…like a woman scorned.
Which is what I was tonight: a woman scorned by Major League Baseball. I know, I know. MLB hosts this blog and for that I’m very grateful. But come on. All I wanted was to watch the finale of the Yankees-Angels series – to see the special tribute to Jackie Robinson, the first start of the season by Phil Hughes and anything else that was going on in the Bronx. Was that too much to ask? Apparently.
I rushed home and turned on the MLB Network, which was supposedly televising the game.
No game. I checked the clock to make sure I had the correct time. Still no game.
I flipped over to the Extra Innings baseball package, which I purchase every year through my cable provider in order to get Yankees games.
No game. I browsed through every channel just in case I missed something. Still no game.
In a panic now, I turned to my computer and signed in to MLB.TV; I’d bought a premium subscription so I’d be absolutely, positively covered.
No game. What appeared on my screen instead was a black out message, along with an invitation to “watch” the game on Gameday Audio. Thanks anyway.
I ended up getting my visual images from my buddies on Twitter, while I listened to John and Suzyn via my iPhone – an exercise in futility since the audio is on about a 5-minute delay. Oh, and did I mention that when I called my cable company to complain, they said, “Have you tried KCOP-TV, the Fox affiliate that broadcasts the Angels?”
“Yes,” I said. “They’re showing ‘Dragnet.'”
I’ll stop whining except to say there was no reason for me to be blacked out. I don’t live in New York and I don’t live in Anaheim. I’m simply a fan who wants to see my team play baseball, which is why I ponied up for the MLB Network, the MLB Extra Innings Package and the MLB.TV Premium subscription. In other words, I was all MLB-ed up with nothing to show for it. (And no, I can’t get DirecTV; I live up in a canyon where a dish would blow off my roof on a regular basis.)
OK, about tonight’s game…What a wonderful tribute to Jackie Robinson and his legacy to have the Yankee named after him not only present Rachel Robinson with a dozen roses but to smack two homers off Scott Kazmir?
If Robinson Cano keeps up his torrid hitting, he’s in for a monster season – and so are the Yanks. It was great to see (sorry, I mean hear) Phil Huuuuughes notch his first win, only giving up two runs. The six strikeouts were sweet. The five walks? Not so much. Excellent offensive night for Jeter, Granderson (two triples!), A-Rod and Thames. Those zeroes for Tex? Not very thrilling. The relievers delivered after Hughes was pulled, but I was hoping Joba could finish the Angels off. Instead, Girardi called for Mo who got the save (naturally) but who shouldn’t have to clean up messes on a nightly basis.
The Yankees have now won every series they’ve played – each one against a contending team. Not a bad way to kick off 2010….which leads me to my last topic of this post.
I just got my copy of Paul (aka The Prince of NY) Lebowitz’s annual baseball guide. Paul may give our Yanks a hard time in his comments here on the blog, but he knows what he’s talking about. Somehow, he keeps track of every player, manager, coach and front office honcho in the major leagues and writes coherently about all of them. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense overview of the 2010 season, complete with predictions, his book is a must read. Take his remarks about the Yankees pitching staff. He’s a Mets fan and yet he still manages to say the following:
* “C.C. Sabathia is one of the best pitchers in baseball; he’s clutch and will be a big winner and Cy Young Award contender in pinstripes for years to come.”
* “It’s when the games are biggest on the large stage that Pettitte shines. No one can ever be concerned that Pettitte isn’t going to give his all at any point; nor do they need to worry that he won’t battle his way through the toughest situations.”
* “When ‘Enter Sandman’ comes blaring over the speakers at Yankee Stadium, the game’s over. The fans know it; the players know it; and most importantly, Rivera knows it. He’s the best. Ever. End of story.”
What does he predict for the Yankees as a team?
* “The Yankees are too good, too deep and too powerful to be anything less than a playoff team….The subtraction of Damon and Matsui will be mitigated by the presence of Johnson and Granderson and the continued rise of Cano….The Yankees will roll to the division title over the depleted Red Sox.”
Does Paul think the Yankees will win another championship in 2010? Well, I can’t give away the ending, can I? Check it out for yourself…if you dare.
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!
The screenwriter’s panel I went to over the weekend as part of the Santa Barbara Film Festival featured the writer of the quirky new romantic comedy “500 Days of Summer.”
He was interesting, so I figured I should see the movie. I thought it was a sweet little story, but imagine my surprise when I got to the final scene. Who was in it but Minka. She plays a girl waiting to be interviewed for a job. She has about six lines, but, hey, that’s more than Jeter has in his car commercials. I dug up her appearance on Craig Ferguson’s show to promote the film. If Letterman had been the host, he would have asked her about The Captain for sure. Instead, Ferguson makes stupid jokes. If nothing else, Minka is a good sport. So her mother invented the name “Minka” and her father was a guitarist in Aerosmith? Who knew?
And thanks to Leah, a frequent commenter on this blog, I checked out tonight’s episode of “Castle” on ABC to see Joe Torre’s cameo. Joe was Joe – calm, sincere, comfortable on camera. I don’t think he should give up his day job, but he wasn’t bad at all.
(I had to remove the clip since ABC decided not to permit viewing. Basically, it just shows Joe shaking hands with the two investigators and saying how sad it is about the murder of the ballplayer. He looks very earnest and Torre-like.)
Oh, and let me welcome Marcus Thames back to the Yankees. I have no idea what we’re going to do with him, but I’m sure his buddy Granderson will be glad to have him around.
Let’s see. That makes four left fielders, right? Gardner, Winn, Hoffman and now Thames? Too bad we didn’t hang on to Nady, Hinske and Hairston. There would have been a party out there.