Tagged: Eric Hinske

A Woman’s Work Is Never Done

Due to Thursday night’s long rain delay, I missed the game. I had to leave for the first session of the evening writing workshops I’m teaching with a writer buddy. (We’re “The Muse Madams” and you can read about us here.) So while I was sitting in a room with 12 aspiring writers and critiquing their work, I was dying to find out what was going on in the Bronx. Talk about having my head in two places.
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When I got home, I ran inside and asked my husband who won. He was watching highlights of Mark Buerhle’s perfect game, which had been so exciting earlier in the day.
“The Yankees,” he said with a big smile. “Their seventh straight.”
“Tell me!” I said.
Michael, who keeps score just like I do, went through an inning-by-inning recap of the Yanks’ 6-3 victory over the A’s. No, it wasn’t the same as actually seeing the game, but his storytelling was pretty damn good. If he’d been in my writer’s workshop, I would have given him an “A.”
The main plot points, as he explained them, were:
* CC overcame a shaky first few innings and gave up three runs over seven.
* Hinske, playing right tonight, hit an RBI single to put the Yanks up 4-3.
* Tex had a homer and three RBIs.
* Posada knocked in two runs.
* And Hughes pitched both the eighth and ninth, so Mo could have the night off, and was perfect, earning his first major league save.
Of course this team will stumble over the next few months. They’ve already stumbled. But they are so much better than last year’s model in every way. Yes, it’s upsetting that Wang seems lost for the season; I don’t know how the Yankees will replace him in the rotation over the long haul or what they’ll end up doing about Joba’s innings limit. And yes, it would be nice to get a healthy Marte back in the pen, plus an effective Bruney. But these Yankees aren’t going away. They just aren’t.
It’s late here on the west coast, so I’m packing it in for the night. Tomorrow afternoon is my trip down to Dodger Stadium. I’m looking forward to it, but I’ll be glued to my iPhone until the Yankees game is over. Once again, I’ll have my head in two places.
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And The Pie Goes To….

(I just explained to Godzilla that he got a face full of whipped cream because he was the latest Yankee to hit a walkoff home run. He wasn’t sure at first.)
What a game to kick off the series against the Orioles: a 2-1 win for the third day in a row. With the score tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Matsui was the hero with one swing.
These pitcher’s duels are exciting, but it’s a good thing the Yankees are winning them or I’d have a bad case of hives by now.
hives.jpgPettitte was dealing tonight – a great bounce-back from his past few outings. I mean, seven-plus innings and a season-high eight strikeouts? Not bad at all, Andy.


Hinske put the Yanks on the board with a homer in the second. (I did ask Girardi to write his name in the lineup in place of Swisher, did I not? Like, just yesterday?) So far, he’s making Cashman look like a genius.
Otherwise, the offense was AWOL again. The Yankees forced rookie pitcher Hernandez to throw a lot of pitches early on, but then they let him settle in – something they’ve been doing often: not finishing off a pitcher when they have him on the ropes.
But the real story of this game was the Yankees’ defense. Are these guys showing their stuff or what? Cano flashed leather, and Melky gloved another shoestring catch. But the two bang-bang plays at the plate in the eighth were amazing. Make I take a moment to congratulate Tex, Molina and Coke, all of whom figured prominently?
If tomorrow night is another 2-1 affair, it’ll be really spooky. On the other hand, we’re about to have a solar eclipse.
Don’t be surprised if something unusual happens….

Why The Yankees Lose To The Angels

Well, they don’t always lose to the Angels. They always lose to them at Angel Stadium. So I braved the traffic on the 405 Freeway and drove down to Anaheim to cheer for my Yanks, the way I would at home.


