FIRE JOE MORGAN: How Old Do You Think He Was When He Started Wearing The Hat? (I Like To Picture Him Wearing It Even As An Infant.)


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Tuesday, April 11, 2006


How Old Do You Think He Was When He Started Wearing The Hat? (I Like To Picture Him Wearing It Even As An Infant.)

Almost immediately, the subheadline has me worried.

Close losses indicative of experienced, talented team that wants to win

"Close losses indicative that wants to win?" Most teams don't want to win? You can tell by these close losses that a team wants to win, say, more than any other team? More than, like, a team that's been winning? The hell? Wait -- experienced and talented too? There's so much going on in that one phrase, my head is spinning.

Must be a mistake. MSNBC must've thrown some 22-year-old intern a bone, letting him fill in the subheadline that Celizic forgot to include. The intern probably skimmed the article, totally misunderstood what was being written, and submitted this copy to his editor without thinking it through. He was still kind of stoned from last night, didn't get much sleep, and to be honest, was really thinking more about his girlfriend and whether her irrational fanaticism for the band Jawbreaker will be the proverbial camel-straw in their relationship.

So, that explains it. I mean, not even Mike Celizic could possibly think that losing close games exhibits talent, a desire to win, or whatever it is they harvest from those magic fucking beanstalks in pinstriped fields, fertilized by Steinbrenner's --

This edition of the Yankees isn’t going to stagger through the first couple months of the season like last year’s team did.

Mike, I'm trying to ramble, here. Could I just...? Thanks. Okay.

Like I was saying, not even the moldy brain of Mike Celizic could produce a notion as astronomically retarded as --

You can see that already, not in the two big wins in which they scored 25 runs, but in the four losses that leave them in last place.

Hypothetical 22-year-old intern, you're off the hook. Celizic is at it again.

Now, before I go any further, the truth is, I agree with some of what Celizic's saying. Teams that lose many close games and win in blowouts are likely to see more wins in their future. (Pyth W-L rec, etc. -- you've heard it all before.) And like Celizic, I don't see the Yankees continuing to lose at this pace. (For that matter, you have to wonder how many people really think the first 5 or 6 games are any real sort of indication of how good the Yanks will be over the whole course of the year.)

Of course, Celizic can't just chalk up his prediction to runs scored and runs allowed -- he's got more in mind. Remember, those close losses showed Celizic that this team "wants to win."

Scoring 15 runs in their first game probably didn’t help, serving to make the hitters try for even bigger totals instead of just going with the flow; giving them a false sense of their own omnipotence. Add to that the pressure of George Steinbrenner sending them off into the season by stating flatly that the 2006 Yankees would win the World Series this year, and you have all the ingredients for a couple of lost series.

Of course. The-First-Game-Gave-Me-The-Impression-That-We-Could-Just-Spend-The-Whole-Season-Padding-Our-Stats
Syndrome. That old chestnut.

The problem wasn’t a lack of effort, but too much of it.

So, if I'm reading this correctly, Celizic believes that the reason the Yankees will start winning is because eventually they will start trying less hard. Don't get me wrong -- I think the effects of effort in baseball are pretty overestimated, but is he really suggesting that the Yankees will benefit from not trying so hard to, what, hit home runs?

The good news for the Yankees is that it’s easy to choke a short series, but impossible to choke a full season. Sooner or later, when you play six days a week for six months, you just say, “screw it” — or words to that effect — and go out and play the game.

The first part I can live with. Again, a reference to Expected (PYTH) W-L Records might be useful. But, I mean, this is Mike Celizic we're talking about, so let's not get hysterical.

But that's not why Celizic likes the Yankees' chances of rebounding. He thinks that soon, they'll say "screw it," or something similar, and this utterance -- perhaps indirectly -- will lead to more victories. In other words, MC fans, they haven't been winning because they haven't been "go[ing] out and play[ing] the game."

Last year at this time, I was already writing that the Yankees were in trouble. Though they won the division, I was right.

"Last year, I predicted that 'Pooh's Heffalump Movie' would win the Oscar for Best Picture. Though 'Crash' won, I was right."

Bonus: Celizic also predicted that Hideki Matsui, not A-Rod, would win the 2005 AL MVP.
Double Bonus: April 7, 2005: Mariano Rivera is finished.
I Can't Help Myself Bonus: Celizic says Clemens will leave Astros by end of 2005.

I know they’re not a 2-4 team, and they won’t sleep-walk through the first couple of months like they did last year.

So, bottom line. This year, the Yankees' problem is trying too hard. Last year, their problem was somnambulism.

Current rating: 1.5 [out of 5 stars] by 4 users.

Too high.

posted by dak  # 12:29 AM
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