HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO READER, DIE-HEAD NYY/NYR FAN, AND JUST ALL AROUND DYNAMITE GUY, TIMMY REILLY! He is also consistently always one of the first people to wish me a happy birthday, and I know guys don't really care about birthdays, but wishing a chick a happy birthday is basically the equivalent of saving her from a teradactyl, probably. Have a good one, Timmy! Also:
Today in Yankee history (h/t takehimdowntown): Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth went yard in the same inning 19 times during their Yankee careers, and 72 times in the same game. In an 11-7 Yankee win over George Blaeholder and the Browns on August 21, 1931, The Babe hit his 600th career home run, and Lou followed him, going back-to-back.
You know how stifling my work schedule usually is, so when I get out early enough to watch the non-Encore showing of the game (aka the LIVE one), it's like when Charlie found that silver coin in the sewer that let him splurge on some Willy Wonka chocolate. Sure, there are more productive things I could use with the unexpected free time (like sleep), but no, I want the Wonka chocolate live Yankee game.
On Monday, there was no game. And then it was like when Charlie opened up the chocolate bar but saw no golden ticket.
Whatever, anyways, my point is that I figured I could either use that free time to do laundry or read as much baseballprospectus.com as I could until I fell asleep.
I start reading the Monday Ten Pack, and you know I don't generally get into the farm players too much, but right before I almost ADHD-ed myself into a new article, I see that amidst the rest of the propsects listed in the piece, there's someone called Rookie Davis.
That's his name! I mean, at first I though, "How come this guy gets this Berenstien Bear nomenclature? Pape Bear, Brother Bear, etc." Rookie Davis. Actually, it looks like my cell phone's nomenclature in the contact list, "Southern Sean," Softball Megan," "Ranger fan Mike" "Lauren from Dorrian's."
So I keep reading and--woot woot!--he's a Yankee prospect, in Staten Island. I'm beyond excited about the implications of the game recaps when he gets called up. I'm picturing the Associated Press geting all frustrated with Microsoft Word, whenever they're wiring over their copy: "Dammit, Word. Stop autocorrecting 'Rookie Rookie Davis'!"
Ok, that's not the only reason I'm excited. He's got a 94mph fastball, is averaging a strikeout per inning, and working off speed stuff, curve, breaking ball.. When can he start? I like this guy. A nice, 94mph hurling RHP with ox strength, at 6'4'' and 235 lbs.
Cheers, Rookie Rookie Davis. Looking forward to seeing you whenever you're called to bring your heat to 161st Street!
AND THIRD/FOURTH ITEMS:
Two come from behnd wins! In one day! And we weren't even playing the Twins. Quid haec amentia est???
I'm not sure what possessed me to just throw in the Latin before I even got to the post-script, but I'm gonna go ahead and say it's symbolic of the fact that if the Yankees can subvert what they've been doing all season, I'll kindly follow suit.
Both wins were spectacular. If I had to choose a favorite between the two (and I have no idea what the situation would ever be where I'd HAVE to choose one, but you know how I am about the concept of liking multiple things "equally"--it's impossible unless we're talking about siblings or parents. Just trying to do my part to abolish this practice)--well, I'd probably choose the 2nd game because it was a walk-off and that's exciting, but also because it was a "gritty" win.
I'm using "gritty" to mean a hardfought win, and I'm not sure that adjective is appropriate, but I'm running with it since gritty is one of those adjectives that I feel like we use whenever we can't define what intense emotion we're experiencing. It already means a bunch of non-related things already, anyway, what's one more?
(Will never come close to this word, though.)
Anyways, before there was the gritty 2-3 win, there was the daygame delight that began as the daygame disaster (that's a turn of a phrase only a mother would get a kick out of, I think), when the Yanks fell behind 4-0 almost immediately.
And this sucked particularly after all the hype around getting Super Nova on the mound, who's been playing like he's scared the Repo Man is going to come knocking on his door demanding he relinquish the "Super" part of his moniker for liquidation purposes.
5 hits and no more runs for rest of inning, but like my buddy Russo once told me: "Until you put up 1 run, it doesn't matter how many they score against you. You can't win a game with a 0."
Cano considers this theory right before he takes his at bat in the 3rd, decides it makes sense, and puts 3 runs on the board to cut the Jays' lead to 1. Oh, and it was his 200th ding btw. NBD. Cano never strikes me as the type to pay attention to that kind of thing.
I know, I know. All ball players do. But I remember when he was a cocky rookie who acted like he was sort of doing everyone a favor by being there...
Then it was like he went to one of those boot camps that Jerry Springer sends out of control teens, who come back to the show a year later wearing argyle cardigans and apologizing profusely for their past sins.
