Tagged: Jerry Hairston

Is Brian Cashman “Hiking The Appalachian Trail?”

Where is Brian Cashman? Has he disappeared? He traded Melky to the Braves for Vazquez, signed a few minor leaguers and then vanished in a cloud of smoke.
While other teams are filling out their rosters, the Yankees remain without a bona fide left fielder (not counting Gardner), a dependable utility man (not counting Pena) and a strong bench (not counting…..anybody). I love that we’re stockpiling other teams’ castoffs for our farm system, but shouldn’t there be a little more activity as we head into spring training? Speaking of which, I’m going!
I’ve been invited to appear on a baseball panel at the Blake Library in Stuart, Florida, on Saturday, March 13th. (If anyone is in the area, please come and hear me talk about the She-Fan book, this blog, the Yankees and God knows what else.) Then I’ll be heading to Tampa to see the Yanks take on the Astros at home on March 16th and the Phillies in Clearwater on March 17th. I’m looking forward to meeting Sue of Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts at the Phillies game, and hope to connect with others fans I’ve met via cyberspace.
On a personal note, I’d like to wish my mother a Happy 93rd Birthday on Friday. As many people know, she came in second to Surf Dog Bill for the 2009 She-Fan Award for the Best Yankee Fan Video.
My mother is such a trooper. In the 1940s, she exhibited true she-fan boldness when she spotted Babe Ruth at a restaurant and walked up to him and got him to autograph her menu. She gave me the menu when I was in high school, and it’s one of my most treasured possessions.
She was very upset when Melky was traded, but I think she’ll come to love Granderson. And she still has Jeter, her other favorite. Happy Birthday, Mom!!!!!!!

World Series Game 2: AJ Handcuffs Phillies

Officer handcuffing camper.jpg
The above photo is of Ryan Howard after AJ struck him out three times tonight. OK, no it isn’t, but I’m sure that’s how Howard felt – especially after Mo struck him out too, making him eligible for this.
Everybody was so nervous (including me) about AJ and whether he’d be able to control his emotions, avoid the wildness that’s plagued him in the past and perform on the big stage.
Obviously, he performed so well that the Yankees beat the Phillies 3-1.
He wasn’t just good. He was masterful, working seven innings and only giving up a run on four hits. After the game, he told the media: “It’s the funnest I’ve ever had on a baseball field.” So what if “funnest” is not an actual word. It was AJ’s night and if he wanted to say “funnest,” then “funnest” it was!
Pedro was keeping the Yanks off balance in the early innings, and when the Phillies jumped out to a 1-0 lead I thought, Please don’t let this be a repeat of Game 1. But Tex came to the rescue with a solo shot in the fourth to tie the score and break out of his slumber.
After Matsui put the Yanks ahead with his own blast into the seats, I decided it was safe to eat dinner. The “lucky” turkey club sandwich had lost its effectiveness during the ALCS, so I turned to the only food that was deliverable to my house at that hour.
The pizza was delicious, but then – after Posada knocked in Gardner in the seventh for 3-1 – the umps made that questionable ruling on Damon’s “double play ball” and I needed some of these.
Not to beat a dead horse, but is the umpiring bad or what? Seriously. These guys….
…were reminding me of these guys.
With AJ done after seven, Girardi went right to Mo for the six-out save and got it – Mo’s 38th career postseason save. It’s staggering how many times Yankee fans have witnessed this scene over the years.
Other plays of note:
Molina’s pickoff of Werth in the fourth.
Singles by Hairston and Melky in the seventh.
Jeter getting the Clemente award and Fox not showing it.
Ditto for Paul O’Neill’s first pitch.
Alicia Keys’ purple boots.
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Oh, and Pedro’s post-game press conference during which he wore a dark pinstriped version of this.
“If I was on the Yankees, I’d probably be like a king over here,” he told the media.
The man is never dull. And he can still pitch. But AJ was better, and the Yanks evened the series at 1-1. Now they’re off to Philly by train. All aboard, boys.

