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It's probably better I missed most of this game.

Because with my short baseball fuse and unapologetic irrationality, I'd have been liable to legitimately kill someone. I mean, sweet Christ, I was apoplectic in the cab ride back uptown solely because of mild traffic on an exit ramp. I don't have a temper as a habit, but when it's ignited, it may as well be one of those spinning fire crackers thingys.

So who knows what kind of reaction I would have had had I actually seen Hairston's error?

Poor Mike is watching the whole game solo while I'm texting him "15 more minutes and I swear I'm leaving the office!" about once every, say, 15 minutes. And it's one of those days at work where I'm so busy that I wish I could ask someone to go to the bathroom FOR me. So I wasn't even listening to the game. Another blessing in disguise because I can only imagine what Sterling and Suzyn were doing to jinx this one.

In fairness, actually, those 2 are pretty good about it. It's Kay who's on a hellbent mission to ensure that no Yankee ever pitches a no-hitter ever again. It's amazing how powerful a jinx it. I'm quite certain that if you counted the number of times people said jinx-like claims, the amount of times that a jinx was enacted would far outnumber the times a jinz was overridden.

So I apologize to everyone and anything that came within my path of indiscriminate terror today. I felt very Latrell Sprewell/Frank Francisco at one point when I threw a stapler. (This could be attributed to frustration over missing the game. I don't want to think about what would have been thrown if I actually HADN'T missed the game.)

Sooo...Andy's perfection bid. Crazy stuff.

Some thoughts on Junior's bobble:

  • It reminded me of Sanchez's perfect bid earlier this year, when Juan Uribe comes in as a defensive substitution and screws that whole thing up. My point is that is there a new level of guilt that comes from not only being That Guy who gets the stigma of fouling up the perfect game, but being That Guy who should've been someone else? ARod makes that play easy.

  • Junior tells us that Andy couldn't have been nicer about it. (Is anyone surprised? No.) "He was kind of funny," Hairston said. "He was like, 'You took the pressure off me.' He goes, 'If I haven't thrown a no-hitter by now, then I'm not going to do it.' He was probably the best. He said he didn't want to throw nine innings anyway. That's what type of attitude he has."

  • Ok, that would obviously make me feel worse. I think a true friend would carve you up from here to LA. Lay into you, screaming, fits, the whole 9.

  • Because it's kind of like breaking up with someone in the sense that, if they're completely nice and honorable and classy post-breakup, it's hard to get past it. But if you break up with someone in the most asinine way possible, well then I'm really doing you a favor because now you feel no remorse or guilt. So... WAY TO BE A JERK, ANDY. GOD.

  • Mike was devastated by the time I actually met up with him. (I just realized after typing that how poorly that reflects on me. 'When Kris showed up, Mike was devasted.' Sounds about right.) He noted that the only thing worse than this ruined perfecto was Moose's. Of course. While I disagree with Mike that this is a "meaningless game," it is obviously no where near as big as a playoff game as Fenway.

These are the stats I need:
  • Number of games that were perfect up until 2 outs in the 9th
  • Team with the most perfect games pitched against them
  • Shortest Yankee-O's game

There's another stat I'd like to, but don't even know how to articulate it, let alone actually find it/compute it myself (like that would ever, ever happen. I'm good at math. Nope.) How many games were perfect barring a 1st or even 2nd inning blemish? Like gave up a hit or walk or someone had an error early on, when the idea of a perfect game wasn't even remotely a possibility.

(Unless you're Bernie Williams, who apparently starts thinking about 'em when he's lacing up his cleats--I remember after Lieber took at perfecto 6 innings against the Sox, Bernie said he had started thinking 'perfect' sometime in the 2nd inning. Normal. Ah, what a game. The one where I infamously tried to put electrical tape on Sox fans mouths at the stadium. Also the game where my sis showed up 2 hours late and still got there in the 2nd inning. And the game when we saw a Boston fan run up to a security guard at the stadium, tug on his sleeve, and then say in the most concerned, urgent, earnest, frantic voice: "Hey, yeah. Listen. The girl who looks like Curt Schilling is COMPLETELY out of control.")

As usual, I digress.

Matsui in the 4 spot blanked. I don't dare imply that he's streaky, but...
Do him and Swisher ever both do well at the same time? Or is it like the Conch Shell of talent with those 2? And only one can be hot at a time.

Was it REALLY necessary to bring Mo in? With a 4-lead? Outside of my cat, no one likes sleep more than Mo. (Which is adorable since my cat IS Mariano Rivera!)

I wonder who the Yankees want to win for. I know there's part of them (the biggest part) playing outta sheer competitive spirit. But it's also a job to them. And think about it, everyone wants a promotion, but few actually have a vested initerest in what their livelhood entails.

How did Girardi get them so motivated? Girardi works on automatic pilot, he's not doing anything beyond the occasional stomping out of the dug out to make a point and be all, yea take that and rewind it bacs. How ya like me now."

The Yankees are realky starting to resemble the Ameican Dreams of Nintendo Baseball Stars. They were like the stacked line up whoever was lucky enough to be Player 1, always picked to play with.

(Sometimes people would subscribe to the "I'm so good, it doesnt want team I play with" school of thought. Unless you do that secret code "What is a wren?" cheating thing, you're fated to lose if you're up against American Dreams. Or if your team is Lovely Ladies.)

I can't figure out what makes this team so good. Pitching? Hitting? I don't know if I'd say our hitting was drastically different than, say, 2003-2006. And pitching? CC, AJ, Andy= awesome. But what makes that trio different than having Moose, Clemens, Andy?

The funny part is, the reason they're playing so well is due in no small part to Jeter, Andy, Posada, and Mo. The good old boys. The "Real Yankees." The ones who were too old and too overrated to be of any value, right?

So maybe that's just it. Maybe all it took was the old machine to find some shiny new parts to help out the engine and get it to run a bit more smoothly, instead of continuing to tinker with it til it's completely useless. Maybe they just needed to find the parts that worked together instead of looking for the coolest pieces. (In Lego-playing circles, I was famous for collecting all the really cool pieces, like the gold coins or treasure chest or smooth pieces with the control panel prints...and then having no legit blocks to actually build something. Maybe that's REALLY where my affinity for the Yanks came from.)

There's really not a lot that can't be solved with Legos these days.

So to sum up:
--Andy is brilliant, and now is 3rd on all time Yankee wins

--Mo recorded his 37th save (33rd in a row--a career best)

--Yanks have won 21 of last 27 games

--Robbie continued to go to town on the RBI thing

--Ditto for Damon

--They're good.

Great game, Yanks. And cheers, Andy. Like Tom Cruise tell the quasi-convicted Marine: "You don't need to wear a patch on your arm to have honor."

I don't know if this aired live, since my parents called to tell me they tried to listen and were only able to hear an interview with Tommy John, so either it's a delayed airing or my parents are in need of this.

At any rate, here's the show with Frankie the Sports Guy!

Game 130.
Played 8/30.
Final: 8-3.

Magic #: 27 (it certainly is!)

Straight talk from Ozzie:

"As a group, we all stink right now. The only two members of the White Sox currently earning their paychecks are the trainers."

Creep - TLC

Ok now swap out all the Creeps in exchange for Sweeps.

