Basic Biittner - Sorry... (NOT!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm usually not too crazy about admitting a mistake (like many of you, I would guess), however, I would like to GLADLY apologize here for a very public mistake I made right here in this column. In a May 10th column entitled "Feel My Pain...Please?"

In that column, I was bemoaning the terrible season "my" Yankees were having and "crying in my beer." Although I didn't actually say the season was over, I'm sure my words conveyed that thought. If so, that's where the apology comes in. As I write this, in mid-August, the Yanks are just a few games behind the rival Red Sox in the AL East chase, and are virtually ahead in the wild card race. So - it's beginning to look like the Bronx Bombers may be playing in October this season after all.

The best thing about the Yankee resurgence this season - they have baseball's best record since the All-Star break - is that it's not being keyed by some recent pricey acquisition(s). Oh sure, "A-Rod" cost them a lot and so did some others, but the addition of Roger Clemens to the staff really hasn't added much to the team on the field (though maybe it has in the clubhouse). Two of the Yanks' leaders have been shortstop Derek Jeter and catcher Jorge Posada, both of whom are "home grown" Yanks. Pitcher Andy Pettite came back from Houston this season, but he was originally a Yankee, too. Outfielder Melky Cabrera, second baseman Robinson Cano, and utility player Andy Phillips are also products of the Yankee farm system. Pitcher Mike Mussina was originally an Oriole, of course, but has now been with the Yankees long enough that he's won 100 games for the New Yorkers.

Pitching coach Ron Guidry and batting coach Don Mattingly, too, are lifelong Yankees.

I'm not going to make any predictions, but I 'm starting to feel a little better about the Bronx Bombers - if the pitching can just come through.

In closing, we will miss another "lifelong Yankee ." Phil Rizzuto passed away recently . Rizzuto played as a Hall-of-Fame shortstop for the team for 15 years, winning the league MVP in 1950, and was an instrumental part of 11 Yankee pennant winners. He then became a colorful broadcaster with team for another 40 years,adding the phrase "Holy Cow!" and the word "huckleberry" to Yankee history. Rizzuto's play-by-play call was also an integral part of Meatloaf's hit song "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" - although he wasn't aware of just what was going on at the time.