Cano became Johnny Discipline. He's focused and quietly austere when it comes to performing. And when it comes to dugout rapport, well, has anyone ever seen a dugout shot of Cano when he's NOT laughing? Really happy he was able to move on post-Melky breakup.
Ok so yeah, after it's a 4-3 game, NOW it matters how many the opposing offense scores. But to that end, they didn't do any more of it. The Yanks, on the other hand, did.
So you got the Gamecast on at your desk at work, and you're annotating and writing manuscripts and whatnot, taking mini-breaks to watch more closely whenever the Yanks are in the MLB answer to the Red Zone.
And, you know, you just don't really know if you computer froze or you're missing something or if whatever intern in charge of streaming the stats that power GameCast just messed up a little...because when you see a blue circle and an "(in play)" notation next to Chris Stewart that soon becomes a "Run(s) scored"...well, you sit up a little and cock your head and wait for the inevitable yelp from another corner of the office from someone else who is also watching the Gamecast.
But that's me, anyway.
Stewart hits a 3-run shot. Of course. The guy who made a point of going on record during pre-season basically saying, "Ok, I'm good on defense. But, like, just don't expect much offense-wise. Because, um, that's probably not gonna happen."
After that, the game was cream cheese. (I'm sure it was a little harder than that--pause--but the emotionless Gamecast made it look easy, anyway.)
I guess Girardi didn't think so, though, since he brought Joba in for basically the amount of time it takes Vanna White to flip a letter (or "touch" the letter anyway. Because one day someone bet her that there's no way her job could get any easier, and she took that bet and convinced them to change the letter-revealing technology. Probably that's what happened, anyway.)
Joba walked one batter and Joe was like, "Ok, great, thanks for coming out! Don't call us, we'll call you. Mo! You're up."
Ha, non-save situation. Bet Mo loves being woken up from his catnap to bail out Joba.
Yanks end up winning 8-4, and then we all waited for the night game, where I think I can safely say that fatigue from an earlier game compounded with a Hughes start didn't really evoke wild confidence from the fans. Maybe Jays fans, actually.
But Hughes pitched his little heart out, while managing not to let the little baseball out.(Of the park). Seriously. Not a one. They better replace his jumbotron stat with that one. Because last I saw, it was something like, "Phil Hughes has only allowed 4 stolen bases all year." Maybe they can change that to, "Phil Hughes did not drive 55,000 attending fans into apopletic rage in his last 1 start."
P-Hu became P-WHO?? (Really logging in a lot of mom-esque humor in this post...)
Cano began the scoring, just like in the day game, which was nice since the Yanks were in that "0-runs-vs-existing-run(s)" predicament. Then Cano drove in Romine to negate Rajai Davis' first inning score on a wild P-Hu pitch.
1-1 game, exciting! (Kinda funny since the YES booth tonality was an interesting backdrop to the tension of the game. Man, I love Cone. And Kay. And I LOVE when Kay does his little insight-seeking-probes to former players, like, "Ooh, and that's ball 4. CC walks him to load the bases. David, you were a pitcher. Tell me, when you were pitching, did walking the bases loaded make you happy or sad?")
In this game, while P-WHO?? is gutting out (FINALLY) a stellar start, in a tight-played game, Kay is opining how pitching is like Van Gogh or something like that. And Cone is disagreeing very adamantly.
And then they swerve into a discussion about Paul O'Neil (I think his waist size came into play at one point). All the while, the Yanks are struggling against MARK BEUHELRWHATEVER [sic], of all people, who the Yanks typically view as a cartoon slab of steak, mouths watering.
Davis sac flies the Jays into a 2-1 lead, and then, totally predictably (nope), Jayson Nix takes him deep. and 2-2 game! I think I almost saw him smile but I think it was just a bug on my tv screen.
Mo gets pulled in again, and every time he takes the field, it's like you can't even really concentrate on the game going on, because all you're thinking about is the fact that we're not gonna see him play in another couple months.
So when he does that thing he does where he shoots out like a handful of 91mph cutters to blank the opposition, it's kind of bittersweet because WHERE ARE WE GONNA FIND THAT MAGIC AGAIN? No where. Narnia, MAYBE.
(That said, bullpen as a whole, all day, was stunning. Claiborne, Kelley, D-Rob, Blogan...not one run from the lot of them.)
But as exciting as all this low-scoring game stuff was, I was in no mood for an extra innings game. Sometimes my mindset will be like "ok yes I want a win, but if it's gotta go into extras, so be it. I like stress etc."
But these games aren't like May games, where you can afford the luxury of personal excitement. These games are economic Ws. Aint nobody got time for extras!
Nix obviously felt the same way, and decided to drive in Sneach to win the game. Sneach, oh yeah, somehow ended up on 3rd. I swear he is not human.
