When I was in law school, my buddy Andrew used to always say, "Coffee is for closers." He would say that derisively all the time to anyone who couldn't close a deal, but it was really meant for a guy who couldn't "close the deal" as it were with a woman. It shouldn't require further explanation than that, but you'd be surprised by the number of people who tell me "I don't get it." Simply put - if you spend the night with a woman, you'll be having coffee with her the following morning. If not, you don't get coffee. Coffee is for closers.
I was reminded of that adage while watching Yankees vs. Mets this weekend. I don't entirely blame Mo Rivera for what happened on Friday. It took me over two hours to get to Blondie's on 2nd Avenue, thanks to dreadful tunnel traffic, and while in the car I listened to the Yanks gain the lead, only to have Randy Effing Johnson lose it. He did this not once, but twice.... because he sucks. Still, Mo couldn't hold onto the tie in the 9th, he gave up what probably would have been a double to Wright. Ugh. To make matters worse, there was a drunken Mets fan who kept chanting "Let's go Mets go!" Jeeves, who takes in stride the shenanigans of other bar folk, asked me what the drunkard was saying. I repeated, and he pointed out that it made no sense. "Let's go Mets go?" Yeah. Anyway, the Yankees staff thinks that the Unit's problems are all mechanical. If by mechanical you mean a brain malfunction, then I agree. The guy clearly needs to see a shrink. I've never watched a pitcher fall to pieces so much over having Jose Reyes on first base.
The next day, though, the sweet taste of victory when the Mets closer Billy Wagner blew the lead and allowed the Yanks to tie things up in the 9th inning (they won it later on). Wagner, who walks out to "Enter Sandman" (for you non-baseball fans, Rivera has been coming out to "Sandman" for years - it doesn't really bother me that Wagner uses it, except that I think it's completely unoriginal - can't the Mets closer get his own song? Why use the song that is so associated with another closer - a Yankees closer at that?), has been solid for the Mets, erasing memories of Looper and Benitez. It was a little satisfying to see him choke yesterday.
But what little satisfaction I got was quickly erased. A-Rod. I'm done with him. I want him to succeed because he's a Yankee. But you know what? He can't hack it in a pressure situation. Tonight, men on first and second, one out, the score 4-3 (Giambi had just hit a sac fly to drive in a run), A-Rod... hits into a double play. I knew he would do that, as soon as the announcer said, "And here comes last year's American League MVP." Emphasis on the "last year's" part, please. A-Rod can't hack it in these situation. His batting stats for when there are men on base are pretty pathetic. Say what you will about Johnny Damon, but he played hard tonight, and in fact the whole weekend. Maybe, coming from Boston where the fans are as (if not more) brutal, he's gotten used to performing in these situations. A-Rod hasn't, and still can't.
I'm so tired of bringing on expensive players from less stressful venues who suddenly become total mental cases when they get to NY. Suck it up! You're playing baseball! This isn't rocket science, or surgery or any other career where the weight of the world should rest on your shoulders. This is baseball, where you throw the ball and strike guys out, or you swing the wooden bat and drive in runs. It's that simple. Close the deal! Until then, no goddamned coffee for you.