Thursday, November 05, 2009

27

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA


I did not write much about the Yankees in the playoffs this year because I'm a jinx when I write about them. In previous years, I wasted thousands of words per game only to come up short since the Tao of Pauly was birthed in 2002. Compared to the domination in the 1990s, the 2000s were the lean years with one World Series appearance and a string of disappointing finishes.

But this year was different. You had a sense that the old Yankees magic was back. It was a combination of three things; the new Stadium, the addition of top shelf talent, and the veterans of championship teams digging deep and looking to reclaim the top spot for one last time.

Oh, and let's not forget that Kate Hudson is regularly chugging A-Rod's cock. That's gotta count for something.

Derek caught a few games in the new stadium this year before I had a chance. I returned to NYC at the end of the summer to see a couple of Phish shows on the East Coast and to specifically visit the new stadium. As we walked around, we were both amazed at the structure but both were worried about the infamous ghosts of Yankees past. If you know anything about the other world, you know that ghosts tend to be territorial. Would they walk across the street? Could they walk across the street?

I'm a sucker for historical moments when it comes to sports that's why I was worried about the new stadium. I would have sacrificed comfort and shorter lines to the pisser if it meant a couple more championships. But those matters are out of my hands. The House that Ruth built is now just a skeletal shadow of its former glory, but that's still scared land.

The playoffs were a major distraction. I was in the middle of going a little mental with a ton of work and Lost Vegas going over deadline. Yankees games killed any sort of momentum that I had during the day. Plus the West Coast games meant that the Yanks were on around 5pm. Sometimes, games were aired earlier during the first round. That killed an entire day. It was nearly impossible to get work done after a game. Those bouts are mentally and physically draining. My mind is mush after 4-5 hours of baseball and pacing around the apartment cursing at Girardi's micro-managing and turning down the sound in order to not have to listen to those dipshit announcers.

During the playoffs, Nicky and I made up a game.... everytime Kate Hudson was shown during a Yankees game, we would have to rip a bong hit. Nice little added element to four-hour long baseball games. But by the times the games ended, I was wasted and unable to do any quality work.

But I couldn't miss a pitch. The Yankees were on the verge of something big. I had not been feeling this confident about the Yankees since 2001. I really thought they were going to win the World Series that year in wake of the 9/11 tragedies. The Yankees really pulled the entire city at the time and gave a lot of confused and grieving souls a welcomed distraction.

In the late 1990s, the Yankees were money. You could count on them coming from behind to win any game no matter how grave the deficit. Plus their bullpen was lights out and rarely lost a lead. No matter what the score was, you knew that the Yankees were going to rally to win late in the game or shut the door in the 7th inning if they had a lead.

The biggest regret was not being able to watch the games with my brother. The only solace I had this season was an email thread that I started in early 2009. It's been going on since then, which is amazing to think considering only four of us are on the distribution list; myself, my brother Derek, the Rooster, and my good buddy Jerry. The email thread was also a NYC Sports thread with the main focus on the Yankees. Since Jerry lived in Miami, we occasionally riffed on Florida sports, but for the most part we discussed the Yankees via email for the entire year.

Since Jerry was in Florida and I was holed up on the West Coast while I worked on the book, I thought the thread could keep us in the loop. The Rooster actually moved out of NYC mid-way which only left Derek behind as the true New Yorker in our crew. That's what made the email thread even more special. Sometimes after being on the road for a day or so, I'll log in and see over a dozen emails from Derek and the Rooster as they argued the benefits of Latina women and why they thought Joe Girardi was ruining Joba Chamberlin's mojo.

There were a few moments when we discussed inviting others to join in on the thread. We actually had a vote for one person --but he lost 2-2 -- and did not get a nod. We even considered giving another friend a 24-hour guess pass, but decided against it. I thought about opening it up to other friends who were Yankees fans, but they might go insane due to the high volume of email that gets sent out during afternoons when my brother has nothing to do at work, and we all know how much free time the Rooster has on his hands when he's not smuggling in illegals from Tijuana to keep his pimp business flowing.

A couple of the World Series games came at the worst possible time -- during the Phish Halloween festival. I watched the first two games in L.A., but I was distracted with guests who flew in for the festival. Games 3 and 4 were scheduled while I camped out in Indio, CA. Luckily, Phish set up a jumboscreen TV near the concert grounds to show the game. I only caught a few innings of Game 3 with a couple of Yankees fans in my crew and skipped Game 4 because of the show. Luckily Derek texted me updates.

I was hoping to catch Game 5 back on my couch in LA, but that never happened due to a huge headache in Palm Springs. Nicky got pulled over by CHIPS for expired tags. It was a snafu with the DMV and she never got her tags mailed to her. They were expired for over 6 months which meant that the car had to be impounded. We were stranded in Palm Springs for the day and didn't get back to L.A. until it was too late.

But finally... for Game 6.... I was able to watch the Yankees without a single distraction. I was kinda nervous once the games reached the middle innings and Pettite was pulled. I started to pack for Vegas in order to calm myself down.

Once Enter Sandman was played on the PA at the stadium, I knew that we were in good shape. Mo Rivera trotted out to the mound and the end was near. And like clockwork, Mo took care of business. The Yankees won the World Series on their home turf in the Bronx, and more importantly, they won it all during the inaugural year in the new stadium which is an indication that some of those ghosts make the trek across the street from the old Stadium.

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