Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10/10 (Ibanez! Ibanez Again!) Quickie

Turns out I was a day ahead of what is going to turn out to be a stampede to run over Nats GM Mike Rizzo when the Nationals' season ends today with Strasburg replacement Ross Detwiler.

(Whew: It's a good thing Rizzo guaranteed that we would win at least a couple of World Series championships in exchange for accepting him tanking our best shot to win a title right now.)

But let's get to the name of the day: Raul Ibanez.

Now, let's be clear: I hate the Yankees. And I am entirely partial to the Orioles franchise I grew up following from 45 minutes away.

But it is impossible to not marvel at the circumstances on Wednesday night: A-Rod sucks just enough to get benched, then his replacement not only hits the game-tying HR in the bottom of the 9th, but comes back around in the bottom of the 12th to win the game with a walk-off HR.

It is as dramatic of a single effort as any Yankee has produced since Reggie Jackson's 3-HR game in 1977.

Translation: No one born anytime after Ibanez -- that would be 40 years ago -- has any recollection of anything that insane.

Not those walk-off Yankee home runs in 2001 (which didn't even result in a championship, so who cares?) Not Aaron Boone in the '03 ALCS. Not O'Neill or Tino or Bernie or Jeter or Rivera.

Nope: Raul Ibanez. 40-year-old Raul Ibanez, plucked from obscurity for a little more than a million bucks, replacing a guy still owed more than a hundred million bucks.

As someone turning 40 in just a few short months, I appreciate the unlikely uber-contribution of a 40-year-old more than I can muster my typical loathing for Yankees success (or even my disappointment that it probably cost the Orioles any shot at winning this series).

Raul Ibanez, with an instant classic moment of baseball history that fans will remember and talk about for years. Let's overlook that he is a Yankee and celebrate that sometimes the most marvelously insane things happen in a baseball game.

-- D.S.

UPDATE: It is impossible (unless you are a Tigers fan) not to root for these amazing A's. Watch last night's 9th-inning rally.

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