Via Bob Raissman –
You don’t need a room full of Sabermetricians, those binders Joe (Joey Looseleafs) Girardi relies on, or even the most astute baseball minds in town to know exactly where the Yankees are at.
All it takes is a radio. The words exiting the mouths of John (Pa Pinstripe) Sterling and Suzyn (Ma Pinstripe) Waldman on WCBS-AM, along with their tone of voice, mimics the team’s heartbeat, or lack there of.
While the illustrious history of Ma and Pa is marked by a severe case of pom-pom breath, even they can hit low points. When this happens, when things are just not going well for the Bombers, the sounds can be irrational, even defeatist.
Sterling took Yankee loyalists down that dark alley Sunday afternoon. It was a command performance by Pa. On Old-Timers’ Day, no less. This is an afternoon dedicated to honor tradition and the past. With Yogi, Whitey, Larsen, Guidry, Sweet Luigi and assorted other Bronx heroes (including Derek Jeter) in the house, Sterling did what many would consider unthinkable, even blasphemous.
He quit on the Yankees.
Or was he just being realistic?
The frustration level, produced by the Pinstriped Pea-Shooter Offense, had been building in the booth all afternoon. In the top of the eighth inning, with the Yankees down 3-1, it got to him. Frustration turned to resignation.
“Isn’t it something, Suzyn,” Sterling, raising his voice, said. “If the Yankees would have won this game today they would have been tied with Boston in the loss column for first place and one (game) ahead of Baltimore — amazing.”
Again, Sterling did not make this pronouncement on the postgame show. This was the eighth inning. The Yankees still had two cracks at coming back from a two-run deficit. And just in case you didn’t hear him, Sterling made the same point (the exact same way) a couple of minutes later.
Guess he thought this was a risk worth taking. If the Yankees made up the two-run deficit and won the game, he would’ve come up looking like a buffoon.
Sterling was willing to gamble. Even he, in his 24th season of screeching platitudes, has no faith in the Yankees offense.
Sterling’s declaration of capitulation means that offense is now officially punchless.
Then again, maybe he lost track of the innings. Would that be a first?