Great stuff from Steve Serby’s Sunday Q & A with… Gene Monahan -
Q: Favorite Yankees moments?
A: There’ve been thousands of ’em. On the field, one of my favorites is when Chris Chambliss hit the home run to put us in our first World Series when I was the trainer here in ’76. Obviously, Bucky Dent’s home run in ’78, with Reggie [Jackson’s] following in the same game. The no-hitters and the perfect games, all tremendous things. Mo Rivera getting his 602nd save. That was a big emotional moment for me personally ’cause … saw just about every one of ’em … and off the field, the birth of my (two) daughters.
Q: What was your reaction the moment Bucky Dent hit the ball?
A: Well, Bucky had just fouled a ball off his ankle, and we had to go out there and we were trying to get it calmed down and talk him down through the soreness of that, and sprayed it off a little bit, and we were talking, Mickey Rivers was on deck. He came over and said, “Buck, you got a cracked bat there, brother. Use this one.” So he gave him a different bat, we went back to the dugout and I turned around, and the crack of the bat, and the ball went to left field and we thought, “Hey, that ball’s got a chance.” And [Carl] Yastrzemski went over in the corner and looked up and it was in the net.
Q: Favorite Yankees team?
A: This year’s because it’s the most current.
Q: Most devastating defeat?
A: Well, I would have to say it was the playoffs with the Red Sox when we were up three games to none with an inning to play in Game 4.
Q: And after the game?
A: It was just kind of a weird quietness, and I knew I didn’t like it. And when you have games like that, even as the athletic trainer, you can’t wait till tomorrow to get back out there.
Q: When the Red Sox won Game 7?
A: I remember wanting pretty much to say goodbyes to guys, and then I wanted to go home. I just wanted some private time, quiet time with my family, and that’s what I did.
I have to say, 2004 still haunts me. I’m over 2001. (It’s easy to joke that the Yankees won that World Series, three games to four.) And, I let go of 1997 minutes after it happened. Also, in time, the pain from 1995 went away. But, I cannot get 2004 out of my head.
Even if the Red Sox collapse this year, and you add 2011 to 1978, it doesn’t make up for 2004. The Yankees had the Red Sox on the mat since 1918. And, 2004 let them back up. Shoot, I can even live with 2007 – since it didn’t happen in the Yankees face (and that one is more on the Indians). Although I do wonder if 2007 ever happens if the Red Sox lost in 2004…
But, 2004 changed everything. And, it’s never been the same since…
It was a sin that the Yankees let that happen. An unforgivable one.
Yeah, I know…it was the Red Sox who really choked in the 2004 ALCS…for letting the Yankees win the first three games when, clearly, Boston had he better team.
Nope. As much as I tell myself that, it doesn’t work.
In any event, read the Q&A – it’s super. I’ve always wished the Geno would write a book. His time with the big league club covers my entire fandom of the team. But, I know he would never do that. So, this Q&A may be as close as we get to that. Check it out – every page. Great stuff.