Where did he come from?? One minute Mark Reynolds is squeezing out a walk, the next second Sneach is just hanging out on 3rd base. He's like Ganon in the Zelda video game, who was impossible to beat because he was mostly invisible.
Even after Sneach crossed home, and the walkoff celebrations began, it sort of looked like Sneach was running off into oblivion. Probably tomorrow we'll see that he managed to not only get his 4,000th hit but also has managed to reach 9,120 sometime in the time before today's game.
A real big set of wins for the boys. Cano went 4 for 4. Nix was a hero (hope he went out and picked up a girl or something!) A-Rod struck out a lot, though. Man, what's that guy done lately? I mean, aside from completely rejuvenate an anemic lineup over the course of a week.
In other news, Girardi got fined because he got mad about Dempster throwing at A-Rod. MLB agreed A-Rod was thrown at. So they did the only fair thing which was fine Girardi $5,000, and suspend Ryan Dempster for 0 starts. Not sure if that's gonna deter anyone from going headhunting on every A-Rod at bat.
So Ryan I suppose could have appealed this and continued playing, if he wanted to. Which is a right he alone, and no one else, should be privy to. To the supreme shock of approximately no one, he decided not to exercise that appeal choice and insteadn opted to graciously accept his
Eh, whatever. Do your worst, league. They're the Yankees. If you think a bunch of booing and journalistic crucifixion is going to subdue them, then you've never lived in New York. We're tougher than you think here.
Remember my trampoline theory, because for once it may be the Yankees on the other side of it:
I've always loved living on the top floor apartment because I don't have to hear anyone's footsteps above me. But then someone moved in to the unit directly below me 2 months ago, and I watched as the new tenant rolled a trampoline into 4A. When you're at the top, it never occurs to you to consider these possibilities. Until you hear the people below you banging their heads against your floor. You don't anticipate trouble from below you. You never know when the #1 spot is going to encounter the unexpected from the bottom.
I don't know where to begin with this one.
One thing I do know is that in years of watching baseball, The 2nd Inning Incident is the most sickening, disgusting rejection of sportsmanship and integrity that I've ever seen.
I get that drilling players is "part of the game" (allegedly), but that's not a acceptance I've ever really been on board with. But I get it, nonetheless. The thing is, is that it's not like hockey where it actually IS part of the game (allegedly). In baseball, it's more of a thing that's limited to onfield retaliation.
You pull a Manny and take your sweet ass time at the plate after you take the opposing pitcher deep? Then you're plunk susceptible. You try to break up a double play by sliding with your spikes up into the SS? Susceptible.
But as I understand the stupid "rule," it doesn't generally give pitchers carte blanche to wage war on people because of personal vendettas.
(But, of course, if Dempster wants to play the "Eye for an eye" game, then the Yankees are more the eager, willing, and able to be dealt into the hand.)
I'm not saying anything that everyone doesn't already know. Sigh. That Dempster 4 pitches to A-Rod were evil, classless, dangerous, uncalled for, gutless, and pathetic.
I mean, it's a great message to send, really. Like to all those impressionable kids everyone's so worried that A-Rod's lies have irreparably destroyed? I'm glad they got to see such a lovely example of rosy sportsmanship. I swear, it's like some primitive social ecosystem that avenges moral sins with violent punishments.
|Should've put a "Draft/Unedited" watermark on it, if you|
weren't going to take the time to route it through editorial.
I mean, they were cheering when A-Rod's fielder's choice drove in a run. They were happy when they put him on base with the HBP.
And John Farrell? Apparently believes that Dempster was just aligning with a well-thought out strategic direction that involved "establishing inside fastballs."
Dempster walked 1 batter all game. I'm not sure if that really helps an argument for control. That's the thing about Boston.
A lot of times they act like those Occupy Wall Street protesters who are realllllly fired up about shit, but when asked to clarify the source of their anger, or--even better--confronted with logic that repels them back into their vat of hypocrisy..., then the OWS-ers don't know how to be anything but passionately principled.
For example, our pal in the stands with the A-Looser sign. I'm so curious about a lot of things going on here, starting with how this guy managed to set down his blue and red markers, survey his work, and then think, "PERFECT! Yeahhhh this'll show him!"
The other thing I'm very curious about is what the hell does "T.O," stand for here? Congrats, bro. You just earned a place alongside this guy.
Dempster was a dick, but the homeplate ump was even worse. Why would he think it'd be a fair game, with our best pitcher now nibbling at the plate, because 1 mistake from his end tosses him from the game. The bullet's out of his chamber, and he did nothing wrong to deserve that.
