It's been a weird season; I've only recently begun to adjust to the fact that the Devil Rays are 10 games ahead of the Yankees in mid-August. But I thought if there was one thing we could count on in this life, it was Kansas City sucking worse than New York... they're not trying to take that from us, too, are they?
The Royals beat the Yankees 4-3 Friday night in a game I would've called a heartbreaker if everyone's heart hadn't already been broken a week or two ago. I missed staring at Michael Phelps' torso for this? Gil Meche pitched pretty well, but not so well that he would necessarily have won if the Yankee offense wasn't still acting like RBIs cause gonorrhea.
Andy Pettitte wasn't at his best but minimized the damage: seven innings, three runs, it could easily have been worse. Meanwhile the Yankees stranded 11 men and, during the game's first three innings, went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Still, the game was tied at three in the ninth inning when... wait for it... Mariano Rivera threw a wild pitch that allowed the Royals to score what would prove to be the winning run. Rivera blowing games with wild pitches -- I had to pause the Tivo and check to make sure the universe hadn't just collapsed on itself. If that's not a sign that this just ain't their year, I don't know what is.
Because we're now at the point of the season where you have to take your entertainment where you can, I'm absolutely thrilled that Cody Ransom has been called up, one of my favorite names of the spring. I actually actively avoided reading about him in Cliff's farm report and elsewhere, because I want him to remain, in my mind, just the fastest gun on the cattle ranch. I'm trying not to get too good a look at him on TV, either, since it'll just spoil the image. Cody Ransom, if it isn't already, needs to be the name of a tough, reluctantly violent man of few words with a mysterious past who brings harsh justice to a wild border town in an old school western. Or I can see "Cody Ransom" as a full-on John Wayne* in Rio Bravo type; Don Zimmer would be the old coot sidekick – the Walter Brenner role – and Sidney Ponson can play the once-great drunkard pal. "A game-legged old man and a drunk," the Kansas City pitcher will say, "That's all you got?" And Cody Ransom will stare him down and reply, "That's WHAT I got."
…What? We've gotta make our own fun these days.
*Wayne has played characters with names including, but not limited to, John T. Chance, Chance Buckman, Rooster Cogburn, Lon McQ, George Washington McClintock, Cord McNally, Taw Jackson, Cole Thornton, Matt Masters, Ranger Captain Jake Cutters, Nathan Cutting Brittles, Joe January, Quirt Evans, Rusty Thomas, Rusty Ryan, Wedge Donovan, Duke Fergus, Duke Hudkins, and Stony Brooke. Has any actor ever had a better body or character names? I don't think so.