I think the most important question on everyone's minds after the 7-3 win tonight in Boston that puts the Yankees at a major league best 52-33 before the All-Star break, is:
Why didn't Mark Teixeira come to bat with a pink bat and adorned in ribbons?
Seriously, that was the first thing I thought of when I was watching the game. How can you not?? After what Padilla said this week, if I were Tex, I would have been like, Dear Diary, Jackpot, Love Mark. And then I would have made Padilla rue the day he ever said these galactically hilarious words:
"In this sport, as competitive ball players, we get pretty fired up. So I think, maybe, [Teixeira] picked the wrong profession. I think he'd be better off playing a women's sport. The problem is he talks about all the wrong things that others have done, but the things he's done -- against the Latinos-- he doesn't open his mouth about. He once threatened me and said he was going to hit me with a bat, and that's when we were playing on the same team."
Ok, obviously, this is pure gold. It's stunning, really. And the only thing I can think of that even comes CLOSE to this is when Kanye basically had a stroke on air in some kind of a trying-to-get-money-for-Katrina-victims thing that he was hosting with poor Mike Myers.
Mark Teixeira doesn't care about Latinos. Yeah, that's fair. Whenever I think about that cantankerous asshole Tex, the first image that comes to mind is the litany of wildly racist comments he's always making. Nope. He doesn't make a litany of ANY comments, let alone pointed ones.
I do love LOVE the idea of the alleged "threatening with a bat" contention, though. The idea is so preposterous, that I'm nearly 100% certain that Tex was more likely threatening to hit the BALL with a bat. Which apparently is all but impossible when batting against Vicente Laloosh.
(Actually, as my sister noted, "I'd probably threaten him with a bat too if someone kept throwing fast balls at my head. I think he's probably within his rights, really.")
And finally, the women's sport comment. Wow. Yeah, Tex probably would be better off pursuing different career opportunities. Major League Baseball just doesn't seem to be working out for him. Some people just can't cut it, ya know. Thanks for coming out, Mark. Best of luck to you.
That said, how do you NOT come out loaded for bear, aka wearing women's clothing? How do famous people not constantly capitalize on the fact they can do whatever they want? (I have a really good grasp of normal social conduct.)
Moving on, game notes:
Ivan Nova was just filthy tonight, with 10Ks in 6 innings. Amazing stuff that kid has. (I don't know why I just wrote that like Yoda.) Congrats, Ivan. (I checked his twitter feed to see how excited he was about the game. And he was excited as far as I can tell, based on the exclamation point usage, but I'm better as Latin, not Spanish. Something dying of f'n hunger? Or dying from a swarm of truth today? Semantics. Great game!)
Lester was bad, as Red Socks pitchers tend to be. I used to love the guy until the whole FriedChickenGate came to light. I love KFC. But I don't love players (or anyone for that matter) who acts like irreverant in the face of failure.
Like, "oh you thought we were TRYING to win? Whatever, man, we were drunk and shit the whole time." Hedging your bets. If you win, then you're a badass for winning when you're drunk. If you lose, then whatever, it was only because you were throwing the rule book out the window.
So Lester gives up like 5 runs on 100 hits. And he leaves to go hang out with Lampwick at Pleasure Island. I swear Beckett is like that bad kid who Pinnochio plays pool with right before he turns into a donkey. Lester should've listened to Jiminy Cricket and stuck to being a good boy.
The Yankees scored immediately in the first inning, but after a whole weekend of watching them do this, I don't think anyone thought, YESSS! We struck early, and this is an auspicious start that will undoubtedly end well!
I mean, it did end well, of course. But a 2, 4, or 5 run lead in the first is about as reliable and meaningful as a drunk person who says, "Wait here, I'll be right back."
Then the Red Socks go ahead and try to answer but it doesn't look like it's going to happen...until the unthinkable happens. Derek Jeter dropped a can of corn and, in the words of Suzyn Waldman: "That was the weirdest thing I've ever seen in my life."
