"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Without Feathers

Many of you will remember that our old pal Todd Drew was a true believer. He was a Yankee season ticket holder. Never left his seat once the game began. He clapped until his palms were red, didn’t matter if the Yanks were getting blown out. When the game was over he went downstairs and waited by the players gate. He’d cheer on the rookies and offer words of encouragement to the losing pitcher.

Todd didn’t live long enough to see the new Yankee Stadium, never saw A.J. Burnett pitch for his team, but he was alive when they signed Burnett and was excited about it. He liked Burnett’s arm, in spite of his erratic career. More than anything, Todd believed in Burnett’s potential. In 2009, Burnett did reasonably well for the Yanks. The past two years, he has been lousy. He starts tonight and it is easy to think that the Yankees’ season will be over before long.

But hope is the thing with feathers, not without. Todd isn’t around to watch the game. But he’s with us in spirit and he’d be clapping and rooting until the final out. So should we.

Never mind that glass looking half-full:  Let’s Go Yan-kees.


1 Jon DeRosa   ~  Oct 4, 2011 9:26 am

I don't feel doomed, I think it could go either way.

I missed all the roster discussion last week. Why AJ and not Colon? Just for the most recent results?

2 Yankee Mama   ~  Oct 4, 2011 9:44 am

[1] Colon is not even on the post season roster for the first round.

I don't feel doomed either. AJ has the potential.

Ready to root for the guy.

3 ms october   ~  Oct 4, 2011 9:46 am

good post alex.
the beauty of sports is you just never know. more often than not the expected happens, but the unexpected happens often enough that it allows us to believe in the possibilities.
todd was someone that had that spirit fully in him and seemed to carry it in all aspects of life.

[1] i think it basically came down to colon was clearly gassed and aj's new mechanics had shown enough promise that they decided to take a flier on him.

4 Yankee Mama   ~  Oct 4, 2011 9:49 am

AJ was successful in relief (one batter sample size). Perhaps that's why.

5 BobbyB   ~  Oct 4, 2011 9:51 am

Alex, I'm glad you brought up Todd. After AJ wins tonight (and AJ will win tonight), Who is taking the mound on Wednesday to clinch the ALDS? GO Yank-ees!

6 ms october   ~  Oct 4, 2011 9:53 am

[5] the plan was for nova to go game 5.

7 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 4, 2011 9:59 am

Yeah, and realistically, it's AJ-Hughes and everybody else to get them to the 8th. The bats will show up. This one is coming home.

8 Just Fair   ~  Oct 4, 2011 10:27 am

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things.

9 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 4, 2011 10:31 am

8)And even if it is the only thing, that's a pretty good thing.

10 Matt Blankman   ~  Oct 4, 2011 10:35 am

[9] So then shouldn't the headline be "With Feathers?" And yeah, I get the parallel Dickinson/Wood-man allusion and I dig it. Nice piece. GO YANKEES!

11 T. Hawk   ~  Oct 4, 2011 10:37 am

While last night was disappointing, it wasn't cause of CC. He's not as good as Verlander, not this year. And he got the bejeesus squeezed out of him. Soriano on the other hand ... Well I'll just say for the millionth time, Cashman was right.

Anyway the point is tonight: Though the Yanks lost in somewhat frustrating fashion last night, this should be fun. With the season on the precipice of ending, I'm feeling crazy enough that the idea of Burnett pitching is appealing to me. Why not? Let's roll those devil dice!

12 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 4, 2011 10:37 am

[7] Realistically, I think AJ-Hughes can get us to the fifth with about 9 runs allowed. That has Wright/Lidle written all over it.

But its that small sliver of hope that keeps us watching.

13 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 4, 2011 10:38 am

10) rifting on the hope/feathers thing my suggested headline would be: We're Plucked

14 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 4, 2011 10:43 am

13) rifting? Fucking crackhead touchpad.

15 cult of basebaal   ~  Oct 4, 2011 11:16 am

We play tonight, we win tonight.

AJ comes up big, with an assist from a key hit from Alex, Yankees come home for a game on Thursday.

Simple, really.

