Whether gunning down Johnny Damon in the first or taking Andy Pettitte deep in the 5th for a game-winning 2 run HR, Mets LF Endy Chavez continued to flash his uncanny flair for the dramatic last night at Shea. Oliver Perez allowed precious little damage besides a 2-run blast by Hideki Matsui, going 7 2/3rd innings in collecting his 5th win.
That the Mets have won 27 out of 41 games on May 19 is not necesssarily a shock. That they’ve done so while withstanding slow starts from David Wright and Carlos Delgado, injuries to the ‘Stache and Moises Alou, and received such massive contributions from what can charitably be described as a makeshift starting 5 is nothing short of astonishing.
As for the plight of the Yankees, “a team in dire need of pizzazz, of intensity, of spirit, of soul,” “Love Me Or Hate Me” author / John Rocker nemesis Jeff Pearlman uses ESPN’s Page 2 to call for the firing of Joe Torre.
Torre is routinely ripped for overworking his bullpen, but his biggest problem is that, quite frankly, nobody except for Jeter and Johnny Damon appears willing to surrender a left kidney for a win. And now they’re going to throw Roger Clemens in the mix — a man whose idea of teamwork is a Wednesday afternoon picnic with his wife and the ol’ transistor radio. The old Joe Torre never — never — would have let Clemens come in and pitch under his own rules. The new Joe Torre said, “Eh, why not? Pour me some tea.”
Just a few miles away at Shea Stadium, the New York Metropolitans scrap and claw and bite for every run. They play with immense heart, celebrate like puppies in a bowl of Triscuits and shave their heads in a sign of team unity. The Yankees, meanwhile, are blah. No spunk. No fire. No urgency. Torre is the best calming-influence manager in the game, perhaps in major league history. But when it comes to getting something out of nothing, he’s no different than Don Baylor or Bill Plummer or any other run-of-the-mill skipper.
Pearlman goes on to advocate the hiring of Bobby Valentine, a move that if nothing else, would guarantee the Bombers substantial backpage coverage throughout 2007 no matter how far they fall into the tank.