Geez, I can’t go on vacation for one week, happily leaving my laptop behind and my Blackberry on silent mode, without the New York Yankees making headlines.
Even on a day dominated by news of the crippling, but well-deserved sanctions against Penn State, the Yankees managed to sneak into the news cycle with news of their trade for Ichiro Suzuki (yes, I did watch SportsCenter while on vacation). For the record, the trade for Ichiro feels like a panic move from the old Yankee years, when it was common for them to go after aging stars to fill a perceived hole on their team. It felt a lot like something George Steinbrenner would do (I read a terrific Steinbrenner biography while on vacation—more on that in another blog post), something that could have been incredibly disruptive to a team that was jelling despite a rough West Coast trip. I’m not sure that Ichiro is much better than who the Yankees already had on their roster, but at least Brian Cashman didn’t give up much to get him.
Fast forward to this weekend with Ichiro and his new teammates taking on the archrival Boston Red Sox, who continue to flounder in last place despite getting some of their injured stars back. Who would have thought that Phil Hughes would put the Red Sox down with a bigger performance than CC Sabathia? Well, I would have, but I have a lot of faith in the kid and CC has not pitched like an ace this year while Hughes has definitely found himself once again. But the Yankees still need Sabathia to be the guy he has been the first three years of his Yankee career if they are going to get very far in the baseball playoffs.
I thought Bobby Valentine was going to be the one to revive the dormant Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. I never anticipated that unassuming Mark Teixeira would be the one to shake things up with his ongoing feud with headhunting Saux pitcher Vicente Padilla. I don’t like anyone styling after a home run, but I can’t say I blame Tex given Padilla’s rather strange comments after their last battle up at Fenway Park. But Tex better duck the next time he faces Padilla.
I’m heading to the game tonight, where I will welcome Ichiro with open arms, even if I’m not convinced we needed him, and hoping to see the Yankees put the Saux out of their misery for good. Yes, there’s still two months left in the baseball season, but Boston looks and is playing like a deflated team and I can’t see them turning it around.
Thanks to Googie man via en.Wikipedia for the Ichiro photo.