Last night’s game was a marathon for no reason whatsoever. On several levels, it hurt my brain. And then the whole Michael Jackson thing added to the confusion. It’s so weird to see multiple generations have such vastly different memories of a performer.
So, all I can really muster this morning is a few random thoughts:
- Happy Birthday, Derek Sanderson Jeter. Even though you have reached the golden milestone of 35 two months and ten days before I will, I get annoyed out of solidarity when people talk about your age. You look just as good to me now as you did in ’96. I wish I could say the same for myself.
- I don’t know why, but I can’t get all jazzed up about A-Rod tying Reggie Jackson in the home run department. Part of it is that I could never get jazzed up about Reggie. I know I should be able to, and I know A-Rod passing him (and the other guys on the list) will be a big deal. But Reggie never really seemed like a particularly fun guy and, as you know, I’m forever ambivalent toward A-Rod.
- Is it wrong that I am simultaneously sad about Xavier Nady’s setback and somewhat relieved that it could possibly cut down on the chances that Swisher would be traded?
- In Non-Yankee News, it was reported yesterday that Cubs catcher Geovany Soto tested positive for pot during the World Baseball Classic. The following paragraph appeared in a blog post written by Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com:
“In all seriousness, though, this news is embarrassing for everyone
involved, most notably Soto. The Cubs’ catcher is hitting just .228 on
the year and looks like a shell of the player that was the NL Rookie of
the Year last season. He doesn’t look nearly as powerful, or as fit, as
he did when he clubbed 23 homers and 86 RBIs in 2008. In short, he’s
been a disappointment, and now with this news being public plenty of
fans will wonder if all the adulation got to his head.”
Everybody who thinks this was the first time Soto ever smoked pot, raise your hands. No one? Good. Because my feeling is that it wasn’t. Now, everybody who thinks all this hand wringing over pot use is ridiculous in light of what was happening with drugs in the 70s, 80s and 90s? Aren’t we all pretty sure that the entire Mets roster was high as a kite throughout that time. Sure the adulation may have gone to his head, and maybe he thought he didn’t have to work so hard anymore, but I would question blaming that all on the pot because you’re assuming he wasn’t doing it the whole time he was coming up through the ranks.
- Speaking of MLB players you might want to smoke pot with, when we were at Citizens Bank park for the Phillies game, my husband and I got a kick out of noting the batting music of each player. Shane Victorino was rockin’ the Bob Marley, forever endearing himself to me. (Disclaimer: this is not to say that I’m speculating about Victorino smoking pot. I have no idea what he does with his spare time. I’m just commenting on the mellow vibe Bob inspires.) Tim decided that he would like to be pals with Chase Utley based on his choice of Led Zeppelin, specifically Kashmir. Good to know. I told him that now he can’t turn around and make fun of Utley if I say something about him being an aesthetically pleasing ballplayer in addition to being a very good one.
Okay. I know. I was the pessimistic one yesterday. And I think the frustration had reached a boiling point for many in the Yankee Orbit. Then, we were treated to this:
The drama! The intensity! The incredibly terrible call by this here ump! I believe that a manager getting thrown out can fire up his/her team. But in this case, I think it was actually the bad call on Gardner getting “picked off” first. It wasn’t even close. Something that maddening is bound to push a frustrated group right over the edge whether the manager gets thrown out or not. And it did. In a good way.
Francisco Cervelli, who does have a way of making good things happen (although I am emphatically not in the group calling for Posada to be put out to pasture), hit his first major league home run, and nobody in the dugout even bothered with the pretense of giving him the silent treatment.
(Speaking of Cervelli, I can’t get a handle on his accent. I know he is from Venezuela and that he played in the WBC for Italy. Is he of Italian descent? His accent kind of had that feel to it in the postgame interview with Kim Jones.)
Mo’s got a bat! Look out. He actually hit the ball pretty hard to center field, although it was caught by Nate McLouth. Of course, CC Sabathia’s reaction was priceless. As soon as the ball came off the bat he started jumping up and down like a mad man. It was kind of an awesome moment. That’s the kind of enjoyment I look forward to seeing from my boys. I hope we get to see lots more of it in the near future.
Now, I was having a moment of extreme annoyance, and that’s not really how I feel. But I can’t help thinking that the All-Star break cannot come fast enough. Last night’s game against Atlanta was incredibly frustrating. But more than that, it was a situation in which I sat on my couch and thought about all the other things I could be doing just then. And then I decided that I was going to do all those other things for a few days instead of vegging out in front of this train wreck every night.
