Earlier in the night I was at a bar in midtown with pennies covering the bar, and the owner tells us that if we guess the number of pennies within 10, we drink for free ALL YEAR.
So naturally I start counting.
The people actually sitting at the bar are not amused by this endeavor, as I’m sure I would probably be annoyed too if I was trying to enjoy Happy Hour but kept getting some Rain Man-esque weirdo poking their finger up and down the space I was trying to sit.
Additionally, thanks to the Yankees conservative avoidance of double digit numbers in any way shape or form (excepting men LOB), I don’t know if my mind has the capacity to count too high anymore.
The Angels beat the Yanks 3-2. Really frustrating having recap #12 of the season (or around thereof) that applauds the decent pitching performance of our starter but then dimly describes the loss. I need a Word Macro for “The Yankees’ starter was handed the L, despite his 4th consecutive impressive outing that was wasted when the offense failed to score with runners in scoring position.”
Ah, you know what? I’m sorry, that was kind of uncharacteristically pessimistic of me. It’s 6am, I’m teetering on delirious and have had to go back and erase on more than one occasion like 15 rows of uninterrupted g’s which is my subsconscience copywriting “I’d like to sleep now.”
Actually, I wasn’t really too pissed about this loss. Seriously. Maybe it’s because I was talking to someone about the 2009 World Series earlier in the day, and she said, “You know what my favorite part of the playoffs was?” (I guessed Game 6 of the World Series, but I was wrong.) “My favorite part was beating the Angels because they ALWAYS beat us.”
True. So with that still fresh in my mind, and considering we just swept a team, I’m not gonna dwell on this one.
Here’s how it went down:
- Weaver gets the W, and now has the most wins in the AL at 7, which is kinda funny since the rest of the AL had over a month to catch up—his 6th win was April 25. He’s so freaking intense. Instead of just being like, Woohoo! he says, "I didn't face the Yankees last year, so I was really amped up for this one -- too amped up, as it turned out. I have to be more careful not to let my emotions get the best of me.”
- Jeter is looking good, even if his stats aren’t overtly exciting. His control at the plate is discernibly improving though, he must have followed off 2031 pitches in the 1st inning. He has gone 43 consecutive plate appearances without striking out, his longest stretch of the season.
- The Halos take a 2-0 lead early, and Nova isn’t looking AS sharp, but still I like this guy. Abreu (yeah he still plays baseball) doubles in the first run, with Callaspo’s groundout later plating him.
- R-Mart puts us on the board in the 2nd with a single, and amidst all the other drama lining the Yankee media reels, I sincerely hope the supreme impact Martin’s had on the team does not go unnoticed. I’d go so far as to say he has been one of the sagest pickups in recent history. I’m not saying the BEST (cough…CC…cough…ARod….cough….Tex) but in terms of bang for buck and utility for the team’s needs, R-Mart has been nothing shy of indispensable.
- That other catcher on our team breaks out of a 1-18 slump (sort of) by grounding out to bring in ARod in the 4th. Which spurs the hip hip Jorge cheers, and it’s funny how—as a rule—standards just always warp with the passage of time. Kind of like how when I was in college in the south, I melted when a guy came opened the door for me or helped me into my jacket. Now I consider cabdrivers chivalrous if I can cross the street without getting run over.
- That hit, by the way, was the last the Yanks had in the game. And to remind you, this was in the 4th inning. I’m pretty sure the last game played had a similar situation, where the last 5 innings weren’t really needed, all the action happened in the first 4. Very un-Yankee-like. Usually they take a page from my book and will physically show up, but not actually mentally check into the game until the 6th inning. Sort of like my “creative process” at the office. Yeah, let’s call it that. A “creative process.”
- The Angels’ game-winning run comes in the 4th (but of course we don’t know that at the time) when Bourjos’ single scores Branyan. Sooo Nova gets tagged with the L, but it's ok. I don't need players to be lights out every game. I just need them to be ENOUGH. (Unfortunately Nova wasn't "enough" for this game. But he usually is. Kinda like how Chad Gaudin inexplicably never lost a game for like the first month he spent with the Yanks.
- Interesting history bit (from ESPN.com): The Yankees are playing their first series at Angel Stadium since April of last season, when Tex knocked out Wilson in a violent collision at home plate in the rookie's first major league start behind the plate. It left Wilson with a concussion and injured left ankle that sidelined him for 21 games. "As a catcher, that's what you sign up for. That's part of the job," Wilson said. "Even getting hit the way I did, I'm not going to back down from anything."
