Now that the Yanks are pretty much guaranteed a post-season berth, I thought it would be funny to look at what some of the talking heads at ESPN have had to say about this team throughout the season.
Check out ESPN's MLB power rankings, first
from right after the "Ha!" game, and now from today
. I'd probably have the Yanks at number 1 or 2 on this list, but we're splitting hairs at this point. The class of the majors is obviously the Yanks, Angels and Indians, in whatever order you want to put them in. (They Yanks are 6-0 against the Tribe this year, 3-6 vs. LAAofA)
Of course, on the air, the idiocy is at an all-time high. Steve Phillips' anti-Yankee rhetoric is laughable, as is anything else that joker says, but it's still fun to bring up his prediction that the Yanks wouldn't make the playoffs. His Wild Card winner was Seattle (currently 7 games out of the Wild Card).
The most recent Boston-apologist line has been that Francona isn't really trying to win the division at this point, but resting his guys. OK, that might be viable if he hadn't called on Papelbon in the eighth inning two times in the past week. He's also still pushing his starters deeper in the games than he needs to. (Schilling's 3-run bomb to Jeter in the 8th inning comes to mind as evidence). Starting Clay Buchholz could also be seen as pressing the panic button, considering the organization said he was moved to the pen to limit his innings. Okajima was only shut down after he failed miserably, and the six-man rotation was only implemented after skipping Dice-K's spot in the rotation altogether.
It's fun to listen to the non-Sox fans at ESPN try to talk their Bostonian colleagues off the ledge after each disappointing loss. Notice, however, that very little credit is ever given to the Yanks.
ESPN's most vocal Sox fan, Bill Simmons, hasn't had much to say about the whole situation. He hasn't written a column about his folding team, but did put up a quick piece on the sidebar
of his site basically saying, "Yeah, well the Sox came back in 2004, and that trumps everything." If we're talking about the past, I'd say 26-1 trumps everything, but that's just me. In related news, check out his podcast. He talks to a supposed Yankee fan friend of his, who says he wants Joba to close. His friend also compares Mo to Todd Jones. Erin Andrews is a certified tramp. (OK, I don't have proof that she's a tramp, but she admits she's a Sox fan, which is much worse in my book). Simmons does wave the white flag in his podcast, which I'm sure only the Sports Gal and I actually listened to. Here's the money quote:
"I don't see how any rational Sox fan can think we're better than the Yankees."
That pretty much sums it up.
The Wanger vs. Halladay tonight. Marquee matchup in late September, with post-season implications. You can't ask for much more than that.