So back in March, I was applying for the MLB Dream Job thing, and part of the application process was an essay on What The Biggest Story of 2011 Will Be. (Or Who Will Be MVP).
I had no clue what to write about. None. I mean, part of me wanted to write about how the biggest story is going to be Matt Kemp's discovery of his ability to fly. Or The Sizemore Scandal, where Grady turns out to have a twin who plays for him every other week. You get the idea. No one knows what's gonna go down, and like Sterling likes to remind us, "baseball's a funny game."
(I choked at last minute and wrote about instant replay.)
HOWEVAH, I think it's a safe bet that not one of the 5,000+ applicants wrote about what REALLY has been the most prominent theme this year:
THE GALACTICALLY HIGH PREMIUM PLACED ON THE CAUGHT FOUL BALL.
I'm not kidding. A few weeks ago, there's that gut-wrenching, heart-breaking story of the poor father/fireman who died trying to catch a ball for his son. I can't even think about it without getting a lump in my throat. (Fathers will do absolutely anything for their children. It's one of the most warming truths in existence.)
After this happened, you'd think there'd be a whole "put-things-in-perspective" element surrounding the hoops one is willing to jump through in order to obtain a ball from the game.
Instead, here's what has happened since the tragic incident at Rangers Ballpark:
1. Fan almost does exact same thing, on the very day of the Rangers fan memorial service.
2. Giants fan brat has his embarrassing pouting rewarded
3. Disgusting Diamondbacks loser throws his weight around
4. Disgusting unbranded woman takes candy from a baby
And amid all this nonsense and appalling rejection of normal social conduct, there's this:
What an amazing little boy. That was my first thought. Then I remembered... IT'S A FOUL BALL! I see it the same way I see dating. If one comes your way, cool! That's exciting! But assigning so much importance to it that you end up shedding your morals/standards or that you let the lack of one ruin your enjoyment of the game...that's..well, really? I mean, people are nuts.
Good on little Ian for shutting up the crying baby. He was either the most selfless 9-year old ever to take in a ballgame...or he was the most rational. Either way, that's good stock right there.
Maybe one day he can get together with the Phillies fan from last year, who also seemed to understand the insignificance of the foul ball cache.
You know, when there's the inevitable "How My Obsession with Snagging a Game Ball Has Changed My Life" summit.
You know, the same one that Mr. Bartman's predictably absent from each year.
So there you have it. At the halfway point in the 2011 season, the biggest story line this year has been the distortion of human pathos when it comes to grabbing that elusive ball at the stadium. Shannon Stone was being a diligent father. The rest of them (save Ian) were being diligent lunatics. And as someone with the word "crazy" in her moniker, I don't feel like I'm out of line in distinguishing the good wackos from the bad ones.
Any time you forget you're at a baseball game TO WATCH BASEBALL...that's bad crazy.
I'll take the good crazies--the ones who never stop screaming at the opposing team for 9 straight innings--every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
And as for the stadiums..just make your guard rails higher or something! Or make a rule all foul balls must be handed to the nearest kid or face ejection. I don't know. Whatever, this story line beats the steroid stuff, anyway.
Poor Fatso. Couldn't get the 15th win. And on his birthday and everything. Ugh, that sucks. For some reason, I always feel so terrible for players who have 0-fer games on their bday, or get shelled, or just have a game that's less than amazing.
I guess it doesn't matter since men, at least according to men, don't like bdays. It's a chick thing. I think they probably only notice when it's a crappy bday.
To be clear, Round Boy wasn't crappy by any stretch of the imagination. The Yanks just couldn't hit. Sigh. Again.
Well, neither could Tampa Bay. Longoria hit for like the first time in ever. It was a homerun though so that part sucked. Then Fuld hits a TRIPLE to score the game winning run. Yanks rallied a baby mouse in the end, with Cano's roped shot into right, that plated Jeter who had his 3010th hit (double).