It's topical because we just SWEPT the White Sox. But not topical in the sense that this song is so old I couldn't even remember who sang it. I kept googling, Creep and then about 50 different permutations of 3 letters. I felt like I was bowling or something.

JScape from Pinstripe Alley hits the nail on the head in his recap of this one:

Mark Teixeira went 1-3 with a sac fly, and his 32nd homer of the year. He drove in his 101st RBI of the season. His line stands .283/.381/.543.

Derek Jeter went 2-3 (single and double) with a BB. He scored 3 times, bringing his total for the year to 90 (eclipsing last season's total). His line reads .333/.396/.479.

Do you prefer gelato or cannolis?

I usually choose the cannolis with custard filling, unless there's limon gelato. Really there's no wrong choice.

The tiramisu of the league has 'slumped' down to .371/.439/.614. Oh yeah, he's a catcher, too. But as the Yankees separate themselves from the rest of the league, every time Joe Mauer doesn't get a hit hurts his chances.


On another note, if Joba is going to make a number of these 3 inning starts, I'd rather have him pitch 3 times a week for an inning in the 7th or 8th.

"THE MVP EDITION" he titled it. Excellent point. If this game was anything beyond an easy, getaway day, lazy wrap up of the weekend's series, it was a showcase of talent from 2 no-brainer MVP contenders: Tex and Jeter.

In my preseason MLB preview, I predicted Tex for AL MVP (this and the fact I have the Yanks winning the division are possibly the only 2 things I could have a hope of accuracy.) To give you an idea of the rest of my brilliant hunches:

  • Cincy winning the NL Division
  • Oakland winning the AL West
  • NL RoY: McCutchen
  • AL RoY: Wieters (I hate myself particularly for this one)
  • NL MVP: Manny (But not as much as I hate myself for that one)
  • SF in dead last in the NL West
  • Texas in dead last in the AL West

Excellent knowledge on my part.

Anyways, back to MVP candidates Tex and Jeter.

Jeter went 2-3 and Minka Kelly can stick around for as long as she wants if this is the type of effect she's had on him. I don't know if I could live with myself if I actually went so far as to research when they started dating and then do some kind of analysis on statistical impact. But someone certainly should.

Tex went deep right after Junior's sac fly that brought in a run. I was watching the game with my 2 sisters and said to Laur: "Not that we need it, but I kinda wish that sac fly never happened so Tex would have a grand slam now instead of just a 3-run ding."

She nodded and gravely said, "I know. I know."

Then with equal deadpan-ness: "But at-bats after grand slams....are just awkward."

I know she's referring to some Onion piece here, but I still respect that level of seriousness she toting with her.

Is it fair to call our "short porch" a short porch in homerun calls where the shot was legitimately clearning the wall?

On the subject of long-balls, Damon went yard for the 24th time this year, matching his season record he set in 2006. The top part of our lineup is pretty good.

As a team, they were 3-6 with RISP. An improvement, for certain.

In terms of our pitching, it was an odd arrangement here. The brass's ingenius solution to Joba's mysterious, vague pitch count limits was to have him throw 35 pitches. On the one hand, I'm thinking, "Ok, if he can only go 3 innings at a time, why is he a starter?

I mean, it really reminds me of this time at work a few years ago when I was writing a detail aid for sales reps and on one spread there was the standard set-up:

  • Eyebrow
  • Headline
  • Chart
  • Bulleted points

And I was told that I needed to repeat the content in the bulleted points in the headline. I argued this tooth and nail, til I finally capitulated. And then I was told that it was repetititve with the bulleted points.

Similarly, they moved Joba into the starting rotation even though naysayers argued tooth and nail that he was a reliever and couldn't go that many innings. But they moved Joba anyway, and then it was an issue of pitch count, so they cut his pitch count down severely. Wouldn't it have made sense to just keep the bulleted points and Joba exactly where they were in the first place? Ah, whatever.

Isn't the whole point of a starter to go deep into the game until a reliever is necessary? And wouldn't his slider-fastball combo be a bit more effective if batters didn't have the entire game to get used to it? Sigh. The Joba debate is more tiring than a reality show marathon.

But then on the other hand...I'm thinking that what the hell do I know. Obviously there's some method to the madness, because indeed, the Yanks seem to be doing ok for themselves, and our pitching system, while perennially in flux, is seemingly getting the job done. (KoWKoWKoWKoW)

All in all, the White Sox faced 6 different Yankee pitchers:

Which seemed to me a bit unnecessary. I guess when they pulled Aces out after 3 scoreless innings, the score was still pretty tight. It wasn't until the 7th inning where the game broke open and the Yanks lit up for another 5 runs.

But still. It's not like we're off tomorrow. We got a road trip to Baltimore, which is officially in spoiler status (and may have been for the past month, I think.) And it's these teams that worry me the most. Particularly Nick Markakis who seems to destroy any and all pitchers indiscriminately.

Before I forget, I saw the WEIRDEST thing on Yankees on Deck. (Yep, I watch that show. What of it.) And they have this little mascot guy Tony who they send into the field to do research sometimes.

In the episode last week that I just watched on DVR (Yep, I DVR it.) they have this segment where we learn that before the games, the gameballs must be stripped of their glossiness without ruining the leather and while still keeping the outer coating of the top layer in tact.

Interesting. But not as interesting as how this is done before each game.

We watch as Tony follows this 65ish year old man into the depths of the woods and into this remote corner near a swampy area. Ok, apparently, there's a muddy hole back there that has been determined to have the best mud for this particular ball-stripping process.

Unreal! They've built machines to predict the location of the last 3 remaining Willy Wonka golden tickets, but they can't pool their resources and develop some contraption that would sidestep the practice of this poor man wading into the depths of a swamp to erode baseball leather??

So there's that to think about.

And such completed the sweep of the tailspinning out of control White Sox. Unfortunately, the other Sox also won today. The ONLY consolation is that I know as frustrated as I am with the fact they keep winning, Boston is at least twice as frustrated that the Yankees ain't losing.

The absolute worst part about trailing a team in your division is having to monitor another team. Which means that your team could have a 10-run comeback in the 9th and win on a dramatic walkoff grand slam or something, and the supreme excitement and elation around this is somewhat tempered by the fact your AL rival also won, meaning no change in the division standings.

Perhaps that's patently obvious, and goes without saying, but there's just something about cheering for another team's downfall that makes me feel like I need to shower 70 times in a row. Like I'm besmirching the honor of the game I fell in love with in the first place. And of course there's always the everpresent distinct possibility that I'm taking everything too seriously and need to just relax and enjoy the win.


And happy I am. It's Sunday afternoon, the Yanks just swept the Sox, they remain in 1st by 6 games, it's lovely outside (I'm on my roof right now! Looking like the biggest all time loser, but this is nothing new.), and The Blood of CuChulainn is playing on my itunes.

There's something about that song that will forever make me sublimely happy. At the risk of sounding too emo/high school/IM away message/NYU/reality show, at the time, when I first heard that song, it was like the best 5 minutes of my life--I had borrowed my mom's car and was driving to Cooperstown in November of 2006.

Nice drive, albeit long, but it was perfect fall weather. But by the time I was about an hour and half away, it was all dirt roads, rural country side, one line stuff. And I was starting to fall prey to the afternoon sleepiness/dozing off at the wheel which is BY FAR AND AWAY the WORST FEELING in the world, the feeling of not being able to keep your eyes open.

