Top Ten Reasons Why The Yankees Didn’t Winn Tonight
Yeah, he’s Reason #1:
Winn may look a little like Bernie Williams but he sure doesn’t hit like him. I was hoping he’d step up when Granderson went down and make something of his opportunity. Not so far and definitely not tonight.
“Boone Logan” is a cool name for a pitcher, but that’s not enough. Sometimes you actually have to get hitters out.
Mitre wasn’t bad, and I’d be fine with him making another spot start if necessary, but when he served up that solo shot to Damon I felt sick.
A-Rod made a throwing error and Gardner lost a ball in center, and the defense looked flat in general – well, except for a terrific play by Cano and some nice picks by Tex.
Jeter’s in a slump. He looks uncomfortable when he swings…and misses.
Dontrelle was scratched at the last minute, so the Yankees had to face an Aussie with no discernible talent or experience. They don’t do well against pitchers like that.
Ordonez cut his hair. Now that it’s short, he has less weight to carry around. He made a web gem-y diving catch in right field.
The Yankees always lay down after they finish up a series against the Red Sox. The poor things were just spent.
The Bombers’ plane got into Detroit really late after the Boston game Sunday night, plus their pilots were too busy fondling the championship trophy to avoid turbulence.
When Valverde came in to close, with the Yankees only down a run, they were forced to watch him jump around on the mound and couldn’t stop laughing. I know I couldn’t. We’re not talking about a guy who pumps his fist at the end of an inning. This character puts on a show after every pitch. And apparently, it’s been going on awhile.
Well? Wouldn’t you be a little distracted by the Little Richard routine?
As Clint Eastwood Would Say: “Get. Off. My. Yankees.”
I can’t pretend to be inside Josh Beckett’s head. (The thought of going anywhere near his head is highly unappealing.) So I can’t say with any certainty that he hit anybody on purpose in tonight’s 10-3 massacre at Fenway. But here’s what I think. He was cruising along with pinpoint control, striking out batter after batter. Then Swisher drove one out of the park for three runs. And the Beckster wasn’t amused. Or, as MLB’s Bryan Hoch put it, he became unhinged.
He pitched inside to Cano, hit him on the knee and knocked him out of the game. Just what we needed: another injury. Actually, not just another injury but an injury to our hottest hitter. The Beckster threw in the vicinity of Cervelli’s head twice, including once after Cisco had the nerve to step out of the batter’s box. And then we get to Jeter, who was plunked squarely on the #2 on his back. I was watching via the NESN feed (thanks, MLB Network), but it was easy to see how angry some of the Yankees were — CC, A-Rod, even Mo. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mo mad, because normally he looks like this.
Anyhow, the Beckster basically handed the Yankees the ball game, but we did get timely hits too. (You go, Randy Winn.) And even better, we got another great performance by Huuughes. He got into trouble here and there but always managed to get himself out of it, and gave us seven strong innings. Kudos. I wish D-Rob would recapture his 2009 form, but maybe he needs some time in Scranton to work things out. Dunno. What I also don’t know is why the ump didn’t warn Beckett….and whether the Yankees will retaliate tomorrow with CC on the mound. If I were a Red Sock and CC plunked me, I sure wouldn’t charge the mound and risk looking at this.
On one hand, I want to see the Yankees send a message. On the other, we don’t need any ejections or suspensions, and we certainly don’t need more injuries. I mean, Nick Johnson. Wow. When I heard he had a sore wrist and was on his way to NY for an MRI, all I could think of was that he’s becoming this guy, only with a better attitude.
To sum up, in yesterday’s post I speculated that The Rivalry might be getting a little stale. Now? Not so much.
Anyone Have A Cardiologist On Call?
I know. That thing looks gross, but the point I was trying to make is that my heart can’t take these Yankees-Red Sox games. Must they always be so, well, heart-stopping? First, there was that collision between Pettitte and Ellsbury at first, with Andy taking a tumble.
(Oops. Wrong sport.)
Then Andy gave up an RBI single to Lil’ Mami, and the Sox went ahead 1-0. Both starters were effective through six, but – as with the previous two games in the series – neither would last long enough to get a decision. With Boston bringing in Schoeneweis (did I put too many “e’s” in there?), Posada, the king of doubles, doubled. In came Bard, up came Swisher and home came JoPo, who also took a tumble.
(Sorry. Still wrong sport.)