You see, when I was on vacation, it was so nice. We went to Oriole Park at Camden Yards and Citizens Bank Park in Philly. The whole time, I was inspired (and a little envious) at the way these people saw the games as entertainment. There wasn’t a stressed-out vibe as soon as you walked in the park, like at Fenway or Yankee Stadium. I started thinking, wouldn’t it be great to live in a city where the games don’t really matter? (Note: I realize that Philly fans are just as crazy as we are, but they are enjoying life right now and giving their team a pass because of that World Series thing.)
I also didn’t have access to the Internet, so I couldn’t read all the hand-wringing and whatnot (you know, like I’m doing right now). It was actually quite liberating.
I don’t really have much to say today. And I won’t have much to say for the next week or so. I’m going on vacation and will have limited access to the interwebs. Which is probably a good thing at this point.
That doesn’t mean I’ll be on vacation from baseball, though. My hubby and I are going to Baltimore to see the Orioles play the Blue Jays, and then we are going up to Philly to see the Phillies vs. the Mets. I’m pretty psyched to relax and root for a team I really don’t care all that much about.
Specifically, I’m excited to see Camden Yards. I’m also looking forward to seeing Nick Markakis, live and in person. And, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t be?
But, really, I can’t wait to watch the Phillies. Why is that? I don’t know. I mean, I love Ryan Howard. But besides that, I just think they are a team I could get behind if I had to root for someone else (the Twins and the Cardinals also appeal to me). My husband, in that awesome way that he has, is determined to get his picture taken with the Phillie Phanatic. We’ll have to make that happen.
So, until I return with tales of non-Yankee baseball adventure, I will just say that I am touched by the support Chien-Ming Wang is receiving from his teammates.
I hope Mariano has his planned chat with him and that Wang regains some of his lost confidence. I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to say bad things about someone who seems like such a nice guy.
***UPDATE***: Wow. I don’t even know what tickets I bought. That’s how addled my brain is. The Orioles are actually playing the Mets and the Phillies are playing the Jays. This is why I need vacation. Desperately.
I can’t really get into what happened last night because the game itself was pretty infuriating in a number of ways. I don’t know why particular problems keep popping up against the Sox. But I do know this: people are basing their supposed “solutions” on the Yankees’ record against a single team. When has that ever helped a team improve over the entirety of its schedule?
I’m not saying that I’m immune. I do the same thing all the time: when the team looks good, everyone’s great! When it looks bad, let’s blame A-Rod, Girardi, Swisher, Damon’s arm, Matsui’s knee, Dave Eiland, the bullpen, A.J., Posada, Kate Hudson, the water cooler, the security guard that bumps Pap Smear’s fist everytime he comes out of the bullpen. (Note: This is just a partial list.)
I realized last night, however, that I loved this team a week ago and I love it now. Sure, the bullpen needs work. Sure, I don’t think it would be a huge loss if they traded Matsui. But you can’t start messing with truly integral parts of the team because they haven’t performed well against the Red Sox. It’s frustrating, yes, but stuff happens. Sometimes a team has your number for a while.
So let’s take a moment, and a couple of deep breaths, and think about where this team would actually be overall without A-Rod bucking up Teixiera with his mere presence in the lineup; without Swisher and Cano and Melky hitting when other people weren’t; with mix-and-match starters from the minor leagues instead of CC, A.J., Pettitte, and Joba having defined roles in the rotation. My god, do you people remember 2004 – 2008?
The sky ain’t falling nearly as much as you think it is.
What the hell was that, A.J. Burnett?
And why the hell did every Yankee forget how to hit virtually overnight? More specifically, why was Robbie Cano the only one who looked remotely interested in playing this game?
And what the hell is this?
This pretty much sums up Red Sox fans, right here. Only in their freakin’ Bud Light-addled minds would it be ok for someone to hold up a sign like this about A-Rod while Papi struggles to hit over .200 (because of his lack of…what, exactly?) and the two World Series they won were on the back of Manny “Manboobs” Ramirez. Seriously? You’re actually going to try to take the moral high ground? For christsakes. Hundreds of colleges and universities in the area and the locals still manage to be a bunch of morons.
TEX PASSES YOUKILIS IN ALL-STAR VOTING (via Pete Abraham on the LoHud Yankees blog).
Most of the time, as a grown woman, I would feel silly about voting more than once for players in the All-Star game. I mean, we know it’s all a ruse, right? Stats mean nothing and many of the fans voting just want to see who they perceive as “stars,” which would explain why Ken Griffey Jr. has more votes right now than Nick Markakis.
I also suspect that many fangirls have been busy voting, which is the only thing that makes sense when you consider that Jarrod Saltalamacchia and his .245 BA are in second place behind Joe Mauer, while Victor Martinez (BA .344) is in fifth. I mean, I love me some Salty; he’s a solid starter on the AL hottie team:
And apparently he’s quite the natty dresser, but I don’t see him as an All-Star this year. But I digress.