So I lower all the windows and stick the ipod at full blast and I don't even know what this song was doing on it. I had never even remotely heard of it before. But there it was. And it was the best feeling in the world. Driving to Cooperstown in the fall with all the windows open. Life's good.

And I feel the same way today.

Once again, Yankee fans learned that every time we watch this club, we need to be ready to be surprised. Last night we were treated to Robbie "I'll sooner spoon out my eyeballs than hit with runners on" Cano hit a walkoff with 2 MEN ON! and today we saw Sergio "I play it fast and loose with the word 'sink'" Mitre treat us and Chicago to a nifty 1-hitter.

The poor kid only came out of the game at all because of a bullet liner that took a piece off his forearm. It looked like what my college roommate would have termed "a contusion" which she used authoritatively to describe any bruise that was coupled with a bump.

Saturday games, for me, are usually an off/on back-and-forth routine of consciousness/ unconsciousness. Annnnd today was not different. I'm pretty sure I'm starting to emulate this character from that mtv show Daria, the one who always walked around in a nightgown and breathed really heavily. Because that's how much of a lump on a log I felt like today.

(This is, I think, actually an improvement over the OTHER Daria character I was resembling during the week. After having to treat my spasming eye with this prescription eye drops, I was stuck looking like Mr. DeMartina for not 1 but 3 days.)

So I turn on the game at 1:00, watched Mitre do his best Mitre impression by bouncing some pitches to the backstop on the first 2 pitches. Well, he's nothing if not consistent, I thought. Command, schmand. I like my breaking balls like pageant contestants like their answers: all over the place. I was 29 seconds into the game and already pissed off. Why, Mitre? Why? Why do you throw like Jackson Pollack paints? He seriously looks like he'd be better suited as some kind of struggling performance art person.

But then things changed.

And his body went from looking like a one of those collapsible toy things to looking like a Billy Chapel at the end of For Love of the Game. His windup was really a thing of beauty to behold, and he owned his breaking ball so severely. His go-to pitch was going strong, thank God, because no one needs to look beyond Wang to see what happens when sinkerballers go bad. (That would actually be kind of a cool reality tv show/documentary. "Hurlers Gone Wild.")

And there he went. Not only had he not let up a hit, but no one was on. No baserunners at all for 5 innings until he let up a double to Thome. Half of me wishes I was fully conscious for all this, but the other half of me knows what that would have felt like.

I remember actually being in attendance for Wang's almost-perfecto against the Mariners. And sitting in Section 39, as I had all season with the rest of the certifiably insane, we were tense. At one point Wang had worked a 3-2 count and I honestly thought I was going to puke out of sheer nerves.

So perhaps it wasn't the worst thing in the world that I wasn't registering the game today.

Thome's hit actually could have been fielded. It would have been an amazing feat if Tex HAD gotten to it, as he has done so many times before, but it was a good hit with a wicked bounce that wouldn't be charged as an error in anyone's books.

A couple of things about that hit:

  • In light of the fact that Mitre got quasi injured later in the game, was that hit a blessing in disguise? Because what does he do if he's got a perfecto going and then gets smashed in the arm? Maybe this wouldn't be so bad if he was an established pitcher, but when every game is make or break if you're not CC, AJ, or Andy... how much would it suck if your perfecto is foiled on account of a bruise?

  • If Mitre hadn't gotten bruised, finished the game, and ended with a no-walk, 1-hitter, I would have LOVED to see the post-game interaction between him and Tex, especially if it involved Tex apologizing profusely and Mitre going apeshit on him.

ESPN does a pretty spot-on analysis of why Mitre won:

  • Command: Mitre threw 82 percent of his sliders for strikes (43 percent entering); changeup, 71 percent strikes (58 percent entering); threw first-pitch strikes 71 percent of time (55 percent entering).

  • Finished hitters: Retired all nine Chicago hitters that reached two-strike counts.
And my personal favorite:
  • Filthy offspeed stuff: White Sox hitters chased 57 percent of offspeed pitches out of the strike zone (MLB avgerage is 31 percent).
Amazing, amazing stuff from this kid. It's really a testament to what the Yankees as a whole as made of. Not a one of them are treating anything lightly. Everything is do or die, and for pitchers like Mitre, who actually ARE facing cut or keep games with every outing, they're coming out with guns blazing.

Was it Dylan Thomas who said, "Do not go gently into that good waiver wire. Rage, rage against the dying of the roster spot"?

Speaking of rage, there's our boy Ozzie in the post-game, delicately and diplomatically reacting to the 10-0 rout his team just delivered:

"I'm embarrassed. Everybody in that room should be embarrassed," he said, mixing in a few expletives but never shouting. "When you have more errors than hits, you better look yourself in the mirror. I watched Little League this morning and they played better. This is not major league ball. I'm getting a lot of money to manage this team, and I feel like I'm stealing money from [chairman] Jerry Reinsdorf."

Awesome stuff there, Oz. I love how he takes his PR notes from Jim Mora. Seriously, either Ozzie is a few crayons short of a box, or he's just really got his sights set on starring in the next Coors commercial.

In fairness to Ozzie, he's right. His struggling team made 3 errors, which he rightly pointed out is, indeed, 3 more errors than runs scored, 2 more than hits made. Jermaine Dye's hilarious slip (I'm satan, apparently) was still no one near the level of comedic supremity of this. Will anything make me laugh that hard in baseball again? Maybe not. Cairo rounding the bases celebrating his homerun that was actually caught by Manny was pretty legit too though.

The Yanks recorded 14 hits, with notable showings from Jeter (3-4), ARod (2-5) and Robbie (3-5). PLUS, Cano hit some more RBIs, which was great, because maybe now he knows that they're not so bad after all.

(I wish this worked with me and bees. I thought that if I finally got stung by one, I'd realize they don't warrant the galactic terror I assign to them. But no, I got stung by a yellow jacket and it hurt and the damn stinger was stuck in my thigh and I had to watch the thing wriggle around while it trying to fly off, like it was Winnie the Pooh trying to get unstuck from the rabbit hole. )

Anyways, so on a more relevant note, I'm going to drop For Love of the Game reference #2 of this post and liken our defense today to the defense of the last inning of Billy Chapel's game. It sometimes seems Jeter, Arod, et all play their hardest, most dialed-in defensive work when they got a less than reliable starter. Which is endearing on so many levels.

It's reallllly hard for haters to keep at the whole "Jeter sucks on defense" thing this year. He's letting nothing by. (knockonwoodknockonwoodknockonwood) Just like it's realllly hard for haters to get on ARod for sucking in the clutch. What the hell's going on this year? It's phenomenal.

Our old friend Jose Contreras didn't fare as well as Mitre. 8-0 before he got chased, and now he is officially the biggest loser in the league. That's really sad. To have a statistic that confirms you're the biggest loser. Imagine if high school worked that way? I'd have been DFAed to home schooling before half-way through freshman year.

Ozzie, again, gracefully tried to sugarcoat things:

"I wish I had another choice besides Josie."


Ok, in a final note before the Players of the Game: the Toyota Text Poll was f'n weird as hell:

"Do you think Tampa Bay has given up on their season? Text your answer to..."


Apparently Toyota marketers have acquired their humanity and empathy from the same bargain bin Ozzie's shopping in.