Girardi argued like I've never seen him argue before. Like, to the point where he might get thrown into the People We Need Urine Samples From For Steroid Investigation Stuff.
He was incensed big time. It was awesome to see that kind of non-manufactured ire, it's rare, really. Most of the time the whole fit-pitching thing is of the trying-to-light-a-fire-under-team's-ass persuasion.
This was more like a trying-to-set-fire-to-Fenway type of anger. Good for him for getting A-Rod's back. It was probably more related to the fact it put his win chances at a significant disadvantage, though.
(I thought MLB was all branding itself the Crusaders Against Unfair Advantages. I guess there are grey areas. And by grey areas, I'm referring to the Yankees away jerseys.)
Dempster didn't get thrown out for reasons no one really has been able to articulate. HOWEVER, reasons HAVE been articulated about why Dempster did it. Wait for it.
A-Rod snubbed Dempster at a public event. Dempster was not impressed.
— Wayne Scanlan (@HockeyScanner) August 19, 2013
HAHAHAHHAHHAAHHA. Seriously. I can only imagine what "snubbed" means. Did Dempster want an autograph? Did A-Rod take the last slice of pecan pie at the dessert buffet? Snubbed him HOW?
Oh my God, say what you will about A-Rod, but he is like flypaper for every whiny insecure pitcher in the league.
A-Rod is basically the Regina George of MLB. Everyone hates her, but everyone wants his attention.
Anyways, so then the Yankees rally because they're pissssssed. They come back to tie the game. And then A-Rod drives in a run to put the Yanks in the lead.
(But since A-Rod was out at 1st, Fenway cheered. Because let's be honest, wouldn't you rather have A-Rod off first base, than Sneach off homeplate? C'mon. Everyone knows an A-Rod out trumps run prevention.)
Unfortunately, amidst all the wild and crazy drama, there was our flubby Tubbo dumping around on the mound, looking extremely confused and uncomfortable.
He's been pretty unremarkable all season, so I think the consensus among Yankee fans was that Fatso was probably trying very hard to bean a player, but couldn't find the control necessary to throw out of control.
But, you know, even if he HAD managed to get a coveted HBP on the board, his velocity was so low that the only message he would be sending is "Don't you miss the simple joys of being able to jump into a McDonald's ball pit?"
I realllly wanted to find a stat on how many times HBPs there have been in history between the Yanks and Socks. It's been added to my rotation of Things to Google in Downtime. I'll keep you posted.
A-Rod was only one of 4 HBPs tonight, though. GGBG got drilled by Morales because he didn't share his Halloween candy with him 2 years ago, and De La Rosa nailed both Nix and Cano because they went to go see Elysium without inviting him.
The Socks took a 6-3 lead, and things didn't look good.
Until A-Rod led off in the 6th and took Dempster deep. He's closing in on 650 career homeruns, but I'd venture to say that the one he hit in this game was probably in his top 5 favorite of all time. Outside of the ones he hit in the 2009 playoffs, this definitely would be my choice.
(A-Rod's got the highest BA on the team, by the by. Also, I just read this on ESPN: "The Yankees hitting has been much better since Alex Rodriguez returned to the lineup. They're hitting .303 in 13 games with A-Rod after hitting .240 without him. They're scoring about a run and a half more per game and hitting a homer much more often.")
That was a clutch hit, because it closed the gap to 2, and fired up the team to go out and load the bases up for GGBG, who roped on into right for a bases-clearing triple.
AND HERE COME THE YANKEES!
Once Round Boy got yanked from the game, the NY pen gave up only 2 additional hits, and 0 runs. And to top it off, they managed to get around the whole plunk-and-you're-done stipulation, by taking revenge on the only guy who was just as guilty as Dempster:
Home plate ump Brian O'Nora.
I don't know. It's not like Boone Logan is a knuckleballer or anything. So I'm delightfully intrigued by Chris Stewart's egregious non-catch that cleared a path straight into the ump's face.
There was something very creatively Sean Avery about it all.
It was a good game to win. And it was a good game for the Yankees because they all rallied around A-Rod. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, maybe? But maybe it was more of a realization that the guy has been getting it pretty badly. That's your teammate there.
It sort of reminded me of the end of "School Ties." After Brenden Fraser went from school hero to school outcast, he finds himself in the middle of a cheating scandal. He didn't do it, but everyone hates him for lying about being Jewish, and some REALLY hate him because he was so popular and good-looking and athletic.
He's got no one on his side, it seems. Until he goes to confess to cheating, and he finds that one of his classmates has already told the dean the truth, effectively exhonerating Brendan Fraser.
It was a good day for the Yankees. And a good day for Yankee fans. I was proud of A-Rod today, and I don't know how many Boston fans can say with any modicum of honesty that they were proud to be Red Socks fans today.
