A Night For Celebrating

yanks celebrate.jpg
Men in pinstripes jumping for joy. If there’s a more welcome sight for a Yankee fan, I don’t know what it is. 
I really enjoyed the Yanks 5-3 win over the Rays….Not just because it put us a full game over the Red Sox….Not just because it gave Andy Pettitte a “W” for his season-high seven K’s…Not just because I’m a sucker for any game in which Tex, Swisher, Damon and Jeter go deep….And not even because I love seeing Mo retire the side in order…But because Phil Hughes looked so sweet in his one inning of relief:
Upton: grounded out.
Crawford: dribbled a comebacker.
Longoria: struck out.
Where has Phil been hiding that 94 mph fastball? In his closet?
I would have left him in for the eighth, but I can understand Girardi wanting him to have a confidence builder. And speaking of leaving a pitcher in, how about Joe Maddon’s Grady Little move, letting Sonnanstine pitch to Damon in the eighth? Whoops.
Other than the still-shaky-but-improving bullpen situation, I feel pretty good going into Boston this time. There’s only one area of concern for me:
Sure, the team has been in winning mode ever since he came back. His presence has certainly made a difference in Tex’s approach at the plate. But what about his own offense? He keeps grounding out to third. Every. Single. Time. Well, when he’s not banging into a DP. I decided to fly to New York before the team left on their charter to Boston, and talk to him.
I arrived just in time. A-Rod was sitting in the clubhouse smoking a cigar.
“Put that out,” I said, coughing from the smoke. “I didn’t come here to breathe gross fumes.”
He did as I asked. “Why did you come, She-Fan?”
“To beg you to stop trying to pull the ball,” I said.
“I’m not,” he protested.
“Don’t kid a kidder,” I said. “I watch every game and I see you doing it. I want you to cut it out. You need to start going the other way, play pepper, hit one up the middle, slice one into the gap, anything but that same stupid swing. The home runs will come.”
He seemed stunned by my bluntness. I felt guilty, but told myself it was for his own good.
“Listen,” I said. “They’re going to boo you in Boston no matter what you do. So just get back to basics.”
“I hated when they wore those blonde masks,” he said softly. “It hurt my feelings.”
“I’m sure it did,” I said, patting him on his massive arm and wondering if he was made of rocks. “They’ll be back with more – syringes, Madonna masks, who knows. You just have to rise above it. The Yankees are depending on you to hit with runners in scoring position.”
He nodded. “I know, especially with Matsui taking those weak hacks that practically land in the second baseman’s glove in every game.”
“Exactly,” I said. “So are we clear?”
“Crystal,” he said.
“OK. Just one more thing,” I said. “No Kate Hudson at the games. She’s a jinx. See her for dinner, if you must. See her at the hotel. Buy her a nice necklace or something, but don’t put her in the seats. Got it?”
He shrugged. “It’s nice to have someone in your corner rooting for you.”
“You already have people rooting for you,” I said, raising my voice for emphasis. “We’re called fans. And we want you to score runs. Are you up to it?”
A-Rod thought a minute, then grabbed my hand and pumped it vigorously. “I’ll do it, She-Fan,” he said. “You watch me in Boston and see how well I perform. I won’t let you down.”
I thanked him and wished him a safe trip. And then I flew back to California.
 For someone who hates to fly, I’ve been doing a lot of it lately.


  1. nycbren64@mac.com

    Wonderful game all around Jane! Just one thing. If you watched it on Yes. Am i the only one who thought like Good old Phil Coke looked like he was going to have a complete mental and physical meltdown? This guy never makes me feel at ease ! To add insult to injury , Mr. Kay and Mr. Cone were all happy as he walked off the mound in the eighth. ” Telling us Mr. Coke looked all Amped up! Amped Up? He looked like he was going to Crack up ! Ok, enuff of me rambling on! Good to see Derek put one in the seats. Good old Swish looking good at the plate again! Mo looking like Mo! woo hoo !

  2. juliasrants

    Were the Yankees’ fans actually booing A-Rod last night? It sounded like they were when I was watching the game on ESPN. Red Sox fans aren’t booing Ortiz. I hope the weather cooperates this week. Tonight it looks like drizzle for the game, but Thursday’s game could be tough to get in.


  3. hirscha212@yahoo.com

    What man has a perfectly organized closet like that one? You need a picture with clothes piled high to make it more realistic.

    Let’s beat Boston!

