This race will be over soon. One way or another, the Yankees will get through this Boston series, the one at Fenway and the one in Toronto, and they will be in the playoffs. Don’t ask me how, given how badly they’re playing right now, but somehow it’ll happen. Not with Ivan Nova, however, and certainly not with Chad Gaudin. Nova has been intriguing and I wish him well for next season, but today he confirmed that he unravels way too easily.
And Gaudin just needs to be gone. Period. As for the Yankees offense, Lester is a very good pitcher, just like David Price is a very good pitcher, but where’s the opportunistic, hungry, attacking lineup we know and love? When a guy like Lester or Price gives up walks, you have to take advantage and make something happen. Are we doing that? No. Why? Because we are playing like dead people!
Or maybe, as someone said on Twitter, the real Yankees have been taken over by the body snatchers and are just pods.
I know, I know. Yesterday I was chirping about all the homers we hit. Today I was happy to see Granderson and A-Rod go deep. But other than smacking home runs, what is this team doing? What? If I were Girardi….Well, if I were Girardi I wouldn’t have brought in Gaudin when the game was still winnable, but that’s another story… If I were Girardi, I would insist on a closed door meeting with the boys before Sunday’s finale, remind them that last year was last year and this year is this year, tell them that maximum effort is required ASAP and that the idea that “there’s always the wild card” is not acceptable. I would, in other words, get mad. Vein-popping-out-of-my-forehead mad.
I was pretty mad myself after today’s game, but then I went for a walk on the beach. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Santa Barbara, and I came upon a couple in the process of getting married.
After I took this pic I saw their getaway car all shiny and pretty waiting for them.
It was a 1955 T-Bird in pristine condition, and it – and the newlyweds – got me thinking that life’s too short to obsess about baseball. Seriously. At least for the next 24 hours.
Yes, we ended up with a split. And there was nothing pretty or sweet about it. How many times have we watched CC disintegrate? Hardly ever, that’s how many times. And yet he looked vulnerable through the fifth inning and positively horrendous in the sixth – like a great big parade float that was punctured and fell to the ground.
Still, I give him a pass. He’s been terrific, so he’s entitled to a bad game even if it did cost him the Cy Young award. And David Price is a really, really good pitcher. Still, how to explain the Yankees inability to score with the bases loaded – more than once? That was more troubling to me, as was Joba’s ineffectiveness and the fact that Vazquez couldn’t find home plate if he had a shovel.
Did he hit three batters in a row or did I dream it? Never mind. I know the answer. If he had plans for the postseason, he can probably forget about them and schedule a nice, long vacation for himself. Will the Yankees win the division now that they’re basically tied with the Rays again? Tampa has some comfy match ups, while we’re stuck with the Red Sox and Blue Jays. I have no idea what will happen from here on – none. Maybe I should consult the tarot card reader I spoke to last year, but I’ve been afraid to. What if she tells me something I don’t want to hear? Couldn’t handle it.
Changing the subject, did everybody see the ESPN Steinbrenner documentary directed by two-time Oscar winner Barbara Kopple? I missed its premiere on Tuesday night, but watched it after the game tonight. As some may remember, I flew to New York last year to be interviewed for the doc.
I met Barbara too, and it turned out we both grew up in Scarsdale loving the Yankees.
Here’s the bad news: I ended up on the cutting room floor of the doc. I found out a couple of weeks ago that I wasn’t in it and wasn’t surprised. Barbara shot a ton of film, interviewed hundreds of people and only had an hour of air time. The focus turned out to be the transition from the old Stadium and George’s running the team to the new Stadium and Hal’s ascendance, and I don’t think I said anything particularly interesting about any of that. I really enjoyed the film, especially the interview with Hal. Here’s a clip. It requires sitting through Pujols hawking Dove soap, but it’s worth a look.
Getting back to the present, I’m nervous about the Red Sox series this weekend. Not because it’s the Red Sox but because we just need to win games right now. Need to win games. Right now. Please.
Nope, Girardi didn’t have to call on Swisher to pitch this time around, but the Yankees did take a beating at the hands of the Rays tonight. For some reason, the Trop has been the scene of several lopsided defeats over the years, as if the word “Devil,” although expunged from the Rays’ identity, still makes appearances there.
