Since 2004, I've noticed that tenor of baseball conversations with my Yankee fan friends (yes, I actually have friends that I pay pretty well to like me, thank you very much) has done an about-face. In case you missed it, The Red Sox beat The Yankees again last night 7-3 in the billion-dollar whiffle ball field, bringing the season series to 5-0 with the Good Guys on top. Anyway, below is an imagined conversation with a Yankee fan at, say, a copy machine at, say, 7:18 a.m. before I'm about to teach, say, a Joyce Carol Oates story to a group of seniors that would rather hang by their tongues than read anything else.
Me: Did you happen to catch the game last night?
Imaginary Yankee Fan: I'm tired of this crappy weather. The guy on WMUR said it's supposed to clear up later this afternoon, but when was the last time a weatherman got the weather right?
Me: Do you still think the Red Sox are going to pay for trading Manny last season? Bay hit another bomb last night. What was it you said? The Red Sox would be lucky to finish in third place?
IYF: It's only May. There's a lot of baseball left.
Me: True, but you said that last July, and The Sox went to the ALCS and came within a game of going to another World Series. Where did the Yankees finish in AL East last year?
IYF: Swine flu, man. What the hell is going on with the swine flu? I went to buy some hand sanitizer last night, and CVS was out.
Me: It looks like the Yankees plucked their bullpen from the Special Olympics team. The highest payroll in baseball, and they still can't get a bridge to Rivera, not that Mo has been particularly effective against the Sox.
IYF (face flushing): How many World Series have the Yankees won again?
Me: This century or last?
IYF: It's a long season. I'll talk to you in October.
Me: Great idea. In the past six years, The Sox have been to four ALCS series, won two pennants and gone undefeated in World Series games. When was the last time the Yankees won a World Series?
IYF: The Giants kicked the Patriots' asses in the Superbowl two years ago. You remember that one, big guy?
Me: I wouldn't call a highly improbable, once-in-lifetime catch in the fourth quarter an "ass-kicking," but you have a point. The Giants won. Still, I was talking about baseball.
IYF: Wait until A-Rod gets back.
Me: That's right. I forgot about the steroid-popping, man-titted, bitch-slapping cheater and his inflated salary. How many World Series have the Yankees won since he's been on there payroll? And Sabathia and Texeira are really tearing it up, too. When are the Yankees going to realize that buying an aging All-Star team year after year is NOT going to work. It seems like Steinbrenner's douche bag son is every bit the idiot that the old man was. Big Apples don't fall far from the tree, huh? That was clever. Right?
IYF: Go fuck yourself.
Me: It's always a pleasure.