If the score was reversed, I'd had liked it more. In the world of bright-side-looking, then I suppose this was a lot better than watching a typical Yankee loss to the Red Socks, which generally involves a 6 hour game that tests the limit of healthy cardiac function, and then ultimately ends in a walk-off against Mo or something, leaving us deflated, immobile, and ruined.
This wasn't like that.
Also, it sucks watching an ace like Kuroda have an off game, but it could have been worse. For some reason, I'd rather see Kuroda lose 6-1 than Phil Hughes do it. I'm not sure why. Maybe because I'm more forgiving of the former doing it, whereas watching the latter do it propels me into a frenzy of "TYPICAL. JUST...typical. Dammit, Phil."
Disappointment is not always better than anger. But in this case, it is, I think it is.
This guy would disagree on the disappointment vs anger debate front, though.
Eh, you know what, the whole steroid thing actually worked in my favor last night (yet another reason for me to have no problem with steroids), since people would much rather talk about hgh and cheating etc, than a stupid baseball game, anyway. Phew. I think.
Lackey surprisingly did not bean A-Rod. Not that I wanted him to, of course, but when I saw him walk him, I was like, Yep. That's Boston. Posturing. Talk. Loud. Above all else.
Anyways, the Yanks never showed up yesterday. Except for Overbay and A-So. There were 2 errors, of course, because SeeingEyeChart was in the game. Even though it wasn't technically SeeingEyeChart's fault, he just sort of engenders errors, I swear to God.
In A-Rod Performance News That Mercifully Doesn't Relate to Steroids, he threw up a donut (not literally, although I think my cat might have just done that.) He also made an out at 3rd that was very much an out, but he Carp was called safe.
I've noticed that lately umps have been copping to their mistakes a lot in the next day. Like coming out and saying, "yep I was wrong, I made the wrong call." I like this a lot, it's smart of them really, because it shows they recognize when they are wrong, which is better than an ump who thinks he was right when he was actually wrong, but not as good as an ump who just doesn't get it wrong in the first place.
I haven't really seen any Ump Mea Culpa today, though. Probably because the Yankee organization themselves were like, "Dude, we get it. It's A-Rod. Don't bother." I think the Yanks may be doing that thing that companies do sometimes when they don't want to hurt their employee turnover rate numbers, so instead of firing someone, they just try to make the person quit by virtue of a miserable quality of life.
Whatever, that game was lame dash O.
But at least it wasn't a heartbreaker, I guess. As if it isn't hard enough to stomach a Fox-broadcasted game, it's even worse watching a nice Saturday afternoon baseball game that's about as entertaining and enjoyable as a baby shower.
On a final note, it bears mentioning that Lackey's 8-10 record belies how great the most reliable starter of the team is. That's not my assessment, that's the rest of the baseball viewing world.
Lackey's won-loss record hardly shows how good he's been for the Red Sox this season. The team's most dependable starter, Lackey held down New York's resurgent offense and helped Boston break a three-game skid by beating the Yankees 6-1 on Saturday."I think in this case the record doesn't show how well he's pitched and how consistent he's been," manager John Farrell said.
Numbers don't mean anything, I guess. I've been so misinformed. Communists.
In that case, congratulations to the Yankees for their 1-6 win yesterday!
|Arrested Development and the future of Box Scores|
"YOU beat the Red Socks?"
Seriously, as much as it pains me to admit this, I feel like every single time I looked at the score ticker/ box scores/ headlines/ sky/ inside of eyelids/ subway/ dishwasher/ etc...I was reading about another Red Sock victory. All season. They just don't lose. It's so f'n annoying.
I stopped even checking the scores of their games because every time I thought, "Alright, they're bound to eff up once in a while," I'd discover this was not the case. For some reason, it was even more annoying that they weren't going on supernatural 49-game win streaks. That would make them a flash in the pan anomaly that was seconds away from cooling down completely.
But no, just W after W after W....
Yeah, and then there would be the Yankees. It was like the Red Socks were playing with a Game Genie in them, while the Yankees kept having to take their cartridge out of the dusty NES system and blow on it in the hopes this would remedy the flashing reset button and grossly pixelated screen.
Then last night they made it look easy.
"I wonder if it's kind of like baskerball when every time you touch the ball, it's hit to you. There are just certain players that the fans don't like."
I felt like the channel 9 broadcast booth was trying to give me a taste of my own medicine or something. Like, "yeah, this is for every inane analogy YOU'VE ever made that have nothing to do with baseball and rarely make sense and leave people confused when they just wanted to know what the score of the game was. How's it feel? I SAID, how's that feel? ANSWER ME."
