Monday, June 06, 2005

Hot And Cold

The outlook is bleak and the forecast is not much better.

The summer, sought by many residents of this city, has arrived with a vengeance. The winter, a cold, harsh, biting cavalcade of snow and frozen wind, has given way to a hot, sticky June. Today was warm, muggy and overcast -- that is, until the clouds overtook the sky and the rain poured for awhile. The weather subsided a bit -- the rain came and went relatively quickly -- but despite the cool-down it brought, it was still in the 80's and nearly oppressive.

On top of the lousy forecast, the Yankees -- expected before the season to contend, if not outright win -- the World Series, have demonstrated a free-fall that is not only frustrating, but it's picked up speed. Not only did I lose the bet with my other half's dad -- I wagered (incorrectly) that the Yankees would be within five games of first place as of June 4th -- but the Yankees are so awful that it's expected they'll lose night to night. They put together a nice stretch of 10 consecutive wins, during which they were playing smart, conservative baseball, but since that time, when they were walloped at home by the (blech) Red Sox 17-1, have sunk faster than anyone would or could have suspected. At this point, watching them lose night after night is not only depressing, it's only June. It's extremely likely that they will fail to make the playoffs and a series of significant changes will happen over the off-season. But game after game, in which they basically give up five or six runs and accomplish nothing on offense, is beginning to show signs of wear.

Randy Johnson, the big-game pitcher George Steinbrenner chased and caught over the off-season, has been sub-par at best. He was signed to a big contract to be the Yankee ace, the top pitcher on a starting staff that makes more combined than a half dozen major league teams. The problem is the Yankee pitching has been awful from their first starter, the aforementioned Randy Johnson, on down. The only bright spot is a Chinese pitcher that joined them early on in the season named Chen Mein Wang; he's a 25-year-old phenom and he's been one of very few positive aspects to the season.

The one good thing about the awful Yankee play this season is that I don't feel badly about not having gone to a game (yet). Eventually I might get over to a game, either with my dad or with my other half. But while my dad is recuperating very nicely and getting better every day, I'm not too inclined to take him to a game unless there's a chance the Yankees will acquit themselves well; I'm not demanding a win, but at the very least I'd hope they play decently. That hope is not, as of this writing, rooted in reality. And of course Kaia and I would like to eventually get over to the Stadium, but I don't want her first game to be as awful and pathetic as the Yankees have proven to be this season. It's a conundrum; I guess we'll have to accept going to concerts, restaurants, movies and shows and skip visiting the Bronx until further notice.

At this point, I'm just glad I've got effective A/C and a bunch of movies to watch if (or rather, when) the Yankees begin proving their ineffectiveness again tonight.

Better luck next year.

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