Yankees-Angels Game 2: Epic

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The game lasted five hours and ten minutes. It was played in cold and wind and, at times, a steady downpour. It took 13 innings and featured over 400 pitches, and when it was all said and done, the Yankees beat the Angels 4-3 in walk-off, pie-in-the-face fashion.
Watching this marathon was like reading an epic novel with twists and turns and plenty of memorable characters. I mean, Jerry Hairston, Jr. as the hero? Not what I would have expected. Here’s what stood out for me:
Cano’s RBI triple in the second.
Jeter’s solo homer in the third.
Tex’s two defensive plays in the fourth.
AJ’s wildness in the fifth.
The fact that Jose Molina actually singled.
Two errors by Cano and one by Jeter.
An error by Figgins and the game-winning miscue by Izturis.
AJ’s mostly impressive six-plus innings.
Great relief by Coke, Joba, Hughes, Mo (2-plus innings!) and Marte.
A shaky Aceves.
A brilliant Robertson.
The Yankees’ total shutdown of Bobby Abreu and Kendry Morales.
A-Rod’s homer off Fuentes to tie the game in the 11th.
All the runners left on base (16 for the Angels; 12 for the Yanks).
Hairston’s pinch hit single in the 13th.
Gardner’s sacrifice.
Melky reaching on the error to end the game.
Girardi’s use of 21 of his 25 players.
And the continuing success of my turkey club sandwich.
Yes, I ate another one during the game, and the Yankees scored their first two runs while I was scarfing it down. I’m looking forward to a break from the rally sandwich on Sunday, my off-day.

Yanks Lose to Rays 5-3…..Oh, Never Mind

I have nothing. The game was a bore. The players got their work in. That’s about it.
*Pettitte threw 95 pitches without melting.
* Hairston survived getting hit by a pitch – twice.
* Aceves made a throwing error but pitched well, as did Gaudin. Damon broke his hitting slump. Gardner and Guzman showed off their speed. Blah blah blah. My husband nodded off.
The excitement was in the AL Central, and I kept switching back and forth to check on those games. Will the Yanks play the Twins or Tigers? Tigers or Twins? It was enough to make my head spin.
The Yankees’ goal this weekend has been to give the players their at bats and make sure they don’t get hurt. But what about the fans? Isn’t it our job to stay healthy for the playoffs too? Well, I screwed up in that department. I was making dinner and opening a bottle of wine when I cut my hand. Now what? Do I keep the injury to myself and try to play hurt? Do I tell Girardi and get treatment over the next few days? Will I be left off the playoff roster?
Since Gene Monahan was in Tampa tending to the Yankees, I turned to my husband for help. He bandaged me up and told me to try holding a ball and going on Twitter at the same time.
(Yes, that’s Mickey Mantle’s signature on the ball. Or so I was told when I bought it.)
I was in pain, but I’m hoping I’ll be OK for next week. I have to be. There’s too much at stake to miss even a single pitch.
Off topic, for those who enjoy good movies, I heartily recommend a film I saw earlier in the day as part of the screening group I belong to. It’s called “An Education,” and it’s getting lots of Oscar buzz already. Scheduled for release later this month, it’s a coming of age story about a young woman in ’60s Britain who falls for a much older man. It was written by Nick Hornby (“High Fidelity,” “About a Boy”) and has a cast of terrific actors, including newcomer Carey Mulligan, who’s amazing in the starring role. Here’s the trailer.
I’m watching Dodgers-Rockies right now. It’s 0-0 in the sixth. Contreras is pitching for the Rockies and Manny is up. Uh-oh. He just struck out looking.
Update: Dodgers win! 

Andy Talks About His Near Perfecto

It was a great night to be watching the Yankees take on the Orioles at Camden Yards. Andy Pettitte was sensational.
For all I know, he would have pitched a perfect game if not for a Bill Buckner-esque move by Jerry Hairston, Jr., who looked so sheepish afterwards, poor guy.
Meanwhile, the offense was rolling yet again, Mo collected another save, and life continued to be good for the Yanks, who are six-and-a-half up in the division with a month to go.
I caught up with Pettitte outside his hotel in downtown Baltimore after the game and asked how it felt to pitch so well. Here’s what he had to say.

