Predictably, the "Mo is Done"-o-meter's needle is redlining right now after last night's second consecutive blown save. I get that Mo is older, I get that it's sad to watch him give up game-winning hits to the likes of Marco Scutaro (I don't count the bunt and bullshit sac fly as meaningful) and Bobby Abreu, and I get that broaching this topic helps sell papers and makes for good radio. But seriously, it has to fucking stop.
Every time this has happened since about '03 or '04 it's the same sorry conversation regurgitated up by every local Yankee writer and every half-brained Yankee fan: "He's lost his touch," "he's starting to show his age," "I don't know shit about baseball." And every time, Mo bounces right back and becomes the shutdown, inhuman G.O.A.T. that he's always been. Kevin Kernan of The Post took the Mo hand wringing to new levels today, though, in this piece designed solely to play with the fragile minds of dumb Yankee fans everywhere:
"If Mo goes south, the Yankees have no chance.
Joe Girardi’s club can live with A.J. Burnett being the Mediocre Man just trying to have fun. They can survive for a time without Alex Rodriguez and they can weather Jorge Posada’s struggles that cost him his DH job.
But if Mariano Rivera falters, the Yankees might as well call it a season. They go as Mo goes."
Good God, man. Get the noose off from around your neck and climb down off that chair. Kev-O seems to be forgetting about all the games the Yankees win because of their tremendous offensive output. And all the games they win thanks to stellar starting pitching from CC, Bartolo, and the recent gem that Nova hurled against the White Sox last week. How many of those decisions does Mo factor into? Those are the same reasons they survive things like A.J. being terrible, A-Rod being hurt, and Jorge being washed up, and that logic applies to Mo as well. He has these bumps in the road every year, so it shouldn't come as a surprise or something that's story-worthy anymore.
And even if Mo is starting to lose a little something, so what? That still puts him at the top of the heap of all closers in baseball, just with a bit of a smaller gap between him and 2nd place. If he's starting to become mortal, I'll still take my chances with a mortal Mariano Rivera over any other closer in baseball. Last time I checked, they all blow saves too, and they don't seem to be closing the gap on Mo any on their own.
We all know the "Death, Taxes, and Mo" slogan, but here's the deal. Every now and then somebody cheats death (just ask Nikki Sixx.) Every now and then, if you're an idiot like me, you fill out your taxes wrong and end up getting a little more or less back in your return than you thought. And every now and then, Mariano is going to blow a save or 2. It's no cause for alarm. Until you see him consistently sitting 88-89MPH and not being able to hit the corner at all, there's nothing to worry about.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
(Nice hair, asshat. Courtesy of Getty Images)
Just a dazed, disheveled, confused, sloppy, hot mess of humanity out there, capable of melting down on the mound at any given time with no rhyme or reason why nor any clue how to avoid it from happening. I don't know if his brain is the blind leading the blind of his mechanics or vice versa, and I don't think anybody does. But I don't think there is a more perfect visual representation of A.J. Burnett's Yankee career to this point than that photo above. This should win a Pulitzer or some kind of major photography award.
P.S.- Coincidentally, that's the exact same expression I have on MY face every time A.J. leaves a game (minus the gay hair).
(Perfect representation of C-Grand's brain fart courtesy of Mike A. & RAB)
Mike from RAB hit the nail so perfectly on the head in his recap of last night's loss to Anaheim that it's not even worth me trying to come up with some of my own:
"Physical mistakes are one thing, but mental mistakes like that bug the crap out of me. It’s just awful. I can’t … I can’t even get my head around the stupidity. I mean, even Eduardo Nunez‘s steal after the leadoff walk was sketchy. Who knows if the Yankees would have won the game had Curtis stayed at first (probably not), but at least give your best homerun hitter a chance to do his thing, don’t take the bat right out of hands. Sheesh. Inexcusable, completely inexcusable.
I mean, not for nothing, but Joe Girardi had a shorter leash on Burnett in Chicago with what, a six or seven run lead? But no, let’s try to squeeze a few more hitters out of him with a fully rested bullpen after the intentional walk in a tie game. /facepalm"
Yep, that pretty much tells the story. Curtis got beat by one of the oldest tricks in the book and Joe botched the call of when to go to the bullpen again. Mo shitting the bed isn't even a story and shouldn't be. This happens twice pretty much every year and this is the 2nd time. But the mental mistakes on the parts of the players and manager are a big deal and incredibly frustrating.