Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Variations on a theme

So, it was just a week ago that I talked about the mythology of the 2006 AL East race. I thought it was a pretty good piece, as did a couple of other people, who linked to it. But there was some Yankee fan yahoo who responded to The Baseball Crank's link and accused my of setting up straw men to knock down. He was wrong, of course, because the things I was responding to were real comments and attitudes from real people. And now, they're exemplified, again, in this utterly idiotic piece from Murray Chass in the NY Times. Here are a couple of gems:
the Yankees have played much of the season without a third of their starting lineup...Bruised and bloodied, the Yankees have been winning with players named Melky and Bubba.

Yes they have. Players named Melky and Bubba, along with Alex ($22 million per year), Derek ($20 million), Johnny ($13 million), Jorge ($12 million), Jason ($20 million), Mariano ($11 million), Mike ($19 million) and Randy ($16 million).

And there's this:
by now, the Red Sox should have had a commanding lead over the Yankees.

Honestly, this is so thought-impaired that it just isn't worth going over again. I did it last week, I've done it in the Red Sox newsgroup and the Yankee newsgroup. There's just no relation to reality here. None. Zip, zero, nada.

There was more, of course, because after all, this is the New York Times, where fact-checkers need not apply.
With only a third of the season to go, they have won more than the Red Sox, who until catcher Jason Varitek had knee surgery last week, had not dealt with the extended absence of an everyday player.

Except for that 2 months that they lost their starting center-fielder.

And that's the only mention of Boston injuries. No acknowledgment that they've been without their 4th (Wells), 5th (Clement) and 6th (DiNardo) starters for most of the year. Their opening day closer (Foulke) has been out for two months. Their 3rd starter (Wakefield) has been out for a couple of weeks now. Varitek, when he went onto the DL, was joining the starting right-fielder, who's been playing 1-armed for a couple of months. Yet somehow, the Yankees, who've still got $40+ million more payroll dollars on the field than anyone else in baseball, are the plucky overachievers, and the Red Sox are the "poor excuse for a good baseball team."

I've not read much of Murray Chass' work. If this is a representative sample, I'm unsure why anyone would want to...



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