Anyways. So that was that. Shortly thereafter, and continually thereafter, the Yankees proceeded to "pile it on," run-wise, and otherwise:
A-So hit another 283 ribbies, but the Red Socks, being the Red Socks, plunked him when A-So stood to set MLB history. I really want to think that this was an accident, and that despite what I say about Boston, they're not THAT petty and obnoxious that they'd stand in the way of history just because they're all pissy the lowly Yankees are showing signs of life when this was supposed to be THEIR show at Fenway.
I mean, who the hell does A-So think he is? You're a guest in someone's house, and you have the audacity to play like Roy Hobbs, collecting ribbies like they're pogs? Show some respect, man.
Btw, Ken Singleton's reaction to A-So's ding that A-So slllowwwly watched sail out as soon as it left his bat: a very quiet "This is unbelievable." I loved it. It wasn't your typical crazy "AND I CAN'T BELIEVE IT, HE DID IT AGAIN, THIS IS JUST INCREDIBLE, FOLKS!"
It was more of this, talking to himself kind of thing. Reminded me of this one year on Easter morning a few years ago when my mom says to no one in particular, really just mumbling to herself in this bizarro mixture of intrigue and vague confusion, "Very unusual candy from the Easter bunny..."
That's how Ken Singleton sounded last night. Maybe my mom was coming to a scary realization that the Easter bunny was real or something, and maybe Ken was coming to a scary realization that baseball transcends regular life in ways around which we will never be able to fully wrap our heads.)
I really don't want to think Boston is so miserable that they'd plunk someone just because they are mad he's good. Because that would make Boston insecure. You're not insecure, right, Boston? You're confident about how much the "yankees suck," yeah?
Cano makes a catch in the outfield that originally looked like it was a play that would typically be the type of stuff of which Citifield montages are made. 23 outfielders all converging in on a lazy can of corn, and the irony is that even though it's this light, airy bloop, it incites so much freaking tension when you have to watch the overhead angle of all your fielders running towards it.
You sit there for those looooong seconds, hoping an out is made, but more hoping that you don't have to watch them collide. You think, "they're gonna run into each other! They don't see each other! Someone call the ball! Why are they all running towards it, WHY HASN'T SOMEONE CALLED IT! Please don't get hurt. Please don't embarrass yourselves at Fenway. Please. Make the out. Don't die. Help. PLEASE SOMEONE HELP!"
Then Cano just casually makes an overtheshoulder bucket catch, when I don't even know how the hell he ended up out there, but NBD. Whatev. Just your run of the mill catch that looked EXACTLY like "The Catch" from a different #24. That catch was super famous. Cano's catch was Cano being all, "what, my job is to make outs. Don't make a big deal out of me just doing my job, yo."
A-Rod tried to do his job, as well. Which no one likes to make easy for him. Because everyone hates him. You can tell because everyone boos when he bats. Or, you know, converts oxygen to carbon dioxide. I think the world is being so over-the-top because it's all about publicly establishing yourself firmly in opposition to what A-Rod represents. Or rather, what A-Rod is positioned as representing.
Booing A-Rod is everyone's way of letting all those around them know that, "I am against cheating. I am appalled that he is making so much money. I am a good person because I am passionate about my contempt for bad people. Like A-Rod."
A-Rod, by the by, went 2 for 4, and is now batting .300. Which means that we can all shift into "Well, of course he's batting .300. Who wouldn't be batting .300 when they're cheating?" When he dips back below the Mendoza line, then Verizon Wireless will send out a text alert announcing it's time for us to revert to "God, he sucks. He's overpaid and a terrible ballplayer" mode.
Everyone hit last night except for Wells and Grandy. No matter.
There was a lot going on in this game. And when I say "a lot," I am really being quite literal. Quantity. There was a lot of everything. Most things, anyway. The Red Socks did not have a lot of runs. But I gotta say, for the last 45 minutes of the game, it didn't seem like that was going to be the outcome.
I mean, it was one of those games that just REEKED of rally potential. Of momentum. Of a burgeoning "run manufacturing" (as the kids say) effort that sets the stadium crowd in fire. All the Fenway Faithfuls who are faithfully yelling when the Red Socks are pretty much assuring them of a big comeback, but who are faithfully mute when their team is getting blanked by the little guys. By the Wildcard-chasing Yankees.
And yet, they didn't score more than 3 runs. It was so weird. Like the inverse of the Loaves and the Fishes or something. When Jesus manages to feed the whole town with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish(es). Except last night it was the opposite.
The Red Socks had a warehouse full of bread and fish, and an entire town was crowding around pretty confident they'd each get to partake in the distribution of the food. And the Socks have to put a sign up on the door after only 3 people have gotten their share, like, "Sorry. Sold out. Sorry for the inconvenience."
