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Thursday, July 12, 2007

NY Times' George Vecsey's advice for his Mets-Do it without dancing and you'll do it...

George Vecsey is only perfect when he writes about baseball:
  • "Last week the Mets sailed into the dangerous Giambi Straits or Pérez Shoals, where rallies are shipwrecked on the mental rocks. Reyes, a solid citizen who almost always hustles, neglected to run out a dribbler that he assumed was staying foul. To his embarrassment, the third baseman could have walked the fair ball to first base. Manager Willie Randolph then gave Reyes the rest of the game off, to think about it."

But nonchalance needs to be nipped in the bud, the way Gil Hodges did in 1969 when he trudged out to left field to remove Cleon Jones, who had seemed a trifle sluggish chasing a base hit. Jones and his mates did not want the muscular Mr. Hodges mad at them — and they won the World Series two months later.

  • Other Mets teams went down with insouciance, like the boys of the late ’80s, who won exactly one championship. In the 2000 Series, Timo Pérez believed he saw Todd Zeile’s drive go over the left-field fence. By shifting into a joyous slower gear, Pérez was thrown out at home — costing a run and, who knows, maybe the Series.

Jeter, needless to say, does not perform dance steps in public, preferring to pump his fist on occasion, which is totally acceptable. This Yankees team could still go either way. Alex Rodriguez could continue his monster season — and then choose to move on, leaving the Yankees to totally rebuild, from the front office to the dugout to the field.

  • Whatever happens in the Bronx, Jeter should be a role model for the young shortstop across the bridge. Just keep running, or else those dance steps blend into all the foolish homemade videos, in which everybody is a superstar in his own head. Just keep running, right into late October."
Parts from NY Times article by George Vecsey, 7/12/07, "Up and Down Mets Might Have to Face the Music." A Times Select article (monthly fee).
  • (The "Giambi Straits" he later explains is Jeremy Giambi's move in the 2001 ALDS v Jeter).

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