|My eyes have seen the glory|
By Jim Caple
Page 2 columnist
The Yankees were no-hit last night, and every fan in the country wanted to leap into Houston closer Billy Wagner's arms.
Has any sporting event ever brought so much joy to so many people in so many places? The Miracle at Lake Placid? Mark McGwire's record-breaking home run? Brandi Chastain ripping off her shirt? No. None are even close. The only outcome that might have provided a comparable amount of joy was Jimmy Chitwood sinking the Indiana state title-winning shot in "Hoosiers.''
But even Chitwood's shot falls short of the Yankees getting no-hit. The only way people would take more pleasure from this is if it also somehow involved additional charges against Martha Stewart.
The Yankees were no-hit. By six pitchers on a National League team that didn't even exist the last previous time New York was no-hit 45 insufferable years ago. This no-hitter alone justifies interleague play.
The Yankees were no-hit. George Steinbrenner has already fined Jason Giambi for not corking bats.
The Yankees were no-hit. And everyone in baseball is so excited that Rafael Palmeiro can cancel his Viagra prescription for the month.
This no-hitter is a moment that transcends sports, the sort of moment that unites the entire country, a moment that brings everyone out of their homes and dancing into the streets. A moment like when the troops landed in Normandy or when Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon or when Ruben beat Clay.
The Yankees are the most storied team in American sports. They've won 26 world championships. They've won so many championships that they practice riding in ticker-tape parades during fundamental drills each spring. They have a $180 million payroll. They're so rich, successful and powerful that they're like Paul Allen with chemical weapons. But for one magical night, it was as if they were wearing Chico's Bails Bonds on their backs.
"This is one of the worst games I've ever been involved in," manager Joe Torre told reporters. "It was a total, inexcusable performance."
Torre must feel miserable. He's taken the Yankees to the World Series five times in seven years, winning four world championships. He's been the man most responsible for the Yankees' return to prominence, a great manager who symbolizes the best New York can offer. And if the Yankees don't turn things around soon, Steinbrenner still will fire him just as soon as he finishes digging up Billy Martin's body.
Then there's poor Brian Cashman, who deserves better. Cashman is a superb general manager and seems to be a very decent man, but he has the misfortune of working for the most miserable, unforgiving boss in the country. At the end of the game, the TV camera kept showing him sitting in his private box, and turning various shades of beige while waiting for the inevitable phone call from Steinbrenner. It was like watching a man wait for his IRS audit.
Everyone but Steinbrenner realizes that it was just one game. That the Yankees could very easily come back tonight and win the series with Houston. That when October rolls around, we'll see more closeups of New York's fall lineup than NBC's. (And if we didn't already realize all this, the Yankees fans will be sure to let us know.)
But who cares what happened in previous years or what might happen this October? Yesterday, the Yankees were no-hit.
Your favorite team might be in last place. It might not have reached the World Series for 58 years. It might not have won the World Series for 85 years. It might never reach the World Series. But your club got a hit last night ... and the Yankees didn't!
The Yankees were no-hit. And America couldn't be happier if Derek Jeter invited everyone out for a night on the town with his credit card.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to find a nurse to kiss in Times Square.
Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com.