Lots of people are spending this off-day blogging about the Yankees’ chances for:
a) winning the division
b) having a viable starting rotation for the playoffs
c) avoiding the need for Austin Kearns
d) enjoying a series at Fenway for the first time ever.
Not me. I spent the day having a lunch meeting in L.A. with the producer of “An Ex to Grind,” the novel I hope will become a movie soon. She told me that Benecio Del Toro, who’s attached to play the male lead, and Jeremy Garelick, who wrote “The Hangover” and is working on our script, got together and talked about making Benecio’s character a baseball player instead of a football player. Apparently, both are baseball fans. (I was totally ferklempt when I heard that.) Anyhow, the other subject that came up at lunch today was the TV show “Mad Men.” I admitted I’d never watched it.
“How can you not watch it?” said the flabbergasted producer.
“I want to,” I said. “I just haven’t had time. Either I’m watching a ballgame or I forget. One of these days I’ll buy the first season on DVD and catch up.”
As I drove back to Santa Barbara, I was determined to order the show and start watching. In the meantime, here’s my own version. It stars, in alphabetical order:
No wonder people are so into this show!
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While these Yankees-Rays games are exciting, they’re also exhausting – especially when the Yankees lose them. (Funny how I was full of energy last night after we won, but tonight? Not so much.) What an odd game for Huuuughes. He was throwing a no-no for a little while, but then the long ball bit him in the person of Dan Johnson.
Ooops. I mean this guy, the one who was batting .209 or something like that.
What, exactly, was Phil thinking when he threw those pitches? Because my dearly departed grandmother could have hit them out. Oh well. The Yankees certainly had their chances, but leaving runners on base was the pattern of the evening, particularly when Austin Kearns was up.
No, it’s not his fault that he’s healthy and Swisher and Gardner aren’t. But his futile attempts at the plate made me wince. If only he could have pulled a Jeter and pretended to get hit by a pitch. Was the Captain a good actor or what?
I don’t blame Joe Maddon for going all rabid, because the ump did blow the call, but for the ESPN announcers to start harping on the need for instant replay was ridiculous. Stuff happens. Mistakes are made. We don’t have to record every pitch for examination. That’s my opinion anyway. Bottom line? The Yankees lost the game, the series and the division lead.
I have to believe that when our regulars are in the lineup next week, we’ll be back on top. But in the meantime, this one was tough to swallow.
But I’m talking about it anyway.
It’s official: I now hate the Rangers.
If I were a Yankee I’d go out there today and beat them into submission.
On the other hand, I hate that the Yankees left a billion runners on base the last two nights.
I hate that Brett Gardner’s hurt, that he’s been playing hurt, that he’s looked awful.
I hate that Swisher’s hurt, that he’s been playing hurt, that his numbers are down.
I hate that Jeter’s been playing like he’s hurt but is just “in a funk.”
I hate that A-Rod’s big hit in the eighth was wasted.
I hate when any Yankee grounds into a double play.
I hate that we’re stuck with Austin Kearns.
I hate that the arms of our relievers are probably as effective as wet noodles.
I hate that we lost and Tampa won – again.
I hate that Roger Federer lost the U.S. Open semis yesterday.
I hate that it’s raining on my last day in CT.
I hate that I have to fly back to CA tomorrow where there are hardly any Yankee fans.
But most of all, I hate that Mo blew the save. The very idea gives me nightmares.
But despite the heat in Kansas City, the big man didn’t seem to lose velocity or command. Why Girardi didn’t let him finish out the ninth for the complete game beats me, but D-Rob recovered from a shaky start to get the save – and save my sanity. I’d been coasting along, thinking the Yanks were well on their way to victory and didn’t expect any late drama. Silly me, especially after the last couple of sweaty nights in Texas.
Whatever Kevin Long did to tweak Granderson’s swing clearly worked. And Swisher, Jeter and Austin Kearns – yes, Austin Kearns – had their hitting shoes on.
Speaking of shoes, I have more packing to do for my Jet Blue flight to JFK early tomorrow morning, so I’ll cut this short and say I hope I don’t run into any cursing flight attendants.
I won’t be posting an entry after Friday night’s game, but feel free to chime in about anything exciting that happens and I’ll respond to comments on Saturday. Take care, everybody!