Yankees Win And YouTube Ate My Video

Sweeps are nice.
Given how badly the White Sox treated the Yanks in Chicago, I really liked how we won all three games against them in the Bronx. Sunday’s 8-3 job was a relatively close contest until the seventh, when Melky’s double, Hairston’s sac fly and Tex’s homer broke it open.
Aceves and Hughes were spectacular in relief, as opposed to Coke, who is getting on my nerves with his tendency to give up bombs.
Which brings me to Joba and the Rules. Please. Thirty-five pitches?
What’s the point? Why should he even bother to get loose? What possible gain is there in having him show up for three innings? I’m all for protecting his arm, but the Rules are Ridiculous. Cashman, for all that is good and right and holy, please find us another arm within the next few days!
If the Angels could get Kazmir, why can’t we get somebody? No, I’m not saying Mitre and Gaudin aren’t “somebody.” It’s just that they’re the sort of somebodys I don’t particularly want to see in the playoffs. Are you listening, Cash?
About that video I mentioned. I spent hours trying out the iMovie software on my Mac. I came up with what I thought was a very amusing tribute to Jeter, who continues to amaze me with the great season he’s having.
I experimented with all sorts of graphics and music and fonts. I’m not saying I was this guy, but it was fun playing director.
My intention was to upload the video to YouTube and then post it here. But noooo. Somewhere in the “rendering,” it got swallowed up.
Sorry about that. I’ll try again when I’m feeling adventurous. In the meantime, my nephew sent me this pic today and I had to share it. He’s a big Yankee fan and so, apparently, are his two boys. I bet they were laughing at the Joba Rules.

All Hail Sergio Mitre!

I know I’ve been hard on Sergio. Let’s face it: he’s been mediocre since getting called up to the Bronx. But today I come not to bury him…
…but to praise him.
He one-hit the White Sox over six-plus and would have finished the seventh if not for that nasty comebacker to his right forearm. Yep, a contusion.
His sinker was sinking and his stuff was dancing, and he was throwing strikes. After he was lifted, Chad Gaudin took over and pitched more scoreless baseball, which resulted in the Yankees’ 10-0 blanking of the White Sox. Ozzie was not amused, and I don’t blame him.
Yes, our guys were on fire today, but his White Sox looked like a team on the skids.
No pitching, no offense and no defense (three errors). No wonder he told the media after the game that he was embarrassed. Maybe a massage from Jose Canseco would make it all better?
Or maybe he should tell his team to “lose like a Mexican.”
Speaking of being on fire, could Derek Jeter get any hotter? He had three hits, stole a base, laid down a perfect sac bunt and made enough sparkling plays at short for a highlights reel. Could he win the MVP for the first time in his already illustrious career?
Cano, last night’s hero, had three hits too, and Hairston and Damon contributed big-time doubles. And just when I thought the game would actually be homer-less, A-Rod, after saving a run on a great stop/throw in the fifth, went deep in the eighth.
Bottom line, as Jeter likes to say, the Yankees are now 33 games over .500 with an 81-48 record. Keep it up, boys. You can’t fail me now. Not when I’m dreaming of this.

“You Can’t Win Them All”

That’s what my husband Michael told me after the Yankees were thumped by the Mariners 10-3 in Sunday’s series finale.