Players of the Game:
  • "Lounge Source #1"* from Durham, who responded to my "Are you in NY tonight?" text with: "I am in Durham, NC with [Lounge Source #2] for a golfing outing. Well, we're at the party now at his house. So here's the menu: pulled prok, pulled turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, mac and cheese, hush puppies and red cabbage cole slaw/no vinegar. Do you like Southern BBQ? I do. And for dessert, one guess. Krispy Kremes!" Hm. Yeah, I think I have that response on my autotext.

  • Mike for the following text: "You know, Suzyn. You just can't figure baseball. Mitre hadn't done well at all. And today he pitches a no-hitter!" SPOT. ON.

  • Toby for the following email which has absolutely nothing to do with baseball. I don't know what I like more: the existence of the link or the fact Toby finds egregious gaps in it. Either way:
Figured you would appreciate this, even though I know there are tons of good ones missing. In addition to the Zelda loved the Castlevania and Bubble Bobble throwbacks

*My friends are completely normal.

Sometimes I think the new Yankee Stadium was built in Narnia. Or through the looking glass. Maybe mystique characterized the House That Ruth Built, but the 2009 season has been trotting out one "Nope, didn't see that one coming" experience after another.

If it's not a 12K loss from AJ, or 3 straight walk-off wins in a row, or a game going scoreless for 15 innings, then it's our 2B overcoming his RBI allergy to end a rainy 10 inning night in the Bronx with a win.

When I went to pick up Chinese food in the 4th inning, I was legitimately concerned that by the time I returned from the corner, the game would be in the 8th inning. Just like the aforementioned 15 inning marathon, there was the definite kernel of expectancy that this game was flying by so fast, we'd wrap this up in no time.

CC was dealing, as CC is wont to do, eating up innings, collecting Ks like they're stamps on his Tasti-D-Lite card, shutting down Chicago, as economic with his pitch output as he is liberal with his caloric intake.

It was so seamless that I went into a food come post Lo-Mein, only to awake to a 2-1 game in the 7th.


Serves me right. It was like the gods of baseball were punishing me for catching some Zzzz's during the game. If CC can wait til the game's over to eat, I should be able to, too. (I'm sorry, his girth will never, ever, ever cease to send me into fits. It's at an all-time high today on account of my buddy at the game alerting me that his music selection is "I love it when you call me Big Poppa." Few things have made me happier than this information.) Big Poppa

But despite the shallow 2-run comeback, the Yanks were able to best the White Sox, bookending the game with long-balls--a solo from #1 hitter in the captain's first at-bat of the game....and then a 3-run rocket from our #7 hitter in the 10th inning. (Check out those numbers. Interestingly enough, the historical Mega Millions numbers for tonight? 1, 17, 31, 37, with Powerball 31. What's more, the only innings either team scored were in the 1st, 3rd, 7th, and 10th.)

And for some more relevant information on the game:

  • CC deserved the win, but his ND is proof that baseball always evens itself out in the long run, as he certainly didn't deserve a W in the last Chicago series. Even though the ND broke his 6-game winning streak, his pitches are somehow improving with every game. His control is so impeccable at this point that he could probably knock a beetle off the ump's shoulder on command.

  • Brian Bruney got the win, and I just realized that this sloppy clown is 4-0. Eh, the race doesn't always go to the swiftest, I guess. Congrats, #38. Way to save the game.

  • Phil Hughes is beyond filthy. If Girardi hadn't pitched him, I think Yankee fans would have staged a coups. This Thor-like supergod of relievers threw 14 pitches, 10 for strikes, and struck out Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, and Jermaine Dye in his 1-2-3 inning, all of which were called out on swinging strikes. I actually got chills watching him work.

  • The agility and sure-handedness of our fielders can't be discounted in this win. A-Rod made 2 key run-saving plays that keep the Sox at bay, including one beautiful diving stop to keep Jayson Nix's screaming shot in the infield. He really makes it look easy sometimes.

  • Outfielders should be able to throw out runners at home. It's part of their job description. I don't ask my boss for a raise for coming into work on time. That said, I still gotta give credit to Swish for his throw to the plate that enabled Molina to tag out Ramon Castro. After watching the defense so determined to not give the Sox the lead in that inning, I realized just how resolute and unflinching the Yankees have become.

  • Melky Cabrera certainly likes him some Mark Buehrle. Our sparky outfelder's been in a bit of a slump lately, but once again came to life against Chicago's ace. Hopefully this fires him up enough to get back into the black.

  • Yesterday I said that if Jeter went hitless today, I was going to be delivering to his locker Minka Kelly's cheerleading vest with a fish wrapped inside. Fortunately, he saved her from this fate literally right off the bat. That's love.

  • The wind was a discernibly mitigating factor in tonight's game, and flyouts fooled me on more than one occasion. I can't even think about what this meant in terms of Sterling warning track antics, without my head starting to hurt.

  • The RISP situation: 1 for 7. Chicago was 3-8. I'll take any kind of win, and knowing how poorly the Yanks tend to work in the rain, I am thrilled about the way they played, particularly in light of the other Sox coming back to beat the Jays.

  • The more significant RISP situation: When Robbie hit that blast, you could see in his face the liberation he felt from the statistical stigma branding him up til that point. "You see the statistics up on the board," he said. "I want to get better." Consider yourself unshackled, kid. That shot meant more than the win. It meant the start of an RBI tear.

...Which will come in handy since tomorrow they send Sergio Mitre to face Jose Contreras. I don't see this going as neatly as tonight, from either end.

We're mere days away from September, and the Yanks are still in first, as they've been for now 40 days and nights, and I expect Robbie and the Yankees to tear through the next month, plowing through their opponents like an army of Pac-Men who just binged on power pellets.

Let's keep it going.

***Supplement to recap***

I probably could have just transcribed my text messages from the first half of the game to drive the recap. They were that colorful:

From Mike (who was in attendance)*:
  • "CC's music was great: I love it when you call me Big Poppa. I really really enjoyed it."
  • "Now the screen put up...Nice shootin Tex!"
  • "My fifth walk off? I want a Jeter pie." (That's right, Mike has now been in attendance for 5 walkoffs. I don't know his total game count, but unless he's gone to more than 30, that's a pretty f'n high percentage.)
*Mike also was awesome enough to pass along pictures from throught the game:

From Strange:
  • "I enjoy these Leiter pitching clinics."
  • "CC's like that kid in the keanu reeves movie where he coaches the black kids on the south side and the pitcher is only good if he's allowd to have big poppa playing." (I'm right there in lockstep with you, Strange.)
  • "I love ozzie with his towel. In this crappy era of reality tv, would you not watch an ozzie guillen show, just him walking around making fun of ppl and swearing all day?" (So hilarious I forwarded on to Mike to keep him in the loop, who astutely countered, "Yes but I dont like the whole wearing the sweatshirt thing. The red sox started that.")

From Laur:
  • "Did you see my post on the fantasy board? I'm ending my friendship with everyone in that league. No one thought to mention to me that I've had ARod and Cano benched for the past 2 weeks."

From Amanda:
  • "Do you think they flash the call to the bullpen on the jumbotron for a pinch runner?"