It was the kind of game that played out "without incident." I mean, Bday Boy obviously looked amazing (or his pitches did, anyway. He looked like a giant inflatable landmark type of thing you see on the side of the highway to let all interested parties know that the zoo is going up on the right in 23 miles. Or something.)
Yeah, so he only made 2 mistakes. And he didn't seem to be too worried about them, as he shouldn't be because a.) it's her birthday, and b.) 2 mistakes in a game is a gem. The lumber was useless tonight, and I guess if we want to be optimistic, we can think about how there ain't a whole lot of fuel for the hater fire, when the Yanks have shed their "long-ball-game" reliance (albeit not voluntarily). The team is now such a very odd hybrid of talent.
How are we winning games? It's not like I'm saying the team has holes. I'm saying the opposite, sort of. Inverse, maybe? I don't know. But holes suggest major problem areas that are resulting in losses. I'm asking about the "bumps," maybe? The talent areas that result in wins. Where and what are they?
Arod's doing the whole surgery thing. I should've seen this coming. I grabbed him with my first pick (4th) and it was too easy. I guess all the energy haters are saving with the long-ball game being somewhat muted, they can now use on the immaterially paper-thin theory that Arod's doing steroids.
To that I'll say, "The guy may be less than sharp when it comes to basic social conduct, but we know he was off steroids in 2009. He had the best year of his life. What kind of idiot would think, 'hey, let's go back to see what it was like when I was streaky and clutchless. Just for kicks.'"
The only people who do that sort of thing are people at the optometrist's office getting new glasses prescriptions.
So the Yanks are now 2 behind the Sux. Maddon continues to annoy the shit outta me, because he connnnstantly talks down to everyone, and he acts like any win/favorable media talking point/etc can be directly attributed to not just his managerial skills, but--worse--his UNCONVENTIONAL code-rupturing managerial skills.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Joe Maddon perused the box score and wondered aloud how the latest stellar pitching performance by James Shields only improved the Tampa Bay All-Star's record to one game over .500.
"How's that possible?" Maddon asked after the 29-year-old right-hander won for the first time in nearly a month, outpitching CC Sabathia and beating the New York Yankees 2-1 on Thursday night. "You see Sabathia is 14-5. That's what Shields' record should look like."
Ugh. I know, I know. It was innocuous, I suppose. But to me it still sounds like Maddon is trying to demonstrate that he always KNEW Shields was a winner, even when stats say otherwise.
And because he thinks like that, that's proof enough right there that he's not as smart as he thinks he is.
You're only as good as your numbers.
And right now, the numbers the Yanks have to worry about is 4. As in 4 bases. As in the things that are kryptonite to our once flush lineup of OBP.
Now? GGBG is our leading stats batter (BA: .291; OBP: .372)
The Yanks are winning games somehow, but I'll be damned if I know how.
Lastly...Kyle Farnsworth. Just...no.
"Are we winning?"
I left work at around 10:15. "Is it still 4-2?"
"Last I checked."
"I'm gonna head home and catch the comeback."
I think I only said that because that's the beauty of optimism: you're gonna be right eventually. No such thing as false hope. All hope is true.
And it's Tampa, a team that brings to mind a bevy of things (maybe not quite a bevy, but whatever): "the largest sting ray tank" claim to fame, the fact no fan of theirs is established or jaded enough to really feel strongly one way or the other about the whole "devil" abolition, and--most importantly--the fact the Yanks have a way of rallying against them in the 8th inning.
People are nuts, the Yanks go on what my youngest sister would term "a baby mouse bite" of a losing streak, and everyone, even my DAD, has thrown their hat into the ring for the "how many different ways are there to say the Yanks are done?" showdown.
(I don't know, maybe my Dad doesn't really think that. I was leaving for the beach on Saturday, and as I'm rushing out the door, already an hour late to meet my buddy, he says, "Hey, so Kris, how many games back are the Yanks now?"
