Emperors And Idiots
Just recently, I finished reading Mike Vaccaro’s book entitled “Emperors and Idiots” and had fun re-living the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry of 2003 and 2004 (as well as down throughout the years). However, after watching the Twins get swept (once again) by the Yankees this past week, I think that title could very well ring true to the contests between these two teams as well. Basically, the Yankees are the emperors, and they make the Twins look like idiots.
Each of the three games of this most recent series was, in its own right, a little slice of why the Yankees thump the Twins so bad each and every game. First, was the big blowout where the Yankees just teed-off on Scott Baker. Second, was the Twins’ bats running into the buzzsaw that is A.J. Burnett (I almost titled this post “Why do guys named A.J. always haunt the Twins?”) while we throw Anthony Swarzak in against the most powerful lineup in the game. Finally, Thursday’s matinee was just that kind of game where the Twins kept battling for all nine innings, but the Yankees always had an answer with their bats.
To put it bluntly, the Yankees make us look like a minor league outfit for one primary reason: our pitching isn’t good enough to stop their tremendous hitting. Unless Nick Blackburn were to take the mound, there would be no starter-starter combination that would favor the Twins. Baker is too inconsistent, Liriano is Liriano, Swarzak’s just a kid, and Perkins is erratic.
All told, the series can be summed up in two pictures:
Preview (43-43, 3rd, 1.5 GB CWS): John Danks (7-6, 3.76) vs. Nick Blackburn (7-4, 2.94). Coming into the Yankees series, the Twins were in second place and nipping at Detroit’s heels. Now they are in third place and looking up at the Pale Hose as well. A “statement series” before the All-Star break would be nice, as would the bump in the standings.