UnNews:SI's Tom Verducci loses interest in non-Yankees baseball

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14 October 2006

Self-described "Yankees' nut" Tom Verducci said it's been hard to report on an October without his beloved team.

NEW YORK -- Sports Illustrated senior baseball writer Tom Verducci said Friday he "can't enjoy" the baseball playoffs without the New York Yankees.

"My kingdom for a 27th World Series title," Verducci wrote on www.si.com. "Chicken dinner for an amazing play by God's beloved, Derek Jeter. Listen, no one's been standing around the office water cooler talking about how the New York Yankees, the New York Yankees, the New York Yankees or the New York Yankees can't buy a hit with runners in scoring position."

Verducci, who says his "veins are pinstripes," blamed the situation on the Detroit Tigers, who eliminated the Yankees from the postseason on October 7. Verducci attacked the Tigers for monopolizing October glory and creating an environment that makes it impossible for a team with a $200 million payroll to win.

"This is the last thing we've come to expect from baseball," Verducci wrote. "What's missing is the breath-taking competition of a series with my Bombers in it."

The correspondent, Sports Illustrated's senior writer since 1993, said the 2006 postseason lacks the "push-and-pull" of the 1999 World Series, which the Yankees won 4 games to none over the Atlanta Braves, or the 2000 Series, which the Yankees won 4 games to 1 over the New York Mets.

Fellow SI correspondent Albert Chen said Verducci is "incredibly passionate about his team."

"When we were at the post-game press conference last Saturday, Alex Rodriguez came out to answer our questions," Chen said. "Before anyone could open their mouth, Tom jumped in. 'Nice fucking job, Pay-Rod,' he yelled. 'If you can't hit the damn ball, bribe one of the pitchers. At least you'll be doing something with your money. Idiot.'"

Verducci appeared upset in his his most recent "Baseball Mailbag," a column where he answers reader's questions. Replying to "Martin" of Kenosha, Wis., who asked about Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder and his development this season, Verducci wrote: "Oh, who cares about your stupid fat rookie? No one gives a shit about the Brewers. NO. ONE. Only the Yankees count. Ask me again in five years. If he's good, he'll be the Yankee God wants him to be."

Verducci's outburst is the most emotional by a Sports Illustrated writer since 1998, when a weeping Peter King embraced Brett Favre after his loss in Super Bowl XXXII.

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