There should be an element of sadness and nostalgia when a long-successful thing is in decline. St. Jerome was in Jerusalem in 410 and when he heard that the Visigoths had sacked Rome, he wrote: "What is safe if Rome perishes?"

Atlanta's dominance did not endure as long nor stretch as far as Rome's, but 15 consecutive division titles is amazing. Atlanta: It's difficult to be a Yankees fan and not think back to the '96 WS and the 0-2 obstacle that the Bombers conquered to win 4 straight. Atlanta: The prototype granite pitching staff of Glavine/Maddux/Smoltz.

I could not help but feel a bit of pity for Bobby Cox and Atlanta (even Ted... CNN is out of his control, Jane is gone, now the Braves are in decline) last evening as they were dominated by a certain tall lefty who has been a concern this year for the Yankees universe. Could it be that Randy Johnson still has "it"? Let's review: 4 inconsequential hits. 95-96 fastball. 9 strikeouts. A slider that cut in and down like a serrated blade. This was Johnson's 4th fine start of his last 6.

The post K fist pump last night to end the inning? Ladies & gentlemen, RJ's still got "it."

Unfortunately, the Braves got 9th inning life from another aging Atlanta perennial: Chipper Jones turned a Proctor curve that was hanging like a ripe orange into a 2 run bomb. Our man (for better or worse) Torre brought in the finest closer ever, who crushed this flicker of hope.

The offense, you ask?

I can only imagine what went through Jason Giambi's mind in the hours after he discovered he had a tumor, until the tests returned indicating that it was not malignant. Add this potentially grave bad fortune to his then ongoing, self-created PED media storm. Last evening Jason Giambi had 2 HRs and 5 RBIs, creating 100% of the Yankees offense. He now has 22 HR's on the season and his line is: .271/.432/.624. Why his success given the huge obstacles?

"It is the perfection of man to find out his own imperfections." -St. Augustine