Today’s game reminded me why baseball can be so frustrating. Way too many if only’s. Way too many missed opportunities. Way too many of these.
Huuuughes was great after a shaky start, but Lester was better. Still, the Yankees were in it until the bitter end and could have/should have launched a come-from-behind victory.
In the “if only” category:
Marcus Thames’ ball that almost went over the wall for a homer.
Austin Kearns’ screamer that went foul.
Gardner’s failure to steal after being inserted as a pinch runner for A-Rod.
In the “missed opportunities” category:
Granderson’s K with bases loaded.
Swisher’s three Ks.
Berkman’s pop-up as a pinch hitter. (Back came the boos.)
An overall 0-for-9 with RISP.
In the just-plain “suckitude” category:
Posada’s throws to second base. Can he please not catch three games in a row?
Was there good news today? Sure. The pitching was stellar, even if Joba did get slider happy in the ninth. And Swisher and Kearns made terrific catches. But mostly, I turned off the TV and felt like cleaning the house, just to blow off steam.
Speaking of blowing off steam, did everyone read about the Jet Blue flight attendant who flipped out at JFK?
I’m flying Jet Blue into Kennedy on Friday night for the start of my vacation back east. If that guy had been on my flight, I would have whipped out the She-Fan Cam, gotten him on video and posted it here. But not to worry. I’ll be bringing the Cam with me, just in case.
I’m thinking about it. Why? Because her name is Joyce. As in this guy.
He broke my heart with his home run off Huuuuughes last night, and he nearly broke it again tonight when he took Vazquez deep. But the Yankees prevailed. Here’s what I learned from our win at the Trop. The running game is fun if you’re the Rays.
But the Yankees can mash.
The Rays kept taking the lead, and these guys kept taking it back.
Nice performance by Javy to give the boys a chance to come back. Really nice outings by Robertson, Logan and, of course, Mo. All of a sudden, our pen doesn’t look so bad. Which brings me to today’s official comings and goings.
We’ll see Juan Miranda and Colin Curtis later in the season, so I’m not crying over them. But Chan Ho? He’s gone. I felt sorry for him when I read that he asked A-Rod for a signed #13 jersey on his way out the door.
Well, two out of the three are in Tampa already and one played in today’s game (going 0-for-4 but who’s counting). Lance Berkman was actually quite entertaining from the quotes I’ve read. In his session with the media, he said the magic words: His favorite player growing up was Donnie Baseball and his dad’s favorite was The Mick. Good enough for me. He also said that in addition to “Big Puma,” his other nickname is “Fat Elvis.” I’m going with that one.
Austin Kearns was described as a quiet guy who was just happy to have been shipped to a contender and will play wherever and whenever he’s asked. I like the team spirit. That leaves the impending arrival of Kerry Wood, who probably spent today shaving off his beard.
I admit I wasn’t wild about this deal. Yeah, he didn’t cost much, but isn’t he on the DL all the time?
On the other hand, if he can stay healthy he could be a terrific pickup for the pen. I just hope he realizes we already have a closer.
Anyhow, looking forward to the rubber game of this series tomorrow. So far the match-up has really lived up to its billing.
But the timing of Phil Huuuuuughes’ mistake couldn’t have been worse. With one pitch, his terrific performance – and the Yankees’ 2-0 lead – went down the toilet, along with my spirits.
The offense went to sleep after Swisher’s homer – really went to sleep.
They did nothing to pick up Huuuuughes. I guess if there was a bright spot in this one, it was the effective two innings by Joba. Otherwise, I finally get what the players mean when they say, “Blowout losses are easier to take than losses in close games.” I haven’t felt this deflated in a long time.
So much for the opener in this series. The trade news today swirled around the Yankees sending a couple of minor leaguers (including Melancon?) to the Astros for Lance Berkman.
The Big Puma will soon be in pinstripes, and he didn’t sound very excited about it. He told reporters he was “nervous” about “leaving the womb” and will “always be an Astro no matter what.” Memo to you, Lance: The Yankees are a great team and you’re lucky to be coming to New York at this stage of your career. If you need hand holding, I’m sure your former Astro friend will oblige.
Also new to the Yankees family, coming to us from the Indians, will be outfielder Austin Kearns.
Ooops. Wrong Austin.
These trades are well and good (hopefully), but I thought we were looking for pitching help. There must be an arm out there, right?