Monday, June 18, 2007

Hop on the Bandwagon

The New York Yankees are suddenly the hottest team in baseball. The press is falling all over themselves to try and pinpoint the reason for their sudden turnaround. The theories have gone from putting Melky in CF to Miguel Cairo taking over at first base to Roger Clemens showing up to (surprisingly) Arod being pictured with a woman who was not his wife in Toronto. However for the faithful readers of my column, it's clear that the turnaround can be traced to this! That's right, my friends. The Yankees have reeled off 13 wins in 15 games since I gave them the formula for fixing what ailed them. And while most of the credit goes to the players on the field, I have to give myself a pat on the back for showing them the way. Of course no one in the Yankees organization is going to admit to reading my blog, but trust me they are doing it (That's right, Brian. The jig is up!).

So now that the Yankees are rolling, it's just amazing to see the attitude of the local writers turn around. All of sudden it's the Yankees that can do no wrong. The Yankees hot streak has happened to coincide with an almost identical streak of futility from the Mets. The Mets have only managed 3 wins this month so far and their once healthy lead in the NL East has shrunk to 1-1/2 games over the Braves and 2 games over the Phillies. The New York press, which is always looking for a reason to say that the Mets are better than the Yankees, have had two months of absolute bliss while the Yankees struggled. Of course that same group of writers is now just as quick to point out the flaws of struggling Mets team.

The basic truth of sports is that no team is as ever as good as it looks when it's playing well and conversely, no team is as bad as it looks when it's playing poorly. I never understood why that is such a hard concept for fans and writers alike to understand. The Mets and Yankees are both good teams. They will play up to the level of their talent over a 162 game season. There will be ups and downs, but basically they are both more than capable of winning 90+ games and they both probably will. Hopefully that will keep fans and sportswriters alike from jumping off the deep end or printing playoff tickets at the next losing or winning streak from either team.

I just have one more bone to pick with the sportswriters in town and that is that in the first half of last year they anointed David Wright as the best third baseman in town. The funny thing is that I don't hear anyone making those kind of pronouncements this year. David Wright is a fine player, but he is not, I repeat not, in Arod's class. Wright hit 26 home runs in 582 at-bats last season, Arod has 27 in 251 at-bats this season. Arod in a supposed down season for him hit 35 home runs and drove in 121 runs and had an OPS of .915. Wright's numbers were 26, 116 and .859. Admittedly, those are great numbers for a 24 year old, but when Arod was the same age his numbers were 41, 132 and 1.026. David Wright may very well be the best third baseman in the National League, but Arod is one of the greatest hitters ever to play the game. So please let's stop this nonsense of comparing the two players. The truth of the matter is that Arod probably isn't going to be playing for the Yankees next year, so thankfully the writers won't have to embarrass themselves anymore.

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