The pitching was good, Pettitte is still brilliant, even at 72 years of age. It was especially cool to see the Yanks tee off on Doubront, who I think is pretty damn good. One of the best on the team. And speaking of pitchers, I can't believe our relievers got out of THAT. MANY. JAMS. How? I guess everyone's got a little D-Rob in them, sometimes. (Pause.)
On that note, Ima sign off and get ready for Game 2. Kuroda v Lackey. Lackey has in so many words assured us that he will, in fact, drill A-Rod in the head with a ball, if not a bullet, if not a pressurized fatal shot from a captive blow pistol. He's still making up his mind.
In unrelated news, I fractured my elbow 2 nights ago trying to break a lobster in half with my bear hands. The moral of the story is that no matter how strong you think you are, sometimes an inert, nonthreatening shell can kick your ass.
My coworker invited me to the game, but duty called, and I listened to the first half of the game on MLB audio, quarantined in a fishbowl conference room with purple pens sticking out of my hair and loose sheets of prescribing information holding court on the table.
I took a break after the top of the 1st, and by the time I got back from getting an iced triple caramel latte, the score was 4-0. Ok, not to be one of those people whose mind never swings into the "cheerful surprise" realm...but my first thought was that the time in the office had finally done what I had always been afraid it would do, which is completely nullify basic time continuums.
(I don't remember the last time I came into work and then blurted out mid-meeting, "Wait, what day are we on?")
It never really occurred to me that the Yankees had made a P-Hu out of Weaver. It never occurred to me that the Yankees managed to score 4 runs in 4 minutes, after 4 months of struggling to put up even 1 run on the board.
Me of little faith? Sweet Christ, what is going on.
|Thank anyway, Glen. For the ticket|
offer. Not for turning down the recapping
request, in my hour of copywriting need.
Which I did. And indeed, it was delightful.
A-So had a pretty good game. A salami. Roughly 48,000 ribbies. A-Rod knocked in a double (even more notable was the fact that in post-game coverage I didn't read word one about him. It was nice.)
Nova was stellar. Weaver was confused about how much the Yanks knocked the shit outta him. The Yanks were 5 FOR FREAKING 8 WITH RISP!!! Unbelievable. Even when they're firing on all cylinders, teh most I usually hope for outta them is like 3 for 9 or something. The hell has gotten into them? I'm into it. Woot woot.
This was just an all around stellar performance by our boys in a time when it's inordinately needed. Grandy was 2 for 3, Cano 4 for 4, Steward 2 for 4, A-So 20 for 20, etc etc. The lineup was perfectly arranged, when you think about it. Hits from all parts of the order in the most apropos time.
And the best part? The Socks lost to the Blue Jays. Yanks are 5 games outta the WC, and this weekend's series is gonna be a Stockpiling-of-Pepto type of weekend. Oh yeah, there's the whole P-Hu game today we gotta tend to, but I'll be down at Novartis during the game. So I'm hoping when I turn my phone on post-client-meeting that it doesn't explode with shit like "DAMMIT HUGHES" and the like.
Cheers, boys. Keep going. Oh, and just for fun, here's a piece/song I wrote on the Angels in the 2009 ALCS.
Tubbo has been mopping his brow a lot this year. I mean, I'm gonna give him a little latitude (fatitude hehe) because it's been like 234 degrees out all summer, but then again, I seem to remember all these comments being made about Fausto Carmona et al when they were pitching against us in the infamous Midge Game and all the announcers being like, "Well, CC probably would be fine if he was pitching in this kind of situation because he's used to it."
I don't know where they get their information from sometimes. It's like I'm imagining the Elias Sports Bureau interns sitting there frantically trying to shove post-it notes with legit stats on them in front of the booth, and then Paul O'Neill is just like waving them off like, "Shh..I got this one, bro."
Then there was a controversy and it was the scorekeeper's turn to have a shit-what-do-I-do-here-please-let-this-not-get-back-to-my-boss moment. Chris Nelson left the bag earlier on a liner to left, and Fatso mercifully got out of the inning. Except it didn't look that way at first.
4-4. 2 outs.
4-3. 3 outs.
Wait. Here comes Sciosa.
Bahhh. 4-4. 4-3. Things were confusing. I swear, Mike Sciosa is like constantly on this hell-bent campaign to ensure that his epitaph reads "I SENT 'EM RUNNING." I can't count how many times his whole flying-around-the-basepath-with-wild-abandon tactic has been a source of a "live-and-die-by-the-sword" type of commentary.
He wasn't happy. I was relieved. Inning ends with the Yanks still on top, RoundBoy still sweating.
Then it's the bottom of the inning, and I heard Michael Kay say something I don't think I've heard all season. Honestly, I got goosebumps.