  4. hirscha212@yahoo.com

    Jane, please don’t post any more potential home improvement pictures again. If my wife happend to see that closet, I’d be hauled over to Home Depot quicker than a Papelbon hissy fit, buying materials. I would miss an entire weeks worth of games, building this closet, and be cursing you the entire time. All this, so I can pile the clothes up in the Taj Majal of oranized closets.

  5. raysrenegade

    I am starting to think that the curvature of the bowl seating might be the booster for those fly ball rockets in the Bronx.
    I must say, even a fly ball of the end of the bat by Posada almost went out last night.
    The good news is that your teams is basically poised to hit in the direction except for two big boned power hitters.
    It was a great series, but I was expecting a bit more fireworks after that first game on Sat. night.
    Oh well, we will see each other soon enough ( July 27-29).

    Rays Renegade


  6. mikeeff

    a great won no doubt– i was rather stunned that phil was only allowed to pitch one inning after being off since 1947, but then i thought–oh well girardi is giving him a tune up so he can close tonight. that being since he’s used mariano 3 days in a row. but then in the post game girardi said no–that hughes will not be available till wednesday. the kid threw what? 13 pitches?

    i just dont get the moves … but i love the wins…

  7. Yankees Reality Check

    Nice. I love your little chats with A-Rod. You two should have those more often. I was having a little chat with Andy Pettitte myself last night.

    Also – I agree with paulp15; that can’t be Phil’s closet. There isn’t a Metallica t-shirt in sight!

  8. latinyankeerebel

    Thank you for believing Kate is a jinx! LOL… well, if we see the dinners aren’t helping him, I would say to cut that out from the root.
    I’ll have to bring Phil to my apartment in VA next time the Yanks play in Baltimore so that he can organize my closet that way.
    I have to punch some of the supposed Yankee fans in Yankee Stadium… so swisher makes a homer and gets 2 runs, everyone cheers “woohoo!”, standing ovation, what-not. Then at his next at bat he got a double play and everyone booed… WTF??? stopp booing our own! We’re doing good so far… I would understand if we were in last place, but even the fans of teams in last place don’t boo their team, they just don’t go to the games….

  9. Jane Heller

    I’m not sold on Coke, Brendan. He got out of the inning, but he did walk Zobrist on four pitches. But at least Joe didn’t call for Veras. We have to be grateful for that!

    Where have you been, Julia? Yankees fans have been booing A-Rod since he came to the team. They cheer him when he does something good and boo him when he doesn’t.

    Note about the closet to Hirscha, Serena, Paulp and YRC. I wrote this post at midnight after going to a friend’s birthday party. I grabbed the first photo of a closet I could find and I’m laughing now because I didn’t really look at it! You’re all so right. Phil Hughes’ closet it is not! LOL.

    Renegade, I know your team has a lot of guys down. But they don’t give up and should do even better once everybody’s healthy. As for the Stadium, I’m loving the home runs – as long as it’s the Yankees who keep hitting more of them than the opposition.

    Mike, I don’t get the moves either. Hughes was a starter, so you’d have expected him to finish up the game, especially since he was throwing so well and especially since Mo had gone back to back. Why not give him a night off with the Boston series coming up unless Girardi has an “in” with the weather gods and knows for sure tonight will be postponed?

    Damon’s always had power, Jeff. When he was with the Red Sox, he hit homers against the Yankees all the time and we despised him! And another thing: he’s in a contract year. Interesting how that brings out the best in a player.

    We’ll see if my chat with A-Rod did any good, YRC. I’d really like it if he could at least hit the ball out of the infield.

    I hear you about the booing, Latinyankeerebel. I went nuts when I heard people booing Mo! That’s just sacrilege.

    I’d love to become a team counselor, Kaybee. Somehow I just don’t think the Yankees would be up for that.

  10. dschaub@gpo.gov

    Dear J,
    Another fine posting — had some choice comments on the Phil Hughes closet, but fellow bloggers beat me to it…like to be on the good end of HR Derby, but I worry that by the end of ’09, our whole team will be uppercutting the ball to get it up into the N.Y. Jet Stream…ah well, worry later. Gotta deal with the Axis of Evil for the rest of the week; love to win two, settle for one (we ARE on the road, after all), and at least Play Well. In fact, you can extrapolate that comment to BOTH series (love to win both of ’em, but gladly settle for one). Oh, also glad that Our She-Fan got A-Rod/Roid/Fraud all straightened out — he should feel at home with the boos (not the booze, please) — maybe even inspired? I miss Cervelli — hope he’s staying ever-ready!!

