Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Chances Are

The Bronx is built on second chances. And third chances and fourth chances and fifth chances. You get as many as you have fingers and toes. As many as you can stomach. As many as you need.

You don’t run out of chances until you run out of breath and Carl Pavano was breathing fine in his second start of the spring. That makes the Bronx smile no matter what they are saying or writing or blogging in the rest of the world.

They don’t joke about chances around here. Pavano is certainly more Southern Connecticut than South Bronx, but the neighborhood is open to everyone.

Pavano is often discussed over coffee and donuts at the Crown Diner.

“I was excited when we got the kid,” Javier explains. “So he’s been banged up and had some troubles, who hasn’t? I hope he comes back and shuts ‘em up.”

Pavano has a chance to put the injuries and jokes behind him.

“We need him to be big for us,” Javier says. “There ain’t any hard feelings because people like us got no time for hard feelings. We need him to be good and if he ain’t, we need him to come back the next time and be good. He’s just gotta keep at it.”

Baseball in New York has nothing to do with Midtown or the media or the money. It’s about the chance to do something in front of people who know how tough it can be.

“Nothing’s easy,” Javier says. “If big-league pitchin’ was as simple as some people think, I’d be in the rotation instead driving a cab.”

Pavano’s chances are better.

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