From 2 Red Sox fans in Durham, NC who prefer to be identified as "Lounge Sources":
  • "Sitting here with cal watching your beloved nyy and want u to know that the Yankees still suck!!!"
  • "The activitiy in the AL doesn't begin for another month, btw...has it been that long since you made the playoffs...we live by the what have you done for me lately motto"
  • "See u in october!!! And unfortunately the yanks will be watching the sox kick some NL team's ass"
  • "Would you be open to a Vegas trip during the Red Sox-Phillies World Series in October?"
  • "Is Pablo Sandoval eligible for the NL Rookie of the Year? He is a rookie, right?"

So that was my night. See ya tomorrow for the 1:00 game!

(And no, I don't think Sandoval is eligible.)

Crossing "enemy" outlook on the weekend up on

Sometimes I feel like since all my animosity is funneled directly into Boston, I have none left for any other teams. Great ChiSox blog, and I'm not even just saying that because I happen to be a big fan of Andrew Reilly. Between him and Strange and the fact the ChiSox took down the Bosux yesterday, I'm having trouble working up a ruthless competitor spirit like this guy.


The Over-Under for this Weekend is Roughly 74
By Kris Pollina | August 28, 2009

The AL East has basically been treating the White Sox like children being leveraged in a divorce case custody hearing, with the Red Sox and Yankees acting of course as the embattled parents spitting vitriol at each other across the courtroom. For the past four days, New Yorkers were right there in lockstep with the Southsiders, feverishly cheering on the ChiSox in between wondering if this was the same team that had almost swept us a few weeks ago.

Nice work on Thursday taking down the Cy Young candidate from Boston. He’s a tough one. And I say this only half sarcastically since the kid was so “overpowering” (yep just threw up in my mouth) that the Yankees’ bats couldn’t have hit water if they fell off a boat. So by the transitive property, we should be terrified of Chicago right now. You teed off on the pitcher that completely blanked us. Which is a tautology that probably only has an ounce of legitimacy if you’re Michael Scott.

After spending the last four days texting my good buddy and diehard Chicago fan things like “Thanks for Danks!” etc, the lovefest is gone. Tonight, our resident exercise in “If eventual morbid obesity is cool, then call me Miles Davis,” goes up against Chicago’s resident exercise in “My last name looks like a row of Scrabble tiles. Also, I also pitched a perfecto about 128 years ago.

And somewhere ESPN has a hit out on the scheduling mastermind behind that one that prevented them from airing a MEGA PITCHERS’ DUEL for Sunday night baseball, and settling for an Atlanta-Philly matchup instead.

(I think, in all seriousness, if I had to listen to the triumvirate of semi-retarded muppets in the ESPN broadcast booth for the 2nd weekend in a row, I’d impale myself on a sharpened Louisville Slugger without batting an eye.)

The last time these two met, Melky hit for the cycle, Buehrle [sic?] got knocked around, and CC saved us from a four-game sweep and started his current six-game winning streak. I don’t know what it is about Round Boy’s starts, but in the games he’s won, the Yankees’ offense is loaded for bear, having scored an average of 7 runs a game in his 15 Ws.

Conversely, David Cone Buehrle is 0-4 with a 6.21 ERA in his 6 starts post-perfecto.

Against the Yankees: 0-4 with a 12.23 ERA in his last 5 starts, with a 1-9 career record.

(Actually, that may explain why ESPN isn’t too disappointed about not getting this matchup for the Sunday night game.)

After Friday, the head-to-heads between pitchers become less hype-worthy, I guess. But I may just be saying that because Sergio Mitre is going against “Undecided,” and unless the latter turns out to be an amoeba, he probably has the edge over the former. Unfortunately, the only thing undecided about our starter Saturday is whether his pitches will decide to actually sink instead of hanging longing enough to establish democracy in a third world country.

Sunday we’re looking at Joba vs. Freddy Garcia. I hate Joba and am nearly certain his arm is going to fall off not from pitch counts but from fist pumping. If everyone’s so worried about preserving his arm, how about we put the kibosh on his Cirque du Soleil gyrations post-strikeout? I’m a minority in the anti-Joba school of thought, but after he got destroyed on Tuesday, he’s got a lot of redemption work to do when he closes out the series.

As for “Big Game” Freddy Garcia. . . well, he’s not very good.

So between Joba’s arm that brings to mind memories of rolling a Play-Doh worm with my finger until it severs in half, and Garcia’s chunky 6.25 ERA, this game is going to be like watching a WNBA Dunk Contest where no one can actually dunk so the judges settle for bank shots.

And there’s the weekend, kicking off tonight: Buehrle minus his no-no generator and CC minus his metabolism. Both teams have been a bit shaky in the field lately, but in fairness, let’s give the offensive edge to NY here. Two-run games like their Thursday loss don’t generally sit well with this lineup, and I’m expecting a big weekend from Damon, Teixeira, and even A-Rod. The top of our lineup has been killing it, and statistically speaking, New York leads the league in runs, hits, RBIs, slugging, OBP, total bases, etc.

Perhaps an equally big series for both teams, the games will be determined by unrelenting offense (since I don’t think either club can rest on their pitching laurels), and subsequently our fielders’ speed. A six-game leg up isn’t as comfortable as a seven- or eight-game one, and like an incorrigible divorcee with insatiable greed, the Yanks are looking to use the Sox as a springboard for a bigger lead.

More importantly, they need to go on a streak. They’re 5-5 in their last 10, and if they make the playoffs, their record will be immaterial if they don’t know how to engender momentum.

So it was nice cheering you guys on while we could, but now the Yankees subscribe to the six words uttered about 108 million times in one week of reality tv alone.

See ya in the Bronx, Sox.

The Yankees lose 2-7 on August 27 on Game 127. Should have seen that one coming.

But it's difficult to predict these types of things when your starter whiffs 12 in 6 and lets up only 2 hits, while the opposing hurler walks 7. My buddy texted me "Why isn't Texas better? They're [expletive] good. They should be running away with the division." Baseball's a funny game.

And now cue the frantic talks about the Yanks' records against playoffs teams despite our 5-game division lead.

The Yanks aren't used to losing series, and I'm not used to watching them do so. But since Game 1 of this set, they were killed, above all else, by 2-out hits--a stat that overshadowed any pitching implosions or offensive explosions. The Rangers did what the Yanks have had trouble doing all year: hit with 2 outs.

And yet at the same time, they won the Yankee way: by going deep.

My sister texted me sometime during the 4th inning to inform me she was eating Chinese food and watching Desperate Housewives with her cats.

CYC: "Why aren't you watching the Yankee game? AJ's dealing, Jeter's engaged, and the Tex pitcher is an anagram of Pinstriped Nut."

CYC's sis: "Jeter's engaged?!"

5 minutes later, with 2 outs and after 4 innings of half-serious perfecto thoughts, AJ walked one. Ok, no-hitter still in tact. Another walk. No problem. Just needs one more out.

CYC's sis: "I just put on the game and someone hit a 3-run homerun. AJ ≠ dealing."

CYC: "Shut the tv off. You're a jinx."

In fairness to my sister, the only reason she can be tagged such with such ignominious fame is because it may be the ONLY way to explain how the Yanks managed to lose this one. Because I'd like to think that I live in a world where a balanced 6-hit game on each side, coupled with a grossly imbalanced defense (in the loser's favior) doesn't amount to such an aggressively imbalanced loss.

But there were, of course, some other issues to consider beyond my sis's brief departure from Eva Longoria:

  • Texas left 2 runners on base. 2. The whole game. The Yanks stranded 600% more than that.

