For the Michael Kay Martini, you will need:
2 1/2 oz Gin.
1/4 oz Dry Vermouth.
1 green olive.
1 sterile cotton swatch.
A crying Michael Kay.
3 ice cubes.
Place the ice cubes in a mixing cup, then pour in and combine the Gin and Vermouth.
Stir well. (Michael Kay ain’t no James Bond and his drink should reflect that.)
Strain and pour into a Martini glass.
Drop the olive into the drink.
Just before serving, wipe the streaming tears from the stricken face of Michael Kay and coat the rim of the glass.
Serve and enjoy.
Despite the fervent belief in this flawed team among apologists/”experts” in the media, the Yankees lost.
It’s funny how not one person on YES or in the New York based radio and television business thought the Yankees would lose.
Or maybe not so funny. Maybe it’s telling.
I’m not paying attention to the booing, the alibis or the subjective savagery engendered by those who failed in this series—namely Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher—nor do I want to hear that the Tigers were “lucky”; that Yankees manager Joe Girardi is to blame; or similar nonsense from last season that, although Cliff Lee beat them, it’ll all be okay because the Yankees were going to sign Lee and eliminate their nemesis from the competition.
The Yankees veterans didn’t come through; benching A-Rod in favor of Eduardo Nunez isn’t going to happen on this planet, ever; Girardi did a brilliant job this year; and I doubt Justin Verlander is on the market.
Apparently Kay, that noted baseball genius in his own mind and nowhere else, went ballistic over Tigers manager Jim Leyland‘s decision not to use Verlander in game 5; it wasn’t simply that he wasn’t going to use Verlander, but he took him out of the equation entirely by having the pitcher throw his scheduled bullpen session early in the day so there would be no option, no temptation to use him if he thought he might need him.
Personally, I would not have planned to use Verlander; but nor would I have had him throw his bullpen session just in case I needed to use him.
Leyland, a baseball man for nearly 50 years who’s done about everything one can do in baseball and has experienced all the highs and lows going back to devastating NLCS losses with the Pirates to a World Series win with the Marlins, took that path of protecting his 28-year-old star pitcher rather than concerning himself with one game. If he’d lost and an instance in which he could’ve and should’ve used Verlander arose, he’d have been criticized.
But Verlander has never relieved before; he’s thrown almost 260 innings this year and if the Tigers make it all the way to the World Series, that number will come close to 300; and he had a hard start two days earlier with 120 pitches and massive pressure.
More importantly, it was a team effort on the part of the Tigers that took out the Yankees, not the best pitcher in the world alone.
What would it have said to the other Tigers players—on a team that won 95 games in the regular season—to remove them from their customary jobs in favor of Verlander?
Joaquin Benoit was signed to a 3-year, $16.5 million contract to be a set-up man.
Jose Valverde was perfect in his save opportunities in 2011.
Leyland used every player on his roster all season long; this is not a one man show.
Even had he lost, he made the right decision in using his set-up man and closer for the late innings. Had he not done so, all of his credibility and the confidence of his players would’ve been demolished in one panicky choice to use Verlander.
And there’s no guarantee that it would’ve worked.
Had the Tigers used Verlander and won, there would’ve been the lingering question from Valverde and Benoit: “What? I’m good enough to pitch for you all season, but not in the biggest game of the year?”
Much of managerial success in baseball has more to do with being a psychologist and preschool teacher than a strategist.
Leyland has experience that those in the media couldn’t have; and he has the courage to do what’s right rather that what’s explainable to the masses. Masses that include those who know nothing about baseball; nothing about people; and nothing about anything.
The Tigers are moving on.
The Yankees are going home.