Echoes from the Bronx
Even before it was learned that Andy Pettitte had pitched Wednesday night’s playoff game after taking a line drive off his right knee during batting practice, his performance had signaled just another dent in the Yankees mystique.
I grew up in the Bronx in the shadow of Yankee Stadium and have been a Yankees fan since I was a little kid. My first memory of baseball was Mickey Mantle catching the final out of the 1958 World Series, a Yankees victory over the then Milwaukee Braves. I will be 54 on Oct. 26 and the Yankees have won the World Series 13 times in my lifetime. They’ve won 22 American League pennants. I still wear a dark blue T-shirt with the famous No. 7 on the back and on the front covering the heart. The No. 7 on the front is surrounded by two invincible words: "The Mick."
Pettitte and Roger Clemens may be pitching for the Astros now, but they are still Yankees in my mind’s eye. And wouldn’t Joe Torre loved to have had them still out there pitching against the Angels in their first-round series?
But it wasn’t to be. The Yankees aren’t the Yankees anymore, not in this era. And Pettitte isn’t really Pettitte. Clemens has always been a hired hand. So be it.
If the Yankees can’t bring the World Series back to the Bronx, at least those two pitchers could bring it to Houston. Somehow, though, I doubt it. Not against the Cardinals. — Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com