First off, I apologize for jinxing Sunday night’s game against the Red Sox. It was getting late and when Mariano entered the game in the bottom of the ninth with a one-run lead, I took the opportunity to go to the bathroom and utter these words: “I’m getting ready for bed. Mo’s got this one.” I emerged from the bathroom minutes later to find out that the game was tied. I knew I shouldn’t have flossed. So close, yet so far.
Whenever Mo blows a save, everyone gives Mo a break and says “Well, he’s only human.” Rivera has had such a stellar career that he’s earned that comment from the press. Everyone says it…except Mo himself. Mariano openly accepts the blame whenever he doesn’t get the job done. He’ll criticize his performance at the press conference but then add that it’s only one game and he’ll be ready the next time. And this is what puts him in that upper echelon of athletes.
But that doesn’t ease the pain of losing to the Red Sox. Especially since the Yankees have lost ten games this season to the Sox, while only winning two. CC Sabathia, the ace of the staff, is 0-4 against the Sox this season. If the Bombers make one mistake against the Sox, Boston capitalizes on it (note to Nunez: YOU cover third on a bunt fielded by the pitcher.). The Yanks hardly ever fire on all cylinders when they play Boston. And this gives an edge to the every player on the BoSox–they all believe that they can win every game against the Yanks. In the past, their psyche played tricks on them and they played like they were inferior, even when they were notably better. The tables are turning and the cleat’s now on the other foot. Will the mind games start to affect the Yankees and their fans? Not if we take Mo’s attitude: it’s just one game and we’ll be ready the next time.
It gets late early out there.