16 a.O   ~  Oct 4, 2011 11:29 am

I usually don't criticize Girardi's decisions. Even when I don't agree, I can virtually always appreciate the logic and understand that the various options have solid arguments behind them. But not here. Why would you leave what's left of your season to this guy? He lacks the requisite mental toughness and it's pretty clear guys have learned that you can just sit on his fastball because he usually cannot consistently throw the curve for strikes. Give me Colon, Noesi, Hughes, anyone other than this high-priced bust.

And let me just ask: What the hell happens to Mark Teixeira when the post-season starts? He just becomes a wiffing machine. I've never seen anything like it. At least he's been moved down, but with 65-year old ARod in front of him and Swisher chairing the pop-up club, how can you win with a hole that big in the middle of your lineup.

Sorry for the rant.

17 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 4, 2011 11:42 am

15) Agreed. What you said!

18 T. Hawk   ~  Oct 4, 2011 12:08 pm

[16] As I've said ad nauseum before, Tex has had many bad at-bats this season. I don't know what happened; he used to have that "Yankee patience"

19 Andyroo   ~  Oct 4, 2011 12:09 pm

Thanks for this one Alex, it's what I needed to hear. They're gonna mash Porcello and get this bitch back to the Bronx.

20 RIYank   ~  Oct 4, 2011 12:11 pm

Is the complaint about Teixeira that he struck out a lot this year, or that he strikes out a lot in the post-season?

His k-rate does seem to go up slightly in the post-season. It was not particularly high this year, though. He's not Gardner -- he's a high-k batter. So is Granderson (obviously).

21 Greg G   ~  Oct 4, 2011 12:25 pm

Great Post Al, and Todd sounds like a wonderful guy!

If this season ends in glory or failure the sun will continue to rise and set. It is afterall, still just a game. (You can't tell me that while I am watching it, or for 10 hours after a brutal heart wrenching game like last night, or for a few years for that matter.) I have an easier time watching the Yanks get blown out than what transpired last night.

I thought CC should have been gone after the 5th and most of the bullpen was well-rested. But I do realize the potential for two more games has to be considered.

Soriano looked good in the 6th, and I am not sure which announcer said prior to Young stepping in, "he should be careful with this 1st pitch." Boom!

Girardi has to light a fire under Tex, Arod and Swish. I guess Teixera is a slow starter in the regular season and postseason. He better wake up before it becomes the offseason. Arod is always the lightning rod for criticism, but at least he is/was dealing with injuries and his timing is off. Tex and Swish have timing problems too, aka the postseason.

All hands on deck, the season is on the line!

22 Greg G   ~  Oct 4, 2011 12:36 pm

My father passed away in 1999. The same week that Wells was traded for Clemens. I remember everyone talking about how this was brutal for Wells, a hero the year before. At the time, I thought, "My dad just died, Wells problems are not that big."

That season, I was really depressed. Baseball became my much needed distraction.

It was difficult to forget while watching the Yanks that year though. Brosius, Sojo and Paul O'Neill each had their father's pass away. O'Neill's was the hardest for me, as this was the clinching game, and I just wanted to enjoy it, and my heart ached for him. Seeing "The warrior" well up with tears got to me.

I guess what I am saying is this is much more then a game. When I see the documentary 9 innings from Ground Zero, I feel the same way. I hate the ending, but love all that led up to it.

As a Yankee fan, they have gotten me through some really hard times, and win or lose, I owe them.

23 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 4, 2011 12:40 pm

Well said, G. And yeah, Todd was a real mensch. Then again, so are you.

24 thelarmis   ~  Oct 4, 2011 3:08 pm

todd WILL be watching tonight. and both AJ and Tex will come through for him. he was real high on us signing Tex.

let's bring this home to the bronx so todd can watch from the comfort of his own seat! i'm sure marsha will appreciate the company : )

25 NYYfan22   ~  Oct 4, 2011 7:51 pm

Goddamn. I've been reading the banter for a number of years now. Haven't always been an ardent commenter, but I read it.

Through the years, the few posts that stand out in my memory are the ones about Todd Drew, also when AB posted about the death of his father, and Cliff's daughter's arrival.

Baseball is amazing like that. Life doesn't go away, but sort-of becomes translucent and streched across each season like clear wrap bundling packets of our lives to the seasons/series/games/innings/ABs/moments. Jen and I share so many memories of our lives together which happened *during* a baseball game.

Thanks for this post, Al. Let's go get em, Yanks!

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