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No time to panic, Yankees fans

Oct 29, 2009, 8:57 AM EDT

Here’s the situation: your team is unable to do anything against a Cy Young caliber pitcher.  Your ace gave up two home runs to the same guy on the other team.  Your bullpen was less than stellar. You’ve now lost the homefield advantage and you have an often erratic starter going in Game 2.  Time to panic?

Hardly, because that describes the exact scenario the Yankees faced in Game 2 of the 1996 World Series.

Because I’m an Atlanta Braves fan, I remember it well.  I was in law school then, and I remember the gloom and doom of my many, many New York Yankee fan classmates.  I even had a professor — himself a native New Yorker — who got bent out of shape when I wore my Braves cap in to class the day after Andruw Jones hit those two bombs.  Being young and relatively unschooled in the ways of the world, I gloated like crazy.  I was even worse about it following Game 2.

But we all know how that turned out.  The ace lefty acquitted himself quite nicely his next turn out. The Yankees’ deep bullpen asserted itself.  The Braves, after getting one lights out performance from Greg Maddux in Game 2, had no answer for the New York nine.  A dynasty was reborn that year, and that Game 1 has been rendered a mere footnote, notable for Andruw Jones’ coming out party and not much else.  That law school professor took a few minutes at the beginning of the first class following Game 6 to lecture me about premature jubilation.  It’s probably the only thing I remember from that class.

Will history repeat itself?  I have no idea. But I do know that Yankees fans would be well-advised to relax, and Phillies fans would be well advised to hold their “nobody believed in us” and “we told you so” rants until after Pedro Martinez and Cole Hamels pitch. 

For my part, I stand by my prediction: Yankees in six. Just like in 1996. 

  1. Jake - Oct 29, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    I am tired of this “bought” BS. Did the Phillies go after CC , AJ, or Tex?? No. Our core is farm raised too!! Did you forget about Jeter, Pettitte, Cano, Cabrera, Posada, and Rivera???? You guys have just as many new faces this year as we do!! And you people throwing around “A-roid” still?? Take a look on your team….free agent signed Raul Ibanroid. I doubt he passes a drug test about a year ago. Cliff Lee had a great game last night. Period. Again, he is the ONLY pitcher you guys have. Also, you say you guys are the most rounded team in the playoffs?? From the way the stats look, YOU GUYS are leading in errors. Defensively sound? Ha. Daddys coming to pay Pedro a visit tonight!!! Good luck!! Phillie fans, stop talking out of your steamer.

  2. Jake - Oct 29, 2009 at 1:48 PM

    I am tired of this “bought” BS. Did the Phillies go after CC , AJ, or Tex?? No. Our core is farm raised too!! Did you forget about Jeter, Pettitte, Cano, Cabrera, Posada, and Rivera???? You guys have just as many new faces this year as we do!! And you people throwing around “A-roid” still?? Take a look on your team….free agent signed Raul Ibanroid. I doubt he passes a drug test about a year ago. Cliff Lee had a great game last night. Period. Again, he is the ONLY pitcher you guys have. Also, you say you guys are the most rounded team in the playoffs?? From the way the stats look, YOU GUYS are leading in errors. Defensively sound? Ha. Daddys coming to pay Pedro a visit tonight!!! Good luck!! Phillie fans, stop talking out of your steamer.

  3. Jake - Oct 29, 2009 at 1:55 PM

    Pedro is 80 years old and is owned by the Yanks.
    Cole Hamels “coming off a MVP season” with a losing record= BUM
    Are you serious!!!!!!!!
    Joe Blanton= Not even good enough to get a post season start====BUM
    Shows a lot of trust the Phils have in him!!! HAAAAA
    And Happ… I’ll give you Happ, the kid is good, but hasnt produced much since the all star break.
    And Lidge…31 of 42== 75% save rate!!!! Terrible, I can name 25 closers this year that had a better save rate!!!
    THOSE ARE THE FACTS. Its sad that you think these guys are capable of going past 4-5 innings and then comes your VERY suspect bullpen. You better pray your pansy pitcher last at least 7 or 8.

  4. jonny5 - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:14 PM

    Jake, take it easy buddy….. Everything will be just fine. Take a deep breath….. Ok now? The Phillies win it in 6 mmmmkay?

