So Let Me Get This Straight

AJ Burnett got a six-game suspension for not hitting Nelson Cruz in Wednesday night’s Yankees-Rangers game, and Vincente Padilla got a fine for hitting Mark Teixeira twice? Does that sound reasonable to anyone? Oh, the mysteries of baseball.
Here’s another one that made my brain explode.
It’s 2009. We can launch rockets into space, but we can’t figure out how to keep the YES Network on the air during Yankees games? I was watching Thursday’s series finale on YES. It was the top of the ninth with Mo on the mound to preserve the Yankees’ 8-6 lead. Young had doubled past Melky, who took an extremely odd route to the ball, and Blalock singled. So the Rangers had two men on with one out and the dangerous Nelson Cruz stepping up to the plate. I gripped the arms of my chair, fearing the worst, and then –
Right. My TV went blank at the crucial moment. I started screaming: “How could you do this to me?” Then I remembered that my Extra Innings package was also offering the Rangers feed. I changed channels just in time to see Cruz strike out – and to hear my favorite broadcaster, Josh Lewin, say about Murphy, the next batter: “Let’s see if he can hit one into the seats.” Murphy popped up to end the game.
Then there was this head scratcher.
head scratcher.jpg
Wang retired the first six batters and looked like his old sinker-ball-throwing self. Then, in the third inning, Davis – yes, the guy who strikes out in his sleep – smacked a ground-rule double. Next came a wild pitch, a walk, a few singles, a few more doubles, and Cruz’s homer. Suddenly, it was 5-1 Texas and the Wanger headed for the dugout.
After the game, Girardi announced that he would make his next start….on Tuesday at Fenway. Um, what? I’m all for letting CMW work out the kinks, but not when we’re trying to hang onto first place in the division. What will it do for his confidence if the Red Sox make this out of him?
Yet another puzzler occurred in the fifth: Aceves walked his leadoff batter. Why, Alfredo? Why? Do they not teach the Do-Not-Walk-The-Leadoff-Batter Rule at Yankees School?
But enough with the questions and complaints. It’s time to celebrate the Yankees’ latest stirring, come-from-behind victory. What a great fifth inning.
Cervelli: singled.
Pena: singled.
Damon: walked.
Swisher: walked (terrific at bat).
Tex: doubled home three runs.
A-Rod: went the other way for a change and singled in the go-ahead run.
Swisher was a happy boy crossing home plate in that inning and deservedly so.
Things got tense in the sixth after Kinsler’s foul-pole homer off Aceves. But Melky was a late-inning magician once again.
I used to think the word “clutch” meant a type of woman’s handbag.
clutch purse.jpg
Well, it still does. But it also means this.
And I was OK with trading the Melkman? My bad.



    Great blog once again! You rock as always ! Yes, what is with girardi saying wang looked GOOD?!?!

    Loved the way swish reacted when he crossed home !

    Loving the way they are having fun in the dug out too !

    Keep it up Jane, your blog made my day !

    AGAIN ! As did the Yankees !

  2. lenn23

    Yeah, that Red Sox game in Fenway might get ugly pretty quick. I don’t know what the answer to that situation is. Also, why are Yankee fans booing Arod so much? There should be one place in the league where he isn’t booed like a banshee.

  3. lenn23

    Yeah, that Red Sox game in Fenway might get ugly pretty quick. I don’t know what the answer to that situation is. Also, why are Yankee fans booing Arod so much? There should be one place in the league where he isn’t booed like a banshee.

  4. luckylori

    Jane, it took a straight up brawl a few years back before Padilla was dealt with. It is only a matter of time before he seriously hurts someone. Then what? He’s nuts. Well, we gained a game and owe you two (at least?)! Thanks again!

  5. Yankees Reality Check

    All I needed to see was the title of this post and the picture and I knew what you were talking about. I said the same thing. (I also said where’s Beckett’s suspension for hitting Gerald Laird the other night?)

    But enough about that. I love that pic of Swish, but I’m biased of course. I also love Melky getting right back into the swing of things. It’s all good!

  6. juliasrants

    Jane – I don’t understand all the “inner workings” of MLB, but I wonder if Padilla was only fined because a suspension would have prevented the Rangers from releasing him. A suspension is a punishment to the player and the team and in this case, the Rangers have made it very clear that Padilla’s behavior is unacceptable to them. A.J.’s suspension – much like Beckett’s earlier in the season – seems to be an over-reaction by the MLB powers to be.


  7. bigjay21

    Ah, I am back to and had to hit up the She-Fan.

    Despite a sub-par Wang being back, I am hoping VERY much that tonight’s game gets rained out, and they just hold CC off for the first game in Fenway – which would line him up for the last game vs the Mets (which I happen to have tickets too, which may play into my stance on this :-P)…

    I think CC would be much better off, seeing as if tonight is rained out, he would have pushed everyone back a game and Sabathia back 2 games, instead of keeping the rotation actually intact, and just skipping CC for Wang to make his comeback… If they go back to the regular rotation, then Wang is still lined up for the 3rd game at Fenway, but at that point, we will hopefully be going for the sweep (which would shut up those damn BoSox fans)

    One thing I’m worried about is Nady coming back and throwing a wrench in the outfield that has produced so wonderfully in his absence (I’m starting to like the *Damon or Swisher*/Gardner/Cabrera outfield)…


    Whew…2 close 4 comfort, but most home games nowadays seem to be! Take ’em any old way. Where DID you get that second pic? Don’t think I wanna know…no, I can’t fathom Girardi’s pitching moves either — serving up Wang like a Chinese appetizer in the Fens for the Carmine Hose? It could be a long week, but I’m such a pessimist. Great to see Tex back in action ASAP, more sparkling D, and more foot to the clutch by the Melker. Hopefully all of this will be leading up to a glorious (and multiple-victorious) Return to Da Bronx by The She-Fan herself…!!

