Here's a late-January pick-me-up: a first-inning at-bat in Game 4 of the 2003 World Series between Miguel Cabrera (just a kid, 20) and Roger Clemens (41 asshole years old):
This should be a life lesson. It should be a TED Talk. They should show it in high school and have discussions about it with kids afterwards.
There are people who will throw at your head to get ahead. And you need to know what to do when that happens. You need to stay cool. Because you need to make them pay.
Miguel Cabrera did just that with Clemens. You could even say this at-bat turned the tide of the World Series and the Yankees dynasty. Marlins were down two games to one, Yanks had Roger Clemens on the mound, he's throwing at the heads of kids. I like the look Miggy gives him after that first pitch. Would be interesting to see Roger's look back. I like Miggy's rush to punish, the big swings, then pulling back when he has two strikes; and then just fighting everything off. And he finds his equilibrium again and makes Clemens pay. Tim McCarver: “There is nothing that makes a hitter feel better than being knocked off the plate and then hitting a homerun. Nothing.”
And there's nothing that makes a Yankee hater feel better.
After this at-bat, the Yankees would have the lead for just one inning more: the 1st inning in Game 5. Otherwise, it was all Marlins.
Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 13.