Last night, my white haired, crazy eyed scientist friend named Doc revealed to me that he had invented a time machine out of a Delorean. We traveled to the year 2030 where I saw an antique store and purchased Grays Sports Almanac in order to make 100% accurate predictions here on Lonestar Mets. I thought I would share a passage from it that my readers might find interesting. Have a look:
Worse than Failure: The Story of the 2008 New York Yankees
Part 1- March: A New Era Begins
Hopes were high as Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain looked dominating in spring training. Hank Steinbrenner, Brian Cashman and the new Yankee manager Joe Girardi all expressed their optimism for the upcoming season. A hamstring injury sidelined Melky Cabrera in the final week of spring training which put him on the DL for opening day, though the injury appeared to be minor, team doctors felt he would will return mid-April.
Part 2- April: Roughed up Early
After an opening day complete game win, the Yankees lost eleven of the next thirteen including a sweep by the upstart Kansas City Royals, falling into fourth place behind Baltimore. Whispers around Yankee-land were that Cashmanâ€™s main focus was quelling irate complaints from Joe Girardi regarding Hank Steinbrennerâ€™s presence in the clubhouse after losses. The Yankees won two straight, then fell behind a run in the 11 inning against the Detroit. After two quick outs in the bottom of the eleventh, the Yankees loaded the bases for Alex Rodriguez, who popped out to the shortstop on the first pitch and was pelted with boos, garbage and loose change by the crowd. Steinbrenner was seen storming into manager Joe Girardiâ€™s office followed by a clearly distraught Brian Cashman. Steinbrenner slammed the door and yelling by both Girardi and Steinbrenner was overheard by the media. In an obvious attempt to quell the media buzz, Derek Jeter defended Girardi but was unwilling to comment on Alex Rodriguez. Mediocre starting pitching and poor defense lead to the Yankees losing two of three games against the Tigers. A tape surfaced of Steinbrenner berating Girardi for lack of focus on defense.
Part 3- May: Team of Destiny
The New York Post reported on May 6 that Brian Cashman had lost all autonomous authority. Hank Steinbrenner called a press conference in which he insisted several times that “defense wins championships” and announced the termination of Joe Girardi and hired suspended New England Patriots coach Bill Belicheck. Belicheck declared the Yankees a quote, “team of destiny.” The team briefly righted the ship, winning five of their next six games. Belicheck was then rewarded with a three year, 20 million dollar contract. New York went on to lose four straight. One Yankee new to criticism was Derek Jeter, who started the season hitting .106. Many Yankee fans attributed his poor play to off the field detractions, namely his love life. In March Jeter began a relationship with Dallas Cowboy Quarterback Tony Romo. Romo irritated many Yankee fans when he began attending home games sitting in Jeterâ€™s luxury box and dancing for the TV cameras in a pink number 2 Jeter Yankees jersey and a backwards pink Yankee hat and blowing kisses to the shortstop in between pitches.
Part 4- June: Scandal
The Yankees surged in the month of June climbing to within three games of the Boston Redsox. They capped off the month with an impressive sweep of the Mets in the subway series. After the game, however, Mets groundskeepers found cameras strategically hidden inside Shea stadium which contained evidence that Belicheck was filming batting practice and broadcasting it on closed circuit television at Yankee Stadium. Commissioner Bud Selig announced that Belicheck has been suspended for the remainder of the season. When pressed for cause or an explanation as to what motivation Belicheck had for taping batting practice or what advantage taping would provide, Selig conceded that while no actual rules were broken, “any reproduction, retransmission, or rebroadcast of batting practice without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball is prohibited.”
