Eric Hinske Powers The Yankees To….A Loss

No, I didn’t cry over this one. I didn’t really expect the Yankees to pull off a four-game sweep of the Jays, and going 5-2 on the homestand wasn’t exactly the end of the world. For the most part, the team has played well lately and showed a lot of comeback-y-ness (my new favorite word).
Today’s 7-6 defeat marked, among other things, the debut of Eric Hinske in pinstripes and it was eventful. First, he put the Yanks on the board with his solo shot in the third. Yay!
Then, he struck out on what would have been ball four to end the game in the bottom of the ninth. Boo!
He even figured in one of the game’s crazy umpiring mistakes when he was called out at second on Gardner’s fielder’s choice. It wasn’t even close. Wally Bell is probably a decent enough guy, but MLB needs to check him for cataracts (and bubble gum-induced tooth decay).
Or maybe Bell subscribes to the Marty Foster school of umpiring. As Foster told Jeter after that ridiculous call at third in the first inning: “You don’t have to be tagged to be out.” Huh?
(So much for Girardi’s ejections being the Yankees’ lucky charm.) It’s fun to blame the umps, but they didn’t cause Pettitte’s ineffectiveness. That homer to McDonald on a 3-2 pitch in the seventh was a killer. It gave the Blue Jays a 5-1 lead and prompted the requisite goodbye conference on the mound.
Am I the only one who’d love to know what’s really being said when a pitcher is about to depart? It can’t just be “Tough luck and you’ll get ’em next time.” Well, maybe it can. Robinson Cano doesn’t look like he said much of anything.
I doubt Bruney had time for a goodbye conference. He came in, gave up a couple of doubles and a walk to put the Jays ahead 7-1, and was promptly pulled. How long can Girardi use the “rust” excuse for him?
Robertson and Albaladejo both did a nice job holding down Toronto’s offense so the Yankees could display their comeback-y-ness. We chipped away in the seventh, thanks to Swisher’s bases-loaded single, for 7-3. We tacked on another in the eighth, on Jeter’s bases-loaded walk, for 7-4. And then came the ninth. Would there be a comeback? A celebration? A pie?
With two outs, there were singles by Jorge, Cano and Matsui to bring the Yankees excruciatingly close to tying the score. It was 7-6 when Hinske stepped in. He could have become an instant Yankee hero, destined to watch himself over and over on a “Yankeeography.” But no. Instead, he was this.
And so it’s on to Minneapolis to face the Twins before the All-Star break. I’m having a hard time getting it through my head that the 2009 season is half over. Didn’t we just say how we couldn’t wait for baseball to start? Time does fly.
And finally, because I bummed myself out with that last paragraph, here’s some funny video a friend sent me today. It has nothing to do with baseball. But if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth a smile.


  1. levelboss

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i really did laugh out loud when i saw that roller baby commercial.. HEE-larious!

  2. juliasrants

    Clearly there is something affecting the umps this season – an MLB Umpire version of the Swine-flu perhaps? An Oakland A’s player was called out at second on a steal attempt – only it wasn’t even close – he was safe. There have been way to many bad calls. I think they all need to be lined up and given eye tests; if for no other reason then they are a danger to all of us if they are driving!


  3. Fenway Bleacher Creature

    I’m afraid I can’t really say sorry for your loss, but I’ll admit it was a tough one.
    Sorry about your ump as well, as Julia said we suffered a pretty bad call last night as well. What’s up, blue?!
    Nice post!


  4. devilabrit

    Gotta jump in on the umps comments, I am not sure if it’s all MLB or just the AL umps, I know there’s no diference now, but I wrote a blog on June 25th, complaining of the umps during interleague, even had one at home plate call BALL on a pitch then scream STRIKE OUT to Utley. Generally though I think umpires are having a real bad year.

    Outside the Phillies Looking In

  5. PAUL

    Most managers just pat the pitcher on the back and say, “Get ’em next time”. Sometimes there are confrontations on the mound though. Four that come to mind are Chris Bosio chewing out his manager Phil Garner; Frank Robinson flinging Jim Barr back onto the mound after Barr flipped the ball to his manager before he got there when Robinson managed the Giants; Robinson getting into it with Tomo Ohka when he managed the Nats and Ohka turned his back on the manager; and Ted Lilly and John Gibbons screaming at each other on the mound in a dispute that later turned into a clubhouse fistfight.
    Larry Bowa was always entertaining when he was annoyed at the pitcher. There was no pretense; he just went to the mound and said, “Gimme the ball”. No encouragement. No nothing.

  6. redstatebluestate

    Wow. That vid is hilarious. Reminds me of MY childhood. LOL. And did you use the “Paint” program for that “loser” umpire pic, Jane? Good for you! I didn’t know they were changing the rules either… guess we’ll find out if he gets punished or not (he should).

  7. Jane Heller

    Matthew, I kind of felt sorry for Hinske. He was all lined up to have a big day in his debut, but then came the strikeout to end the game. At least he finally got into a game.

    It made me laugh too, Levelboss. How do they do that?

    I agree, Julia, and what’s most maddening about the ball calls is the umpires’ refusal to confer with the other umps. It’s important that they control the game and uphold the rules, but they’ve got to realize they’re not infallible.

    Maybe they all need a refresher course in umpiring, Fenway Bleacher Creature. Or they should be required to submit to weekly eye tests!

    So you’re seeing the trend too, devilabrit. I guess the umpiring problem is pervasive in both leagues.

    I knew I could count on you to tell me what really goes on during those mound conferences, Paul. I like the Larry Bowa approach. No nonsense!

    Jeff, I wonder if the umpire who told Jeter about not needing to be tagged will get fined or disciplined. It sounded like Hirschbeck, the crew chief, was just going to take him to dinner and “chat” with him. Not exactly a punishment.


    Hiya, Miz J (and every 1)…I’m baaack…nice to enjoy a very successful weekend, also while watching the Carmine Hoseheads drop a home game or 2…hey, they even almost stole that one back last nite! But, if you’ve ever seen the movie “Apocalypto”, the word is O-LAK — almost…’nuff said. Yes, the boys in blue look blind this year — as a softball ump in my 19th year, I see that some of them are not getting the best angles on base calls, and they tend to call the play too soon — we are drilled to WAIT another beat to see where the ball is, was it held, don’t “assume” a tag — but there’s also the Lazy Umpire’s Theory that if the throw beats the runner, 99/100 of the time He’s Out — even though not nearly so true in practice. Let’s hope we can “maintain” on the road in the Hump Dome (aka the HHH Metrodome) vs. the Twinkies (their fans’ nickname for ’em!), and KEEP IT AWAY FROM MAUER (and Morneau)…that’s enough from me for one day…!

  9. raysrenegade

    Let’s see now.
    The last two times Eric Hinske has appeared in an AL East uniform at the plate (Rays/Yanks) he has struck out.
    hopefully this is not going to be a pattern of any length.
    The guy is a bull and will do more good than harm to your roster.
    That is just the breaks.
    As Tim Robbins character said in “Bull Durham”, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose… and sometimes it rains.”
    Hinske will be fine. Just do not give up on him he has rings the last two years because he knows a good team when he sees them.

    The hat you see on my head was his 2008 hat Hinske gave me after the last game of the 2008 season.

    Rays Renegade

  10. Jane Heller

    Welcome back and hope you had a good holiday, Dave. Too bad you decided not to become an umpire. Sounds like you understand the rules! On to Minneapolis, where CC must keep the ball away from Morneau and Mauer and everybody else (while still throwing strikes)!

    I’m sure Hinske will be fine, Renegade. It was just the up and down of his debut that stuck with me. He started things off with a homer and ended the game with a K. It’s baseball.

    I loved when Swisher hopped over the tag at second, moneyball. That was great! What form! LOL.

  11. Jane Heller

    It was maddening, Dillon. But from what I’m hearing, there have been bad calls all over the leagues this year. Hopefully, it all evens out. Will check out your post.

  12. jewsonfirst and


    You always have the best images!!! I was shocked, repeat shocked that A-Roid didn’t make the All Star team!!!

    Speaking of which, please vote for a member of my minyan, Ian Kinsler, who got shankboned by Joe Maddon and was eked out by that annoying Pedroia!!!

    Kinsler for final spot!!


  13. rrrt

    Oh…my…God! How did they get those babies to do that!?! 😉 OK, I know it’s probably computer generated, which I guess has come a long way since that annoying “dancing baby” of Ally McBeal fame, because they sure looked life-like.
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

  14. raysfanboy

    I had “end-of-Game-5” flashbacks when I saw Hinske’s weak strikeout swing. Ouch. It was too reminicent of his punchout against Lidge.

    He’s a perfect role player and will fit in on any team. His versatility was a reason why the Rays had such a solid year last year.

  15. Jane Heller

    I think Kinsler will get in, Ken. He seems to have the lead right now. I voted so many times for Teixeira that I don’t think MLB will let me back in the voting booth!

    I kept asking myself the same thing, Sue. How DID they do it? It cracked me up, especially when they jumped onto the fence.

    Thanks, Ellen. Wish I could claim authorship of it, but my friend Laurie sent it to me.

    Hinske will probably do well in the new Yankee Stadium, jonnnnnn. I don’t think that home run will be his last. I just wish he had hit another one in the ninth.

    I think it was his versatility that made him attractive to the Yanks, raysfanboy. We needed a bench player who could do more than DH.

  16. heartbeatofthebronx

    Haha well to be fair Jane…he did an unbelievable job in his 1st ever game in NY. A home run, a single, a walk…just picked a bad time to come up empty. Great work as ALWAYS Jane…

    Also wanted to say I saw you on YES the other night! Congratulations, that must have been so exciting! I was looking at the TV and I thought to myself, “wait a second…I know that woman…it’s Jane!”

  17. Jane Heller

    “The Swiss Army Knife of baseball.” I love it, raysfanboy. Good one!

    Glad you liked the “Yankees Magazine” segment, Stephen. It was fun taping it when I was in NY last month. I still haven’t seen the show, but I’m hoping the producer will send a DVD soon.

  18. Jane Heller

    It’s disheartening all right, Cat, because no amount of arguing ever changes anything. Oh well. We love the games anyway.

  19. jenshinrai

    The picture where the infielders, except for Teixeira, gathered together behind Pettitte looks like a poster for some kind of a superhero movie. Amusing, except that they lost the game.

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