  5. Tom - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:15 PM

    Wow, I had no idea the Series was over already. :)
    As far as I know, Sabathia and Lee can’t pitch every game, so…
    Pedro, you never know what you’ll get with him at this stage of his career, but you know the pressure won’t bother him, and he’s not the same type of pitcher that the Yankees faced in 2003. More of a crafty type.
    Happ was impressive this year, but as with all rookies, we’ll have to see how he responds under pressure. Some do well, some don’t.
    Pettitte is Pettitte, nothing new there. He generally keeps his team in the game.
    Burnett, as Yankee fans know, can be very good or very bad, particularly with his control; NY will need the “good” AJ tonight.
    The Yankee bullpen is theoretically better, but the “bridge-to-Mo” has been a little shaky lately. Lidge was a disaster this year, but he’s been better of late. Madson is a nice, steady performer.
    Bottom line, these are two good teams. Plenty of good hitters on each side, and enough question marks in the pitching to make things interesting.

  6. Female Yankees Fan - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:17 PM

    Name calling and posturing isnt going to help either team win. The Yanks losing Game 1 is not the kiss of death either. I find it ironic that how all the sports analyists and experts that just only yesterday picked NY as their choice to win the WS in 6 or 7 games have now decided after one loss that the writing is on the wall. I say to everyone..GET A GRIP! Someone has to win and someone has to lose…that is the game.
    Cliff Lee had great game last night…no denying it. AJ Burnett is a crap shoot for tonight especially if he is working with Posada. Then again he might totally rock…I dont have a crystal so I will watch the game and see like everyone else. Sometimes the Yanks play their best ball after they have taken a sound beating. Today is only Game 2….anything can happen and 5 games remain. Its still anyones series at this point so check the name calling and the posturing and wait to see what happens.

  7. Mike Z - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:24 PM

    Pedro is 80? I guess that make Pettitte 79 then. Because they are separated by about 8 months in age.
    Last time I checked 10-11 and an ERA of 4.32 is pretty good. A little more run support and it could have easily been a winning record.
    If Blanton is a bum for not getting a start in the postseason I guess Chamberlain is just as big of a bum.
    “Shows a lot of trust the Yanks have in him”
    Name 25 closers that have not blow a save in the playoffs since 2005, has an ERA of 0.00 with 3 saves in the 2009 postseason and picked up a win along the way.
    What is sad is you think you know what your taking about.

  8. Mark - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:29 PM

    old saying: Money cant buy happiness–still rings true for yanks fans.. I AM McLOVIN IT!!!!!!!!!

  9. Mike Z - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:32 PM

    Losing game 1 in the WS has been very close to the kiss of death the past 12 years. The team that has won game 1 has gone on to win it all 11 of the past 12 seasons. Only team to make the comeback after losing game 1 was the Angles back in ’02, they did it in 7 over the Giants.

  10. YankEm - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:34 PM

    26 Championships, 40 WS appearances. 3 peat in the 90’s. 40 Pennants.
    2 Championships, 7 WS appearances. 7 pennants.
    Which one is which?
    Keep hating one of the most storied franchises in sports history.

  11. Joe - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:35 PM

    The Yanks won 20 WS during 1923 – 1963. Since, then, the’ve won six and many other teams have won a handful since then; heck, even the Twins have won two WS since 1963. So, yea, the British had an empire once…so what. Stop dwelling on the past and move on.org.

  12. Joe - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:42 PM

    Free agency will kill baseball. I don’t think a salary cap is the solution and that wouldn’t be fair to the players. But without CC, Burnett, & Teixeira, the Yanks would be…the Royals. So, the Yanks don’t develop talent. Sheesh, Hughes and Chamberlain in place of CC and Burnett. Yea, talking real Royals type talent.
    I’d be willing to watch replacement players for two seasons just to see the owners have the fortitude to stand up to the union for two changes. First, no FAgcy until a player has 8 full seasons in the majors and no team may sign more than one class A FA during the off season.
    Otherwise, in a few years, baseball may become Bost, NYY, NYM, CWS, CC, LAA, LAD, Phillies, Braves, and maybe one of Texas, Seattle, or San Fran.

  13. tarzan - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:46 PM

    Too late, there are already panicking. I’ve been waiting for it all season and finally saw it last night. You can see it written all over their faces, Jeter – that stupid far away look with a forced smile; A-Rod – looks like he is awaiting a rectal exam after having someone steal his girlfriend; Posada – pissed off and looking like a person in a foreign country trying to order food but can’t speak the language and is really hungry. Matsui – a pissed off Moe Howard. Sabathia – looks like he just soiled his pants after thinking it was only going to be a fart. They are done….and boy does it make me happy.