Actually, tonight was a tale of two pitchers. David Price was great for them. Javy Vazquez was awful for us. Well, let me amend that. Vazquez was great until the fourth, when all the wheels came off.
Suddenly, he couldn’t get anyone out, and the result was eight runs in five-plus innings. How does a pitcher look so good for three innings and then fall apart? Or is it just that the opposition “figures things out?” I don’t know, but I’d prefer it if Vazquez doesn’t make a habit of pitching performances like tonight’s.
And another thing. I’m not wild about Marcus Thames platooning with Gardner. Thames covers left field about as well as I would.
Back at it tomorrow against the Rays with CC on the mound. It’s a Fox game, so it’s unlikely I’ll get the broadcast here in California. (Booooooooo!) But I’m figuring the Yankees will rebound, just like they did after dropping the opener to the Red Sox. Hoping, anyway.
P.S. And now for the nightly reminder about the Cooperstown Cookie Contest. Deadline is midnight on April 11th, people!
If I had a dollar for every time somebody on Twitter (or my husband) said, “Tonight’s game is meaningless,” I’d be a rich woman.
No matter what happened during the bloated, slow-as-molasses marathon, I was reminded over and over that the game didn’t count, that the series in Tampa wasn’t important, that the Yankees were just marking time, getting everybody some work and settling on their final roster moves.
We lost 13-4 to the Rays? No problem. It was meaningless!
CC couldn’t go three innings, let alone win his 20th game of the season? Who cares?
Tex was hit by a David Price pitch that sailed near his head? So what?
The Yankees only managed two hits off Price? Yawn!
Not one of the six Yankees pitchers could shut down the Rays except Bruney? Not even Hughes? HAHAHA!
OK, you get the point. I’d like to be one of those people who shrugs off losses, but I’ve never managed it; I’d prefer that the Yankees win every game. Since that’s not possible, I kept my goals for tonight very realistic.
* I wanted #20 for CC.
* I wanted the offense to kick it up a notch.
* I wanted the pen to stay dominant.
* I wanted the regulars to avoid any conceivable injury.
My goals were not met. Well, Tex is fine; he said the ball only grazed his hand and that he was more shaken up than injured. That’s a relief, obviously. But after he got hit, I wished I could put the Yankees in a protective bubble until next week.
I also wished I could cheer CC up. He hadn’t lost a game since July and was due for a stinker. I’m sure he’ll be great when he takes the hill at Yankee Stadium for Game 1, but he did make my stomach hurt tonight.
I wished he and the other pitchers could refrain from doing their best imitation of a batting practice machine.
There were a few reasons to smile. BJ Upton hit for the cycle – the first player in Rays history to accomplish the feat. Congrats to him. And Juan Miranda hit the longest damn homer I’ve seen in a while – the first of his major league career. Otherwise, the game was meaningless. Yeah, sure it was.
P.S. Since Pete Abe’s departure from the LoHud blog, the Daily News’ Blogging the Bombers blog by the always dependable Mark Feinsand has stepped up its Yankees coverage. Mark not only knows the questions to ask but asks them. Check him out.
Yes, the subjects are unrelated, but I’m killing two birds with one stone in this post.
First, the Yankees. Their thrilling 3-2 victory over the Rays was yet another example of the 2009 team’s “comeback-y-ness.” I mean, Nick Swisher hitting a walkoff homer in the bottom of the ninth – his second dinger of the night? This from a guy who couldn’t buy a home run in the Bronx? Crazy but true.
And Chad Gaudin going toe-to-toe with David Price in a pitcher’s duel for six innings? Also crazy but true.
Gaudin was great and made me eat crow because I kept saying how bad he is.
With the Yanks up 2-0, he ran out of gas in the seventh, allowing a homer to Longoria. I kept wishing Girardi hadn’t brought him back out for the inning, but he found himself in a jam, and it took Marte, Bruney and Coke to get him off the hook.
Then came Huuuuuuughes in the eighth. Mr. I-Haven’t-Given-Up-a-Run-in-12-Outings surrenders a home run to Bartlett to tie things up at 2-2? Yet again, crazy but true.
