Tagged: Boston Red Sox

Presenting The 2009 She-Fan Awards, Part 5

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For the fifth installment of the 2009 She-Fan Awards, which recognize a person, persons or event that helped the Yankees become World Champs for the 27th time, we turn to Joe Girardi and his anger management issues. In other words, we’re taking a closer look at the four instances in which he was ejected during the ’09 season. Did his fiery temper spark the Yankees to greater glory? Were his on-the-field tirades a good strategy? Did getting angry raise his blood pressure and put his health in jeopardy?
I have no clue about the last question, except that I remember reading something about angry people and heart attacks. In any case, here are the nominees for the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Girardi Ejection…
May 4th Versus the Red Sox
The Yankees had lost the first three games of the season to Boston, and the pressure was on to beat the Sox. Phil Hughes, replacing Wang in the rotation, was facing Jon Lester and only lasted four innings. Girardi thought Hughes was being squeezed by home plate umpire Jerry Meals, but Joe’s big problem with Meals came later. Trailing the Red Sox in the fifth inning, the Yanks had Jeter up. Meals called him out on a questionable strike three, and the Captain was not amused. He hung around and gave Meals a few choice words – very un-Jeter-like. Girardi came rushing out to protect his player and was tossed almost immediately. What happened next? With Berroa on first, Damon homered on Lester’s first pitch. Then Tex homered on Lester’s next pitch. So Girardi’s ejection did spark a rally. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough and the Yanks fell again to the Sox 6-4.
June 24th Versus the Braves – 
The Yankees had been playing like chumps, not champs, having lost three in a row and five of their last six. There had been a players-only meeting the night before with Jeter and Tex telling the team, “We’re better than we’re showing.” The situation was so dire that Cashman made a surprise visit to Atlanta to let everybody know it was time to stop stinking it up. But the June 24th game got off to a miserable start. The offense was stymied by Braves rookies Kenshin Kawakami and Kris Medien, who were perfect through five. Then Gardner walked to lead off the sixth (so much for perfection), and the Yanks had a pulse – until first base umpire Bill Welke ruled that Gardner had been picked off. Replays showed Welke had blown the call, and Girardi came storming out of the dugout to argue. His ejection sparked a barrage of runs, beginning with Cervelli’s first major league homer. The Bombers beat the Braves 8-4 and Joba notched his first win of the season.
July 6th Versus the Blue Jays – 
It was the final home game before the All-Star Break and the final game in a four-game series against the Jays (the Yanks had already won the first three). Pettitte was facing Ricky Romero and looking for the sweep, but things got off to a rocky start. In the very first inning, Jeter led off with a walk, went to second on a balk and tried to steal third. Catcher Rod Barajas’s throw beat Jeet, but replays showed he avoided Scott Rolen’s tag. When third base ump Marty Foster called Jeter out, the Captain expressed his displeasure. “I was told I was out because the ball beat me and he didn’t have to tag me,” Jeter later told the media. “I was unaware they had changed the rules.” Meanwhile, Girardi came out to argue on his player’s behalf and was tossed. The Yankees overcame Pettitte’s ineffectiveness with five late runs, but they were not enough and Toronto won 7-6.
September 13th Versus the Orioles – 
The Yanks were playing the Orioles, but it was another battle between Girardi and Marty Foster, who was the home plate umpire this time around. In the fourth, A-Rod was up with bases loaded and struck out looking to end the inning. He did not think the pitch was a strike and argued with Foster to no avail, obviously. After the O’s batted in the top of the fifth – and some not-so-complimentary words from the bench by A-Rod and Girardi, Foster ejected both of them. Joe charged out of the dugout, as mad as anyone had ever seen him. He threw down his cap and mimicked Foster, who had waved his arms in the air when signaling the ejections. Eventually, the skipper was restrained by crew chief Wally Bell. As for the Yanks, they had an eight-run eighth inning and blew away Baltimore 13-3.
The envelope please.
The winner of the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Girardi Ejection is…
***** June 24th Versus the Braves *****
All the Girardi ejections were entertaining and even inspiring the way they woke up the occasionally slumbering offense, but it was when Joe got tossed in Atlanta that the team really turned it up a notch. They had just lost their series against both the Nationals and the Marlins, and had fallen to the Braves in the opener of their three-game set. They were sputtering – not horribly, but enough to cause concern. After
Girardi’s ejection, they beat the Braves twice and went on to a brilliant second half of the season. Enough said, although I did enjoy the meltdown on September 13th.
Congratulations, Mr. Girardi, for losing your temper in such a productive way.
Oh, wait. Mr. Girardi is in Oslow, Norway, lobbying for the next Nobel Peace Prize. Accepting the gold fan on his behalf are Yankees hangers-on and co-stars of the movie “Anger Management,” Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler.
Enjoy your award, gentlemen.
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Heading To Beantown

