Friday, October 26, 2007


Don NO!

We were a little bit sports-heavy here at RT this week (between World Series, Rudy Giuliani -- and the usual Pigskins Previews), so I hesitate to post another one. However, as a New Yorker -- and a general observer of various cultural/historical moments, I have to make this point.

Don Mattingly would be the absolute worst choice to be Yankees manager. I'm glad that Brian Cashman appears to be wavering on this. Do I base my views on any sort of great baseball knowledge? Not really -- though the fact that he has NO experience as a manager should be a factor.

No, my objection goes to a point I made once before: Mattingly IS the "curse" of the Yankees. He is the best player the Yankees have ever had WHO NEVER WON ANYTHING. I made this point in one of my earliest RT posts. Time has proven my point even more: The Yankees haven't gotten out of the first round of the playoffs since Mattingly returned to the team as a coach.

And, circumstantial evidence suggests that this is not just a coincidence. Aside from starting pitching problems, what differentiates the Yankees of the last four seasons ('04-'07) from their dynastic brethren of '96-'03? The answer is patient clutch pitching. Failure to get that clutch two-strike, two-out hit has doomed the Yankees in recent years. Who was the hitting coach in three of those four years. Yep, Mr. Donnie Baseball -- the man who came up to the major leagues just when the Yankees concluded a four World Series/two championships-in-six-year-run. The team wouldn't make it back to the Fall Classic until the year after Mattingly's last year.

He returned in '04. The rest is history.

In a game where superstition accounts for quite a lot, Don Mattingly is the black cat, the broken mirror and the crack in the sidewalk all rolled into one.

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