"2? Hm. Not doing so hot, yeah?"
"No, no, I don't know. They're doing fine."
"Maybe you should start blogging more, maybe that would help."
"Yeah, maybe. Right now?"
So, it's possible my dad doesn't think they're done, that he was either just trying to get him to stay at home and keep him company amidst the rest of the female Pollina clan...or he was trying to gently remind me that I need to start restructuring my time to fit in blogging. Either way, he's right. As usual.)
Moving on, so the latest entry into the "New analysis of Yanks from a hater's perspective in Bristol" might be this one.
Yeah. The Yanks are too old to catch the Sux. How old are the freaking Sux? Now all of a sudden they're the spring chickens of the league?
To that point, the game was won today off the bat of GGBG. Who's not exactly tipping the age scales.
GGBG knocks in run 3 in the 8th to cut the 4-2 deficit down to 1. Then, JUST as importantly, he slides with all the G & G he can muster in that 100 pound frame of his, to break up the double play, allowing Swish to score and tie the game.
And here come the Yankees!
People forget about that, sometimes. The fact it's the Yankees. It's because of 2009, I think. When on average the Yankees came from behind or celebrated a walk-off, roughly 9 times a week. And now when they don't collect these dramatic moshpits at homeplate every week, the baseball-loving world freaking treats them like they're the Mets or something, who have a chemical dependence on blowing leads.
So, yeah, this is the Yankees.
And they came back, for the 3rd this year after trailing in the 7th, and we knew they would because they're not just the Yankees, but they're the Rays. And not only THAT, but it was Kyle F' n Farnsworth.
And if NOTHING else, Yankee fans can have unwavering faith in his ability to blow games.
Or, as I used to tell my sisters whenever someone would hit a long fly ball to the warning track off KF: "That jerk just robbed poor Farnsworth of another blown game."
(Not to fear, Farnsworth would just throw the ball about 10 mph harder to the next batter, about about 10,000% more down the pipe, in the strike zone, always ensuring a follow-up f-up.)
What a weird night for drama. You got our resident loony on the mound (5 IP, 8H, 4R, 6BBs), whose post-game sound bites do little other than pile on the mounting evidence in his case for degeneracy:
After exchanging words with some fans behind the Yankee dugout:
"I forgot it as soon as it happened. I couldn't tell you what he said or I said."
(See, I actually believe that. I really believe that AJ probably just blacked out. Or forgot. Or doesn't know it happened. Our #2 starter, ladies and gentleman. It gets better, btw...)
Regarding the 18 minute blackout caused by nearby lightening that knocked out the power right in the middle of Cano's AB:
"I was actually better after the lights went out. Maybe they should do it more often.'' ... (That's what she said? Sorry. Just like KF, that was just a meatball being lobbed up..)
(To be clear, Cano firmly asserted he would NOT want to bat in the dark. That's good to know. It's also hysterical to me that Girardi was given an OPTION of whether he wanted to play in the dark or not. Like it's the sandlot or something.)
Is this like a policy? You get a choice now when faced with less than favorable playing condition? Because I can think of at least one game in recent memory of a lot more consequence, in which I'm quite sure the Yanks were never asked whether or not they were comfortable playing and/or doing dramatic reenactments of scenes from Stephen King's "The Mist."
The Yanks end up winning on Russell Martin's walk off BB. Excellently done, too. 3-2 count on a tie game bases loaded with 1 out? I'm swinging at anything, before it even leaves the pitcher's hand.
Fortunately, Martin was more prudent. And game over.
(I wonder how insulted he was that 2 batters were walked before him, albeit only Swisher was intentional. Jones was unintentional. Nice work, Maddon. Stop trying so hard to be erudite and crafty. Or continue doing it, I don't care. It's just sooo affected and makes my skin crawl to watch. Thanks, asshole.)
So tonight the Allergy is going to go up against the more than a little decent Hellickson.
