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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Fans of "Peter Pan" Will Get This

Armando Benitez, the fireballing relief pitcher with the egg-shell psyche, has left the Mets and joined the Yankees.

When he pitches with confidence, Armando can throw a steak past a hungry dog; when his confidence is gone, he can't get a pitch past my grandmother.

Last night, he made his Yankee debut. The Yanks had a big lead, there was no pressure, and he was excellent for two innings. Right now he can help the Yanks by providing a live arm and working some innings. However, we all wonder if he can help the team in a big game against the hated Red Sox in September.

Time will tell. But the Yankee players and coaches are all repeating one message - if we keep this guy's confidence up, he can help us win. Yankee fans, being smarter than Mets fans, have (mostly) figured this out as well. Booing Armando makes sense, based on his history, and may feel good, but it does not help the club win ball games.

Personally, if he could throw 95 miles per hour and keep his pitches low in the zone, I would cheer Bill Clinton in pinstripes. [NO, those aren't pinstripes! Looks good, though.]

Sorry. Re-focus. Peter Pan. Yes, as a kid, I vividly recall Tinkerbell's dramatic near-death, where only the enthusiastic clapping of the audience could keep her alive. You gotta believe! And every time, we would clap, and Tinkerbell would live. OK, one year I tried not clapping, and got a stern lecture from my mom about the problems with free-ridership. And I was never quite sure how it worked when Tinkerbell was on televison, but I figured it must be like ESP, or praying, or something. Fortunately, this was pre-VCR and DVD, so her near-death was not happening five times daily, as in my own household.

I had a point when I started. Oh, yes - Armando Benitez is Tinkerbell. Clap for him.

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