• Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor l...

Me thinks that Joel Sherman of the NY Post has already tired of the 2010 season.

“RED SOX-YANKEES RIVALRY NOW MORE ABOUT PATIENCE THAN PASSION”

Right off the bat, here’s a false dichotomy. According to this title, if you’re OK taking a walk as Nick Johnson did with the bases loaded in the 8th inning of last night’s Red Sox-Yankees game, it’s because you’re not passionate enough. He doesn’t care that Johnson’s discipline in such a high-leverage situation allowed the winning run to score. Johnson should’ve been swinging hard. It’s what Roy Hobbes would have done. And the ball would have sailed high up and over the stands, striking the lights above Fenway Park, the bulbs shattering into the Boston night sky like fireworks raining onto the field. And the shards – big, sharp shards – would probably kill someone. And the explosions would cause a mad panic among the crowd, who will trample women and children as they race for the exits in a desperate act for survival.

“Not long ago The Rivalry was about Manny and Papi. Jeter and Mo. It was about bloody socks, Pedro tossing Zimmer and everyone hating A-Rod on both sides of the field. Now the symbol of Yankees-Red Sox is Nick Johnson looking at pitches.”

So instead of having to sit there and witness a walk that scored a game-winning run, you’d rather see  a 72-year old Don Zimmer on the ground during a bench-clearing brawl. And you want to go back to hating A-Rod. Proceed.

“There was always patience in this series, but also loads of passion and poignancy. Now it is simply a game of attrition: How many pitches can our guys make your guys throw before someone breaks?”

Who’s going to break? The pitcher? Isn’t that the point of the baseball offense? To find a way to score runs off a pitcher? Isn’t it a good thing when the lineup finds a way to knock a starter out of the game?

For example both starters last night threw exactly 94 pitches. That was enough for A.J. Burnett and Jon Lester to last all of five innings. It took 333 pitches to play another Yankees-Red Sox game. And here is the scary fact: umpire Angel Hernandez had a far larger strike zone last night than Joe West did in Sunday’s season opener in which 326 pitches were thrown in 8 1/2 innings.”

Believe it or not, 333 pitches is not THAT many. For instance, back in 2003 when in Sherman’s mind the rivalry was more “passionate”, the Yanks and Sox combined for 356 pitches on May 26th. Then for 326 on July 4th. Then for 337 on July 25th. Then for 315, 342 & 309 on August 29-31st. Were those games boring?

“Johnson saw five pitches in his final at-bat. That is all he did. He never swung.”

Considering the outcome, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that he made the right choice.

The Yankees specifically reunited with Johnson because of his keen eye…

Hey, a compliment!

“…it is about the only body part that has not been sprained, strained or fractured.”

Oooh, followed immediately by an irrelevant low blow. Hey, is this an article about how you ran out of things to talk about because the NY-Boston media has overhyped each match-up so much over the years, forcing each and every one of you now to grasp at straws? Or is this an article where you somehow try to argue that Nick Johnson should not have been acquired because he makes your job as a writer harder?

“He is hitless in five at-bats this season, albeit with three of the outs being hard-hit balls. But he has four walks and a hit by pitch in 10 plate appearances. So he has a .000 batting average and a .500 on-base percentage.”

You’re failing to convince me that this is a bad thing in any way shape or form.

““That’s why we got this guy,” Girardi said. “He is on base all the time.” They certainly did not get him for his sturdiness or wordiness… And Johnson’s at-bats last far longer than his sentences. He expounded on his philosophy with the bases loaded by saying, “swing at strikes.” For Johnson, that is expounding.

Oh. So this article is you complaining about how the Yankees shouldn’t have gotten Nick Johnson because he makes your job as a sportswriter harder. I’m glad we made that clearer.

“Johnson is slow, making him a big-time double-play candidate and also a likely base clogger.”

Sorry, this line doesn’t even have that much to do with the article, but it’s fun saying “base clogger” for some reason. Probably because it’s a completely ridiculous idea that has no founding in reality. And just because he’s slow, doesn’t mean that he’s a “big-time double play candidate”. Over his career, Johnson has come to the plate 951 times with a runner on first and hit into a double play 7.6% of the time. Where as Derek Jeter has done so in that same situation 7.7% of the time. Is Jeter a “big time double-play candidate”? Of course not because he’s Derek Jeter and that doesn’t fit into your preconceived narrative.

“But the Yanks were willing to have him clog the bases because they figured he would be on the bases so often, which would be a bonanza for Teixeira, A-Rodriguez and Robinson Cano. Only the reigning MVPs — Joe Mauer and Albert Pujols — had a higher on-base percentage than Johnson’s .426 last year”

So Nick Johnson was a good pick-up, right? If you acknowledge this, what exactly are you criticizing?

“And try like the Yankees may, Mauer and Pujols were not available. Johnson was. He fit the style the Yankees want to play, the style that now defines the Chinese Water Torture aspect of The Rivalry.”

Watching a Yankees-Red Sox game is torture to you? You, sir, are in the wrong line of work.

“Johnson’s walk gave the Yanks the lead, Cano homered in the ninth, and Alfredo Aceves, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera delivered strong relief.”

Yada yada yada. And then some guy… (yawn) walked on the moon or something like that. I don’t know. Who cares. Baseball sucks. (stretches) Let’s go back to bed.

So there is a rubber match tonight in this season-opening series. The over-under already has been established at 300 pitches, bring some Red Bull.

Again, were you this bored with your job back in 2003? Probably not. Because you probably had only begun to dig your own grave by using every hyperbole you can think of to hype this rivalry.

My apologies for all the questions I posed in this post. Didn’t realize how incredibly annoying it was until after I had posted it. Oh well.

4 Responses to “Joel Sherman Wants Passion In His Life”

  1. Another gem by my favorite ranter.

  2. Lyndsay says:

    Who let Joe Morgan ghost-write for the NY Post?

  3. I agree that Yankees-Sox games take too long, but I don’t think Nick Johnson’s walks are to blame.

  4. Sarah Green says:

    I don’t get this “the passion is dead” meme emanating equally from Boston and NY writers. They must all have a Skype call in which they pick a random theme-of-the-week.

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