  • The Rangers were 3-4 with RISP. The Yanks: 2-12. What's sadder, the fact we had runners in scoring position 12 times to the Rangers' 4 or the fact that 4 of Texas' runs came with 2 outs?

  • Ian Kinsler went yard 2x, including a 3-run blast off AJ that made our paltry Mark Teixeira RBI a lot less significant. Chris Davis chipped in his own 3-run ding off Phil Coke which was when the air officially started seeping out of our tires.

  • On the subject of Phil Coke, and since I haven't second-guessed Girardi's bullpen moves in about a month, what's the reasoning behind putting in a shaky, comparatively less dependable, and ultimately unpredictable reliever when our tried and true golden boy is currently dusting cobwebs off his arm on account of a total of 9 August appearances? The "protecting our youth's pitch count" defense doesn't hold as much water when Phil Hughes' has played a whopping 6.6 innings this month.

  • Alfredo Aceves was the only pitcher brave enough to depart from the "Let's All Give Up At Least One Homerun" bandwagon. Even our boy David Robertson was taken deep (after striking out the first two batters of the inning, of course. Unbelievable.)

  • In terms of our bats, we should have known it wasn't our day when Jeter struck out to open up the game. I'm not kidding when I say that if he goes hitless tomorrow, I will 100% off Memo Paris Minka Kelly and not skip a beat.

  • Even Gameday was completely confused about the strike zone. I'm trying to imagine how the control room conversations went there. "Um, we need a strike check on monitor one! Yeah, so is this blue or red? It was a foot outside, called strike. Yes, again. Ok, and wait, so now it's called ball 4 on a fastball down the pipe...I still have to make it red? Um, alright."

  • The bottom of our lineup, the one I claimed was so terrifying and scary, was useless for us today. Way to make a liar out of me, batters #5-9. You know who you are. Melky, still starved for some Brett Gardner to bring him back to June-July form, did manage to get off 1 hit.

  • At least we ran well! 3 SBs from Damon, Melky, and Jeter. Annnnnd, that's where the offense bright spots ended.

A 5-game lead is still respectable. And hey, maybe Junichi Tazawa will remember he's not that great, and the White Sox will forget to get swept. But regardless of how the Sox-es perform tonight, the depressing fact remains that a day loss means 27 hours of marinating in it.

Until football season starts, I'd like to avoid the discomfort that is the Next Game Waiting Period. Here's to sweeping Chicago and righting the ship tomorrow.

A.J. Burnett (10-7, 4.08) can be one scary fire-breathing dragon to face, even despite his August struggles. Our ace is 0-3 with a 6.32 ERA in his last 5 starts, including one mess of an outing against the Red Sox. Today's Texas starter Dustin Nippert (4-2, 3.95), whose name spells "Pinstriped Nut" if you mix up the letters, isn't faring much better in his last 5 on the road (0-2, 5.79). I don't know at what point this happened, but I just realized this guy's on my fantasy team.

(The significance of this as well as his anagrammed name, I'm not sure.)

The Yanks have now scored 47 runs in the last 5 games, and this includes one game where they only banked 1. The only chinks in their armor heading into this afternooner, stem from Posada and ARod's penchant for fouling balls off themselves. I'm sure everyone is overjoyed to see Burnett with a non-Jorge battery mate today, but our primary catcher is currently 3-7 with 6 RBIs and 2 HRs in the past 2 games. His replacement is 6 for 25 with 7Ks in the month of August.

Johnny Damon comes back into the lineup, and good God, the New York order is just stacked. The Rangers' bats are no slouches either, with Michael Young and Josh Hamilton showing no signs of waning, but the Yankees are hungrier right now. Win today, and they've won 11 of their last 12 series. The "Pinstriped Nut" should be shuddering about now.

Has Andy Pettitte pitched better or has our offense supported him more? It's like he's been the control in this "Evaluating the Efficacy of the Yankees System in a 162-game Period" experiment, and has acted as a barometer of how powerful this team has become, from top to bottom. He won his 3rd straight win tonight, but with a discernibly improved perfomance since his shaky start in Boston.

And on the subject of improvement, the Yankees collectively came back tonight after a crushing 10-9 loss on Tuesday, putting up the same number of runs but putting out a much different defensive performance, as well. One that held the Rangers' solid lineup to only 2 runs.

The game was looking eerily similar to last night when Posada went yard in the 2nd inning to stake the Yanks to a 3-0 lead. The Rangers weren't quite as successful in emulating last night's offensive binge. The bullet liners they had roped to every corner of the stadium were traded in for what seemed like one ground-into-DP after another (4, to be exact. But it seemed like more on account of 7 of the 31 ABs were strikeouts.)

As for the rest of the game:
  • If you go by the box score, David Murphy was the only one who played for Texas today. (Offensively, anyway. But in terms of defense, I'm pretty sure that Elvis Andrus kid may as well be Bugs Bunny.)

  • The Yanks spread their hits around, with Hideki Matsui putting up his standard [read: bordering on ridiculous] consistency, and is now 14 for his last 40 ABs with 18 RBIs in that time.

  • This has all been post-getting-his-knee-drained-of-fluid. Which makes me wonder what exactly this fluid was. It's like he just got rattlesnake poison syphoned out of him or something.

  • Robinson Cano, conversely, still hasn't driven in a run that wasn't himself. (I exagerrate, but 1/3 of his total ribbies from the season have been himself crossing that plate.)

  • I'd say he's earned a free pass or two, but it bears mentioning that Robbie has been delivering his fair share of Swisherisms on the field lately. Head not all there, fielding routiners with the same crispness and lucidity as a Real World confessional. But no move was more of a spot-on impression than getting picked off today, which meant Jerry Hairston Jr's subsequent bomb was a solo instead of a duo. A gaff that actually didn't, ultimately, "loom large" in the grand scheme of things, but semantics.

  • Brian "I sell my team's leads on ebay for cheap" Bruney characteristically loaded the bases when he came in for relief of Pettitte in the 8th. (Does he think that it won't count as a hold unless he puts half the lineup on base first? I'm serious.) Phil Hughes had been warming up, but the 5-run 7th put the kabosh on that idea. I know they're professional athletes and probably don't care, but I still feel a pang of sympathy for pitchers who have to experience the "Oh, nice, we got a huge cushion, we don't need our ace, we can just use whatshisface" ego-assaulter.

  • Derek Jeter inched closer to the all-time hit list leader, and it never really registered til tonight how mind boggling this is. He's 17 hits away from surpassing one of the greatest men to ever take the field. The sublime part is that it's in the midst of one of the most electric seasons I can remember watching.
And watching that stat flash on screen while the team was coming at their opponents like a firehose extinguishing a match...I admittedly got goosebumps about the Yankees franchise and their 2009 season.

...on combining 2 of my least favorite things.

I don't know why this enraged me like it did. Maybe because bees instill paralyzing terror in me like absolutely nothing else in this world.

And Celtics...well, Boston. Etc.

And don't ask me why I'm on top of the media hype around soccer uniforms. Because there's no good answer.

After the LETDOWN of last night, I'm hoping the Yankees make a collective decision to do what they did in the 9th inning, in the first 8. I guess for any OCD folks or math junkies, there was a certain symmetry to the line score.

