Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Between the Lines: The Yankees are still the Yankees

Oh, those Red Sox. With their shaved heads, ‘Cowboy Up’ T-shirts and late nights out at the bar together. So cute, aren’t they? I mean, aren’t they just the most lovable thing about baseball since Harry Carey?

And their offense, my goodness, their offense – every batter is a threat. Add Pedro and Lowe to this hard-hitting, jolly group of friends and this might just be the greatest, happiest team ever.

Or so New England would like to believe.

Yes, these are not the Red Sox of recent years. Yes, they are to be respected as a viable competitor this year. And yes, they seem to be enjoying it. But one thing has remained constant, and that is, for Boston, the road to the World Series doesn’t go through Yankee Stadium; it comes to an abrupt halt in Yankee Stadium.

Like Johnny Damon and Damian Jackson in centerfield Monday night, the Red Sox’s illusions of breaking the curse will come crashing down in a seven-game series against the Yankees. That is not to say the Yankees will have an easy time this year. They won’t. But in the end, they’ll win, because that is what the Yankees do.

For Red Sox fans to act like everything should be different this year is to assume that the only reason the Yankees always beat the Red Sox is because of Boston’s own ineptitude. Don’t get me wrong, Boston’s ability to choke is an art form of its own. But even more remarkable is the Yankees’ will to win. And, contrary to popular belief, it’s not because of the money or George Steinbrenner’s antics or the pressure of playing in New York.

It’s an organizational mentality, plain and simple, that started with Joe McCarthy and Babe Ruth and continues today. It says, in the words of General MacArthur that hang over the tunnel leading into the Yankees’ dugout, “There is no substitute for victory.”

It doesn’t say, in the words of Pedro Martinez, “I would have won if everyone wasn’t prejudiced against me because I’m Latino.” It doesn’t say, in the words of Manny Ramirez, “I would have won if my sore throat didn’t force me to sit at a bar and watch the game on television.” And it doesn’t say, in the words of Grady Little – no, scratch that. Nothing Grady Little says in that half-Southern, half-idiot accent is comprehensible.

The latest trend among baseball media-types is to discredit the Yankees’ mentality. They’re under too much pressure, some say. Steinbrenner is too much of a distraction. They’ve won too much. They can’t enjoy it the way the Red Sox can. Let me make something clear: the players in that clubhouse could care a lot less about all this chatter than people would believe. And the players in that clubhouse, with so many relatively new faces around, are a lot less accustomed to winning than people would believe.

Giving Boston fans the chance to go to a playoff game is like bringing starving children to Morton’s, and for this the Red Sox faithful should be happy, even reverent, about their team. But to mistake this rare lack of alcoholic misery on Yawkey Way for the end of the curse is to assume Bill Buckner can field an easy ground ball when it counts. New England will soon wake up from this dream of a season, and when it does, it won’t be to the sight of a World Series trophy, but to the familiar sight of Mariano Rivera pumping his fist and the even more familiar sound of “New York, New York.”

Yankees in seven
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