Tagged: Torii Hunter

My Visit With Amber Sabathia

Since the Yankees didn’t fly home from Minny until today, I took the opportunity to spend a little quality time with CC’s wife Amber. She met me at our usual spot, a cafeteria near Newark Airport, and we chatted about the Yankees, her husband, my husband, and, of course, the upcoming ALCS. She hasn’t changed that much since I first spoke to her during the off-season when CC was still deciding whether to sign with the Yankees.
OK, yes she has. She’s changed a lot. Moving to New York has turned her into a different person.
But she’s still very entertaining company, and she didn’t hesitate to share, which is crucial when it comes to girlfriends. Here’s an excerpt from our afternoon together. It sounded to me as if CC, like any successful pitcher, has a plan for facing the Angels.

Turning The Tables On The Angels

The Yankees played small ball tonight, beating the invaders from Los Angeles of Anaheim by the score of 5-3. Actually, the Yanks played small ball, big ball and everything-in-between ball, juggling all elements of the game perfectly.
It was a pleasure to watch the Angels go down to defeat for a change – from Torii losing his shoe on a failed catch…
…to Scioscia having to pull Weaver, who pitched well but not well enough.
Aside from the homer he allowed to Guerrero in the first, Joba was very effective over his four innings, not walking a batter – hopefully a confidence boost for him. Aceves was his usual workmanlike self. Coke ended the seventh on Izturis‘ grounder to Jeter, whose brilliant play only added to his highlights reel for ’09. Hughes loaded the bases in the eighth – I guess he’s human after all – but got Morales to ground into a DP and limited the damage to one run.
Speaking of Morales, my Extra Innings package wouldn’t give me the YES feed, so I was stuck with the Angels announcers. I had to laugh when Gubicza said, “Kendry has made the Angels forget all about Mark Teixeira.”
Excuse me? Morales was 1-4 in tonight’s game and grounded into that DP I mentioned. Here’s what Teixeira did: he went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and was sparkling on defense. Nice try, Gubie.
Nick Swisher played big ball, going deep in the third. But it was Girardi’s small ball move in the bottom of the eighth that raised eyebrows.
After Tex doubled, he sent Gardner to pinch run for him. At first, I thought the move was really screwy.
“Hey,” I said to my husband. “What if this game goes into extras and we need Tex’s bat?”
“Speed kills,” he said. “Gardner will steal and score the go-ahead run, and Mo will close it out.”
Which is exactly what happened. Gardner stole and came home on Napoli’s errant pickoff attempt, and Mo notched his 40th save to reduce the Yankees’ magic number to 12. I’ve decided that Joe is a genius and my husband is psychic.
I asked him to predict how the Yankees will do on Tuesday night when Mitre takes on Halladay.
“Doc shut us out last time,” I said. “Will he do it again?”
“Tell me!” I begged.
“Sorry, but I charge by the hour,” he said. “No money up front? No prediction.”
Well, that hardly seemed fair. So I came back with:
“No prediction? No dinner.”
That got his attention.
“The Yankees will win,” he said, taking the safe route.
You heard it here first.

A-Rod/Tex Rift? Does It Matter?

The Yankees blog “Was Watching” posted about the supposed tension between A-Rod and Teixeira when both were with the Rangers. Maybe there was a rift back then, but Tex said during his press conference that A-Rod was one of the players who got in touch to congratulate him on becoming a Yankee.

There’s a long history of teammates not getting along, even hating each other. But in most cases, the strained relationships didn’t affect the success of the ball club.
For instance….
Babe and Lou, despite mugging for the camera together, were said to be polar opposites who felt genuine enmity toward each other. Did it hurt the Yankees? Nope.
Neither did the resentment between Thurman
and Reggie.
Jorge and El Duque had a dustup in the dugout after a game
but the Yankees more than managed.
Turning to other teams, the Dodgers did just fine in spite of bad feelings between Don Sutton
and Steve Garvey. (Did anyone like Steve Garvey?)
The Red Sox didn’t suffer just because Carl Yazstremski
wasn’t thrilled about sharing the spotlight with Tony Conigliaro.
When Torii Hunter was with the Twins, he threw a punch at Justin Morneau
but they kissed and made up.
Even last year’s Cinderella, the Rays, had two players who got in each other’s faces.
But Garza and Navarro patched things up and won the Al pennant.
Baseball teams are like families – there’s a good chance someone won’t get along with someone else. But the teams that push through to the playoffs find a way to make even negative chemistry work.
It all comes down to being able to put aside petty differences, recognize the greater good, and go like this….

The Halos Hall of Shame

So sad, those Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – beaten 11 straight times by the Red Sox in postseason games. Weren’t they supposed to be the best team in baseball? I think not!

First, I must give a public lashing to 

Yes, you, Mr. Hunter. After you were nailed at first in that close play, you stomped up and down like a petulant child and jammed your knee. Your crime didn’t rise to the level of Kevin Brown punching a wall, but it was dumb. Your error in center didn’t help your cause.
Next, I must pass judgement on 

Yes, you, Mr. Kendrick. You not only struck out swinging with bases loaded (have you ever heard of taking a pitch?), but you’ve left 11 men on base in this series. Bad, Howie. Bad.
Now, I must take to task the one and only 

Yes, you, Mr. K-Rod. You can yell and scream and point to the sky all you want, but the fact remains that you were ineffective tonight. I’d worry about that big contract if I were you.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t call out
Yes, you, Angels fans. Your thundersticks are ridiculous. Have you noticed that Yankee fans manage perfectly well by cheering for our team using our own hands? It’s called clapping.
And finally, I must single out the most shameful of all

Yes, you, Mr. Rally Monkey. Enough said.

P.S. There IS one person who did distinguish himself tonight
Yes, you, Mr. Teixeira. You went 3-for-3 with a sac fly, and I want you on the Yankees in ’09. A lot.

Torii Hunter: Go Back on Your Anti-Psychotic Meds!

Some game tonight, huh? Sure, the Angels always crush us, but this loss was particularly nauseating because Scioscia threw all their scrubs at us and they still crushed us. Our problem(s)? No starting pitching. No relief pitching. No timely hitting (okay, no hitting at all). And no defense (way to play that ball, Bobby). As Peter Abraham wrote on his LoHud blog after we scored only one run with the bases loaded: “No team does less with more.”

But there was a scrum! Yay! Torii Hunter, who had stolen second and third on Pudge in the sixth inning, made a bonehead move trying to score on a grounder. He was easily tagged out by Pudge, who gave him a little extra nudge. No big deal, I thought. And then as Pudge walked toward the mound, Hunter went psycho and shoved Pudge hard from behind. Punches were thrown and didn’t land and the benches cleared. The usual. But at least there was a little excitement! I actually got up out of my chair and yelled at the TV! And what I yelled was this: “WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM, TORII? DID YOU STOP TAKING YOUR MEDS?” Seriously. The doctor needs to up his dosage.
Hunter and Pudge were ejected and the Yankees limped along to the 12-1 conclusion. I was expecting some retaliation, but nooo. Not from Giese or Ramirez (whatever happened with his other supposed suspension, when he threw at Millar?) or Britton. I was sure someone would pop Vladie. I was wrong. Maybe tomorrow night. That’s what the 2008 Yankees have reduced me to: hoping for a brawl.