The Rangers teed off on us last night, propelled by the production from Elvis "Where was this guy when I was looking for my sleeper pick?" Andrus, Josh Hamilton, and Michael Young. he Yanks took the L because they played like a guy who drives with one foot on each pedal: swift surges with jolting stops. Pitching didn't help, either.

They'll need to maintain more of a consistent rhythm tonight, because although they did manage to knock around rookie Derek Holland (7-7, 4.72) in their last meeting (a 9-2 W on May 27), the southpaw is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his last 3 starts. And with the heart of the Rangers' lineup slugging .500, Andy could use the support. The Yanks still have a 6 game lead on the Red Sox, and while technically I guess the loss last night is good in terms of souring the Wild Card race for them, neither the Red Sox nor I are considering the AL East title a foregone conclusion.

Tonight could be another offensive circus, and I predict Hideki Matsui continues his explosive output (he's already got 2 HRs on Holland, and an obscene BA against Texas). Jerry Hairston Jr. will start in LF, and Nick Swisher'll take the 2-spot with Johnny Damon out.

Guess his bunt last night must've impressed somebody.

I apologize for the delay on this. Once again, I have the eye to blame. I swear to God, the left side of my face is taking a beating. 2 weeks ago it was a black eye from walking into a wall. (Sigh.) And last night/this morning, it’s eye spasms/pink eye/uveitus/one of or a combination of all 3.

But at any rate, it makes it impossible to focus my eyes and/or look at direct light. Actually even the computer light makes me feel like I’m staring directly at a solar eclipse. But the absolute best part? I get to walk around the office with a set of ojos that look like I just walked off the set of 28 Weeks Later. Sweeeeet.

Last night I got to take in the game with a fellow Pinstripe Alley writer John Beck, aka jscape2000. It might have been symbolic that when we took a picture at the end of the game, the girl taking the shot remarked, “Yeah that one came out good, but one of your eyes is missing.” Then sure enough, I wake up this morning (on the couch of course) and one of my eyes is, for all intents and purposes, missing.

A few notes from last night, before the spasming begins again:

  • That was a f’n stomach punch. Big time. There are so many analogies I could make about how much of a tease it was, but they all come back to the obvious one.

  • ANYONE WANT TO ENLIGHTEN ME ON THE SWISHER BUNT DECISION?? ANYONE?? One of my coworkers agreed with the move and just faulted swisher for being a professional major leaguer and not being able to lay down a simple bunt. He argued that it looked like Swish was trying to get the single and the reason he popped up was because he was already half way out the box. Possibly.

  • But me? I’d tell Swish to swing away and win the game for us. Why not. It’s zero outs. Say he grounds into a double play, we still got Melky up with the tying run on third.

  • Let’s not forget we had a 4-0 lead that we squandered.

  • The Joba booing (Jobooing? Yep.) was making the ground split open in the Bronx. Palpable abhorrence for this guy. He DID let up about 23,102 hits. And not just dinky ones. Like liners roped all over the place. Girardi took his sweet time yanking him and replacing him with another meatballer. Marte was actually the only one who didn’t completely implode. So, um, that’s a good sign. I guess.

  • I blame this loss on Girardi and on Glenn G. Who texted me when the score became 9-10: “Looks like you picked the right game to go to!” WHY. WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT. You don’t say something like that until the score is TIED. BAD KNOWLEDGE, GLENN G.

  • Throughout all this, I’m getting text updates from my sister about the status of my parents’ missing cat. It wasn’t until about 2am that I get a call informing me Grey Poupon has indeed been found. At a bar. Nice job, cat. Guess that was the only way he could deal with this game. Me, on the other hand, went a different route. Could I look any more like a post-break-up chick?

The good news and bad news, from Mike:

Of all the active pitchers in the league, Beckett is the absolute last one I'd want to face in any kind of significant situation. The Yanks make idiots out of aces like Santana or Halladay, are sometimes made idiots by no names like Tazawa, but always made useless against the jackass that is Josh Beckett.

Ah, until tonight.

Not that we ran up the score a la Friday or Saturday's games. But it was even better, really, when Jeter pulled an ARod and launched the first pitch of the game into the seats. Sorry. Fenway Faithfuls.

And then Hideki followed suit, and I'm putting the over under at 2.5 weeks as amount of time before they try to link him to steroids.

I know Jeter is the current "guy who'd unequivocally never touch the stuff," but I'd venture to say that I think Hideki has more of a right to that assumption, if for no other reason than the fact that in order to do steroids, he'd have to somehow obtain the stuff.

And for that to happen, he'd need his interpretter with him. The image of Hideki, his interpreter and some shady Dominican pushing numbers around and making HGH negotiatons is both overwhelmingly comical and outright preposterous.

But, the media'll be damned if they're going to let a Yankee hit the way Hideki has without so much as a peep regarding performance enhancing supplement suspicions.


Robinson Cano launched a missile into right center, which doesn't come close to erasing the fact he been auditing the Mets' class on Defensive Fundamentals. Seriously, he went from looking like one of the sharpest tools in the 2B shed, to having the defensive prowess of Roger Rabbit.

His dropped popup is just one in a series of fielding blunders from Robbie, and the scariest part is that I feel like everyone on the roster has been going through spurts of disgusting defense. It doesn't last long, fortunately, but it's usually costly. And I'm terrified that eventually Tex is going to catch this hazardous virus that's so far plagued:

  • Robinson Cano

  • Nick Swisher

  • Johnny Damon

  • Jorge Posada

Speaking of sickening, I forgot how abhorrent Joe Morgan et al are. I've come to accept the fact that they're never going to give me anything that comes close to game analysis. I'm lucky if they even refer to the game at all, Hell, at this point, I just hope that ESPN minimizes their split-screen views (split= 1/4 of screen showing game, 3/4 showing Tiger Woods breathing or some other pivotal sports nuance), and shots of the broadcast booth to non-critical moments of game.

But I suspect the jerks at ESPN make a concerted effort to do the opposite. I bet they're NYU film school graduates who hate sports, and especially hate the Yankees and Red Sox, and as such try to their best to torture us home viewers. It sucks being at the mercy of someone else.

Say what you will about McCarver and Buck, but they worst they really put out there is stuff like, "And what you gotta realize about this game is that if you don't put runs up, you're not gonna score." On the other hand, we have the hat trick of idiots in the ESPN booth: Phillips, Morgan, and Miller. (WHY can't they just start a law firm instead? With last names like that, it's almost criminal not to.)

When Varitek hit the game-tying RBI double, I thought Miller was going to go into cardiac arrest. Conversely, when Tex hit his go-ahead RBI single, they acted like he just reached on a weak infield grounder. I get you're biased, but COME ON!!! Michael Kay is obviously a bleeding heart Yank fan, but he still gives the requisite "SEE YA!" when an opponent goes yard. A little parity would be nice here, guys.

The 4th player to take Beckett deep was...!!!!!....A-Rod. And holy shit did he knock it out. It wasn't one of the Giambi specials that sail into the next zip code. But it was a rocket that shot into the Green Monster so fast, the booth didn't even have time to react to it.

(I wish I had been listening to the radio at that point, just to hear what Sterling does when he can't waffle around on the high, far, gone bit. It'd have to have been at MicroMachine man speed to rattle that off in the time it took for this ball to peace out.)

