Tagged: Jeter

Congratulations, Joe

Go ahead and bask in the glow of success with the Dodgers. You earned it. No resentment from me. I’m happy for you and your team. Of course, I wish it could be the Yankees that are joining you in the second round (do you even miss us at all, Joe?), but good job sweeping the Cubs. I bet you’ll get a lot of nice phone calls from Jeter, Pettitte, Jorge, and Mo. I wouldn’t count on one from Hankenstein though.

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Did I Really Just Watch the Yankees for 11 Straight Hours?

Yes. That’s exactly what I did today. Well, I took a break to eat and blog and send emails. I also did the laundry. But my Yankees marathon started at 10 a.m. here in California with ESPN Classic’s airing of Game 5 of the 2001 World Series against the Diamondbacks. I switched over to ESPN for all the pre-game interviews, clips and commentary about the Stadium, then to ESPN2 for the pre-game ceremonies, then back to ESPN for the game and post-game. If the Yankees hadn’t beaten the Orioles after all the hoopla, I think I would have smashed my TV. But all is well. We won. I’m exhausted, but in a good way.

Favorite moment of the pre-game coverage:
* Peter Gammons having to praise the Yankees when he usually has something negative to say about them. Ditto: Steve Phillips.
Favorite moments of the pre-game ceremony:
* The return of Bernie.
* The appearances of the wives and/or children of Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, Roger Maris, Phil Rizzuto, Catfish Hunter, Thurman Munson, Bobby Murcer, and Elston Howard.
* The actors who played the dearly departed Yankees. I thought I would hate this part, but I found myself oddly moved by it, as if the men who were supposed to be Ruth and Gehrig and the others were kindly spirits touching down at the Stadium one last time.
* Willie Randolph sliding into second.
* Whitey Ford and Don Larson grabbing dirt from the pitcher’s mound.
* The crowd’s enthusiastic cheers for O’Neill, Brosius and Tino.
* The first pitch thrown by Ruth’s daughter to Posada.
Least favorite moment of the pre-game ceremony:
* The crowd booing A-Rod as he trotted to third base. Talk about a bummer in the midst of so much good will. Really bush league.
Favorite moments of the game:
* Jeter being in the lineup despite his injured left wrist.
* Damon’s HR to give the Yankees the lead and put a halt to the team’s futility against pitchers they haven’t faced.
* Molina’s HR. Obviously. Who would have picked him as the last guy to hit one out at the Stadium?
* David Cone and David Wells sitting together in the stands. 
* Whitey and Yogi joining Jon Miller and Joe Morgan in the booth.
* Pettitte gutting it out, even though he didn’t have much.
* The bullpen doing its job – again.
* Gardner proving that his speed is a lethal weapon.
* Mo. Enough said. He’s a deity for sure.
Favorite moments after the game:
* The crowd not leaving. 
* The players hugging each other on the field and having their pictures taken together as if they’d just won their 27th World Series.
* Jeter’s speech thanking the fans and making a plug for the new Stadium.
* The whole team’s lap around the Stadium.
* Frank Sinatra. I don’t really like “New York, New York.” I especially don’t like it when it’s played over and over again. Tonight, though, it was beautiful music.
* The realization that the Yankees prevented the Red Sox from clinching.
I think that covers it or did I miss something?
 

The Captain Rocks/Carl Pavano Limps

So much for David Price stopping Jeter’s ride into history. What a great at bat, letting the rookie show him a few pitches, then smashing one into the seats to tie Gehrig. Jeet did it so many ways – beating out a grounder, beating out a bunt, hitting one of his trademark inside-out opposite fielders, going yard. I’m thinking he should run for President in 2012.

And oops, there goes Pavano. Did he strain his hip? His groin? Or did he tweak those tender buttocks again? Get the MRI tube ready!

It’s Only the Third Inning But I Have to Ask

Where has all this offense been? Jeter only needs one hit to tie Gehrig as I write this. He came into this series against the Rays knowing he needed nine hits in ten games to tie the record, and what does he do? He hits. No problem. So my question is….If he can turn it on now, why couldn’t he have turned it on in the ALDS last year, for example? I know, I know. Edwin Jackson isn’t Sabathia, but still. And then there’s A-Rod. For this entire season he came up to the plate with bases loaded and did nothing. Today? Grand slam. So puzzling. But let’s go, Jeet. Break the record!

Uh-oh. The Rays are bringing in their “Joba.” David Price is their phenon with blazing stuff. He’s about to make his major league debut. More later.

Freddy Sez: “Only Jeter Showed Up Today”

Those who are Stadium regulars know Freddy, the guy who goes around asking people to bang on his pan for good luck and carries a sign with encouraging words about the Yankees. What must poor Freddy be thinking about today’s loss to the Rays, never mind about the rest of the season? A-Rod couldn’t play because of a stiff neck. Moose didn’t make it to the sixth. And Giambi had his usual throwing issue. Only Jeter showed he still had a pulse, somehow coming up with three hits against yet another pitcher to baffle the Yankees’ offense. Whether or not Jeet will break Gehrig’s record is about all the suspense left to this forgettable season. I suppose it’s possible that Ponson will surprise everybody and toss a great game in the nightcap. But – and I’m paraphrasing Obama – you can put lipstick on a mediocre pitcher but he’s still a mediocre pitcher.

Here I am with Freddy the pan man in happier times. I was just beginning my nearly three months following the Yankees for my book. Freddy was telling me about how he had a bit part in the movie “For Love of the Game.” He’s such a character. I hope the Yankees include him in their farewell festivities.
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Where Has Aceves Been All My Life?

Great job by Aceves, which makes me wonder why we were stuck with Rasner for all those starts when we could have had this guy in the rotation. But then there are so many unsolved mysteries regarding the 2008 Yankees. Like what IS Cano’s approach at the plate, exactly? Does he have one? And why was Jeter looking so sloppy on defense tonight?

On the bright side, nice to see Damon smacking a couple and A-Rod hitting one with runners on.  Also nice to see the Yankees work Santana into an early exit to get to the Angels’ pen. And, of course, congrats to Jeter for breaking The Babe’s record for hits as a Yank.
Does the win matter in the larger scheme of things? Sure it does. Toronto beat Chicago so while we don’t gain ground on them, we don’t lose any either. Call me crazy, but I’m really not interested in winding up in fourth place. Third is enough of an indignity. I mean, come on. We’re the New York Yankees, the greatest franchise in sports! (It felt good to say that out loud, even though I sounded like I was doing a Michael Kay imitation.)