That was immensely satisfying. Immensely. It’s like, if you’d gone to a restaurant not sure what you wanted to eat, and then you end up picking the exact right thing off the menu. And then you get free dessert. And the waiter charges the bill to your worst enemy who cringes, pulls out his wallet and lays down his melted gold Amex card. And then your worst enemy’s overly moisturized, purple-lipped brother drops the card and accidentally kicks it across the restaurant. It’s that awesome. I think I’m still talking about baseball.
So what are the odds that the masterminds behind that Nike Warriors commercial (say what you want, I still think it’s sort of mesmerizing), implanted some kind of microchip into Mariano Rivera’s cranium that makes him malfunction horribly when the Sox are around? That’s got to be one viable explanation, right? I mean, even after he let up that gopher ball to his Nemesis Bill Mueller (hereinafter referred to as such whenever Rivera is concerned), on July 24th of last year he was still known in official parlance as “The Indomitable Mariano Rivera.” At least by the talking heads at Fox (shut it, McCarver) and YES. And then came Game 4 and The Walk, followed closely by The Steal and then The Hit which prompted Rivera to attempt a Martin Brodeur-like kick save. Didn’t work. Then there was the next night and The Sac Fly. And then Tuesday, Cap’n Tek goes deep. And then yesterday where he couldn’t find the strike zone and the piling on began. And? It. Was. Awesome. That’s no longer a fluke. One or two blown saves against a team in a season is a fluke. Four in a row? That’s a trend. I’d say Billy Mueller is coming to collect the rent soon, Mo, because the Sox OWN your ass.
Sam puts it thusly, because Sam is a goddamned genius:
Mariano Rivera bent over on the mound and screamed like the high-frequency, sonar-reliant fruitbat that he is* after giving up a homerun to Jason Varitek last night, and tonight was forcibly removed from the game by a befuddled Joe Torre. Oh Mariano. You are our pet fruitbat. We will keep you in a small but adequate cage, and will feed you on humble New England-grown fruits. Like, uh, the delicious cranberry. Maybe we will let Manny take care of the cage for a while, because he likes animals, but he’s forgetful sometimes, so you might have to sit in little piles of your own guano until Bill Mueller comes in and clucks his tongue disapprovingly and gives you some clean newspapers. We will occasionally let you out to play with other teams, but in the end you will have to go back in the cage because we are the Boston Red Sox and you are our pet fruitbat.
Bill Simmons also chimes in.
“Oh God, Mo is coming in. I’m scared. A LOT. May he prove me wrong.”
“WOW – bullpen warming with RIVERA on the mound. I don’t care what anyone says – this isn’t just ‘one of those things’.”
“You know, even if we win today the Sox may have done more damage to our season than we realize.”
“Why did we have to open against the Sox? Too many nerves to start the season.”
And my personal favorite:
“I love Mo to death, but the Sox are his Kryptonite.”
You hear that, folks? Kryptonite! Kryp-to-fucking-nite! Superman and his Superfans are scared shitless. And it’s only the third game of the season. That is fantastic. Hell, I don’t know if this trend will continue. I don’t know if the Yanks will start closing with Gordon when they play the Sox (although I’m sure David I’ll-Take-Anyone-Deep Ortiz would be fine with that). For all I know, Rivera might be hurt. He’s certainly been defiant about making adjustments, appearing far too proud to admit that he has a problem. He was quoted after Tuesday’s game wherein he let up a 9th inning, game-tying homer to Varitek (only to be bailed out by Effin’ Jeter, sending legions of Yankee fans into masturbatory euphoria over Muppet Boy’s “clutch-ness”), that he doesn’t need “to make adjustments.” Well that’s certainly…an interesting approach. Perhaps not wise. Or smart. Or, you know, altogether sane. But interesting. As Will has said, “When you take a bad idea, and you execute it poorly, the results are predictable.” Well, yeah. And the results are you getting your ass forcibly removed from the game after letting up four runs in the ninth inning beginning with a walk to your Nemesis Bill Mueller. If Rivera’s Sox troubles truly are a function of his refusing to admit that perhaps they have him figured out and refusing to make adjustments, well, that’s kind of awesome. Yankee pride go-eth before a fall.
Sure, Rivera probably should have been bailed out by A-Rod turning a routine double play but that was just the icing on the already particularly tasty cake. (Or the jimmies on a bowl of ice cream, if you’re me ‘cause I don’t like cake). Either way, it was most excellent. Being a Red Sox fan truly involves some serious schadenfreude when the misfortunes you’re enjoying are that of the Yankees and their fans. And particularly their third baseman.
And speaking of their fans, they were actually booing Rivera. Booing him! In his house! They were booing him! This boggles the mind. They did it last year to Jeter after his 0 for April performance but Rivera is an untouchable in Yankee-land. Or so you would think. Apparently not so. I really can’t fathom this because despite his (admittedly recent) troubles with the Sox, Rivera has been damn near untouchable for quite some time (oh, and thanks again Luis Gonzalez!). How can you boo that guy? Shit, even I don’t boo that guy and he wears the laundry of my enemy. I’ll probably start cheering him now but it’s an ironic cheer. But I’m allowed to do that. He represents evil. But even as a Sox fan, I couldn’t understand the booing. To whit, a text message exchange between Beth and myself:
Beth: THEY’RE LIFTING MO!
Me: My heart, she is bursting! 🙂 🙂 🙂
I’m sure Rivera isn’t a bad person. I’m sure he’s probably a pretty nice, if quiet, guy. I read Buster Olney’s “Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty” and I found it a fascinating portrayal of a team I love to hate. Rivera dealt with a family tragedy during last year’s ALCS and that was a horrible thing. But the Tino Martinez Bi-Inning Masturbatory Exercises serve only to drive home the point that Mo is falling out of favor with his fan base. And when they turn on you in New York, they turn hard. Don’t worry, I’m not going soft on you or anything. When Joe and Jerry reported that Torre was lifting Rivera to bring in Felix Rodriguez who promptly uncorked a wild pitch that let in another run, I giggled in schoolgirl glee. And then when Troup said, “Yankee Stadium is booing Rivera. Talk about front running,” I clapped and bounced up and down. I’m not sorry for Rivera’s misfortunes on the mound, especially because the trend has developed as such so that it’s wholly beneficial to my twenty-five boyfriends. (What? I’m dating the whole team now. Is that a problem?) But I realized that after yesterday’s Mo-Implosion, there’s only one thing to do. Revel.
And be ready with the check, Mo, your owners are coming to collect. Come on, Yankee fans, you know the cheer; “Who’s your daddy? Clap. Clap. Clap, clap, clap!”