All that drama on the field this weekend doesn’t make for much drama in this morning’s papers. The Yankees finished their sweep of the Twins with two rousing victories, so there’s lots of lavish praise.
The Alex Rodriguez stories are obligatory. After years of failing to live up to expectations down the stretch, he carried the Yankees through the weekend and into the second round for the first time “since John Kerry’s Swift Boaters shared the headlines,” as the Post reminds us. The Post’s Joel Sherman had already promised not to make A-Rod the scapegoat this year, and the much-maligned third baseman made it easy with a big home run on Friday night and another one yesterday. “His head is at peace and his swing is locked in,” Sherman writes. The Daily News’ lead goes one step further and declares him “a genuine Yankee savior.”
Thankfully we have Flip Bondy to stir up that minor catcher drama from last week. Jorge Posada, who was benched in Game Two because A.J. Burnett pitches better to Jose Molina, came back to do everything “except paint the foul lines and sell bratwurst in the upper deck” in Game Three. Bondy says it was a revenge game. “Here was redemption, served up cold, after a shaky Game1 behind the plate that had the pro-Molina media bloc out in force.”
Now everyone is looking ahead to the Angels–except the Times’ William C. Rhoden. He’s already calling for a Yankees-Dodgers series that “would recall an era in baseball when things seemed simpler and the game was more pure.” Oddly, he says it’s the presence of two admitted steroids users–Alex Rodriguez and the Dodgers’ Manny Ramirez–that would provide a “fitting symmetry” and an “authentic fall classic.” Read for yourself:
If the Yankees were to face the Dodgers in the World Series, the season would end with two great players who had admitted culpability and moved on. It would represent a line of demarcation, that the game was ready to get past one of the most painful episodes in its history.
There were no such attempts to find much symbolism, profound or otherwise, in the Giants’ blowout win over the Raiders, so everyone made foot jokes. See, Eli Manning played through a foot problem, leading the Giants to two touchdowns before taking a rest against the lowly Raiders. “Heel Yeah!,” “Heel-acious,” “Heel of a statement,” and so on. I’d love to see someone take a stab at a plantar fasciitis pun, but maybe that’s asking a little much.
Remember hockey? Former Vogue intern Sean Avery returned to the Rangers’ lineup last night. The fans chanted his name, and “The Fashionable One,” as the Post has taken to calling him, promptly provoked a roughing penalty.
Look for fish-derived headlines tomorrow after tonights Jets-Dolphins game.