The Yankees are probably on their flight to Boston as I’m typing this. I hate flying, but I wish I could be on that plane to congratulate them for a great road trip. I mean, 5-2? Not exactly chopped liver.
(Apparently, this post will have a food thread.)
Tonight’s 3-2 victory over the A’s was a nice surprise. My expectations for Chad Gaudin weren’t very high, so I was impressed with his scoreless, one-hit performance over four-plus innings. He didn’t get the win but he got people out. Yes, he walked five batters. Maybe next time, he’ll be more aggressive and not look like a total chicken.
Speaking of how he looks, here’s Chad before he put on the pinstripes.
And here he is in his Yankees uni.
Raise your hand if you think he looks better without that piece of beef jerky stuck to his chin.
Jeter continued his torrid hitting with a leadoff single, scoring the first run of the game. He’s having an amazing season, and would be on my MVP list. Damon always seems to be on base and he was again when Tex went deep in the fourth, talk about an MVP.
Those two are turning out to be a natural pair, sort of like….well, guess.
(Don’t ask me which is which, although Tex is probably the smoother, more peanut buttery player.)
On the subject of jam, Aceves worked out of a big one in the fourth but came back for the sixth and seventh and gave up a couple of runs. Thanks to an efficient Coke, a rusty-but-nasty Hughes and a totally perfect Mo, the game had a very sweet ending.
Now, on to the Boston series. If I were on that plane right now, I would remind the Yankees of the following:
“Even if you get swept, you’ll still be in first place.”

That said, I would be very forceful in telling them to show up at Fenway with the utmost intensity. Now is the time to put the Red Sox away, because leads can disappear very quickly and there is still plenty of baseball left. Anything can happen. The last thing they need is to play loosey goosey.
“Besides,” I would say to them, “do you really want to lose to Pedroia, Ortiz, Youkilis and the rest of them? No, of course you don’t. So stay hungry, Yankees.”

Call Me An A-Fraud Apologist But…

…he carried the Yankees on his back in 2007.
There he was, rounding the bases after hitting home run #500. I was sitting behind home plate that afternoon. Everybody at the Stadium went crazy. The Yankees spilled out onto the field and bear-hugged their teammate. It was a celebratory moment in an otherwise discouraging season; the Yanks spent time in the cellar during the first half, only to rally in the second half to make it into the playoffs as the wild card.
One of the main reasons they did make it through was A-Rod and his 54 homers and 156 RBIs. He was on fire in ’07. He hit in the clutch. He did everything that was asked of him on defense. He earned that MVP award. He fizzled against Cleveland in the ALDS, but so did everyone else. Jeter. Jorge. Jason. I didn’t think it was possible to hit into so many double plays, but that’s what they did. Wang’s two dismal performances didn’t help.
I love Joe Torre. I always will. I miss his leadership and can’t wait to read his book. I just feel the need to stick up for A-Rod, who might have saved Joe’s job early in the season with all those homers.
Is he a philandering phony?
Does he have a tendency to do bush-league things?
And check.
(Who can forget his “Mine!” or “I got it!” in Toronto?)
Does he love to look at himself?
Is he jealous of Jeter’s popularity with the fans?
Does he seek attention even as he claims not to want it?
Check. Here’s an item in today’s NY Post to prove it.
He is not a model citizen. We know that. But in 2007 he led my team to its 12th consecutive postseason, and for that I’ll always be grateful.
Here’s a clip from the champagne party after the Yanks clinched at the Trop. Interesting that A-Rod gives Torre a shout out.

Thank You, Tribe, For Keeping the Yankees  Alive

We live another day, Yankee fans. The Indians beat the Red Sox at Fenway tonight, 4-3, and allowed us to stave off elimination. After last night’s love fest in the Bronx, it would have felt like a slap in the face to be cast out of contention without even playing today. But thanks to a nice effort by a 25-year-old pitcher named Zach Jackson, combined with a less-than-stellar outing by Josh Beckett, Cleveland won and Boston’s champagne stayed on ice. Go, Tribe!



(That’s me at the Jake at last year’s ALDS; the guy with me is an Indians fan who calls himself one of the “Wahoo Brothers.” The picture seemed like a good idea at the time.)
Who is Zach Jackson, you ask? He’s the sort of pitcher the Yankees would have had trouble with – a garden variety lefty they’d never faced before. According to the Indians’ web site, Zach was born in Latrobe, PA, spent all of ’07 at Triple A Nashville, and made seven previous starts in the majors this season without a win. Single, “he enjoys spending time with friends and family, working out, listening to music, and watching movies.” It really says this stuff on the web site and makes Zach seem totally boring instead of super heroic, which is what he is for keeping us alive.