It’s the morning, after another big Yankees win, and Mike Lupica is going rogue on us.
The Post and the Times both celebrate—jointly and equally—the heroics of Alex Rodriguez and C.C. Sabathia.”The Yankees are nine innings away from another World Series appearance, thanks to two guys who have never been there,” the Post tells us, and the Times‘ headline declares it ”A Two-Man Show.” That seems fair. Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with a home run to continue a torrid stretch and Sabathia only gave up one run in eight innings, proving himself worthy of being the highest-paid pitcher in Yankees history, which Joel Sherman says “is a bit like taking a loan from The Mob.“But Mike Lupica isn’t settling for some kind of cozy tie between the two stars. Here’s the head on his story: CC Sabathia wins Game 4, proves he’s worth more than A-Rod to New York Yankees.” The lead seems to give A-Rod his due:
This continues to be the October of Alex Rodriguez, who hits the ball so hard and so often that he makes the way he can play baseball the lead paragraph of his own story again, his baseball back to being played ahead of steroids and strip clubs and all the scoring opportunities he wasted in all his other Yankee Octobers.
But, Lupica writes, “C.C. Sabathia gives you more October than anyone on the team.” (Is that a weight joke? Hard to tell.) Lupica’s point seems to be that Sabathia’s brilliance kept the ball out of Joe Girardi’s hands—since we all know how that ended the night before. That’s the subplot in all the other stories–Girardi made a good call starting Sabathia on short rest, sparing him all the bad pitching changes he might have made otherwise.
Post still skewers them for it and says the crew might want to take the lead of their umpiring story to heart: “One, two, three miscalls, you’re out, at the old ballgame.”After the game, the third-base umpire, Tim McClelland admitted he erred on two calls, and he spoke from the heart about blowing a tag-up play with Nick Swisher. ““In my heart I thought [Swisher] left too soon,” McClelland said.
So, with bad officiating in mind, it ought to be good news that the N.B.A. finally reached a deal with the referees’ union, ending a ref strike that’s lasted through the preseason. The Times says the regular refs should be back in time for the regular season. One person who probably won’t be ready for the regular season is—brace yourself—out of shape Knicks center Eddy Curry. Curry can’t seem to get on the good side of the Knicks brass. Today’s Frank Isola story in the Daily News includes lines like this: “He also angered the organization by failing to bring his sneakers for the workout.” But the real problem seems to be his weight. The Knicks aren’t letting him play—or even practice—until he slims down. Curry’s target weight? Between 305 and 310 pounds.