It’s a well known fact that John Carpenter based his campy horror film They Live off of The Steinbrenner era Yankees. Am I insinuating the latter day Yankees are actually invading aliens who have quietly (or not so quietly) infiltrated our national pastime? You bet. How else can we explain all that sold merchandise?
As you may recall from the film the only way to tell who is alien and who is human is by wearing those cheap sunglasses. When baseball commissioner Bud Selig ruled earlier this season to ban 3D technology from telecasts I didn’t think anything of it at first, but now it makes so much sense. The excuse that the emotional trauma caused by broken bats and R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball flying toward the camera would be too much for the young fans to handle did seem suspect.
All suspicions of alien conspiracy though were confirmed on September 28th, 2011. The Rays and Yankees were squaring off one last time and it was a win or go home situation for the boys from Tampa. If the Rays lost they at best would have to play a tie breaker against their American East rival Redsox. If the Redsox won their game that day then it would be all over. How would the scales tip and what roll of spoiler would the Yankees play?
To answer this we must first delve into the question of motivation. What makes a Yankee tick? Is it flat out winning? Is it trying their best? Is it for God and Country? No, certainly not. The inscription on Steinbrenner’s statue sums it up: Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women!
Now, to achieving this aim, simply beating the Rays wouldn’t be, say, visionary enough for our pinstriped sluggers. First, the Rays don’t have enough fans to make their cries seem anything more robust than pitiful. Where’s the satisfaction in that? Second, if there is a group of people The Yankees want to trample underfoot more than the Redsox I haven’t heard of them. So now we understand the motivation; inspire a gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes. We also know the primary target: Boston. All that’s left then is the how.
The obvious choice would be to beat the Redsox in the postseason team vs. team. But keep in mind the crushing, driving and lamenting women. Could a split series really have the full desired affect? No, there would be angst and some tears, but I doubt much self-flagellating and ash covering would have occurred. Clearly the best plan would be to snatch it all away at the end of the season. Here’s how they did it.
The Yankees were on top of the Rays 3-2 in the sixth and had loaded the bases with no outs. Russell Martin stepped to the plate and looked at Joe Girardi. Girardi touched his nose with his forefinger and subtlety brushed it away. That was followed by two pats of the left elbow, a brush of the knee and an upper lip snarl. The play was set. Martin taps the ball tight down the third baseline. Evan Longoria grabbed the ball, stepped on third for the first out and threw to Ben Zobrist for the second. Zobrist’s relay to Sean Rodriguez on first was in time to beat Martin, who slid in Charlie Hustle style to complete the play and the Rays were out of the jam.
Let that sink in for a minute. Yes, the Yankees purposely hit into a triple play thereby giving the Ray’s a chance to win the game, which they of course did, all to put the screws on their Boston arch-rivals.
From this Octoberian vantage it all seems so fiendishly obvious.
P.S. ~ Conspiracies are all around us. As a Halloweens-a-coming example I give to you the vampire Nick Cage. I understand that since the release of Con Air his unholy brethren call him a campire. Zing.