Part 5- July: Clemens comes homeâ€¦Then Leaves Again
George Steinbrenner re-seized control of the organization and named noted College Basketball coach Bobby Knight as the teamâ€™s new manager. During a home game against Boston, Roger Clemens appeared in Steinbrennerâ€™s luxury box, Clemens announced on the Jumbo-tron that he had accepted a 35 million dollar contract to come out of retirement and quote “work my butt off and put my tail on the line.” for the Yankees. Clemens record contract released him from attending games he did not start, due to Clemens obligations to attend his federal perjury trail in Washington DC and a series of cosmetic surgeries to remove a third ear from his forehead. In his first and only 2008 appearance, Clemens surrendered nine runs in the first inning before recording an out, instigating a screaming match on the mound with Bobby Knight and then announced his “re-retirement” on the jumbo-tron during the seventh inning stretch. After the game, Team officials announced that Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, Joba Chamberlain, Robinson Cano, Ian Kennedy, Brian Cashman, Hank Steinbrenner along with cash have been traded to Cleveland for C.C. Sabathia.
Part 6- August: Bobby Knight Goes Hunting
An errant throw by Sabathia to first led to a four run seventh as the Yankees lost to Kansas City 6-5. The Daily News reported Sabathia was rushed to an area emergency room after sustaining a gunshot wound to his left arm. Team officials stated the wound was sustained during a “hunting accident” in the clubhouse. Though Sabathia would recover the following season, his 2008 year was over. Team officials disclosed that Knight had resigned for unrelated “personal reasons.” A clearly heavily medicated George Steinbrenner released a taped video message announcing Billy Martin as the New Yankee Skipper. Steinbrennerâ€™s appearance on the tape was regarded as incoherent and coached by reporters and fans alike. Team Officials would not return phone calls and Yogi Berra was believed to be running game operations.
Part 7- September: Now it Just Gets Stupid
The team official announced Billy Martin has been fired by George Steinbrenner for “poor attendance.” After flooring the Yankee owner with a four hour interview, Tom Cruise has been named the new Yankee skipper. When asked by reporters what qualifies Cruise to manage a Major League Baseball team, Cruise emphatically stated that quote, “We are the authority, THE AUTHORITY on Major League Baseball! Hahahahahaha WHEEW!!” Despite Alex Rodriguezâ€™s explosive month of September in which he hit .435 and drove in 56 runs, the Yankee slide continued. The players union announced that every player on the Yankees 25 man roster filed a grievance against Cruise for denying players access to the team trainer and banning all medications and medical treatments in the clubhouse. The Texas Rangers secured the last remaining playoff spot, securing the American League Wild Card.
Epilogue: Empire in Ashes
The once mighty Yankee Empire lay in ruins; the farm system barren, payroll overloaded with bad contracts and the team filled with old and declining players. Insult was added to injury as beleaguered Yankee fans watched their cross town rival Mets defeat the Texas Rangers in the World Series. Comedian and noted Yankee fan Adam Sandler was found dead in Ashley Olsenâ€™s Manhattan apartment the day after the Mets victory parade. Authorities ruled his death a suicide, though an ambiguous suicide note did not discern whether his suicide was caused by the Yankee season or that he watched his movie You Donâ€™t Mess with Zohan for the first time (thank you). Due to financial strains caused by payroll inflation, corners were cut on construction of the new Yankees stadium. On opening day 2010, a structure collapsed killing 137. In 2011 a class action lawsuit against the team was filed in state court and a record twelve billion dollar judgment was awarded to the plaintiffs. In debt beyond all hope the Steinbrenner family sold the once proud organization to Mark Cuban for one dollar. Cuban renamed the team the Vegas Dragons and relocated to Nevada.
It was all very exciting until I found out that while I was in 2030, Matt Cerrone had stolen my Grays Sports Almanac, used my friendâ€™s Delorean to give himself the Almanac in 1996. I returned to an alternate 2007 in which Matt had become a ruthless billionaire and turned Madison Square Garden into Metsblog Hotel and Casino. Not only that, Matt also killed my dad and was married to my mother. So I traveled back to 1996 and spent the next two hours on a wacky adventure to retrieve the almanac from Matt in 1996, burn it and thus restore the year 2007 to its previous condition. At some point I also sang a Chuck Berry Song. It was a wild journey to say the least, though somehow eerily familiar. I wish someone would make a movie about it. I learned my lesson; I am never going Back to the Future.
This post was written by Dan in Texas on February 5, 2008