It feels as if I’m at war with the entire service industry. Yesterday, I battled Delta, American Express and Apple. Today, it was this place.
Since I finally got my plane tickets for my New York trip, I figured the next item on my agenda was securing seats at Yankee Stadium. I bought tickets on StubHub.com, but when the site wouldn’t let me download them – and told me I hadn’t even made a purchase – I called their 800 number. It took them ONE HOUR to fix the problem and allow me to print out my tix. Come on, people! You’re making me crazy!
The good news is I’ll be going to see the Yanks on Wednesday, June 17th – my first time at the new Stadium. They’re playing the Nationals, not exactly the team of my dreams, but who knows? It could be a great game. If anybody is planning to be there that night, please leave a comment. It would be fun to meet up.
Now, onto tonight’s 9-2 win over the Rangers, which not only gave us the series win but also put us into a tie for first with the Red Sox – and represented our 14th straight game without an error.
Tex going yard in the first inning.
Jeter getting on base five times.
Cash lining a double and a single AND throwing out Andrus.
Matsui knocking two out of the park.
Gardner bunting for a single and scoring.
Damon making two great running catches.
Robertson throwing strikes.
Wang finally making an appearance – and looking like Wang.
And, of course, there was the brilliant outing by AJ. He wasn’t economical. He only lasted six innings. But he struck out seven and held the mighty Rangers offense to three measly hits. Good job, guy.
Veras serving up Kinsler’s two-run shot. ENOUGH ALREADY!
Swisher being our only option in right field.
Berroa “pinch running” with the speed of this.
Luckily, I got the Rangers’ feed again tonight, which meant more merriment from their two crack broadcasters, Josh Lewin and Tom Grieve.
They really make a game fun. Here’s a sample.
Josh, before the first pitch by Holland, the Rangers’ rookie starter: “Not to put any pressure on Holland, but it’s 79 degrees with low humidity.”
Tom, assessing the Rangers so far this season: “The batters haven’t walked that often. And they have 376 strikeouts – the most in the major leagues. And the pitchers have the fewest strikeouts in the majors. It doesn’t matter.”
Josh, referring to Saltalamacchia: “They traded Mark Teixeira for a bunch of green bananas, and Salty was the first to ripen.”
Tom, after being told that AJ did not lead the majors in strikeouts last year as he’d thought: “I appreciate the correction. I don’t like to misinformation people.”
Josh, after Matsui’s second homer: “Let’s change the subject. How much time have you spent in Japan, Tom?”
Tom: “I’ve never been to Japan, Josh.”
Tom, after Cano
tacked on a homer in the ninth: “Cano is a pretty good hitter.”
tacked on a homer in the ninth: “Cano is a pretty good hitter.”
And my absolute favorite, after the game was over…
Josh: “The Yankees have an off-day in Cleveland tomorrow.”
Tom: “The Rangers have an off-day in Cleveland in August.”
I’ll miss those two smooth talkers.
I needed that one. After days and nights of close contests, it was such a relief to pound the Rangers for 19 hits in today’s 11-1 win in Texas.
Stars of the game?
* Phil Hughes got into a jam in the second, had a visit from Dave Eiland, and promptly struck out Byrd, Davis and Teagarden to end the inning. After that, he cruised. I would have brought him back out for the ninth and let him try to go for the complete game shutout, especially with the bullpen down a man. But he was at 101 pitches and I guess Girardi thought he might turn into this.
* A-Rod had five hits and four RBIs – none of them via a homer. Was he helped by having the red-hot Cano batting behind him instead of the ice-cold Matsui? Or does he just like hitting in that ballpark in Arlington? It seemed as if every pitch he saw was fat.
* Kevin Cash had three hits. No, that’s not a typo. So what if the third hit was a blooper that dropped between the pitcher and two infielders. Nothing wrong with getting on base thanks to some Three Stooges defense by the opposition.
* The Yankees defense has now gone 12 straight games without making an error. That means everybody is Gold Glove caliber right now.
* Melky provided some levity. In the fifth, he hit what should have been a double, but he tripped and fell after rounding first base and was stuck there. Once it was clear he was OK, the guys in the dugout broke up laughing.
* Matt Harrison and Kris Benson were a delight to watch. I wish the Yankees could face them every day. When they weren’t walking batters or hitting them, they were giving up doubles.
There’s another game tomorrow night and the Rangers could easily come right back and bite us. But until then, I’ll enjoy the rest of Memorial Day knowing my team won. Here’s hoping everyone had a good holiday. Hat tip to all our vets!
O.K. Don’t kill me, anybody. He’ll probably sign with the Red Sox within the next six seconds. I’m just saying that he’s still out there and maybe he’s getting a little antsy.
And let’s face it. There’s a history of Boston players crossing over into enemy territory, most of whom felt unappreciated and/or underpaid.
There was, of course, Babe Ruth. He crossed over and became, well, The Babe.
Sparky Lyle crossed over and won three straight AL pennants and two World Series and was the first reliever to win the Cy Young award.
Wade Boggs crossed over and had four straight .300+ seasons, earned two Gold Gloves and helped the Yankees win their first World Series in 18 years.
Roger Clemens crossed over after taking a detour through Toronto. He won two World Series and notched his 300th win and 4,000th strikeout as a Yankee. (Go ahead. Put an asterisk next to him if you must.)
Flash Gordon crossed over. He was a terrific set-up man for Mo and led the AL in holds in ’04 with 36.
The list wouldn’t be complete without Johnny Damon, who swore he’d never leave Boston but took the extra year the Yanks offered (and the extra millions). He batted .303 last season and was one of the most consistent hitters on an underachieving team.
Back to Varitek. Why in the world would he sign with the Yankees and why in the world would the Yankees want him?
1) Scott Boras. The guy lives for this stuff.
2) Jorge Posada. What if he can’t throw?
3) Jose Molina. What if he can’t catch every day?
4) Chad Moeller. Gone.
5) Ivan Rodriguez. Gone.
6) Francisco Cervelli. A prospect from Triple A.
7) Kevin Cash. Another crossover, but a lowly one on the order of Mike Myers, Alan Embree and Mark “the strikeout king” Bellhorn.
Are there obstacles to a deal? Absolutely. Varitek hates #13.
But they’d work it out. That’s what being a big leaguer is all about.
There’s also the money. Do the Yankees have any left? I’m not their accountant, but probably.
And there’s the issue of Varitek’s batting average; it hovered near the Mendoza line last season. But it just beat out Nick Swisher’s and the Yankees took him. We take lots of players who look like they’re ready for the glue factory. Sometimes they revive. Sometimes they don’t. Nothing is for sure in this game, not even Jason Varitek’s next address.