Welcome To The SWEEP-stakes!

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #54 – 6/3/10 – Orioles @ Yankees

Final Score: Yankees 6, Orioles 3.

Oh, how sweep it is!
A win is a win, and a sweep is a sweep. No matter what team you’re facing, it always feels good to sweep them under the rug.
It was a good game. CC Sabathia pitched well, our batters hit well, Chamberlain had a clean eighth inning, and Mariano Rivera got the save. 
It wasn’t Rivera’s best inning of work. He wasn’t exactly efficient with his pitch count. We did, however, see him hit 94 and 95 MPH with a few of his pitches. When was the last time we saw that much heat from Mariano? At first I thought the radar gun was broken, but then I checked out other sources, and it was indeed accurate. Seeing that velocity from Mariano again is unbelievable. He threw too many pitches, but still got the job done. Praise be to Mo.
As happy as I am about this sweep, I’m a little sad about the state of the Baltimore Orioles. I’m a Yankees fan, but I’m also a fan of baseball in general. As much as I love winning, I love it even more when we beat teams that look alive on the field. The Orioles looked dead out there. It looks as though they’ve already given up on having a winning season. It truly is a sad sight.
Remember when Baltimore was a strong contender in our division? Up until the late 90’s they were. Now, they’re just stuck in the basement, and it’s quite depressing. 
It’s only the beginning of June, for heaven’s sake. We’re only a third of the way through the season. It’s too soon for the Orioles to give up now! Will they make it to the playoffs? Probably not. But they can still finish the season with a winning record. The odds are against them, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t fight. It’s always heartbreaking to see a baseball team playing with no passion or hope. It’s bad for baseball as a sport.
I wish the Orioles would go back to contending. I wish they’d go back to being an obstacle we’d have to overcome to win the division. With the Rays being a strong team, the Red Sox being dangerous, and the Blue Jays being decent, we need the Orioles to become a winning team, so that our division can become even stronger.
A lot of Yankees fans don’t want our division to be any stronger than it already is. The Rays are already ahead of us, the Red Sox may break out into a hot streak at any moment, and we haven’t even faced the Blue Jays yet, so we don’t know how we’ll be against them. A better Orioles team might mean less wins for the Yankees. 
All of that is true, but I’m the type of fan who wouldn’t mind sacrificing an easy win or two, so that we may have better baseball.
Having more contenders in our division, means more heated competition. The hotter the competition is, the less room we have for error. Less room for error leads to better baseball. In a game against our division rivals, I would rather have nine competitive innings, than nine easy innings in which our opponents look dead. I find it boring to play a team 18 times a season, and have them looking dead in at least 12 of those games. 
I have enough faith in the strength of our team to wish that our opponents were stronger. It’s not a fluke, boys and girls, our Yankees are stacked from top to bottom. I really think we’ll win the division this year. When we do, wouldn’t you much rather go into the playoffs with the satisfaction of knowing that we beat the best that baseball has to offer?
Our division already is the best in baseball, but I want it to be even better. Having five teams with winning records in our division would make it an amazing season. It would also add t
o the drama of the race for October, and would make winning a title all the more sweet.
I hope the Orioles can find a way to get excited about baseball again. Dave Trembley, their manager, was fired after yesterday’s game. A new manager might be the fuel needed to spark some fire in Baltimore. If it does, and the Orioles start to show some fight, we’ll be seeing better baseball for the remainder of the season.

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