One of the few things that could make me vote multiple times is the nausea-inducing idea of Kevin “Melon Head” Youkilis beating out Tex. So please, go vote for Tex. Or vote for Justin Morneau. I would be okay with that. Because if Kevin Youkilis wins, we all lose.
2nd Inning: Dear Ozzie Guillen, Thanks for being such an asshat and helping to usher in the Nick Swisher era in New York. Love (only in this instance), Kristin
Wild pitch, Andy Pettitte. I can’t blame that on Kate Hudson. Here comes the out-of-control circus inning.
RBI single by Tampa Bay’s hobbling catcher; David Cone is calling it “quick damage.” How about a quick rebound for Andy and the guys in the field?
Nope. Tie game. Aww, hamburgers.
Michael Kay, ladies and gentlemen, lecturing BJ Upton about having dip or chew in his mouth in the outfield. My personal thought is that it’s a disgusting habit, but there’s no reason to pick on one guy – especially when several of the Yankees have that permanent bottom-lip or cheek bump during games.
5th inning: Andy Pettitte looks confused as to what is happening here. You need some outs, big guy.
Ask and you shall receive. Double play. Nice play by Jeter. I would prefer it if Michael Kay didn’t call it a “dance step,” though. Might as well call him “twinkle toes.”
Ha! Kay just brought the hammer down on Swish for the dip thing. Cone was awesome, saying, “Wow, you’re the tobacco police!” I don’t know about telling grown men they can’t do something that’s perfectly legal. If MLB ever tried to outlaw it, I picture Josh Beckett saying something like, “You can pry my dip from my cold, dead hand.”
6th inning: Quick work by Pettitte. This is what makes pitching interesting for me. What made the light-hitting Gabe Kapler so dangerous at that moment, but you can strike out Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena twice each?
Johnny Damon! Nice work, there, Caveman. Gotta take those hanging curveballs and deposit them in the seats where they belong.
7th inning: Please welcome to the stage The Phil Hughes Bullpen Experience. I’m one of those people who thinks it doesn’t help him at all to get sent back down to Scranton. He’s a pro pitcher right now…as evidenced by that masterful inning right there.
Melky, see, what you’re supposed to do there is prolong the inning so my husband can get more and more annoyed at close-ups of Swisher on base. You just had to cut my amusement short, didn’t you?
8th inning: My question is why? Why take Phil Hughes out for Phil Coke? Why is Michael Kay so corny? Why is my husband so threatened by men in pinstripes? Why is Phil Coke walking people on four pitches?
Derek Jeter jacks a homerun. My husband says, “That’s an out in Fenway.” Man, is that annoying.
9th inning: Mo time. Long tirade from hubby on Mo’s age. Mo, apparently, is 75 years old. He hides it well. Oh, how I love when they swing at the high fastball. Game over.
Can I just say that A.J. getting suspended for a pitch that never made contact with Nelson Cruz is ridiculous? In fact, the whole idea of suspending pitchers for what you suspect their intent was is ridiculous. How ’bout we just suspend and fine the guys who actually throw at and hit someone? That would be a novel idea.
Let’s take Sherriff Joshua Patrick Beckett, for instance. I believe he was pitching a no-hitter the other night when a batter tried to bunt for a hit. Apparently, that breaks the Man Code or something. Never mind that, as the opposing team in that situation, you really need baserunners any way you can get them. Josh wasn’t about to let that go unpunished. He promptly hit the guy the next time he came up. Did he get suspended or fined? I haven’t seen anything about it.
I love that Teixiera got hit twice in the Yanks-Rangers game in question and three other Yankees got buzzed by Padilla, but the headlines are all about A.J. The Rangers get to quietly put Padilla on waivers for being such a ***** and endangering his own teammates? Seriously, let’s get rid of all this disingenous crap about throwing at people. If Pedro Martinez had been fined enough for every head he ever threw at, he’d be back under his mango tree without two pennies to rub together.
Nope, by the time I showed up the Yankees had already battled back from a 5-1 deficit, and the score was tied 6-6.
This is what happens when I’m not at work and in front of a computer all day. Instead I was at home, nursing a strained quad and hopped up on pain meds.
I’m always happy to see a comeback victory, of course, but I kind of wish Chien-Ming had put all questions to rest with a solid outing. Now, everyone will go bananas for a week about whether or not he should start against the Red Sox. Here it is: Yes. He. Should.
He has got to get back into a routine. He’s got to get the confidence back that comes from knowing others are behind you and not ready to give you the hook at the drop of a hat. And, I’m sorry, but at this point, I just don’t see a Red Sox game as any more do-or-die than a game against any other team. I just want the Yanks to keep chugging along overall.
Next up, Tampa Bay. I hope the pitching rebounds a bit in this series.