Which brings us to the ninth. Mo did what he does best: shut down the opposition. And then Swisher did his thing – from the other side of the plate this time. Having so many switch hitters on the team is a such an advantage.
The other news I wanted to share is that 20th Century Fox has bought the movie rights to my 2005 novel “An Ex to Grind,” a romantic comedy about a high-powered Manhattan financial planner who has to pay alimony to her slacker ex-husband, a former wide receiver for the NY Giants. Fed up, she hatches a devious plan to get her ex out of her life for good – only to decide she wants him back.
You can read about the novel here and watch me talking about the story here. To be produced by Laura Bickford, who produced such films as “Traffic,” “Che” and the recent “Duplicity”…
and Julie Yorn, who produced “Bride Wars” co-starring A-Rod’s squeeze Kate Hudson…
the movie already has two stars “attached,” which means that if they approve the script they’ll sign on for the film. Playing my heroine would be Cameron Diaz.
And in the part of the ex? Benecio Del Toro.
A funny note on all this. Apparently, Benecio wasn’t comfortable playing a pro football player because he’s not a big guy, so he asked the producers, “Would it be OK with the author if we made the ex-husband a baseball player instead?” A baseball player? Uh, yeah. I think so.
I’ve had eight books optioned for films over the years, and none of them ever made it to the screen. But I have a really good feeling about this one. And if it does happen? I hope everybody will go see it!
Today’s Yankees-Rays match-up was supposed to be a pitcher’s duel. Instead, it looked like a bloopers reel.
The two teams had a combined six errors, and played sloppy baseball overall. I won’t take apart Navarro for his three errant throws. He’s the Rays’ problem. But Damon? That airmail job in the fifth wasn’t pretty, and Swisher’s bobble on the same play didn’t help. Then we had A-Rod spazzing out on Aybar’s grounder in the ninth, giving the Rays their fourth run of the inning after the Yankees had come back to tie the game.
Michael Kay: “It’s all fallen apart for the Yanks.” Ya think?
The worst part was that it was Mo who gave it up in the ninth. The horror.
He appeared stunned as he sat in the dugout after he’d been pulled for Phil Coke. How often does that happen? About as often as this.
CC was pretty much lights out until he got roughed up a bit in the fifth and sixth. He seemed to settle in after that, and I expected him to come back out for the ninth with the score tied at 5-5. I mean, look at that belly he carries around. What’s another inning to a guy like him?
Mo, on the other hand, has faltered in tie games on occasion. He says it doesn’t matter to him if he’s pitching in a save situation or not. But there must be some lack of adrenaline or focus when the score is tied. Can’t he just tell himself the Yankees are ahead and play pretend?
On a happier note, I was glad to see A-Rod hit one into the seats after having had a dry spell.
And Tex continues to generate crowd cheers with his power. That homer he blasted in the eighth is probably sailing all the way to Philadelphia right now.
I also enjoyed Swisher’s take-out of Zobrist to break up the double play in that inning. This team has more of an edge than last year’s; they push back.
To sum up, the game had all the makings of another magical bottom-of-the-ninth comeback and fell short. If A-Rod hadn’t grounded out…If Posada had gotten the right call on that pitch below his knees…If Upton had played shallower on Cano.
Although Kate Hudson enjoyed herself.
Is it just me or is she starting to look like Britney Spears?
The fairy tale ended happily for the baseball team known as the…
But the magic vanished for the Red Sox and they didn’t get the trip to Disneyland after all. I’d like to thank the Sox for an entertaining ALCS. I’d also like to give a shoutout to Primo, a frequent commenter on this blog, for being the only one to predict a Rays victory tonight. (Primo: Are you available for psychic readings?)
Tampa Bay’s Cinderella story brought a tear to my eye as I watched Cinderfella himself
struggle valiantly before being rescued by David Price Charming
with an assist from all their friends, including tonight’s fun-loving characters.
It was heartwarming to watch them and their fairy godfather
escape the clutches of Boston’s wicked stepbrothers.
The Rays’ dream-come-true story isn’t over, of course. They still need to conquer the evildoers from Philadelphia. But if we all wish upon a star, maybe – just maybe – the next World Series will be played not here…