  11. Jane Heller

    You make a good point about the uppercutting, Dave. I’d hate to see them screwing up their swings just to hit them in the front row in right field. But that’s why Kevin Long is getting paid the big bucks. I think the series in Boston will be a good test for this team. Are they better than what they showed in April? I would think so.

  12. Jane Heller

    Hughes was definitely firing it in, Bern. I’m thinking he could be a great eighth inning guy if he keeps this up.

  13. levelboss

    “Hughes was definitely firing it in, Bern. I’m thinking he could be a great eighth inning guy if he keeps this up.”

    hmmm.. i was gonna comment about Kate Hudson and if she’s having an affect on A-Rod, but.. now you made me think about Phil Hughes and the 8th inning! maybe that’s the setup solution, Jane! Hughes has the fire power (the 94 mph fastball) to shut down the 8th! get on the horn with Cashman and Girardi, Jane!!!!

  14. Jane Heller

    Levelboss, I was thinking that Hughes would be a backup starter if Wang faltered. But when I saw him last night, I realized he could be great in the pen because he throws strikes – unlike Mr. Veras!

  15. thatbaseballguy

    I was watching the game on ESPN and the other guy that was commentating with Chris Berman made a comment that I didn’t totally agree with. As a matter of fact, I thought it was total bull. He was saying how Phil Coke has been great of late and he has been really consistent. Yeah right. He had one good outing last time but he is still the inconsistent, terrible guy that everyone wants to be traded.

  16. levelboss

    i would say Aceves could be the backup starter to Wang.. having Hughes as the setup guy could help shore up the bullpen.. and when Bruney comes back in, the the Yankees would have a fairly solid end-game

  17. Jane Heller

    I started out watching on ESPN, Dillon, but Orel Hershiser was saying ridiculous stuff so I switched to YES. The trouble with the national broadcasters is they just parachute in to these games and don’t see teams on a daily basis.

    I like Aceves as a long man, Levelboss, but could he give us six or seven innings? Not sure. Having Bruney back will add depth for sure – IF he pitches like he did at the beginning of the season.

  18. Jane Heller

    It’s nice all right, Erin, especially considering where the Yankees were in April. But we all know how fast things can change. No lead is comfortable in the AL East.

  19. flairforthedramatic

    Ahh, that game was great =)
    A heads up: I don’t know if I’ll be going to the game on the 17th b/c I’ve already been invited to go on 16th and I doubt I’ll be able to swing two back to back night games during the week w/ the parentals.. especially when I live so far from the stadium and taking the train at night thing isn’t a smart idea, but I will let you know. If anything, I’ll still try and be at Stan’s before the game to see you there =)
    – V [ http://flairforthedramatic.mlblogs.com ]

  20. Jane Heller

    Bummer that you’re going the night before, V, but I understand completely. I’m still waiting for the Barnes & Noble lady to give me the yes or no on the signing. Will post about it again once it’s a definite.

  21. heryankeefandiary

    YOU GOT TO TOUCH A-ROD?!?!? lol Oh, that puts my mind into naughty places…And, am I watching too much baseball and ESPN in general that I missed the entertainment gossip-I had NO clue that Kate Hudson was…Well…I just didn’t. Sheesh that girl has the best boyfriends, even if she burns through them like fire through TP. Oh and, you were right on in the NEED for that little pow-wow with him. He is pulling. It’s either to 3rd or in the seats…There is an entire field out there. Glad you reminded him of that…Maybe tomorrow’s game??? God willing.

    What a great post Jane, you rock. Everyone’s comments on that closet was hilarious and I wondered myself if you were making some kind of “gay” joke, but I decided against it. I too was really baffled that he only pitched one inning, I know he’s been a great sport about sitting in the pen, but I have no doubt that he would have wanted to go back out there and set the plate on fire some more…I hope we get to see more of him more often, why shouldn’t we-since he’s in the pen after all?

    Next time you make a quick round trip to have little convo’s with the team you should have a sit down with Girardi.

    Thanks again for a great post…You’re awesome.


  22. Jane Heller

    I’d like to have a sit-down with Girardi, Vanessa. I’d ask him about his bullpen moves especially. But my conversation with A-Rod yesterday didn’t seem to have much effect, judging by his performance tonight. He looked helpless at the plate again. Maybe the person I should be talking to is Kevin Long!

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