Posted by: JoeD2133 | April 24, 2008

4/22: Yankees 9, White Sox 5

                Bobby Abreu witnessed Derek strike out.  Taking his easy, fluid swings from the on-deck circle at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, he watched in quiet amazement as Octavio Dotel blew a high heater right past the Captain on a 2-2 count.

                “Whoosh,” said the bat, fighting the air on its way through the strike zone.  Derek just shook his head and stared back at the mound, looking as comfortable with his failure as he does with his countless success.  Try teaching that in Little League, coach.

                Bobby was amazed though.

The more he thought about it, the more it didn’t make any sense.  The bases are loaded right?  There are two outs in the top of the seventh, and we are down 3-2… the game is hanging in the balance, am I wrong?  Bobby wrinkled his brow into deep, wavy furrows and began digging his back foot into the batter’s box.  He was miles away in the far reaches of his mind.

Why didn’t Jeter get a hit?

“Whap,” the glove grunted, Octavio having throw ball one.

Suddenly, oh so subtly, Bobby realized the inevitable truth.  This game is on my shoulders now, isn’t it?  It’s up to me, and nobody else in that dugout over there, to make sure Wang-er gets the win.  After a gritty, gutsy, less than perfect six innings of work, Chien-Ming Wang could only sit and observe, a jacket and a towel wrapping his valuable right arm in warmth.

So valuable, in fact, the Taiwanese stock market fluctuates on its performance.  Can that be true?

“Whap,” the glove shouted this time, Octavio having thrown ball two.

Alright, Bobby, time to wake up.  He’s gotta groove one right here.  No way he’s going 3-0.

So Bobby came back down to earth, and with the clarity and conviction of a wandering, salt-of-the-earth prophet, launched the fastball that he knew was coming deep into the Windy City night.  The left-fielder leapt, Bobby Abreu tossed his bat, and just like that, the Yankees went for losing this game 3-2, to winning 6-3.  Talk about a New York minute.

And talk about a clutch, two-out hit.

No, talk about a baseball player picking up his Captain, and dusting off his ace.

Even when Billy Traber and Brian Bruney loaded the bases on three walks and one strike-out in the bottom of the seventh, Joba rolled in and picked up his fellow relievers.  Pumping in nasty heat and snapping off ridiculous sliders, the young stud from Nebraska got out of the jam without breaking a sweat.  He did walk one run home to tighten the score to 6-4, but shrugged it off and got Juan Uribe to pop-up on the very next pitch.

Try teaching that in Little League, coach.  Try moving this kid into the rotation now, Hank.

The heart of a champion beats with the blood of a fighter, a cool, calculated, single-minded confidence that cannot be taught, and cannot be denied.  Jeter knows how it feels, so does Mo, so does Pettitte, and as is becoming more and more obvious by the New York Minute, so does Joba Chamberlain.

Bobby Abreu got a taste Tuesday night in Chicago.

Don’t think.  Just swing.  Grand Slam.

Sweet, saucy, Venezuelan perfection, and the Yankees win.

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