I got a good feeling about this game. And this team. Per my post title, I think the Yankees are going to win the World Series. And it's going to be hilarious because they're going to do it just how they won last night. Through ugly wins and small ball and GG and some luck.
And no one will know how to handle it. The Yanks will be too busy gracelessly swatting away the Sux, that the unrelenting "Yanks Suck!" chants just won't cut it anymore. What does the world of baseball fanatics do when the Yanks are the below-the-radar scrapters?
(I assume the answer to this question is something along the lines of overspending for a pitcher who would have been worth his wait in gold, circa 2006...cough..Ubaldo...cough).
Whatever, I just love this team. And they're going to do it again this year. Despite all the stuff I keep seeing about how "THE YANKEES ARE DONE!" I know they've only just begun.
Bring it on, AL East. Never forget who's Boss.
- The scene in Father of the Bride when they're playing basketball
- The scene in the Wonder Years when "We've Got Tonight" is playing
- The scene in "A League of Their Own" when Marla Hooch's dad says goodbye to his daughter
- The last episode of the Wonder Years
- The end of the "For Love of the Game"
I digress. As usual. My point is that last night was like the blitzkrieg on my emotions. Robinson Cano makes history by knocking out the most long balls ever in the 2nd round of the HR derby. Not only that, but he does so by trampling on the Red Sux. Not only THAT, but he does it off his father's pitches.
And then, of course, throw in the fact that these weren't just long balls. They were spacecraft launches. It was like that Prince Fielder commercial where he hits a ball that sails around the world.
472 feet?? Seriously? Off a meatball? I mean, it wasn't like you had Farnsworth up there throwing heaters down the pipe. It was Jose Cano.
(Jose Cano, btw is only 49 years old. It's the theory of relativity in action right there. I see him pitching to Robbie and he looks like a father. Meaning, he looks like a somewhat oldish man, a little lost, a lot proud. But he's only 49. I mean, he could theoretically be playing pro ball right now, taking in 4pm early bird specials with Wakefield et al.)
It wasn't just the father-son relationship that had lumps forming in my throat. It was the Yankee family relationship, too. Russell Martin and Grandy acting like Peyton Manning at Super Bowl 42, like proud older brothers bursting at the seams, not knowing what to do first, where to jump, where to yell.
It's amazing, that feeling of pride. It can't be manufactured.
Like when my sister got promoted, or when my other sister graduated magna cum laude, or when my Mom was in the paper for spearheading Long Beach's beautification initiative, or when my Dad came in 2nd in the Borgata poker tournament.
When Strange passed the bar, or when Pete became a Marine, or when my cousin won the Hummerdinger award.
When Jack gets a part in a play, or when Krista wrote a novel, or when Chase gets promoted. When Jelsen was clerking, when Annee got a new job, when Allison met Amos, when Megan had Reagan.
Pride. It's one of the last few remaining vestiges of goodness in the world, because it's completely selfless. You stand nothing to gain, it's involuntary, and uncontainable. It reminds us that there are parts of society that aren't governed by a self-serving impetus.
I never liked the All Star Break until last night. Until last night, I thought it was a pointless exhibition endeavor. I hated the ambiguous sense of flat competition it's based on. Last night, it was baseball stripped of its self-aggrandizing pride, and drenched in that inimitable feeling of being proud.
There's a difference.
And, like Robert Frost said, 'THAT has made all the difference.'
Congrats, Canos. And thank you.
This may have been the best weekend of my summer so far. It should probably tell me something that I spent all of about 15 minutes of it in NYC, the rest of it outside NY. This, of course, left me devoid of internet access though. Maybe that had something to do with it, too. We can deduce from this tautology that, indeed, the internet is evil.
We can also deduce from what the Yankees did this weekend that the New York Yankees are so f%^*ing awesome.
I went out to Long Beach on Saturday, and me and Amanda are about to go to the beach, and we're looking for Mom. "I think she's in the bathroom."
