During the ninth inning Sunday night at Yankee Stadium, the lame-duck cathedral sounded as if there were only Met fans left in the Bronx. The visitors were up by nine, on the way to an 11-2 clobbering. The fans with the curlicue N-Y's on their caps stood and cheered, alone, triumphant.
It was hard to imagine a more humiliating moment for the Yanks and their new manager, Joe Girardi. Their two best starters were knocked around like bums for two days by cross-city rivals, who had scored a total of 18 runs in 18 innings - not counting a three-run homer by Carlos Delgado, incorrectly ruled foul by overzealous, overruling umpires.
This is how bad it was: If Joe Torre were still managing here, then he probably wouldn't be managing here anymore.
Funny how a wet, one-sided weekend can change everything. Willie Randolph entered the borough on Friday reeling and rationalizing. He was supposedly losing control of his clubhouse. Two games later, the Mets are one game out of first place, while things are Subway Serious for the last-place Yankees and their beleaguered manager.
"Any game you don't win I take as an embarrassment," Girardi said, downplaying the crisis. "It's not about this week. It's not about 20-24. It's what you do Tuesday. We all have to do better. It starts with me. I'm the leader.
"I gotta find something."