Other notes on the day:

  • CC is such a freaking badass. 8Ks, 0 walks, 5th straight win. And despite this, I'm STILL hearing Boston fans and NY haters weakly maintaining that "Yeah, great, who cares, he still SUCKS in the postseason." Beckett is awesome in the postseason, but that doesn't mean a whole lot if you can't even get there, dumbasses.

  • Did he lose some weight?

  • CC now has the best record in the majors.

  • The Yanks are 7.5 games ahead of the Sox, with the Sox barely hanging on to a 1 game lead over Texas in the Wild Card standings.

  • 2 Es for the Yanks?? Ouch. And they couldn't have been throwing errors or something, they had to be the Ultimate, Straight Out of Type Casting ilk of errors--the converging of 3 players on one 1 bloop pop-up. Painful, painful to watch.

  • What a phenomenal sequence of pitchers: CC, Hughes, Rivera. I wish we could just play them every day.

  • Off day tomorrow (for the Yankees AND me!) and then the boys are back in town! Rangers Tuesday through Thursday, ChiSox over the weekend. Speaking of off days, it should be noted that on Saturday I slept til 3pm. And Sunday I slept til 7pm. I'm not kidding. And between Friday and Saturday night I probably drank a combined 4 beers tops. So I'm 100% chalking this up to the past week of f'n 10pm starts. The thing I don't understand is that during football season, a 1PM EST game starts at 10am in California. So...why not baseball starting at 4?

  • The Yanks are now 6-9 against the Sox.

Well, that didn't take long.

As opposed to the amount of time that lapsed before I commented on this news bit, Jim Rice wasted zero time parlaying his new HOF status into arrogant misspeaking.

I guess once you're in the Hall, you are, in fact, holding the ultimate trump card in terms of MLB consequence. You're never a guy just hanging out in retiree pergatory, you've paid your dues and it was recognized and you'll never been a has-been or an also-ran. You'll always have that HOF-ness about you.

But I don't know if this necessarily means you should exploit that by immediately bad mouthing some of the current greats:

"You see a Manny Ramirez, you see an A-Rod [Alex Rodriguez], you see [Derek] Jeter ... Guys that I played against and with, these guys you're talking about cannot compare. We didn't have the baggy uniforms. We didn't have the dreadlocks," Rice said. "It was a clean game, and now they're setting a bad example for the young guys."

Flexing the muscles in his right arm, Rice said, "That's all the steroids you need . . . It's called God-given talent."

Now he backtracks saying he was misquoted and that obviously ARod and Jeter aren't who he was talking about because duh they don't even wear baggy pants and have dreadlocks.

Yeah, we're well aware of that fact, Jim. What we're not aware of is how Jeter ever got on that list of bad examples. Fine, I love ARod, but ok, I can see why you don't want anyone following his example. Manny is human garbage. But Jeter? Bordering a little on defamation of character, since he implies that steroids is the main thing for Little Leaguers to avoid. Both Manny and Arod have been caught, but Jeter? Not so much.

I agree that there are certain players who I wouldn't want my kid aspiring to be like, but as morally bereft as those players may be, I find it just as detestable and low to trash players unprovoked.

I wouldn't want my kids doing steroids, but I also wouldn't want them ingratiating themselves at the expense of others.

I'm pretty sure Jeter must have been like Dane Cook in the end of that movie "Waiting..."

That wasn't as fun as last night.

A.J. Burnett is useless at Fenway for some reason. I can't even begin to hazard a guess as to why this is. The guy is unstoppable in most other situations, and throw in him the Godforsaken landscape that is Boston, and it's like his arm gets replaced with the prosthetic one from The Fugitive. Worse though, since at least that guy held his own in a wrestling match with Harrison Ford. Today AJ couldn't have held his own against Winona Ryder.

Admittedly I shut it off after Youkilis went long for the 2nd time. As Chunk tells Mikey. "That's all I can take, and I can't take no more." (2 Goonies references in 2 days! I need to see more movies...)

It was bad enough it was a nationally broadcast game. (Actually, I remember writing something for a few years ago called "If ESPN's in the broadcast booth, who's guarding hell?", and someone responding, "At least you're a yankees fan. Can you imagine how unbearable it is for the rest of us to have to watch our 97th Red Sox-Yankee game this year?")

Touche. But then again, who really is suffering the most when the game is on, not ESPN which is rough enough, but Fox? The analytical stylings of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver make Joe Morgan and Jon Miller's booth rhetoric sound like a conversation between Stephen Hawkings and his editor.

So Tazawhat?? did pretty good today. Shut down the everpower Yanks, while the Sox teed off on our firecracker.

McCarver informed us that, "The Red Sox have now outscored the Yanks in this series." Thank you, Tim. That is completely significant and important and consequential. I guess beyond showcasing your ability to conduct simple addition on the fly, (though, honestly, I really wouldn't be surprised if that was the Elias Sport Bureau's handiwork), it really says absolutely nothing at all. One extreme, notable example might be the 2008 Patriots who outscored basically the entire league combined.

But for my money, I'd rather narrowly get Ws and then pull out a Giant upset in the Super Bowl with 17 points. I don't think the Pats total season scoring comforted any New Englander on February 3, 2008. (Barring any bookies.)

From what I saw of the game, the Yanks were back to their old tricks of Krazy gluing runners on 3rd (I love the old advertising gimmick of trading C's for K's! Not as much as I love the Pluralization by Z practice, though.*)

At another point in the game, McCarver drones how Remy is back in the booth, "the President of Red Sox Nation." Ok, I don't know WHY exactly, but the whole RSN concept annoys the hell out of me. I think it's because they act like it's a real thing and not just a Fan Club for Adults.

A guy I dated is friends with the NY Chapter Governor, and I remember he was telling me, "Yeah, and because he's the NY Chapter Governor, he gets 100 tickets to a game at Fenway and since I'm Secretary of Manny Defense, I'm gonna be one of the people he's taking." I was basically like, "Ok, I'm sure Fenway's just gonna hand out 100 tickets when there's not even 100 freaking seats in the whole stadium. And by the way, stop talking about RSN like it's A REAL RECOGNIZED SECT OF GOVERNMENT!"

But lo and behind, today during the broadcast I hear, "And Remy's not the only officer of Red Sox Nation here, we got the governor of the NY chapter here too, with 100 other Red Sox fans from NY." Well, I'll be damned. I stand corrected.

So when I rolled my eyes at this, it was with a smile and head shake. I hate Boston more than anything else in the world pretty much, but admittedly a part of me thought about how excited he was to ship out to Boston for this game and get to see the unexpected clubbing, and then some of my disgust and animosity over the game was replaced with humane instincts. At least someone I knew was happy. Because the rest of my buddies sure as hell weren't.

In other news:

  • Kevin's pics from yesterday (Captions: "The green monster"/"GODZILLA! BWUOY!!"/"You mean Herbie Hancock!")

I finally found a place for my rally monkeys. In a move of sheer creative genius, I shoved them in the closet.

Tomorrow we got Round Boy against My 2nd Least Favorite Active Red Suck. Good thing I'm off on Monday.

*Few things excite me more in my job than a brainstorm session that involves creating a name of a pediatric program, because it almost guarantees this following exchange:
"What about Kid Korner?"
"Hm. Maybe, I don't know. Is it really a "corner" though?"
"Ok, I see your point. Oh! What if we made it Kidz Korner? With a z."
"AH! Perfect. Ok I like it, let's go with that."

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