"She's been in there for a while."
"I don't know, maybe she's sick."
"Did you knock?"
"No, if she's sick, I don't want to bother her."
So we go across the street to my aunt's place, and it's a good thing we didn't wait for her to come out of the bathroom since had been across the street the whole time. (I cannot tell you how many times this happens to me. I swear I am like the perennial line-holder-upper at bars. All because I don't want to knock and disturb whoever's in there. And it almost ALWAYS turns out that I am holding up the line for an empty bathroom.)
Anyways, the point of this story is that had I not thought someone was in the bathroom in my own place and hence went across the street, I would have missed the greatest hit Jeter has ever had in his career.
My mom, aunt, uncle, et al are all crowded around the TV watching with baited breath.
And he did it.
It was unreal.
I think my uncle's eyes may have even welled up a little. And he's a Mets fan!
How does Jeter do it. How. It's not human.
The guy has hit 2 HRs all year, and come 3000, when it's a 1-0 game, he ties the game and makes history in one swing.
Of course, he doesn't stop there.
He goes 5-for-5 on the day, singles in the winning run, and it was just one of those days you look at other teams and think, "God, I'm so lucky I'm a Yankee fan."
"It would have been really, really awkward to be out there doing interviews and waving to the crowd after the game if we had lost. So that was going through my head in my last at-bat today," Jeter said.
Good old, Jeter. Just trying to avoid things being awkward. It's like Pfizer being all, "Well, we went ahead and developed a treatment for the most life-threatening form of lung cancer known to mankind. Because, I mean, we don't want to put out other drugs for lesser diseases and not have a cure for the worst one of all. That'd be kind of awkward."
So...thank you, Mr. Jeter. For keeping things socially acceptable, aka hitting the game-winning single so we could all relish in your day in good conscience.
(Ha, you know what was REALLY awkward? After Jeter hit the single that passed Gehrig in all time hits...after all the fanfare dies down...the first thing that happened? Chris Tillman--completely unironically--tries to pick him off first. Seriously.)
Speaking of good conscience, how about the dude who CAUGHT the 3000th hit? Who basically asked for a ham sandwich and a glass of milk as payment? Ok, I'm gonna be honest here. I love the Yankees. And if it was, say, Mo's 3000th save--(yeah, I know)--even with Mo being my favorite player and all, I STILL think I'd try to get a little something out of it.
I'm sorry, I would. I mean, I wouldn't try to put dibs on their grandchildren's inheritance or something. I talked about it with my coworker Gabe, I decided that I probably would have asked for 5 g's, playoff tickets, and an autographed bat. Because, come on, that's like a bajillion dollar ball right there!
Anyways, good for Christian Lopez. He has over $100,000 in student loans, and that ball was probably gonna go for $250,000 in an auction. If I had a family, there's no way I would have sold it for less than $250,000. How fitting that the classiest guy in the stadium caught the ball of the classiest guy on the field.
(Another thing to note: you know how I am about number coincidences. #2 hit his 2nd hit of the game exactly at 2pm. He's also the 28th guy to do in history. 28...why does that number ring important for some reason...)
If Saturday's game was one for the offensive books, then Sunday's was one for the books of the defensive persuasion.
Tubbo.com--you may know him as THE GUY WHO WASN'T ON THE ORIGINAL ALL-STAR ROSTER--(or as the guy who ate the lion's share of Eastern Europe)--pitched a complete game shut out. In, like, 2934 degree heat.
The most ridiculous part of the whole game?
The last pitch.
The one that struck out Elliot Johnson.
The last one he threw.
98 miles an hour.
Fatso wrapped up in the game in 2 hours and 11 minutes. (More 2's!)
That's insane. The Yankees played this weekend like Baseball All Stars team that has the "what is a wren" cheat code programmed in.
We still trail Boston by 1 game, but who doesn't like what they're seeing right now??
