On our pregame show tonight, we opened with a sound bite from Nick Swisher, in which he basically said that they got a little angry losing 2 in a row and were out to change that last night. Well, they did it in a big way, with the offense coming to life in the 6th inning, while CC Sabathia got better and better as the game went on.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed the same thing, but this team is unlike others of the past few years in that, it seems very unaffected by anything negative…a 2-game losing streak? Big deal… whereas the past few seasons, it seemed like doubt would begin to creep in and the players would hear the whispers (and from some live-on-the-ledge fans…screams) that there is something wrong…they can’t hit, they can’t pitch, the sky is falling, trade everybody, fire the entire coaching staff…etc, etc, etc.
There may be some anger mixed in there, as Swisher alluded to, but there’s also a concrete confidence that hasn’t been around in a while…this team knows its good, but doesn’t have to go around beating its chest about it…the players just show up, wreak havoc for 3 hours, and go have a latenight bite to eat. In the case of last night’s game, I guess I’d feel that way, too, if I had a guy like Sabathia taking the mound…let’s see, give me CC or Harry Hittable in that spot… who would I feel more confident with?!
And I believe this confidence has trickled down to the fans…again, how many times have we heard or read quotes from Yankees fans in the past, like in Game 20 of the season, heralding the end of the world coming soon…not now…it’s all quiet on the Eastern front…while the Yankees are making plenty of noise on the Western front.
Allow Me A Quick “Reality” Rant
OK, I know that ever since reality shows started popping up on TV, they’ve become popular…and very cheap for networks to produce compared to scripted shows…and while some of them may be entertaining (while others are train wrecks)…the culture of them…the things that we see consistently, it seems, on all of them…have begun to infect us. Yes, I used the word “infect”:
“To taint or contaminate with something that affects quality, character, or condition unfavorably: Example: to infect the air with poison gas.”
Or, in the case of something I heard the other day on the radio, hot air the equivalent of poison gas…I heard the final part of an interview between Ryan Seacrest and “Speidi”…the reality TV knuckleheads Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag, who take shameless self-promotion to a beyond- shameless level…Ryan asked Spencer, who by the way, when he has a beard looks like an Ewok from Star Wars…about the fact that people feel Speidi is more than a bit overexposed (as in: we are sick and tired of seeing them…please disappear)….Spencer responded by comparing Spedi to Barack and Michelle and Brangelina…Uh, OK…said they are not going away, while in the same breath promoting the book the 2 of them are coming out with later this year, which will teach us all how to become famous like they are…can’t wait!…and here’s how the Ewok wrapped up the interview…”…blah, blah, blah, because everybody should be famous. Because we’re all humans.”
CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH THAT EVEN MEANS?!!!!!!! Because we’re all humans??? Great observation, Spency…Thanks for the insight…because I was sure there were robots and aliens living among us…and they do not deserve to be famous…only us humans! By the way, after I looked up the word “infect” in the dictionary, I looked up the word “idiot”…guess who’s picture I saw next to it?
And one quick PS to the whole “reality TV has infected us” thing…it has no doubt bled into the reality of sports TV, as well…without getting into crazy rant details, I was watching one of the Little League Regional games the other night…and you can’t help but notice all the stuff the kids do to emulate pro athletes…from the Kevin Millar eye-black warpaint, to doing the sign of the cross during every at bat, to pointing up to the sky after a big moment in the game… it’s ridiculous. Sorry if you’re the parent of a kid who does any of those things, but it is…it’s not sincere, it really isn’t…it’s “Look at me, I’m just like a big leaguer”…I wonder if they’ve watched tapes of past LL game broadcasts to learn when the camera’s on them… and it seems like some of the things they do might as well come with thought bubble over their heads that says, “I’m going to try and do something that will get on SportsCenter”…as opposed to just focusing, playing the game hard and trying to win. I know I WORK in TV, but in watching some of these games, it’s a clear reminder that I grew up in a far different era, one very far away from the trappings of reality TV.