"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Fountain Needed

I received an email last week from a former teammate I hadn’t heard from in years. He was letting the old team know that our high school was celebrating the twentieth anniversary of our first Bergen County championship before the varsity game on Saturday. I looked at the word “twentieth” and for a moment wondered what team he could be talking about. I thought our 1992 team was the first to win Counties, but surely that wasn’t…shit, that was twenty years ago.

We showed up at the field on Saturday and most of the guys look like they could put on a uniform and get through seven innings without a nurse. The two decades took a toll in other ways though. There was less hair on display than a shoddy Brazilian bikini wax. It was the first time I’d seen my teammates since they became husbands and dads and it was a trip to see the changes in one fell swoop.

We’ve transitioned from teenagers to middle-agers along different paths but wherever and whenever it happened, our collective youth had vanished. Maybe some people held on longer than others, but after twenty years, nobody was spared. And that brings us to Phil Hughes who, it occurs to me now, has used up all his youth.

That’s the depressing part of Phloba’s (I am fusing Phil and Joba into the most disappointing word I can fashion, I might have broken that out last year, I don’t remember) breakdown. It would be fun to root for a Cy Young candidate or an All-Star (wait he was an All-Star?) but what we’re really lamenting injury after injury and sputtering pitch after pitch is the creeping shadow of time claiming Phloba’s youth. Whatever Phloba becomes now, it becomes as a man (as men?) with the burden of failure and the destruction of promise.

I knew I had to recap this game tonight, but I had a tough flight from Chicago backed up by dragging my ass around a basketball court and now a precarious time in which I try to make sure the coach seat and the boxing out don’t conspire to throw my back out when I sleep. When I saw Hughes was pitching, I didn’t even bother to record the game. I figured he’d be at best mediocre while giving up dongs left and right. If he was brilliant, I could suck it up and catch the replay.

No sucking it up was required.

My flight was delayed because of weather and I really hoped the game would be cancelled. I remember that’s how I used to feel when I young. I was so nervous for the games, I always hoped for rain. This time it was for strategic purposes – I didn’t want Phil Hughes to have to throw a pitch.

No such luck. The Yankees lost to the Orioles 7-1 in a game I’m glad to say that I missed entirely. I didn’t want to see Hughes let up homers. I didn’t want to see Eduardo Nunez massacre another position on the diamond. I didn’t want to see an offensive highlight package in which Arod’s bunt single, which led to no runs, featured prominently.

Hughes was better than last time, maybe the best he’s been all season, but it was nothing worth celebrating. And now he’s just another day older.



Photos by Al Bello / AP

Categories:  1: Featured  Game Recap  Jon DeRosa  Yankees

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1 Ara Just Fair   ~  May 1, 2012 10:39 pm

I missed this one thanks be to Mo. I agree on all counts but looking out the window hoping for rain. Man, that's blasphemy. I hear ya' on the aging. Sounds like lots of late 30's folks round these parts. And on that note, sorry, but reposting from game thread. : )
I just got home from seeing Adam Warren start vs. the Red Wings. He was not entirely impressive. 5 innings. 6 hits. 1 run. 2 walks. 2 k's. Fastball mostly at 88, 89. Saw one at 91. Cervelli popped up to first and grounded into a double play. The Highlight. My 1st ever foul ball! Granted, I had to climb up 3 empty rows before I had to pick it up. Now I can die happy. I was worried I'd never get one.

2 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  May 2, 2012 1:00 am

Glad I missed this one, Hughes & Logan more frustrating than the 3+ hours I spent at the US embassy this morning. (Shout out to all our hardworking friends at the State Dept And Homeland Security! Your user friendly, clear instructions online, prompt service and well laid out floor plans at embassies worldwide are just great! With just small improvements you'll soon be as efficient as the Burmese, Ghanaian and Latvian embassies!)

3 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  May 2, 2012 3:40 am

Watching some of the game now..Hughes..
Why don't the Stein Bros open the check book and poach Don Cooper from the White Sox? He's a NYC boy, maybe he could help develop some of the young guys. It's just startling how the Yankees just cannot seem to develop any starters!

4 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  May 2, 2012 3:55 am

Wow..close ups of Showalter and JoeyJoeJoe..can't imagine two more humorless tightasses..this game is making me cranky.

5 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  May 2, 2012 4:00 am

That Nunez play..holy F$CK..can't blame the poor kid. Why do they keep playing him in the field????? Broken record time, I know..

6 RIYank   ~  May 2, 2012 6:16 am

Why Boone Logan? Why? Because he wears his glove on the third base side? That's a reason?
He's bad. He is bad for a relief pitcher. He is a bad relief pitcher.

Here's an interesting fact. The Red Sox have to bring Aaron Cook to the Majors today, or else he gets to opt out of his contract. If Cook opts out, Cashman should swoop.

7 RIYank   ~  May 2, 2012 7:30 am

Correction: the Red Sox had to bring Cook up yesterday and did not. So he can opt out today. I bet he will.

8 rbj   ~  May 2, 2012 8:14 am

[3] Ivan Nova has developed into a decent starter. The problem is in screwing around with a guy -- start now, relieve later, mix and match to your heart's content. Just plug Phil in as a #5 starter, don't expect much and let him figure it out. If he doesn't, trade him to Kansas City for a bag of used balls.

9 Alex Belth   ~  May 2, 2012 10:17 am
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