And to make matters even more terrifying for our opponents... the Yanks aren't even a 1st half team.
Which is to say that, you think this is tough? You don't KNOW tough.
The Yanks haven't even begun to play.
We're just getting warmed up.
(Oh, nbd, but Round Boy got a pie in the face. Yep. Odds that he ate it off himself? 100%.)
So that's where the Yanks are at heading into the All-Star break. It's a good thing Jeter got 3000 outta the way. And that Tubbo.com really stuck it to the voters. And that the Yanks are playing like possessed bulls on parade to the 'ship.
Because, if nothing else, it's sort of taking the attention away from our boy Arod. Who's going into surgery. Again. And who hasn't been going yard. Still. But who will of course return with a vengeance.
Because that's what they do.
And that's why the Yankees can have nice things.
So the Subway Series comes and goes, and the Mutts actually manage to squeeze one out of us, in a dramatic (uh..er...) walk off win in Game 3. Aw, good for them. This is the biggest series of the year for them, and that must have felt good.
You know what else feels good? Not being tangled up in interleague play anymore.
The Yanks actually probably aren't as happy as me about this, since they've won every series during this AL v. NL run. Which is shocking to me. Really. Not because I hold the NL in such high regard (the opposite), but because the Yanks are generally powerless against teams they dont see much of.
In 2009, the only 2 teams they had losing records against were the 2 worst teams in the entire league.
In 2011, though it's clearly not the same team as we were enamored with 2 years ago, our boys are just doing it the Yankee-blue-collared way. Chipping away at things. One game at a time. Taking care of business.
(For the record, my dad swears on everything that is holy that he was the first person to ever use that expression. Ever. According to Wikipedia, the origins are from some DJ named Daryl B, but I believe my dad. As always. And who listens to Wikipedia, anyway? Hobos.)
The Yanks are doing what Michelle Pfeifer's class of hoodrats did in "Dangerous Minds": keeping their A.
"Anyone can earn an A at least once. It's much harder to keep one."
And that's just what our own pinstriped boys have been doing. Keeping their A. And by "A" I mean their supremacy.
They've gone 8-2 in their last 10 and are 1.5 games up on the out-of-control-and-not-in-a-good-way Sux.
And today the Yanks just further entrenched themselves in the confidence of their fans with another gem of an outing from Who But CC Sabathia. (That may or may not have been the first time I've called him anything other than Fatso, Tubbo.com, or Round Boy...save my ridiculous CC rap anthem post.)
So, on Sunday, I'm lying around at Strange's place with Bud Heavies, Tostitos, and the Cubs-Sox series/Subway series on an alternating flip. And up until the Yanks blew it against the Mutts, the only energy either of us could really muster was when it came to talking about Paul Konerko and Tubbo.com--2 of the most egregious ASG snubs.
I honestly had to assume that it was some kind of preference on Fatso's end. Like, he had dinner plans that night to eat Spain or something, so he was going to respectfully decline his bid.
But no. He was actually snubbed. The best pitcher in the AL. Now with 12 wins.
This is just like reason #2394 why I hate the ASG. If the game is going to count for something, if there's a coveted prize at stake (home field advantage in the WS), then the roster should be determined by stats and performance. If it's an exhibition game, then let the masses do the yearbook superlative thing.
Whatever. Onto today's game:
Jeter's now 4 hits away from 3000. How exciting!!! No errors were made at SS, and in the words of the sometimes merciless Kay: "And for anyone who doesn't really know how valuable Jeter is to this team, it's game like [the loss to Mutts] that make you remember who you want at SS."
Girardi hinted at probably benching Jeter "to give him his rest" (cough...bullshit...cough), and that his "concern is winning ballgames and him being healthy." (cough...partial bullshit...cough)
Call it what it is, Joe. You're gonna bench Jeter so he can get 3000 at home. I'm onto you. Hey, when I don't feel like going out to a bar on the west side, I use the whole "umm...I'm kinda feeling under the weather right now. But call me if you end up on the upper east side!"