- THANK YOU, WILSON. I’m so tired of hearing everyone act like Scott Cousins is the devil himself for what he “did” to poor Buster Posey. (Is it me, or is the fact the kid’s name is Buster Posey contributing to the tidal wave of sympathy? I doubt there’d be this much concern and knee-jerk (no pun intended) protectiveness if the kid’s name was Butch Giagundo or something.)
- Yeah it sucks for Buster a lot, but technically he was in the wrong. He was blocking the plate without even having the ball. Cousins had little recourse.
- We were all sooo happy for the scrappy little SF Giants last year when they won the WS in a match up that most people feigned interest in to justify their ardent rooting against the Yanks leading up to the series. (You can’t really hope against hope the Yanks get knocked out only to then become bored with baseball.)
- Anyways, so yeah the Giants won last year and then the horrible attack happened to the fan, and I think that might have just cemented their role as The Official Human Interest Story. Because otherwise it makes no sense why a run of the mill collision at the plate has become cause for murmurings.
So there’s that. Some guy named Jordan Walden gets the save.
You know what? I think the Yanks are actually about to go on a 6 or 7 game win streak. Take the next 2 in LA. Sweep Boston, take the first 1 or 2 from Cleveland. I know, it’s a tall/f’n ginormous order. Schedule’s pretty rough for June. But the Yankees are nothing if not wildly unpredictable right now. Keeps us on our toes. But even in their losses you can see something good…
I don’t mind the inevitable slumps when they’re statistical slumps. In other words, if I’m hitting .011 but every single hit was roped into center and the like, I’m not going to start tapping a chicken leg up and down my bat or anything.
HOWEVAH, a batting average of .750 that was created by dinker infield singles…well, I’m not going to complain but to be honest I’d rather have the .011 with the solid hits drilled straight into the outfield’s glove.
I read that when a baseball player is going through a slump, he feels the complete opposite. If he hasn’t reached base since the Reagan administration but has been consistently lining out to left, he’s apparently even MORE discouraged, disheartened, and disgusted.
Because he sees it as the equivalent of walking outside when you’re having a hellish morning, only to discover it’s pouring rain out and it’s gonna be impossible to get a cab. No one likes this scenario, but to someone who’s had a crappy start to the day, the rain is that proverbial “just one more thing.” The “oh, of COURSE it’s raining. YEAH OF COURSE IT’D HAVE TO RAIN TODAY. NOTHING GOES RIGHT EVER” type of mindset.
Similarly, I feel like the Yankees are getting some tough f’n breaks lately. (I just reread that last sentence and realized that should a hater happened to meander over to this blog, I may as well align myself with the Prince John of Nottingham, stealing pennies and such from all the deprived citizens and plotting the demise of the brave Robin Hood.)
That’s what I’d imagine anti-fans read when they see someone make a claim that the Yankees can’t catch a break. Additionally, I think I’d be not as averse to these haters having this image in their head if it was the Disney version of Robin Hood. With all the animals.
On a side note, I never understood why some animals are like humans but some retain their normal animal role. Like there can be a bear who’s a friar and he does all sorts of clergyman functions. But then there’s other animals who only have partly evolved. Like they can talk..but they don’t wear clothes. Or they still live in mouse holes. And birds, forget about it. Birds can’t even talk, they just chirp and help princesses hang things on clotheslines usually.
I don’t really remember where I was going with this, or how in God’s name I ended up talking about Disney rodents, but it’s comforting actually, because I feel like the whole work slowing down thing has enabled me to regain my manic baseball incomprehensibility. Yeah, I set the bar REALLY high for myself.
The point I’m pretty sure I was trying to make before I got distracted by dust is that the Yanks record is misleading. They are the best in their league (which is great!) but they have some moderate-to-severe issues in the line-up.
And sometimes rotation. I don’t know. Can anyone really pinpoint where the weakness is? It’s like looking at a fantasy team who’s so streaky and when you try to figure out why, you realize that your players are all really good, but not really good together.
To be clear, I’m not saying the Yanks of 2011 aren’t GOOD together, per se. But I do think they need to get their shit together in the clubhouse. I kind of just want to go one week without hearing about Arod kicking it with his banned cousin, or Posada complaining about something, or Jeter’s inexplicable ascent into snarky. (My sister, to her credit, has pointed out this trend before…).