“We can’t win them all?” I said with a straight face. “It was starting to feel as if we’d never lose.”
“The Yankees took three of four and are in first place by seven-and-a-half games,” he said. “You just have to laugh this one off.”
“You’re right,” I conceded. “I was being greedy and demanding and totally unrealistic. I’ll laugh this one off like you said.”
Joba’s five inning performance, during which he gave up four runs, walked three and pitched like a nibbler instead of an aggressor?
Not a problem at all! I’ll laugh it off!
Aceves’ ugly relief appearance that lasted only 1+ innings and yielded another four runs?
No biggie! I’ll laugh it off!
Chad Gaudin’s fat pitch to Johjima for a homer?
So what if he’s scheduled to make his first start on Wednesday and is Cashman’s idea of a good acquisition! I’ll laugh it off!
Oh, and those fly balls that were either bobbled or not caught by Hairston and Damon?
Who cares? It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon at Safeco Field! Nick Swisher had another homer! Life is good! I’ll laugh it off!
The truth is, the Yankees have been playing like champions lately and I don’t begrudge them a bad day. The Mariners pitchers were excellent and Ichiro is a hitting machine. Speaking of which, congratulations are in order. Jeter passed “Little Luis” Aparicio to become Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in hits for shortstops.
I’m not laughing at that. I’m applauding.
Monday features an interesting pitching match-up as the Yankees move on to face Oakland: A.J. Burnett versus former-Yankee-with-an-ax-to-grind Brett Bombko. On paper, we win this one easily. But paper is just that.
Come ready to play, Yankees. 

A Passion That Knows No Bounds

While the Yankees were putting together their workmanlike 7-5 come-from-behind victory over the Blue Jays, there was an actual public display of disaffection going on in Boston. When I saw this photo of the participants…
…the movie fan in me couldn’t help thinking of the old weeper “From Here to Eternity.”
So romantic. Be still my beating heart.
Back to the game in the Bronx, I was not feeling the love for Joba tonight. He put me through such anguish and torment. One minute, I thought he was Cy Young. The next, I thought he was Sergio Mitre. Pitching with a 3-0 lead in the third, he promptly allowed the Jays to tie the score on two walks, a single, a fielder’s choice and a double. And then in the fourth? Boom. A homer to Ruiz, a call-up from Vegas, to put Toronto ahead 4-3. Who are you, Joba? Do you even know?
As the Yankees headed into the eighth, still down a run, I started to growl at the TV. I mean, we weren’t facing Halladay and we didn’t have to deal with Rios or Rolen. So what was the problem? Why weren’t we scoring runs? Growl.
But then a hero strode to the mound. His name was Godzilla, and he was breathing fire.
(Whoa. How about a Tic Tac, Matsui. Seriously.)
Matty, as Girardi calls him, smacked one into the seats to tie the game at 4-4 and launch yet another Yankees late-inning comeback. Posada went back-to-back. Hinske doubled. Melky singled, scoring pinch runner Hairston (I’m really falling for this guy). And Damon singled. When it was all over, it was 7-5 Yanks and I was no longer growling. Quite the opposite.
After brilliant relief performances by Bruney, Coke and Robertson, in came Mo for the ninth, Talk about true love. But – shock – he gave up a homer to Encarnacion. He looked as surprised as I was.
Not to worry, Mo. You got the save and the Yanks won, and all is right with the world again. It’s a Yankees Universe and I’m just living in it.

Yankees Lose And She-Fan Demands Answers

I know. Seven games in a row was a lot, and the winning streak couldn’t possibly last forever. I get it, I really do. But as I watched the Yankees go down 5-4 to the suddenly Alex Rios-less Blue Jays, I felt sick inside.

Mitre gave up his usual five runs in five innings. Yes, only three of the runs were earned, but so what? Cano may have been charged with the error, but Sergio was the one who made the lame throw. To be fair, he had good stuff, and his strikeouts were impressive. But Kei Igawa strikes out batters too, and the Yankees aren’t rushing to slot him into the rotation, are they?
Still, it was fun to see Jeter, Cano and Hairston go deep. Cano, in particular, has been hot at the plate and he couldn’t have picked a more opportune time. (It was less fun to watch Posada strike out seemingly every time he even looked at a pitch.) And Aceves was brilliant in relief.
But here’s the thing. The Yankees were a little flat, as I knew they would be after the Red Sox series. It was only natural. But I thought I’d better have a talk with Joe Girardi and make sure he understood that there is to be no letdown for the rest of the season. None. Nada. Zippo. Sure, we can drop a game here and there, but that’s it. No losing binges, rough patches or slumps. Especially no slumps.
Here’s our conversation.
I think the Yankees will come out smoking on Tuesday night. Joe will make sure of it.