My adventure got off to a great start. Getting out of the car with the She-Fan Cam in hand, I made a new pal right there in the Angel Stadium parking lot.
I entered the stadium at Gate 2 and looked for Dina, the sister of MLBlogs’ own Angels fan and blogger LuckyLori. Lori had told me to find Dina, who works at the stadium, and say hello, so that’s exactly what I did. Well, OK. I also interrogated her just a little.
She was very friendly, right? Even though I was dressed in my Yankees gear?
Once inside, I quickly headed down to the field where they let you hang around near the Yankees dugout before the game. As I stood there with all the seven-year-old boys, hoping for a glimpse of Jeter, A-Rod, Somebody, I met another grownup fan and turned the Cam on him.
So we were going to beat the Angels 8-2? I was elated!
Since there was no batting practice, I climbed the ramps to my seat in the nosebleed section above home plate and settled in. The man next to me turned out not only to be an Angels fan, but the season tickets holder of all the seats in my row. 
“I’ve been selling them to you people for this weekend,” he said.
You people. Uh-oh. “Glad you were able to make some money off us,” I said, speaking on behalf of the other Yankee fans he’d hosed on the tickets.
Determined to be pleasant, I made chitchat during which I congratulated him on his team’s dominance over the Yankees. He wasn’t interested. Instead, he talked to the nasty usher who hovered near our section during the entire game, blocked my view and trashed every Yankee fan that passed by.
Then came the guy just above me who started pelting me with pieces of Double Bubble Gum. I remained calm, even when a piece hit me in the back of the head. I was starting to wish I’d stayed home.
And then came the game. I won’t rehash all the horrific aspects (OK, yes I will: Pettitte’s fifth inning meltdown, Jorge’s inability to throw out runners, Damon’s odd and inexplicable positioning in shallow left, Robertson’s incompetence, Coke’s incompetence, Bombko’s incompetence, the incompetence of all hitters not named A-Rod or Hinske or Matsui). Suffice it to say, we had another lead and blew it to hell.
As people started filing out of the place in the eighth, the sour-puss Angels guy sniffed, “Look at all the Yankee fans leaving. The game isn’t even over.”
“Um, they’re mostly Angels fans that are leaving,” I pointed out. “They’re wearing red.”
My husband, who was kind enough to accompany me, told me to keep my mouth shut.
After the 14-8 debacle, which left me feeling totally beaten up, I staggered outside in search of answers. The Yankees had just swept in Minnesota. Why were they getting killed in Anaheim?
The first fan I met was pretty sanguine about the whole thing. His answer? “It was just one of those days.”
Then, I met Matt, a Yankee fan with season tickets to the Angels. (Go figure.) His answer? Karma.
And finally, I ran into Shawn, who thinks the Yankees’ losing streak in Anaheim is a psychological issue.
While I appreciated all their theories, the truth didn’t dawn on me until I was back in the car. The reason the Yankees fall apart at Angel Stadium is because they’re allergic to it!

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I started sneezing like crazy as we hit the road. And if I was suffering, why not Pettitte and the others? Maybe if Gene Monahan gave everyone a dose of this, Sunday’s game would turn out differently.
I don’t know what the Yankees were exp
osed to at the stadium that caused their allergy, but I do know what triggered mine. It was the rally monkey. I tried to strangle it.

