"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Mash Up

Find two movie titles that share a common word – preferably the first word of one title and the last word of the other. Then create a new plot that combines both movies. Like: “Members of the Rebel Alliance escape an ice-covered planet in a time-traveling Delorian.” Have your friends guess the mashed up title.

Since you are beginners, that was an easy one (“Empire Strikes Back to Future,” with “Back” being the shared word). How about: Two hopeless alcoholics visit their boss for a four-day bender with his corpse? Or: A cocky, unhappy weatherman is forced to participate in the same NASCAR race day after day? Or: A secretary poses as a Wall Street executive and winds up being unfairly placed in an insane asylum? Or: Pouting teenage vampires take a road trip and get in touch with their feminine sides?

It’s a horrible, horrible game that I can’t stop playing. I hope it infects your mind in a similar fashion – I don’t want to be the only one. And I hope it distracts you from the way the Yankees are playing right now. They have lost 12 of 18 games and their grip on the best record in baseball and the home field advantage in any round of the postseason. They are hot, stale garbage. Since this game was such a mess, I want to take a quick peek back at what got them to this point.

The first cries that the Yankees stopped trying came too early for me. During that string of close losses at Texas and Tampa, I thought the bullpen was legitimately spent. Few of Girardi’s moves worked out in those games, but I thought he was taking a lot of heat for a dearth of sac flies and hits with runners in scoring position. But then came the “rain delay.”

On Wednesday, with a chance to take the most recent Tampa series, lock in at least a 2.5 game lead, and bring a four-game sweep into the equation, a wicked rain halted play with the Yankees trailing by a measly run after three innings. But the wind blew so hard that night that all of Girardi’s Major League pitchers were swept away. When the rain cleared, he gave Royce Ring his season debut, for some reason. He backed him up with Dustin Moseley, or as he’s known in my apartment, Bantha fodder. Moseley let up a run for Ring, and then one of his own. But the Yankees scored two themselves and were still squarely in the game.

Given the gift of a close contest after using the roster dregs, Girardi still refused to engage the game. Because the nasty weather cancelled Kyle Farnsworth’s flight to LaGuardia, Girardi had to turn to Chad Gaudin to put the game away. For Tampa. He let up two homers, but Girardi was scared to death it might get closer, so he left him in to let up another run. When Albaladejo let up the seventh run, Girardi finally breathed easily – there was no chance of extra innings. There was no chance someone might slip on the wet grass and get hurt. And there was no reason to use a good relief pitcher. He succeeded in putting all the eggs in CC’s basket. Then CC ate the friggin’ eggs.

Even if you have all the confidence in the world in CC Sabathia (and I still do), why not empty the bullpen on the night before he pitches? Go for it on Wednesday; let CC go seven or eight on Thursday. Worst case scenario, you lose Wednesday (while trying) and CC gets bombed on Thursday and you use the bad relievers to back him up. And lose two. Maybe that was going to happen anyway. Maybe the Rays are just better than the Yankees. But when Royce Ring, Dustin Moseley, Chad Gaudin all appear in a super-tight playoff-type game with huge implications in the race for the AL East title and home field advantage in the playoffs, I call bullshit.

Why did Wednesday’s game not matter? It seems to me that playing in Yankee Stadium in October (anytime, really) is a huge advantage and the surest way to get to the World Series.

I have a theory that Girardi has a fear of the infinite. He is scared to death a game might go 13, 14, or even 1,000 innings. His moves always scream to me, “Please, let this be over now. If we win great, but I really don’t want to find out what number comes after 12.” When the game threatens to go beyond nine, he pinch runs for his best hitters for no apparent reason. He consumes pitchers like French Fries. When those games with the Angels in the 2009 ALCS went late, I started to feel like the Yankees were playing against the Angels and Girardi at the same time.

I wrote all this when the Yankees were getting battered 10-1. But then they hit a bunch of really long home runs, made it respectable and even brought the tying run to the plate in the 9th, before ultimately losing 10-8. The Rays won and are now likely in first place in the AL East to stay. This became inevitable after splitting the series with Tampa, but I’m sure we were all hoping that the Yanks could hang on for few more games. I am not going to pay any attention to that screaming harpy on my shoulder who’s trying to remind me that the Red Sox are still alive and that things could get very uncomfortable very fast if they were to sweep this series. If the Yankees have not clinched this thing by the time they go to Boston to end the season, I’ll apologize to her and take her out for a drink or something.

I root for the Yankees to have the best record in baseball every year. I root for them to win the East. But if they win the World Series as a Wild Card, that will be wonderful and undiminished in any way in my eyes. So for the fact they hit well tonight and that this was only Andy’s second start back, let’s just give them a pass and hope the hitting stays strong from this point forward. Even if they don’t have home field advantage, if they hit, and CC and Andy show up like last year, and Mo is perfect again, they’ll win in any park. It takes hot pitching and timely hitting in October and just because they’re losing now doesn’t mean it will continue in the Postseason.