Suddenly, we had a tie game in the seventh and my nerves really kicked in. I mean, 1-1 at Fenway? Anything could happen, right? When they brought in Papelbon for the ninth and tenth and he gave everybody The Stare…
…I thought the Yankees were in big trouble, but no! Granderson, that tower of power who’s making himself a hero already, took JP deep for 2-1. But with such a slim lead, I hardly allowed myself a breath. “Insurance,” I kept saying to the TV. “We need insurance.”
(Am I the only one who can’t stand those Progressive commercials? Especially when the actors start yelling at each other?)
Anyhow, I asked for insurance and the Yankees obliged. After walks to Gardner and Jeter, Papelbon headed for the dugout. His replacement, a guy named Atchison who looks like a high school science teacher, walked the ever-walkable Johnson to load the bases. A dribbler by Tex was enough to score Gardner, and Mo took the mound with a 3-1 lead – and held it. Which gives me yet another excuse to flash his pic.
Kudos to Chan Ho Park for his three scoreless innings of relief, although those warning track fly balls in the ninth almost sent me to the hospital.
Oh, and Pettitte popped one on Youkilis’ helmet and Lackey nailed Jeter on the arm, and the ump issued a warning. But it was all very Aren’t-we-grownups, so no harm done.
I’m glad the Yanks are off tomorrow. They usually have a letdown after playing the Red Sox, and I want them hungry when they face the Rays.
P.S. Here’s your nightly reminder about the Cooperstown Cookies contest. The deadline for entries is April 11th at midnight, PST.
Victorious Over Blue Jays, Yanks Take On Red Socks
Sergio Mitre wasn’t an unmitigated disaster in the Yankees’ 8-4 win over the Jays on Wednesday night, but he didn’t last long enough to get the win – or any real vote of confidence from fans.
He did, however, generate several suggestions for his look-alike, including one from commenter leekru, who insisted he’s the spitting image of celebrity has-been Wilmer Valderrama, except that Wilmer smiles occasionally.
At first, the offense seemed handcuffed by yet another rookie pitcher (this is the last – I mean last – time I’m spelling Rzepcyzynski), but they manufactured a couple of runs in the second and Swisher hit a bomb in the seventh to tie it at 3-3. The rest came off the Jays’ newly acquired reliever Roenicke. Poor guy. The Yanks singled and doubled him to death.
Damon’s homer in the ninth off Tallet made it unnecessary to use Mo (I didn’t see the need for Hughes either, but don’t get me started). Johnny had three RBIs. I always feel the Yanks are better with him in the lineup, in spite of his often adventuresome play in left field.
The bullpen did its job for the most part, and the Yanks have now won three straight. If only A-Rod would start hitting homers again. I miss his towering shots and his Clydesdale (hat tip: Was Watching) jog around the bases, but he’s got a different #5 hitter behind him in almost every game. It would be nice not to have a revolving door in that spot.
And speaking of A-Rod…
…commenter TribeGirl is convinced his double is Daniel Sunjata, who not only stars on “Rescue Me” but played Reggie Jackson in “The Bronx Is Burning.”
But on to Thursday night’s series opener against Boston at the Stadium. Clearly, the Red Sox have owned the Yankees this season. So what can be done to reverse the disturbing trend? How can the offense get to former Braves legend John Smoltz, who is nearly 20 years older than Joba and, therefore, has much more experience on the mound? Once again, I reviewed videotape before making my recommendations.
#1) Smoltz said, “The biggest challenge for them is to tame me down.”
There are several ways to tame Smoltz down. One is for the Yankees to hire a cowboy and lasso him.
Another is for trainers Gene Monahan and Steve Donahue to immobilize Smoltz using one of these.
And a third way is simply to summon Yankee Stadium security to do their job.
#2) Smoltz referred to his “blood boiling” and how he can’t get enough of that.
Perhaps the Yankees could test the veracity of that statement by getting a clubhouse attendant (or that merry prankster, A.J. Burnett) to sneak into the visitors dugout and give Smoltz the Carrie treatment?
#3) Smoltz maintained that he’s “a full boar guy.”
Maybe the Yankees should call someone at the Bronx Zoo and get one of their own.
Or did he mean he was a “full bore guy?”
I’ll let Joe Girardi and his coaches interpret. Bottom line? Joba needs to have a great outing. If he does, the Yanks will be just fine.
Oh. I almost forgot. I have one more ballplayer/celebrity look-alike, this one courtesy of Newsday.