Eric Hinske Powers The Yankees To….A Loss

No, I didn’t cry over this one. I didn’t really expect the Yankees to pull off a four-game sweep of the Jays, and going 5-2 on the homestand wasn’t exactly the end of the world. For the most part, the team has played well lately and showed a lot of comeback-y-ness (my new favorite word).
Today’s 7-6 defeat marked, among other things, the debut of Eric Hinske in pinstripes and it was eventful. First, he put the Yanks on the board with his solo shot in the third. Yay!
Then, he struck out on what would have been ball four to end the game in the bottom of the ninth. Boo!
He even figured in one of the game’s crazy umpiring mistakes when he was called out at second on Gardner’s fielder’s choice. It wasn’t even close. Wally Bell is probably a decent enough guy, but MLB needs to check him for cataracts (and bubble gum-induced tooth decay).
Or maybe Bell subscribes to the Marty Foster school of umpiring. As Foster told Jeter after that ridiculous call at third in the first inning: “You don’t have to be tagged to be out.” Huh?
(So much for Girardi’s ejections being the Yankees’ lucky charm.) It’s fun to blame the umps, but they didn’t cause Pettitte’s ineffectiveness. That homer to McDonald on a 3-2 pitch in the seventh was a killer. It gave the Blue Jays a 5-1 lead and prompted the requisite goodbye conference on the mound.
Am I the only one who’d love to know what’s really being said when a pitcher is about to depart? It can’t just be “Tough luck and you’ll get ’em next time.” Well, maybe it can. Robinson Cano doesn’t look like he said much of anything.
I doubt Bruney had time for a goodbye conference. He came in, gave up a couple of doubles and a walk to put the Jays ahead 7-1, and was promptly pulled. How long can Girardi use the “rust” excuse for him?
Robertson and Albaladejo both did a nice job holding down Toronto’s offense so the Yankees could display their comeback-y-ness. We chipped away in the seventh, thanks to Swisher’s bases-loaded single, for 7-3. We tacked on another in the eighth, on Jeter’s bases-loaded walk, for 7-4. And then came the ninth. Would there be a comeback? A celebration? A pie?
With two outs, there were singles by Jorge, Cano and Matsui to bring the Yankees excruciatingly close to tying the score. It was 7-6 when Hinske stepped in. He could have become an instant Yankee hero, destined to watch himself over and over on a “Yankeeography.” But no. Instead, he was this.
And so it’s on to Minneapolis to face the Twins before the All-Star break. I’m having a hard time getting it through my head that the 2009 season is half over. Didn’t we just say how we couldn’t wait for baseball to start? Time does fly.
And finally, because I bummed myself out with that last paragraph, here’s some funny video a friend sent me today. It has nothing to do with baseball. But if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth a smile.

Rest Does Wonders For A-Rod

It’s a miracle, really. A couple of weeks ago, A-Rod was lethargic, dragging, zombie-like. Then it dawned on the Yankees that he hadn’t had a day off since he came back from hip surgery. Cashman and Girardi put their heads together…
…and (light bulb going off here) decided to give their star third baseman a rest.
Al sat out a couple of games against the Marlins and – voila! – he stopped being a zombie.
Now he’s no longer flailing at pitches out of the zone and looking fragile on plays at third and, best of all, he’s hitting bombs again.
Tonight’s blast into Monument Park in the sixth broke a 2-2 tie and carried the Yanks to a 4-2 victory over Seattle – their seventh straight win.
It was a nice, quick dismissal of the Mariners – not like last night’s game, which moved along as slowly as this.
One reason was that the offense couldn’t get much done against Washburn, except for homers by Damon and Melky. The other reason is that Pettitte pitched a very good game of his own.
Through seven innings, Andy threw strikes, mixed his pitches well and completely shut down the sleeve-tugging, bat-pointing Ichiro.
Aceves and Coke did their jobs in relief, and Mo notched save # 502. I’ll never understand why a long man like Alfredo was brought in for one batter or why Hughes was warming and Bruney wasn’t. But the good news is that the bullpen is getting it done these days and I don’t find myself doing this whenever I see them coming.
The oddity of the game was Tex bobbling Valentien’s potential double play ball in the fourth. He wasn’t charged with an error, but the fact that he allowed a run to score was surprising. His defense has totally spoiled me, but I guess he’s entitled to a bobble once in awhile.
Eric Hinske had his first session with the media as a Yankee. I listened, courtesy of Pete Abe’s blog, and wasn’t surprised to hear him repeat the usual “I’m honored to be here” mantra. Actually, he sounded thrilled to be out of Pittsburgh, and who could blame him?
His acquisition wasn’t exactly the trade of the century, but the news was broadcast around the world. Witness this reporter’s breathless coverage and tell me Hinske isn’t a big deal.

Back in the real world (sort of), it seems my holiday weekend won’t be about Michael Jackson after all. The family’s spokesperson announced that it would be too expensive and complicated to motorcade MJ’s body to Santa Barbara and bury it at Neverland. What about all those truckloads of these that had been deposited outside the ranch for fans, along with the balloons and the flowers?
My hunch is that they’ll have an event at Neverland after the memorial. And if they do, I just might show up with the She-Fan Cam.