Something Sort of Grandish went something sort of yard, twice. At least 8 players had 2 hits, for a grand total of 17. Another fun double digit number: 11, which is both the number of Ks for Round Boy, and the number of runners LOB. Soooo...ok only the former was fun. But in the interest of the compliment sandwich (courtesy Elias):
With his two HR on Tuesday, Grandy has joined Tex as Yankees teammates with 25 HR this season. Only one other time in Yankees history has a pair of teammates had at least 25 HR before the All-Star break. In 1961, Roger Maris had 33 and Mickey Mantle had 29 at the All-Stark break.
The Indians have been on my shitlist for a while, really, ever since they pummeled the Yanks 7 years ago, end of August. 22-0. Then the whole midge thing.
(That word in it of itself irritates the hell outta me. It's like Ty Wigginton's last name. I just feel like this compulsive need for there to be a "g" in there, the same way I feel a compulsive need for a "t" at the end of midge. Yeahhh...so that's where my life's at.)
Lance Pendleton, whose name my sister adores, but that I feel sounds too much like he should be doing sorcery stuff with in Hogwash or whatever the land of Harry Potter is called, looked ridiculous on the mound tonight.
He has a 9-0 lead, loads the bases, 0 outs, and it's the type of situation where a manager's gotta think, "Ok do I let him just abuse this comfy 9-run cushion for the sake of giving him some game time...or do I not risk it because it can be a slippery slope?"
I personally would have kept him in for a LITTLE longer..but not by much, because while, yeah you don't want to embarrass the guy, there's also the likelihood that after he's realizing the strike zone has virtually become an unattainable dimension of reality for him, that he just wants to be put outta his misery.
Luckily, no harm, no foul, 2 runs. And the Yanks win 9-2 (I love that score!)
Keep it up, guys. Take care of business.1
2 more things:
-Does ARod hit homeruns anymore? It's cool if he doesn't, but I was just curious if he's been unofficially or otherwise relegated to a clean up batter who gets base hits.
-I love the fact the html code for a superscript is .
Reference: 1. Pollina TM. Data on file.
So after a bit of a hiatus, I'm back in the blogosphere, a return fueled in part by the fact I'm finally away from the office, and in part fueled by the fact I couldn't NOT write about last night's game, it being a subway series and all. Plus, I was in attendance.
Special thanks to Paul P. for organizing the company outing, an amazing time was had by all, particularly by us Yank fans. Even the Mets fans were living it up. Which isn't hard to do when the office closes at 1 and before we can settle into the big Queens v. Bronx rivalry, we all entertain a more pressing competition--how to finish a bottle of Jager as quickly as possible.
(I don't know what the rush was, actually. It was 1:00 and we had a good 5 hours before we needed to head over to the field. I guess after years of hearing clients tell us they need things "2 days ago," not even drinking can be executed without a hot-deadline intensity?)
Moving on, here's what we got on the night:
Yesterday may have been the first time I ever made it to batting practice. I can't even get to the game in time for the free give-away, just lucky if I make it before the 3rd inning. Sooo I wasn't initially crazy about the idea of voluntarily getting to Citi hours before first pitch to join the throngs of crazy Mutts fans who stand like at the guardrails of the stadium, poised with their baseball mitts forming this disjointed perimeter of lunatics begging the outfielders to "toss it up here!!"
Well last night--save the mitt part--I joined those ranks. Didn't snag any balls though. Wasn't a bad idea to go. I wish I could be more incendiary and critical and abrasive about the Mets' home, but I just can't. It's so nice of a stadium. I can't decide how I feel about the center field apple though. The rest of the stadium is so sleek and well constructed, but the nuances are just...Mets-like. Kiss Cam, etc.
Mr. Met is cool.