  14. Mike Z - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:47 PM

    Was just about to point that out Joe. Yanks have 4 WS titles in the past 30 years, the Phils have 2. And those 4 came in 5 years during the Yanks ’90’s dynasty.
    Winning the WS in 1923 has nothing to do with 2009.

  15. Snoogins - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:49 PM

    Philly’s Sports Hero is a fictional Boxing character…..your football team hasn’t done anything since before the facemask was invented…..and no matter what….
    If the Yankees win the whining will be , High Payroll and a bunch of cheating Steroid Users.
    If the Yankees lose the whining will be , money can’t buy championships, and see they can’t win without steroids.
    Face it, Philly Sports Radio and a majority of the fans are the laughing stock of the sports world because of the constant crying and whining even after you win. Its a tired act…get over it.
    What is sad is I actually have more respect for Boston Fans.

  16. Bub - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:49 PM

    The past is dead and buried, and history is for those who choose to live in the past. Let’s remain in the present. No, Yankees fans, you shouldn’t panic. You have an excellent team. And so do you Phillies fans. No cakewalks here. This will be a battle. But Yankees fans, don’t hang your hopes on a grandiose Braves collapse in the 1996 WS if the Phillies happen to go up 2 games to none in this WS. You aren’t out of it until the final out is made. But don’t count on the Phillies choking Big-Time like the 1996 Braves.

  17. baseball lover - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:50 PM

    Not to be sarcastic but didnt the Yankees just beat the Angels???

  18. vran - Oct 29, 2009 at 2:58 PM

    first off to jake, Blanton started game 4 vs. the dodgers
    second, yankee fans are the only fans in the world who can still manage to be smug and arrogant after their team loses.

  19. Baseball Fan - Oct 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

    You must be a Red Sox fan, Tarzan. You guys have a distinct odor.

  20. John - Oct 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

    Try an gloss it over as best you can Yankee fans, whatever helps you sleep better at night but when it is all said and done the chant “back-to-back” will be heard eminating from in and around the city of Philadelphia.
    PHILLIES IN SIX!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  21. VZ1 - Oct 29, 2009 at 3:01 PM

    “If the Yankees win the whining will be , High Payroll and a bunch of cheating Steroid Users.
    If the Yankees lose the whining will be , money can’t buy championships, and see they can’t win without steroids.”
    call it whining, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

  22. tarzan - Oct 29, 2009 at 3:06 PM

    Baseball Fan
    Perhaps I do smell but based on your comment, you know I’m right. You’ve seen that look many times since 2004. Time to launch into yesterday’s achievements followed by non-stop whining….

  23. CPinPhilly - Oct 29, 2009 at 3:07 PM

    I have a good friend from Brooklyn who is a Yankees fan with me being a Phillies fan. My wife wanted me to email trashtalk to him last night during the game. I refused. Why you ask? Because its bad Juju. Dont screw with the mojo. I wont talk trash til the series is over. You can throw out stats and numbers all day long but they play the games for a reason. Do I think the Phillies win it , sure I do. What kind of a fan would I be if I didnt?
    Do I think the sports media is unhappy that its not a Dodgers/Yankees series yes I do. But, the 2 teams with the best fan bases are in it despite the media. Besides, fans of teams on the west coast show up late and leave early…they dont deserve it.

  24. Joe - Oct 29, 2009 at 3:11 PM

    I’m a fan of neither team, but was stationed at Marine Barracks at the Philly Naval Base many years ago. In fact, I’m not a fan of any of the teams that could become the remains of MLB in the next 20 years and that I listed in my prior post. Money foolishly spent won’t win a pennant or even a DS, let alone a WS, but big money will get a team to the post season (the Twins were the only small market, low payroll team in the AL playoffs and the Rockies the only such NL team). I don’t want my team to sign FAs. Who roots for the Hessians? Who wants to cheer on mercaneries? Does any Yank fan really believe that any of the FAs it has signed give a hoot about the Yankee fans, NYC, or the Yankee history? If you believe the FAs signed by the Yanks do care about these things and that it’s not the money, then, pal, I’ve a big inventory of bridges that I know you’re just hankering to buy from me.

  25. Ladyfan - Oct 29, 2009 at 3:12 PM

    Tarzan, what is WRONG with you? how do you think anything you had to say was either constructive to the discussion, or made any logical sense? You are just spewing nastiness for no good reason, and by the way, you never said who YOUR team is. Someone already out of the running, I would guess? Still, do you think your team would want you to represent them with such a vituperative, low-class attack? I doubt it. How many of you bloggers want to bet that Tarzan had to look up the meaning of “vituperative”?

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