Somehow, Francisco Cervelli always makes the most of his starts. He may be the Yankees’ backup catcher, but is there anybody who doesn’t think he could be the #1 catcher on some other team? Yeah, he’s young, but he does stuff that other catchers don’t….Like run. What a concept. Hit a triple? No problem. Lay down a bunt? Piece of cake. Chase a foul ball into the dugout? Easy.
(Love Tony Pena ducking.)
No, it wasn’t as daring as this.
But it was entertaining just the same. And I don’t know how Cisco can concentrate with that big helmet on his head. It would be like me trying to write this blog looking like this.
Speaking of backup personnel, how about Pena as the backup shortstop and Gardner as the backup center fielder and Joba as the backup closer. They all did a great job. Sure, A-Rod worked a bases loaded walk, but the A-list guys were basically no shows in the offense department tonight. Here’s who did show up though: AJ. Can we please have a hand for his spectacular seven-plus innings?
He may have been inconsistent last season, but so far he’s looking like a potential 20-game winner, along with CC, Andy and Huuuuughes. To sum up, Tex and A-Rod aren’t doing squat and yet the Yanks are still winning series. It’ll be scary for the opposition when those two get their act together.
1) The Captain gets sick…
…and his last minute replacement knocks in two runs with a single.
2) Tex, The April Slumper, goes deep for the first time this season. Talk about getting rid of that monkey on his back.
3) Rangers manager Ron Washington compares Brett Gardner to this guy.
4) Pettitte and Mo pitch like it’s 1996.
5) Nick Johnson doesn’t so much as put his bat on the ball (he either strikes out or walks), but the Yankees still manage to sweep the Rangers.
Will life always be this charmed for Yankee fans? Of course not. The trip to California could be treacherous for our boys. And no, I’m not referring to earthquakes, wildfires or mudslides. I’m not even thinking about Coco Crisp, now with the A’s, even though he could walk right up to Javy Vazquez on Tuesday and pull one of these.
I’m talking about…Actually, I don’t even know who’s on the A’s anymore so I’m not sure which players to be afraid of. I do know that Chad Gaudin and Edwar Ramirez have donned the A’s uniform and will be getting their World Series rings this week.
I wonder if Edwar is eating. I really hope he hasn’t lost any more weight.
With A-Rod bound for Buffalo, I thought it was time to bring back my alter ego for another chat in the cafeteria with a Yankee. I know A-Rod will be lawyered up for his meeting with the feds on Friday, but there’s nothing like a fan to tell him how to conduct himself. I tried, anyway.
The 2010 Yankees got off to a sweet start, didn’t they?
* Impressive pitching by Gaudin, Mitre and Aceves.
* Nice catches in the wind by Hoffman and Gardner.
* Great seeing the Bombers again, period.
As with most early spring training games, there was sloppy play. And it’s hard to get a rhythm going when everybody’s being shuffled in and out like a game of musical chairs.
But there were a few firsts that signaled a good omen for the season.
* A-Rod got the Yankees’ first hit of the spring.
* Pena smacked the Yankees’ first homer.
* Colin Curtis broke the 3-3 tie in the 9th with his three-run walkoff homer, enabling the Yanks to beat the Pirates 6-3. There was no pie, sadly.
Colin Curtis? Who’s he?
I would never have been able to pick him out of a police lineup, but he certainly got my attention today.
He’s got a level lefty swing – almost Matsui-like – and he’s supposed to be a decent outfielder. Will he nudge Winn/Thames/Hoffman/Gardner aside any time soon? I highly doubt it; he’ll end up back in Scranton. But watch this video and tell me he’s not a terrific kid. He has a new fan in me, that’s for sure.
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!!!!!!!
For the Yankees’ opener against the Royals, Girardi rested the vets and played the kids. I figured we’d get clobbered. Wrong. We did the clobbering. Well, the kids did.
How? With the score tied 1-1 in the fifth, Ramiro Pena smacked his first major league homer. It was hilarious when, as per custom, he walked into the dugout and all the vets turned their backs and gave him the silent treatment.
When the score was knotted at 2-2 in the sixth, it was Shelley who came through with an RBI single to put the Baby Bombers up 3-2. I guess he can hit major league pitching after all.
Then we moved into the seventh inning, and the kids broke the game wide open. How?
Pena: singled in Cervelli.
Cano: hit a grand salami.
It was Robbie’s second career grand slam and it shut me up about his inability to hit with runners in scoring position. It was also his 25th homer and set a new Yankees record for players with 25 or more dingers in a season (there are five).
The Yankees won the game 8-2, and it wasn’t all about offense, obviously. Chad Gaudin went six-plus and held the Royals to only four hits. I admit I wasn’t thrilled about him at first, but his last few outings have been more than decent and I think he could help the Yanks in the playoffs as a long reliever or emergency starter.
Marte got Alex Gordon to foul out (wasn’t Gordon supposed to be The Next Great Thing?) and Aceves was perfect the rest of the way. And so the Baby Bombers picked right up where the guys who just won the division left off. Nice job, kids. You deserve a treat!
I’ve made no secret of my appreciation for Roy Halladay’s gifts, not even during his recent slump. It was only natural that he’d have a letdown after all the hoopla at the All Star game surrounding a possible trade.
Toronto’s 6-0 win over the Yankees tonight belonged to him. It’s no mean feat to one-hit the best offensive club in the majors, and he made the Yanks look feeble at the plate, especially A-Rod, who came up with bases loaded and took a called third strike.
If Pena, subbing for Jeter at short, hadn’t doubled, Roy might have had a no-no. But that was it for the Yankees’ offense. So congratulations, Doc, for giving your team a lift. As for the Yanks….
Joba gave me a headache. A migraine.
I mean, what happened to him? He was pulled after three innings – the usual these days, given The Joba Rules – but he never seemed comfortable, never dominated like he used to. The defense behind him was nothing to jump up and down about, either.
Hinske’s a really good hitter off the bench, but in right field he gives me the shakes.
But this game was all about pitching. After Joba gave up three runs, two earned, it was time to call up the kids.
Melancon started out OK, then couldn’t find the plate. Mike Dunn, in his major league debut, really couldn’t find the plate. Edwar found too much of the plate resulting in Hill’s two-RBI double. And Albaladejo avoided damage in spite of getting hit in the face by a ball a few days ago and ending up with raccoon eyes.
To sum up, it was a night for Halladay to celebrate and for the Yankees to say, “So be it. We’ll get ’em tomorrow.” Yes, I’m actually OK with losing a game to a guy who deserved to win it. I must be mellowing. Yeah, right.