The countdown to Jeter's 3000th hit continues with predictable overdone-ness. As my sister said, "Have you noticed how in the last 2 years every time they interview Jeter there's an increasing edge to his voice? Like he used to be Mr. Media and all smiles, and it's progressed into this undertone of 'Ok, yeah, I'm just trying to win, this isn't rocket science.'"
I just think maybe everyone’s cranky from losing. Or the heat. Or maybe they’re just 100% sick and tired of being scrutinized for completely meaningless crap? Jeter is seriously like on the verge of snapping, as evidenced by his reaction to the “Most Overrated Poll.”
SubwaySquawkers.com had a great take on this:
Here's the scoop.Erik Boland of Newsday describes the scene in the clubhouse yesterday, with Joba, who "won" the title last year, teasing A-Rod about it:
"I lost," Chamberlain proclaimed for the rest of the clubhouse to hear. "I got beat out. No. 2, though...I guess I passed the torch on to Alex."
Upon seeing Rodriguez enter the clubhouse, Chamberlain, surrounded by reporters, yelled at the third baseman.
"You’re next Al, you’re next!"
Here's how A-Rod reacted:
Rodriguez smiled for almost the entirety of the time he spent talking about the anonymous poll.
"I’ve been on this list before," A-Rod said before pausing and taking note of 3/5 of the list comprising Yankees. "So it’s three Yankees? So I’ll see you guys next summer again."
Rodriguez also poked fun at his past reasons for making headlines.
"I’m sure I’ll be on it next summer so I’ll try to come up with some better material for you guys," he said. "But, I will say this. If this is the only thing we’re talking about, fellas, we’re doing good."
Here was Jeter's reaction, which wasn't quite so jovial:
Jeter was not close to being amused.
"We're doing this again?" he said. "I have no comment on anonymous polls. I've never understood those anonymous polls."
He added: "It's the same thing they do every year, right? I'm focused on more positive things. How about that? There's your quote."
Discussing his chase of 3,000 hits later on, Jeter amended that.
"Consistency is underrated," he said, putting emphasis on "underrated." "That's the quote."
Jeter usually has the right thing to say, as in saying nothing while saying something, but I thought he came off as really cranky here. This poll, voted on by 185 MLB players, is the quintessential example of the "you're just jealous" sentiment. Yankees win every year (Jeter was just as perturbed when he "won" the honor a few years back), because players are jealous of the attention and money they get.
Yeah, seriously. Relax, Jeter.
Oh, jealous Yankee haters! Your complete lack of self awareness and your guileless disregard for telegraphing your raw envy is actually quite remarkable.
The loony tune fan of the day, however, goes to some dude who made the ill-advised decision outside of a bar earlier in the night to poke the bear. And by “poke the bear,” I mean he came over, interrupted a conversation I was having with someone else to say, “Are you a Yankee fan?”
(WHY do people ask this? As a courtesy before they inform you the Yankees suck? "No, I just wear the hat to throw people off. I like turtles.”)
Then without skipping a beat he launches into…wait for it…the PAYROLL RANT!
He was a self proclaimed "die hard Rays fan for life" (DHRFFL) and kept listing all the people he knows or met or whatever, as valid substantiation of his payroll claims. I hate non-Yankee fans, I swear. They make my head hurt.
“Listen, trust me. You only win because your payroll is so high. I’ve met George Steinbrenner a lot. I have season tickets to the Rays.” And then, he saves the most compelling argument for last, to really drive home his case. He kept saying over and over again how he dated the daughter of what sounded like “Jon Knee-Gree.”
OH! You dated HER?? Well, next time lead with THAT! Oh, yeah, no you're right. That definitely does effectively put the "buy their team" debate to bed once and for all.
(Of course, nothing ever EVER will top this for Dumbest Argument Ever Made).
And at first I’m mildly angry at myself because I have no idea who Knee Gree is but he says it like it's a name I should be impressed with, and I can’t dispute the validity of it. But then I remember I'm talking to little more than an animated wax sculpture, and figure that Mr. Knee Gree could very well be the DHRFFL's name for the king of his snail colony or something.
So looney tunes' closing remarks to me: “You. NO PATIENCE!”
What does that even mean? Like if I had just waited a little longer, he was eventually going to say something semi-coherent?
The whole city is nuts.
See you later for Game 2 at 9:05 tonight!
We’re going streaking!*
*Since I know my mom reads this and gives me an itemized list of things she finds inappropriate, I will clarify this by saying, I am not inviting anyone to strip down to nothing and run the streets of NYC. Instead, I am making reference to an earlier comment about how the Yankees are gonna go on a 6 or 7 game winning streak.