Another Day, Another Duel (With a P.S.)

I didn’t know what to expect from Joba on Sunday against Detroit. Sure, he’d had a good outing against the Tigers at Comerica, but that was 1,000 years ago in baseball time. Would he give the Yankees five innings of full counts and endless conferences with Jorge? Or would he re-surface as the aggressive, emotional, hard-throwing Joba of old? Luckily, it was the latter who showed up.
He went six-plus, struck out eight and yielded only one run on three hits, and he pitched quickly, without those interminable strolls around the infield that bored his teammates (and me). When he got into trouble, he was able to wriggle out of it, even after Swisher pulled one of his Three Stooges routines on Granderson’s fly ball.
(Psst: How about using Hinske in right when Melky’s in left, Joe?)
Edwin Jackson pitched well enough to win, just as Verlander did on Saturday, but once again A-Rod went deep and the Yanks tied the score at 1-1. Tex’s solo homer in the sixth put us ahead for good.
With those two getting hot at the same time, the Yanks have a formidable 3-4 combo. Speaking of combos (I’ll seize on any excuse to throw a pic of The Mick up here)…
…I’ve got to say that the Hughes-Mo tandem continues to blow me away. I know Hughes won’t throw scoreless innings forever and Mo won’t convert every save. But wow. Hughes was sensational again and Mo earned #508. They’ve been a couple of magicians lately.
With the sweep of Detroit and Boston’s loss to Roy Trade Rumor, the Yanks are only a game out of first. I can’t get too excited about this, since we’re only in July. But it sure beats hanging out in the cellar.
As happy as I am about the Yankees’ sweep, I’m so sorry I missed Old Timers Day at the Stadium. Apparently, it was televised on TBS at 8:30 a.m. here in California. Who knew? I was sitting around reading the New York Times and missed it. But I did get to see pics like this.
And my question is…Why do men sprout bellies when they get older? Do all their fat cells just gravitate to the spot above their belts? Do these three guys have any idea that they look like this?
Oh, well. I hope they all had a great time in the Bronx.
P.S. Here’s a photo of Yankee she-fans Peggy and Diane, who “met” through their comments on this blog and then got to say hi for real at yesterday’s Old Timers Day. I feel like a matchmaker! It’s great when bloggers and fans connect through the game they love.



  1. ibleedpinstripes

    I’m beyond happy with Joba’s outing. I didn’t have the urge to throw something at the TV like I usually do when he pitches at home.

    A-Rod + Tex is a hell of a lot better than just A-Rod or just Tex, in my opinion. Hughes is just incredible. I’m glad he’s in the pen. And Mo is just, well, Mo.

    FYI: Kim Jones interviewed a few Old Timers, and she posted them in her blog if you want to check them out!

    – Lisa

  2. Erin Kathleen

    This season must be must more enjoyable than last for Yankee fans. I forgot how many games they were out of first at this time last season, I just remember Sidney Ponson was starting. And then there was the Richie Sexson experiment. -Erin

  3. luckylori

    Glad to see your Yankees did the sweeping this weekend! We had our own amazing pitching duel out here. It was a fantastic game and Mr. Abreu did the honors with a HR to break the 0-0 tie. Great weekend…great baseball!!!


    The Old Timers’ Day game was fun as usual. Moose (Mussina, not Skowron) and Zimmer got the biggest cheers. The historic players were extremely warm to each other and to the three wives (Howard, Murcer and Munson) who were honored on behalf of their late husbands. Judging from the first inning I don’t think we want Mike to pitch on Tuesday. The Yankees won the OTD game (LOL) and then swept the Tigers. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and it was great fun to be at the Stadium, as always. I was a little surprised that about half the fans did not show up for the OTD celebration.
    Joba started out a little iffy and we held our collective breath while we waited to see what would happen. Obviously it all went well and Chamberlain actually got stronger as the game progressed. He only had one celebratory third out but I think everyone in the stadium did the same fist pump at the same time.
    Peggy and I did meet up — we have a lot in common and it was a pleasure meeting her — she shares my enjoyment of reading as well as our love of the Yankees. Peggy, all of Jane’s books are very enjoyable but the one you MUST read is Name Dropping. Thanks again for coming to find me.


    Hi Jane,
    Finally a game by Joba that he is really capable of throwing, not many hits by us, but the power when we needed it, co’mon aren’t we all surprised A-Rod is coming through with big hits……..Loved the picture of the M and M boys and did anyone catch Guidry in the Yes press box, still looks great even in HD…….Enjoying your book Jane, so funny…………Jane


    Wonderful stuff. On a weekend drenched in memories. First, it’s goodbye to Uncle Walter. Then, some good old-fashioned nail-biters with a traditional foe, and we win ’em! In between, let’s remember Apollo 11 while we celebrate all our Beloved Geezers — that’s Zim, of course, but who else? One looks like the actor Robert Prosky, and I should KNOW these guys! At my Yankee Fantasy Camp back in ’91, we had Bauer and Blanchard, who both looked like pregnant watermelons — and as a fellow potbelly, I know it’s tuff to stop pounding down them Budweisers & chowing down on good stuff like you did as a player, when you still feel okay, and yer dear wife sorta cares, but not like then…oh well…great to see Tex take that low called strike on 3-0 and then win the game with a 2nd-deck blast…just like M&M boys used ta do, as you noted…how great!!