Answers to mash-up: The Lost Weekend at Bernie’s; Groundhog Days of Thunder; Working Girl Interrupted; The Lost Boys on the Side.

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Game Recap  Jon DeRosa  Yankees

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1 monkeypants   ~  Sep 24, 2010 10:53 pm

0) Great write-up. Now take a page from the Yankees' playbook and get some rest.

2 Mattpat11   ~  Sep 24, 2010 11:01 pm

The Yankees have clearly given up on the divison title, so we need to just accept that.

Realistically, they just need to win one game against Boston this weekend. I'd like the next two, but I think one puts us in the drivers seat.

3 chrsm   ~  Sep 24, 2010 11:22 pm

I sat in the stadium through the Wednesday rain delay and then Thursday's Death By Bean Ball, but at least on Friday Giradi didn't pull the team and replace them with Scranton when they were down 10-1. "I don't do things by whim," Giradi said yesterday. Well, I got a whim he's forgotten it's the players who win games and not the guy with the perfectly organized 3 ring binder.

4 JeremyM   ~  Sep 25, 2010 12:39 am

Yeah, this has been a disaster. Are they likely to blow a playoff spot? No, but Girardi sure has planted the seeds for an epic meltdown and added some fertilizer. I think they are long shots at best to win a game this weekend- Nova vs. Lester followed by Moseley? That is going to be tough. I've really grown tired of Girardi's act and the smug attitude that he has figured out some secret master plan to winning in the playoffs and somehow Chad Gaudin is the lynch pin to said plan.

5 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 25, 2010 1:37 am

Have we all turned into Knicks fans? Complaining about how wacked out the organization is, the coaching, the players, dadadadadah and we still watch them, pay for tickets and support their shameless non-efforts? Enough, I'm not watching until they reach the almighty playoffs, and if they don't kick the living shit out of every team that runs up on them, I'm pretty much done with the Yankees until they clean house. Period.

6 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 25, 2010 7:23 am

[2] I'll consider any scenario in which they have eliminated the Red Sox before the final Fenway series as a smashing success.

[5] Point taken CW, some of us have been overly negative. But I think the fans can handle losing when they fully engage the game and don't beat themselves. A game like last night's is a lot easier to take than Wednesday night's. I even felt pretty good after last night because they hit 10 miles of home runs off some decent pitchers.

7 Just Fair   ~  Sep 25, 2010 8:17 am

[0] Someone's a fan of "Cougar Town." We spent most of last night playing the mashed up game. It was a much better use of my time than watching the whole game. I did catch the 9th inning. Oy
I like the double title mash up. Such as a a young Compton kid loses his his job and sits around with his pot head buddy all day and watches the neighborhood madness. When he wakes up the next morning he realizes he has switched bodies with his mother.

8 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 25, 2010 8:31 am

[7] I have to protect a source on this one, but until Thursday night, I thought Cougar Town was a Bronx Zoo exhibit.

9 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 25, 2010 8:40 am

I like this mash up thing.

A Los Angeles Rams quarterback comes back to life in the body of a Depression Era sheet music salesman. Pennies From Heaven Can Wait.

Mr. Yankee Optimist, I, turned off the game and went to bed early. Glad to see the bats made it a game. They'll be fine as long as they pitch better than that. If not, pfft.

10 RIYank   ~  Sep 25, 2010 8:42 am

Just for the record: the game (Wednesday's, and the others too) did matter, winning the Division matters... but having healthy and rested players matters more.

To me, the only disturbing features of the last bunch of games has been the horrific starts by our reliable lefties. Yikes.

11 Just Fair   ~  Sep 25, 2010 8:51 am

[7] Freaky Friday Friday

12 Jon DeRosa   ~  Sep 25, 2010 9:02 am

[10] Why do you think he used the Fellowship of Royce Ring on Wednesday after the rain delay in a 1 run game vs their division rival w/ a chance to take the series?

13 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 25, 2010 1:50 pm

Charlie Wilson's War of the Roses
Oh, Godfather Book 2
Romy & Michelle's Fast TImes at Ridgemont High School Reunion
The Blair Witches of Eastwick Project

14 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 25, 2010 1:54 pm

Bill & Ted's Excellent Poseidon Adventure

15 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 25, 2010 1:56 pm

The Lost Boys In Translation

16 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 25, 2010 2:03 pm

Can you you mash up "10" and "The Ten Commandments?"

17 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 25, 2010 2:11 pm

Saturday Night Fever Pitch

[oy shoot me now]

18 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 25, 2010 2:35 pm

Animal House of Sand and Fog

[lunch break's over]

19 rob_smith_51   ~  Sep 25, 2010 2:42 pm

Can't Buy Me Love Story
Weird Mystery Science Theater 3000
Requiem for a Field of Dreams

20 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 25, 2010 2:43 pm

The Devil's Advocate Wears Prada

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver