it can be played in the afternoon, and baseball can go back to being a virgin where network television is concerned.
You know who thinks this is all some sort of outrage? Some Yankee executives. Some members of the media. It's not exactly the Crusades.
"It's not like (the Angels) are playing a day game and we're playing a night game," Derek Jeter said yesterday after Game 4 got pushed back to tonight. "This time of year we're playing on adrenaline anyway."
Jeter said, "Why complain about what you can't control?"
The whiners in the Yankee front office - and gee, I wonder who they could be? - need to shut up and stay out of it and see if their $200 million baseball team can be the first Yankee team since 2000 to come back in the playoffs after being knocked down the way the Angels have knocked down the Yankees the last two games.
Major League Baseball didn't put the Yankees in this hole. The people from Fox aren't supposed to get them out of it by scheduling Game 4 this afternoon instead of tonight, so if the Yankees win it they'll have easier travel and more sleep before Game 5. Fox gets to show the game when it wants, when it will get the widest possible audience.
Why are people around the Yankees complaining? Because it's what they do, more than any organization in the sport. Always remember something: There are people around the Yankees who wanted a forfeit from the Devil Rays the season before this one. One of the anonymous whiners - and I keep scratching my head, trying to figure out who it could possibly be - said Fox doesn't care about the fans in this instance. Neither do the whiners. They just are scared to death that they might have a $200 million team that can't make it out of the first round.
As usual, one from the front office, Brian Cashman, made the most sense yesterday. You could tell, because he sounded like Jeter.
"It's unfortunate that it has to be this way," Cashman said. "It's unfortunate that we got all this rain. It's also unfortunate that we haven't played well. But it is what it is, for both teams. It's not any harder for us than it's going to be for the Angels."
Then Cashman said this about television:
"Fox pays a lot of money to the NFL and a lot of money on (baseball). If I were running the network, I'd make the same decision."
Finally he said this: "We've done things the hard way all season. Now we have to do it the hard way again."
The Yankees are good enough, or they're not, and rain will have nothing to do with it, and coast-to-coast travel will have nothing to do with it. If the Red Sox were good enough to win Games 6 and 7 at Yankee Stadium last season after being down three games to none, it seems to me the most expensive baseball team in the world can win one game here and one in California.
Ask yourself something: If the Yankees are going to field the way they have the last two games and pitch the way they have from the sixth inning on, what game time do you think will save them?
Tino Martinez is another classy veteran who never whines about anything, but who remembers the way the Yankees used to do it. He was here in 2000 when Roger Clemens lost Game4 and then the Yankees, enduring the terrible hardship of a late-night flight to the coast, were so tired the next night that they put a 6-spot on the board against the A's in the top of the first inning.
"Going back in that situation (a flight across the country) is a lot better after a win," Tino said. "We'll have a lot of momentum on our side even though we're on the road."
That team in 2000, the last Yankee team good enough to win it all, got rocked in Game 4, had to go on the road for Game 5, and won the game. The next year the Yankees lost the last two games of the World Series to the Diamondbacks. The next year, they lost the last three games of their division series to the Angels.
In the 2003 World Series, the Yankees lost the last three games to the Marlins. You know what happened last year.
The Red Sox came back from 0-3. The Yankees ought to be able to come back from 1-2. One more time, the new Yankees get to show if they are as good and tough as the old Yankees.
At any hour of the day or night.