  7. ladyjane303

    Agree with you, Diane – Old Timer’s Day was great fun, though it was a little disappointing that a lot of the young “old timers” weren’t there – I missed Bernie, Tino, Paulie and Boomer. Nice hand for Mussina and really great to see Zimmer back. And Jane – you could add Doc Gooden’s picture to that lineup with Zimm. All 3 games this weekend were exciting – gritty pitching, timely hits – Yankee baseball!! Looking forward to a good week (although not sure what to expect on Tuesday….).

  8. mikeeff

    I wish I’d known about TBS broadcasting the old timers game, but i looked on the program guide and the broadcast here didnt begin until 1pm CDT. anyway–what a great way to finish off the series. especially seeing joba throw strikes -get out of jams in a very big way and throwing heat. maybe seeing phil hughes trasform himself into a total fire breathing stud motivated him. who knows. I really think he’s over his rough patch. or it may just be that he needs more than 4 days rest. i saw a grapg on wwas watching showing how joba pitched given how much rest between starts. his best outings happen with 5 full days in between. too bad we dont have enough starters to make that happen/ hope your weekend was great

  9. redstatebluestate

    Hmmm…. looks like some liver problems there for the old timers, probably due to excess drinking? Who knows. Old timers are fun to watch — like a bunch of little kids really. If the Yanks get Roy Halladay I’m going to disappear… forever.

  10. raysfanboy

    Ah, jeez. Joba is getting good again? Killer. And the Hughes/Rivera combo, as you said, is perfection right now. Our “closer” JP Howell has been lights out as well, but I don’t know that we have a setup guy as good as Hughes. That could be a problem down the line.

    It’s tough to see Zim in a Yankee uniform again, but I can live with it. He was one of my faves when he managed my Cubbies in Chicago and he’s one of my faves here with the Rays. Had a chance to meet and talk a little baseball with him a few years ago. One of the best experiences ever. Love that guy.

  11. peggy3

    I had my usual fun day at OTD. I missed Paulie, Tino, Bernie but being such “young” old timers with young kids I’m sure they have hectic lives. The weather was fantastic and seeing all the old timers brings back all the special moments they helped create. Moose looked terrific…with Girardi behind the plate it looked like they could go out and give us 7 good innings. Both of them are in great shape. It’s really fun seeing the old guys…guts and all. I do miss the Mick tho’….he was the one player I always loved seeing at the game…it just loses a little something for me without him. All in all tho’ …a wonderful day.

    The present day Yankees swept those Tigers right under the grass carpet. A great game by Joba who after starting slowly amped it up and by the end of the game was throwing 97 and striking them out left and right. THIS IS THE JOBA WE ALL KNOW AND LOVE !!! The Joba of the fistpump…the exciting Joba. If fistpumping gets him to where he’s got to be …pump away my boy. Let’s hope he can carry this on to the next start and down the stretch. My guys Alex and Tex doing their thing too. One terrific weekend in Yankeeland.

    Diane…it was great meeting you and your daughter. We did our job and raised our daughters right …loving the
    boys in pinstripes. Hope to meet up again sometime …maybe even at a concert in the park. Thanks for the tips on Jane’s other books too. I can’t wait to start reading them (after Munson’s book that is …sorry Jane…Yankees are always FIRST with me…haha).

    I’ll be at the game tonight ….I hope Andy can pick up his game now. Another sweep maybe?? I sure hope so….

    Go Yankees 2009 !!!

  12. Jane Heller

    Lisa, isn’t it a relief not to want to throw something at the TV? 🙂 Joba was great, as was the relief corps.

    Erin, you do bring back memories. I get the shakes just thinking about Sir Sid and Richie. Talk about patching a team together. Much better days ahead.

    I miss Bobby, Lori. Those 100 RBIs he delivers year after year are hard to replace. I’m glad he’s enjoying life with the Angels, even though I wish he hadn’t killed us when we were there!

    OTD looked like a wonderful event, Diane. I choked up when Kay Murcer dropped in to the YES booth. I usually don’t like booth drop-ins because Michael Kay and the others stop talking about the game, but she was a classy lady and she made me miss Bobby all the more. Glad you met Peggy and thanks for sending the pic! Oh, so “Name Dropping” is your fave of my novels? Interesting, since that’s the book that got me to the 2000 World Series.

    I hear you, Julia. Some of the “old timers” aren’t so old – at least not to me. It’s fun to see them all back in uniform though.