My Sentiments Exactly
Following in the Oscar-winning tradition of this clip, I encourage all Yankee fans to get up out of your BarcaLoungers, stick your heads out the window and shout to Jeter, A-Rod, Cano and anybody else who left one of tonight’s 15 runners in scoring position: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”
Yes, the Red Sox have commandeered sole possession of first place, and Wang probably made his last start in pinstripes before getting shipped off to an undisclosed location.
But this was a game the Yankees could/should have won. The relief corps of Hughes, Coke, Aceves did an admirable job. Swisher made a great diving catch after failing to make a routine one earlier. And Damon and Posada continued to hit for power.
But it was Tex’s night to shine. Win or lose, the guy can flat out hit. I know it’s only June, but I’m thinking MVP.
There were moments during the eventual 6-5 loss when I really thought we’d be celebrating a comeback. I was watching the ESPN feed (it was that or NESN here in California), and Rick Sutcliffe, who is always mind-numbingly boring, said when Wakefield was replaced by Ramirez: “It’s the bullpen that separates the Red Sox from the Yankees. This game is over.” Not quite, Sut.
Result: Yanks pull within a run.
Of course, he also came up with this gem in the second after Swisher bungled Kottaras’s ball: “Makes you appreciate all those years that Trot Nixon played right field here.”
I know Red Sox fans will always have a place in their hearts for the Trotster and he used to kill the Yankees with the bat, but he wasn’t exactly a Gold Glover, was he?
Anyhow, the comeback didn’t materialize (why have Gardner pinch run if he doesn’t steal?). Instead, we Yankee fans suffered through another exercise in futility against Boston, and it’s downright freakish.
I’m mad as hell, yes. But mostly I’m worried. Not about the Yankees. They were on a nice roll before they hit Beantown and they’ll probably resume their winning ways as soon as they leave. My concern is for Wang. What happened to him, and why can’t somebody fix him?
Boras’s Secret Book on Mark Teixeira
You know how Scott Boras puts together those big fat books promoting his free agent clients – the ones he fills with gaudy stats and then hands them out to GMs? Well, I managed to get my hands on the book about Mark Teixeira. So exciting because I covet the guy for the Yankees almost as much as I covet CC.
But this one is more like a sweet little biography, giving us a glimpse of Mark’s personal side. Nothing at all about his offense.
Or his defense.
Nothing about the millions he’s worth to some team. This story focuses on the man, the person, the human being behind the hype. Warning: It’s so heartwarming it might make you cry.
It all begins with Mark Charles Teixeira’s birth in Annapolis, MD. The date? April 11th, 1980.
Yes, for those who follow astrology, that means he’s Aries, the Ram – a good thing to be for a ballplayer.
Mark, it turns out, is of Portuguese ancestry, which explains his interesting and hard-to-pronounce last name. Here are some Portuguese people. Can you spot the resemblance?
Neither can I, but maybe he’ll grow into his looks.
His mom, a schoolteacher named Margie, and his aerospace company executive dad, “Tex,” wanted their son to make it in professional baseball so badly that they gave him a bat when he was only a small child.
As a teenager, Mark played varsity baseball at Mount Saint Joseph High in Baltimore, a Catholic prep school where he learned how to respect his elders (and future managers).
He went on to play for Georgia Tech, home of the Yellow Jackets.
While it’s understandable that he rooted for the Orioles growing up, the player he totally worshipped was none other than our own Donnie.
You already know how Mark played for the Rangers, was traded to the Braves in ’07 and landed with the Angels last year. But did you know that he married a woman named Georgia Leigh Williams (cute that her name is the same as his university, isn’t it?) and that they have a son, Jack, and a daughter, Addison? They live in perfect harmony here.
Mark is such a quality person that, early on in his career, he established a charitable foundation to provide scholarships to Dallas/Forth Worth students.
When he’s not playing baseball and spending time with his family, Mark enjoys his two favorite hobbies.
Golf, of course. And hunting.
The book doesn’t say whether Mark kills deer or ducks or pheasants, but the main thing is he doesn’t strike me as someone who would stuff his animals and hang them over the fireplace.
Finally, Mark explains in the book that he has always wanted to live in New York and play for the Yankees. He says that he loves the pinstripes and can’t wait to trade his Angels cap for this one.
Oops. I meant this one.
For Red Sox Fans Out There
As Sox fans begrudgingly root for the Yankees to beat the Rays over the next few days so they can draw ever closer to the division lead, I’m reminded how complicated and tangled our “relationship” is. You Boston fans are as obsessed with the Empire as we’re obsessed with the Nation. Not that anyone in either camp would ever admit it. But I came clean in a recent NY Times piece about my love/hate thing for the Red Sox. Check it out here.