So the game starts and the Yanks batter Niese early, it was a bit reminiscent of the Sons of Pitches softball game from Thursday where we got our asses handed to us by a 3 and 5 team. Base hit after base hit, roping them in where the fielders ain't. Look at that, Yanks doing the whole manufacturing runs thing! 3-0 after the 1st.
The Mets pretty much do the same exact thing when they go to bat, but we manage to keep the damage to 1-run. I like Nova. I don't why there are young guys who everyone is like tripping over themselves to elevate to deity status, but then there are other ones who people are just like, "Well hold on a minute, let's not get ahead of ourselves, let's just wait and see about him, hmm?"
I mean, our 2 superstars of hall of fame glory and excellent are both doing God knows what on the DL right now. One with a "dead arm" and one with a fat body. And probably some other legit injury I guess.
So while Nova is waiting to win that not-exactly-coveted role of "Exalted to the Point of Haters Pointing Fingers and Crying 'Overrated'" pitcher, Nunez earning his paycheck filling in for Jeter. Actually, everyone keeps saying he's doing just a good a job as our captain, but to be honest, I think he's doing better.
Ok to be CLEAR I'm not saying Nunez is better than Jeter. But I think if you looked at what he's done in his understudy tenure and compared it to what Jeter's been doing in any given 2 week span, Nunez has proved to be more consistent.
That said, however, Nunez is a bit accident prone with the arm. Meaning where he tosses the ball is anyone's guess. 10 errors to his credit this year. The team as a whole has 50. Kinda reminds me of when Giambi was on first and there'd be an infield grounder and I'd just basically have to cover my eyes and hope Giambi was somewhere in the vicinity of the base.
I am somewhat confused on how errors are decided. Maybe my vantage point was warping my view of things, but I could have sworn in the bottom of the 1st, there was a pretty errant throw to first (CYC-style, if you've ever seen me attempt to throw any distance more than 7 feet) and yet no error was recorded? I dont know how these things are decided in the same way I can't figure out how balks are determined.
So after this really exciting start to the game with all these base hits and what not, no one scores again until the 8th inning, when a single from our boy Nunez brings in Martin.
4-1 game, though most would argue that it should be different since the Mets kind of got robbed on a big play at 3B in the 7th. Speedy Reyes who I have beef with after he screwed over my fantasy team 2 years ago, tags up on a deep fly ball, racing over to 3rd only to be "tagged" out by A-Rod.
Replays showed there was no tag, so there goes that whole "tie goes to the runner" maxim, which been replaced--for quite some time now--"tie goes to the one who sells it better." Ahh, isn't that always the case.
Tough break, Reyes. But hey, at least you got A-Rod inexplicably offering up heaps of ass-kissing this morning. Ok the greatest player in the world? From A-Rod, no less. Maybe a 5 year old kid is allowed to be all "Reyes is better than everything else combined!"
(Or, actually, like my buddy Ollie pronouncing in all earnest last year that Oliver Perez is the best player in baseball.)
But the ACTUAL greatest player in the world saying this? Cmon.
More excitement, when Terry Collins runs out to protest the call, and I swear the Mets can't even execute an ejection seamlessly. It was like watching one of those Pictionary matches where the draw-er keeps circling and frantically pointing at the one object she's drawn, rather than accept the fact no one has any idea what it is, and draw it differently.
He finally gets thrown out, and I don't even know WHY he wanted so badly to get tossed because if there's one thing that never changes about the Mets, it's their ardent aversion to MOMENTUM. As soon as things start happening for them, they crack. See: Endy Chavez catch, 2006 NLCS.
ARod knocks another run in the 9th to make it 5-1, Girardi trots out Mo for some reason in the bottom of the inning, I guess in an effort to not make him feel left out after he quilted together a bridge to his closer that consisted of approxiately 2,102 different relievers. But..it worked. So, no complaints.
And that was how the Yanks took Game 1 of the Subway Series.
And this is why the Mets can't have nice things.