    A-Rod has been very clutch lately, Jane. His homers have been meaningful. Let’s hope there’s more of that to come. Couldn’t resist the Mantle/Maris pic. Talk about glory days. I did catch Guidry in the YES booth and he looked terrific. I LOVE that Cajun accent. So smooth. Glad you’re having fun with the book.

    Those potbelly guys were very cute, Dave. I guess when the players stop working out and let nature take its course, they look preggers in pinstripes!

    Good point, ladyjane. Where were Bernie, Tino, Paulie and Boomer? I know Bernie’s on tour promoting his CD, but come on! They all should have been there. Of course, I would have loved Donnie there too, but he’s a Dodger now. On the other hand, isn’t Stottlemyer the Mariners’ pitching coach? I don’t know what to expect on Tuesday either. Mitre could be our Aaron Small…or he could be our Sidney Ponson. Please let it be the former.

    Mike, the issue of Joba’s number of days between starts is very interesting but also troublesome. Can we charter a plane and send him to Nebraska every week? I don’t think so. Maybe the Yankees could buy him a little patch of cornfield in New Jersey and he could go commune with nature there. Whatever it takes. He was great yesterday. I read on Pete Abe’s blog that Mo was icing his shoulder after the game. Maybe three days in a row is not a good idea.

    The Yankees can’t get Halladay, because we can’t let you disappear, Jeff. Just not possible. The world couldn’t survive it. I certainly couldn’t.

    I loved Zim when he was the Yankees’ bench coach, raysfanboy, so I can understand why you did too when he was with the Rays. Such an astute baseball man and what a character! Lucky you getting the opportunity to meet and talk to him.

    Really glad you got to meet Diane, Peggy. Sounds like it was a great day to be at the Stadium all around. Joba was the fiery pitcher of old. I only hope he can be consistent now. Ditto for Andy. I’ll be watching tonight and hoping he goes deep in the game since we won’t see Hughes or Mo.

    Don’t loose hope, tribechick. After the Yanks were swept by the Angels before the break, I was pretty low. But winning has perked me right up! Once the Indians start winning, you’ll feel the same way.

    You’re right, Dillon. If Joba can pitch games like yesterday’s, the rotation will be in very good shape for the stretch run.

  13. crazy19canuck

    Wow…Joba remembers how to pitch. That should be making people happy. He’s very good when he wants to be. I think I may be one of the few people who actually likes seeing him get emotional on the field. Shows the human side of baseball too.

  14. Jane Heller

    Joba did remember how to pitch, Ginny, and it was fun to watch. He was aggressive in counts and didn’t lose focus. As far as the fist pump, I can understand it. He’s an emotional kid and he’s releasing the emotion after a big strikeout. I can also understand how it would piss off the opposition.

  15. jobrown

    Yeah I’m so glad Joba’s back to what he used to and that he put his interminable strolls on the side too.

  16. peggy3


    I don’t think Mel is the pitching coach anymore…I think he was let go at the end of 2008.

    Diane ..should I shoot you now or later for sending that pic???…hahaha.

    Have a great day all….

    Go Yankees 2009 !!!

  17. diamondgirl55

    Congrats on the sweep!! The Tigers fans here are all bummed out :] (I work in Detroit) and I’m hoping the Yankees got the Tigers so weak that the Mariners will sweep them too starting tomorrow! I’m even going to one of the games so I’m excited! Oh and your book is in my mailbox today, woohoo!!! :] xoxo

  18. Jane Heller

    Enjoy your off-day, tribechick. It’s a chance to regroup!

    It was good to see him work quickly, jobrown. A slow pace puts the defense to sleep, so I’m sure his teammates were pleased too.

    I figured that might be the case with Mel, Peggy. Thanks for clarifying.

    The Yankees seem to match up well against AL Central teams, diamondgirl. Good luck with your series against them. Have fun at the game and take lots of pics. I’m glad your book arrived. I hope you have fun reading it!

  19. Jane Heller

    One game for now, Cat. I keep telling myself it’s a LONG season.

    You hit it, devilabrit. Monday mornings are so much sweeter after a weekend sweep. But then there’s another game tonight, so the glow may only last for 24 hours!

  20. Jane Heller

    I am getting spoiled, Jeremy. They’re so much fun!

    I’m hoping yesterday’s game was a turning point for Joba, Matthew. Maybe he’s really learning how to be a starter.

  21. Jane Heller

    It’s such a great tradition, behindblueyes. And the Dodgers have so many legendary players. They should absolutely have an OTD.


    When I became a Yankees fan in my teenage years I was in love with Rick Cerone. I was excited this year because he was going to appear at old timer’s day. I can’t believe how he looks now!! It’s the same problem that Jane commented on. His stomach is so large and his hair is so gray!! What happened?!?! I still enjoyed the game but, it wasn’t the same without Bobby Murcer 😦

  23. Jane Heller

    It’s a strange phenomenon when you finally meet your idols years later, jihnyyanks. I know the feeling. And I can imagine how being at OTD without Bobby Murcer must have been sad. He was one of my faves of the past and seemed like a terrific guy.

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