Well, I wouldn't go that far, given I have to take the subway to and from work every morning, so there are a few things in that arena that may give a dropped pop-up a run for its money in the all-time weird list. Plus, I'm friends with Ollie.
But yeah, it was pretty shocking. It reminded me of this time in college when my roommates and I were all out day drinking the whole afternoon and we got home and were lazily eating Dominos and trying to rally for the night. And our roommate who probably could outdrink Europe given the chance, said, "I don't think I'm going to go out. I drank too much during the day, and now I think I should stay in." It was so shocking that we immediately took her to the infirmary. Seriously.
And that's how I felt when Jeter dropped that ball.
(Apparently so did Girardi since a few innings later we learn that Jeter has a sore shoulder or something. I'm pretty sure they must have zipped Jeter to an MRI as soon as he left the field. And did blood tests, etc, just to get to the real root of the problem. It must be some kind of neurological anomaly, it's the only logical explanation for why a 38-year-old ball player made an error.)
He bobbled the ball later in the game, and I'm half surprised they didn't bring a priest out to read him his last rites.
The Yanks made up the run that Jeter cost them, with a passed ball by Saltwhatever. Well, he's really having a bang-up series. You think that him and Martin are in some kind of Catchers Pub trading notes? Actually, Martin would probably be like, "Dude, you're on your own here. You struck out more times than your team scored. Don't sit near me, please."
(Speaking of Saltwhatever, at his final K, I swear I thought I saw him briefly thinking about snapping the bat over his leg. But then thought better of it, I guess. Probably realized that the way his weekend was going, he was liable to break his leg instead. It's quite a commitment to decide you're going to go all-in on the bat breaking. You never really see a failed attempt at that, though it would be pretty hilarious. And it also would basically be the "Ok, check please. I'm can't hit the ball. I can't hit my leg. Our pets' heads are falling off!" straw that broke the camels back in terms of dignity-killing.)
Boston answered with another run when Ortiz doubled in Ciraco. The two of them look like Arnold Schwartzenager and Danny DeVito in Twins. (It kills me that Ciraco's number is #77. Why not just wear a sandwich board that says, "I may or may not be here tomorrow"?)
He's also doing pretty well. I mean, he batted .444 in the series, with 2 doubles and 4 ribbies. Not bad. Although the announcers were more taken by his "winning smile." Yeah, that's important too. A winning smile and a subway card will get you uptown.
Then there's Andruw Jones, whose winning smile is more my cup of tea (basically because he's on the Yankees, whereas Ciriaco is on the Red Socks). Andruw Jones hit 4 homeruns in 3 games. He's probably so excited right now. He almost hit his 5th on a blast that looked like it was going to hit Cambridge Street. But it hit the foul pole instead. He should've pulled a Cairo and just ran around the bases anyway.
All in the all, the Yanks had twice as many hits as the Socks (14-7). The Socks had more than twice as many BBs as the Yanks (8-3), and there were 25Ks between the 2 teams. (Math!)
As for pitching, Ivan was brilliant. Lester was Sock-like. D-Rob was uncharacteristically the lone run-giver-upper in the pen. (I swear I'll kill the media if I start reading, "Why David Robertson Is Now Useless" pieces.) Soriano was exceptional, but the lack of save situation prevented us all from seeing his violent shirt untucking, as he finished the game whiffing Saltwhatever. A fitting ending to a superb series.
It's tough for haters to trot out the old "buy your team" nonsense, when the bottom half of the roster is so head-scratching (DeWayne Wise--who I still am not 100% sure isn't a White Sock anymore, McDonald--who I'm not 100% sure is a baseball player period, Chris Stewart, Jason Nix...)
I mean, of course they'll still say they buy their team. Because Yankee haters won't be slowed by logic.
And heading into the All-Star break, the Yankees won't be slowed by anything.
Cheers to a great series.
Nice work, Boston. You didn't even play well!