Thursday, May 7, 2009

Frustration Mounts for Team, Fans (Postgame Notes 06 May 2009)

It is almost a fact that every team in major league baseball will lose four games in a row at some point in the season.

Even so, some four game losing streaks hurt more than others.

For the second time this season, the Yankees had gotten to three games above .500, only to see it precariously disappear with some help from the Red Sox.

It's frustrating for everyone--the team, the fans--everyone that wants the team to do well.

This week has been one of the most frustrating experiences for fans at the new Yankee Stadium.

After taking two from the Angels--the second in dramatic, walk-off fashion--the Yankees have not won another game.

The rain has been there, every night, every step of the way, canceling some games, delaying others and otherwise cloaking the Bronx in a foul, furious air as if to say "I am holding the bright days of summer hostage."

It's as if G-d himself has decreed those who thought to tear down the original Yankee Stadium anathema.

My friend Brent is a senior at Fordham this year. Through one trick of fate and then another, he scored tickets to every Yankee game from Saturday through today, minus Sunday's rain out. This is what he told me, in his words:

I have never felt as shitty, frustrated and depressed about a ball club as I do now and I know the obvious reason why: I had to sit through all four of those straight losses...but as the rain poured to end the game, it just seem... fitting
like... when Matsui popped out to end the game...I now owe two friends 100 bucks, half my clothes are wet and damp, and as I was walking back, I'll be honest, I was pissed off. I have NEVER been as angry and upset as I was after tonight's game. As a kid growing up, you always expect the good guys to win and to win at least once when you go there, and yes, as a 21-year-old big kid, I still expected the same... at least one win out of those 4 games, but all I got was one sweet moment... that was as fleeting as the passing rain. Walking back from the Stadium was ridiculously appropriate... the weather fit my mood too well: it was absolutely POURING when the game ended, so me and J. just ran out, and I was honestly cursing up a storm, almost pumped into two people, but I didn't care, I was mad, and I wanted out...When I got off [the D train], I continued to get poured on, I kicked my cap across the street... and stomped in EVERY puddle I can... including one that wasn't the best...

So now, Becca, I sit here, cooling off but not completely... soaked from my shoes, socks, and shirt and cap...smelling like dog piss (that was the puddle)and... *sighs* I don't know. I rarely justify spending or owing THAT much money back but I did for this case, to see my favorite team the team I wanted to see just once more before I started to become an adult and to be a kid again, and I was let down, not once, twice, three times, but four times, and my last game before I graduate was a 4-3 loss in a game the Yankees didn't even deserve to be in in the first place, so yea, I just feel let down

Perhaps we shouldn't take this game so personally...but, if you're reading this post, chances are that you are way past the point where you can be convinced not to take it personally.

If this is how frustrated the fans are, how frustrating must it be for the team, who has seen every break go the other way? Doubles that bounce over the wall instead of staying in play, strikes given to other teams that aren't given to our pitchers, routine plays bobbled by athletes whose best asset is normally their glove and pitching decisions that work on paper but backfire in reality.

Mark Teixeira thought he made his, well, mark with the bases-clearing double in the 8th inning rain, but when he had a chance to bring Johnny Damon in from third to tie the game in extras, he flew out, just a little too shallow for Damon to tag. Another five, ten feet and we might still be playing baseball now.

Still, even despite this, there are bright spots on the horizon.

Alex Rodriguez will return, probably by the end of the week. Brian Bruney will return eventually. Xavier Nady's doing what he ca to get back as fast as he can. Jorge Posada does not have a history of hamstring injuries and will be back before the all star break.

Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes are showing flashes of brilliance. They might not be quite there yet, but if I have to sacrifice this season for years of domination down the road, it will be worth it.

The offense, though struggling a bit of late, has not yet been shut out this year.

This team will find a way.

The good ones always do.