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April 26, 2004

by Larry Mahnken

Okay, okay, the sun came up this morning, the sky is still up there, and food still tastes okay. A little more bitter than before, but still palatable.

Let's put this in perspective: It's just over 1/9 of the way through the season, the Yankees are 3 games under .500, 5 games out of first place, and 1-6 versus their archrivals. It looks really bad right now.

But we know the Yankees aren't this bad, not even close. We know they'll play better, and we know that they'll beat Boston later in the season. It wasn't just Boston that beat the Yankees the last two games, because everyone the Yankees have played have done the same thing to them that Boston did.

It hurts, but books aren't written about late-April sweeps, even when it's Boston-New York. They don't even talk about them at the end of the season, because it's not as big as it was made out to be.

The biggest complaint about this weekend was that not very much good came out of it. Kevin Brown pitched great on Saturday and Javier Vazquez pitched great on Sunday--but then, they were already pitching well. Gordon, Quantrill and Rivera were good, but we knew that already. But the lineup still isn't hitting, and Contreras sucked again. The closest to good news was A-Rod's home run on Saturday.

But then, now Jeter's the one who's sucking, and actually getting booed at Yankee Stadium (maybe it's time to pass the Jeter's defense sucks meme around with the mainstream Yankee fans). These are strange days indeed.

But let's NOT go overboard. Yeah, the Yankees have to win five more games than the Red Sox to catch them. Well, that'll never happen. Because Boston won't ever go into a slump, and the Yankees won't get red-hot, and overcoming a five-game deficit in April is such a rarity (Didn't Boston nearly make up a 10-game deficit in three weeks last season?)

This was a terribly frustrating weekend, but in two weeks we'll all be over it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go buy new furniture.