After a long week spent unsuccessfully flogging his new book (#5303 on amazon.com with a bullet!) all the while finding time to watch himself on tv and allegedly make angry phonecalls to his detractors and their bosses, Dan returns.
And turns in possibly one of the worst columns I have ever been forced to read. I actually felt bad by the end.
They are just some headscratchers in this one. Dan mentions that only four other teams in MLB history have had a 10 1/2 game lead at this point. What are the four other teams? We don't find out.
He goes on to mention how this year is different from 1978 because "the Red Sox didn't have the pitching" and the Yankees "bear little resemblance to the blood-and-thunder rogues"(You can't sneak that Springsteen reference by me, Dan) of 1978.
If only this were true. The Red Sox pitching in 1978 was pretty good also. And this year's Yankees offense is much better than the 1978 edition. But I guess grit and tobacco juice are what make "blood-and-thunder rogues."
A couple of worn out references to Steinbrenner's past; "the immortal Tyler Clippard" (ever notice how Dan belittles any player he has never heard of? If he bothered to care, he would notice Clippard has had a very nice minor league career); and a 2003 reference without mention of Grady Little or Pedro Martinez.
And then it gets weird. Two paragraphs spent on Chazz Palmintiri, including this gem: "Chazz turned to the guy sitting to his right and whispered something like "Now, yous can't leave."" Great scene; lame, forced reference.
And he ties things up with this counterfactual statement "Imagine: a quality start for the Yankees. Very rare. In the spring of '07, there've been more Boston Pops brawls than Yankees pitching gems. Wrong. Off the top of my head: Philip Hughes no-hitter through 6 and Wang's near no-hitter.
It was a truly terrible column. Nothing there except some tired historical references, inaccurate statements, and warmed over game play-by-play. Oh, last time Dan said the Red Sox had the division won, the Yankees were a game back within a month, having picked up five games in that span.
Edit: Philip Hughes spelling and no-hitter through six