"Today will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Kenobi, it will soon see the end of the Rebellion."
-- Darth Vader
Allow me to paraphrase.
"Today will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of the bat-chucker Clemens, it will soon see the end of the reign of Torre."
I’m not gloating. Gloating is bad, especially after our own team stumbled somewhat down the stretch.
So these are just observations after watching the Cleveland Indians dismantle the Evil Empire in four games.
1) I sure hope we’ve finally seen the end of the vile Roger Clemens. Something tells me that a 6-6 record and 4.18 ERA was not what the Skanks were hoping for when they paid Bat-Chucker $20 million or so for four months work. And that’s not even including the 2.1-inning performance in the ALDS with that nice, plump 11.57 ERA.
Clemens return did nothing but tack an ugly epilogue to the end of his career. From Suzyn Waldman’s hysterics announcing his arrival, to gimping off the mound in shame in his final appearance, this was an unqualified disaster.
Even his departure left a trail of sleaze. The Yanks bumped him from the roster — claiming an "injury" — and replaced him with Ron Villone, a journeyman middle reliever. The Indians howled, correctly pointing out that Clemens wasn’t going to pitch again in the series anyway, and Villone appeared in the next game, this effectively giving the Skanks a 26-man roster.
Posada's going to need more than one can of Raid to get rid of that pest.
2) Much was made about the "Joba rules" during the season. I bet next year there’s a new one: No pitching when there are bugs present.
I don’t know who on the Indians can command insects to swarm and attack like that. It was pretty amazing.
Makes you wonder what other animals are at their disposal. If we see hundreds of squirrels come out of nowhere and pounce on Curt Schilling during the ALCS, I’m going to be really impressed.
3) Is there anything more tiring than the Joe Torre deathwatch? I mean besides the "Frank TV" ads.
Some of the Yankee-hacks on the radio today were actually hyping Old Joe for manager of the year. Outrageous!
He manages a team with a $195 million payroll. The next highest is $143 million. That’s a difference of about $60 million, a figure more than the entire payroll of seven teams.
He has a team with an All-Star at most positions.
Yet this team at one point was 14 games behind the Red Sox and eight games back in the wild card. We’re supposed to give him manager of the year because his team finally played the way it was supposed to play?
Once Joe gets the boot, if he wants to return to his managing roots and serve as Willie Randolph's bench coach, we might be able to make room for him.
4) For a guy who enjoys a reputation as being Mr. Clutch, Derek F. Jeter didn’t look too good hitting into a double play with two men on base when his team needed runs late in the game -- agruably his most important at-bat of the season.
Nor did he look too tough hitting a harmless infield pop-up even later when his team was mounting another charge.
Nevertheless, I have no doubt Tom Verducci will write something like, "Even when failing spectacularly when his team needed him most, Derek Jeter showed greatness."
5) The TBS announcers at times sounded like they were trying out for the a spot in the Yankee booth next year instead of calling the game properly.
After the Tribe finished off the Skanks, one of them — I think it was Chip Caray — said something like, "And the Indians shock the Yankees."
Well, the Indians had the best record in the league and the Yankees didn’t even win their division, sneaking in as the wild card. So I’d say the only thing shocking was that the Indians allowed one game to get away and didn’t sweep the Yanks.
Heck, sending former Mets castoff Paul Byrd to pitch Game 4 made me wonder if the Indians weren’t throwing the game so they could head back to Cleveland and win before their own fans. And the Yanks still couldn’t win.
I’m not saying that Yankee shame eases the pain of the Mets debacle. And don’t think that every moment of the NLCS I won’t be lamenting that the Mets are not there.
But there’s nothing wrong with watching the Death Star in the Bronx explode.