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Kazmir is such a joke now. I remember going to Game 6 of the ALCS last year and torturing the kid as he warmed up in the bullpen. I don't even know where all my antagonism was coming from. I have nothing against him. And while I obviously was ready for the Yanks to close out the series and move on to the World Series, I usually reserve that kind of vitriol for true assholes.

And it's weird, because I think I actually like Kazmir. He pitched against the Sox at Fenway on September 14, 2004, and it was one of possibly 3 times I've ever bet on a baseball game. Up against Pedro Martinez, the little rookie was posting a money line that was basically the most ridiculous thing I'd ever seen. To the point where I thought the NY Post had made a typo or something.

It's kind of like what Kevin says on "The Office": "If anyone gives you 10,000 to 1 odds on anything, you take that bet. If John Mellencamp ever wins an Oscar, I will be one rich dude."

So I took it. Kazmir whiffed 9 in 6 innings, giving up 3 hits to setting history. The first rookie to dethrone the Sox at Fenway.

But on Game 6 last year, I apparently wanted him dead. Or at least really rattled.

Today, he delivered his now characteristic lackluster standard. 4 IP. 8 hits. 3 HRs. 6 runs. Days like this and the Mets feel better about themselves.

Our young gun, on the other hand, returned to the mound and sliced through the game like Grant tore through Richmond.

Hughes struck out 6 in 5 innings. Let up 3 hits, 2 runs. However, he did walk 5, which was awkward. But hey, I'd be a little crazy too if I had Girardi and Eilman playing ping pong with my head.

But his return to the rotation wasn't even the real story of the night. (Technically, the real story was Jackie Robinson Day. No matter how many times I a JRD game, I always, ALWAYS spend most of the game confused about everyone wearing the same number.)

You know what I like about Robinson? He wasn't trying to break into baseball to make a point about penetrating barriers. That was secondary. He wanted to play major league baseball because he good, and he didn't like the disorganization of the Negro League. He was good and he wanted to play baseball. Which sounds intuitive and obvious, but it makes what he did mean so much more. He wasn't "good for an African American." He was good by any standards. So when he was signed, it wasn't evening any playing field. It was deserved.

As for the other Robinson... he went yard. Twice. Which would have been the most impressive hitting of the day had Granderson not tripled. Also twice. OFF A LEFTY!!!!!

Dear Kevin Long,

Jeter chipped in a solo shot in his 2nd AB. Tex obviously forgot to hit again. I've had him riding pine in my fantasy league. I hate doing that to the guy I picked first, but this is Tex's "thing" that he gets once a year. Like a chick's "time of the month" or something. Just let him be and ride it out. It'll be over before we know it.

It was a very odd day in terms of offense. A couple of 0-fers scattered through the lineup. Then the random explosion from....Marcus Thames? Not a bad hitter, that one.

A-Rod continues to plug along consistently, no HRs to speak of this year yet. But no slump, either. Knockonwoodknockonwoodknockonwood. It's weird, it's like he went from notorious blanker to revered slugger and now under the radar base-hitter. I'm ok with that, because it just means his powerhouse self is going to re-emerge when it'll be the most valuable.

The Angels' order was meh, except for our boy Matsui who tied up the game with a solo shot. Still not crazy about seeing him in a uniform that isn't of the Yankee persuasion. Hunter also solid today, going 2 for 4. One of my favorite quotes from him, which puts him alongside Carl Crawford in my non-Yankees I adore in a Yankee way:

"This year, I think it's something different about those guys. It's a fire, some kind of fire, I see in those guys. It's totally different. I love Yankee Stadium. The atmosphere and energy there is great. And the fans know the game. When they get on you it can be pretty personal, but it's always about your baseball game. When someone screams, 'You just can't hit that slider,' that's someone who knows what they're talking about."

Good stuff.

Mo gets the save again, after a very strong bullpen backed him up. Robertson struck out 3, our lefty specialist did his thing, and Joba proved that the 8th inning is really more in his wheelhouse.

Another series won. Now on to Texas. And on Saturday, onto my first game at the stadium this year!


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