  9. mayz

    Man, what a spot for the game to cut out. That happens to me often on MLB.TV as well, where the game will start lagging or just sort of pause inexplicably at crucial spots. Maybe they do it on purpose to try and get me to upgrade to Premium.


  10. Jane Heller

    Brendan, I understand that they don’t want to keep messing with Wang and would rather give him some stability (and work). I just question the timing, like you. And I loved Swisher’s reaction too!

    I think the booing is pure frustration, Len. I don’t agree with it, because it’s not as if he’s not trying. But when he starts coming up with bases loaded and doesn’t hit into a double play, the booing will cease.

    You’re welcome, Lori. Glad it worked out for both of us.

    I’m glad Melky got back into the swing of things too, YRC. He’s looked a little off since the shoulder injury, so his homer put my worries to rest!

    Interesting, Julia. You could be right. Good point.

    LOL, Jeff!!!!

    I think Julia’s point was a good one, Kaybee.

    Hey, Big Jay. I’m not worried about Nady coming back at all. We can always use a better bench, plus some of these guys (particularly Damon) need a day off. So it’s supposed to rain in NY today? It’ll be interesting to see how that affects the rotations and Wang/CC/Boston.

    I was so glad to see Tex back in the lineup, Dave. It’s amazing how important he’s become to the team. He fits in so well. May he stay healthy all season!

    Jason, I was really steamed when the game cut out yesterday. Mo on the mound with the game on the line? Come on! Glad you can sympathize.

  11. ladyjane303

    As good as Swish’s reaction crossing the plate was Tex’s on 2nd base – clapping and laughing like a kid. What a difference he makes. Loved seeing the guys on the bench getting into it, too. Another great blog, Jane.

  12. Jane Heller

    I agree about Tex’s reaction, Ladyjane. He looked so pumped! There was also a shot of him in the dugout after he scored. He was chewing gum so intensely I thought his jaws would break.

    I think MLB has been pretty consistent in doling out penalties, Cat. I just didn’t get why Padilla only received a fine. But oh well. On to the next series!

    I bet he’s happy too, Joe. He came very close to making that trade. I think the competition with Gardner for the center field job woke Melky up.

  13. stonebutch99

    Jane, I feel your pain with Wang. In fact, I still feel my pain from the beginning of the season with Wang. CBS Sportsline has a funky scoring system with pitchers now and he cost me -20 the first week. I thought it was just “one of those games” and then he burned me for a -50 the next. I dropped him. Of course, I found myself watching his progress through rehab and then his outings from the bullpen. Ok I’ll give him another shot. This time I did get ONE point. YEEHAW! Now he’s back on the waiver wire. Good luck with him y’all. 😉

  14. bigjay21

    Well, I got the first part of my wish, which was the rainout…. Now to see if they just skip Sabathia’s spot in the rotation and line him up for the first game at Fenway (crosses fingers)…..

  15. Jane Heller

    Austin, I really do think Wang will find his way this season. I just think it’s taking longer than anyone expected. I remember in ’07 when everyone gave up on Mussina and he came back to win 20 games in ’08. Different guys and circumstances, but good pitchers don’t forget how to pitch. And yeah, that scene with Cameron Diaz was hilarious.

    You did get your wish, Big Jay. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with the rotation now.

  16. Erin Kathleen

    I think it has something to do with the fact that Burnett threw near Cruz’s head. MLB has been tougher on pitchers who throw near a guy’s head ever since Ray Chapman was killed, and obviously they’re going to send a strong message whether the pitch was intentional or not. They don’t want anyone to even think about throwing at someone’s head in retaliation, so Burnett was going to get the harsher penalty even if he wasn’t actually trying to hit Cruz. It might not be entirely fair since Padilla instigated the whole thing, but Burnett probably wouldn’t have been suspended if he’d thrown behind Cruz, either.-Erin

  17. Jane Heller

    Could be, Erin. I’m certainly not OK with anyone throwing at a guy’s head. I’m still trying to get over that game when Clemens hit Piazza! Maybe Bob Watson could explain the rules to the fans though, so we’d have a better idea of why certain decisions are made.

  18. contractyear

    Hi, Jane,
    Great blog post. Lots of amazing pix (Where do you get them all , BTW?) and great srpightly commentary. Love the picture of Swish. We saw that kind of enthusiasm from him often in Oakland. He’s a ball of energy. Would drive anyone nuts if they had to live with him.
    My A’s are finally putting it all together and took 3 of 4 from the White Sox this week. Our “pitching babies” (4 rookies under 23 and a second year guy who is 25) are finally looking like they are not scared to take the bump. The G-man has started hitting dingers too. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
    Sorry about the intermittent TV coverage. Am I the only one old enough to remember the last few minutes of the Super Bowl being preempted to air the Movie “Heidi”? Lots of TV sets bit the dust during that one.
    Keep up the good work and keep in touch. Ciao!

  19. Jane Heller

    Hi, Bee. Glad you’re back on the blogs and that your A’s are having a good run. Glad Giambi has started to come around with the bat too. I, too, remember the “Heidi Incident.” It was famous! I’m not even a football fan and I recall the outcry.

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