"AND THE YANKEES ARE JUST PILING IT ON!"
He said this in reference to runs being scored. I just realized that there's a good chance this phrase was uttered at another point in the season, but "it" being something like "errors" or something.
Not that there was any shortage of errors here. The Yankees had a season-high 19 hits on the day, but with a season-low (jk) of 3 errors, but I think we've all just come to kind of accept this type of heavyset last column in the box score as a zeitgeist of the Eduardo Nunez Era, really.
See, that's the type of game Nunez used to consistently give up, but then I think Nunez basically told Girardi, "Listen. You'd be better served trying to develop my offensive game good enough to the point where it will compensate for my errors. Because the errors are gonna happen. That's just how it is. I ain't changing for no one. You know why? Because..."
To that end, SeeingEyeChart ended up doing pretty well for himself on the day. 2 for 6, 2 runs, 4 ribbies (2 of which were 2-out ribbies).Oh and 2 E's. But see how little the E's matter when you play an offensive game like that?
Similarly, I was beside myself to see A-Rod drill one into left field in the bottom of the 6th to bring 2 runs in. I mean, the guy is such an asshole though because if he had any semblance of a soul he'd have waited til it was the bottom of the 12 when the Yanks were down by 6 with no one on, and he'd hit a 7-run homerun to win the game.
If A-Rod ever hopes to waddle his way back into the public's favor, this is the type of STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE that needs to happen. Not this 2-run double in the 6th mumbo jumbo. C'MON, GUY. WORK WITH ME, HERE.
Everyone on the Yanks got a hit today. Some more than others, ie A-So, who tacked on more dings to his burgeoning case of "Aren't you glad I'm back?" 3 for 6, with 6 ribbies. I love how cynics/haters don't really know what to make of this guy.
He's 37, but you can't really get start bitching about the Yankees refusal to cultivate young players since technically he IS one of their cultivated young players. Or he was at one point. He's kind of like the rom-com stock character, boy next door that girl falls in love with when she's 10 and then years later they reunite.
In other "old man, new tricks" news, Lyle OverTheHillBay goes 3 for 4. Wells goes deep against his former team, which was good because if he had done anything less, I'd have been all up in arms about GGBG not batting clean-up. WHEN IS THIS GOING TO HAPPEN? I refuse to believe that the season will pass without seeing our plucky secret weapon in the 4 spot. You KNOW that Joe Maddon would be all. over. this.
I mean, I bet he feels the same way an intern feels at a tactical brainstorm session at work, and he/she has an idea but never speaks up because there's nothing more demeaning than throwing out an idea during a brainstorm and then the Person In Charge of Writing Things Down On the Giant Post-It Pad doesn't even deign to write your idea down.
But THEN someone else speaks up with that idea, and it's met with showers of oohs and ahhs. And then the intern's like, "I THOUGHT OF THAT! I DID!" Yeah, so that's Maddon right now. Maybe. Either that, or he's ironing out negotiations with this thing, for his next team-building meeting of minds.
Not that I want this to degenerate into a Joe Maddon riff, but the next time anyone says he's brilliant, I'd like to point that person to this comment that he made about his rental penguins:
"Shelly was cool, but Cliff was a very gregarious penguin. I found out they like to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes. Cliff actually demonstrated his allegiance for the Rays by going right on top of our logo on the carpeting."
Oh, Maddon and your progressive views on symbolic gestures of loyalty!
Anyways, so yeah, GGBG in 4-spot. That.
Joba managed to not blow the game, Dellin Betances (who sounds like either some kind of Latin declension or an acrylic paint tube brand) gave up about 98 hits/runs over the course of the 12 seconds he was in the game. He didn't really get the same lavish praise that Shawn Kelley did.
Kelley did well, but the way Kay talked about him, you'd have thought the Yankees had managed to swindle King Felix away from Seattle. Whatever, I'm not complaining.
I will say that it seems as though the Yankees as a whole are throwing an awfully high number of pitches out per game. This either comes from the fact 70% of Lard's starts are devoted to shots of him wringing his stomach of sweat...or it comes from the fact that Phil Hughes is inflating the worldwide pitch per capita. (I was at Saturday's game, he managed to toss 100 pitches in 4 innings. It's not Pop-A-Shot, Phil. Sweet Christ)
Anyways, so here we are. The Yankees are 9.5 games back. Nova takes on Weaver on Wednesday. Highes [sic] takes on Wilson Thursday. (To be clear, that's a 4-11 record up against a 12-6 record. Which means P-Hu is due.)
After that? The Yanks take on the Red Socks in Boston. 9.5 games back. If years of YES broadcasts have taught me anything. it's this:
Yeah I know, I’ve been completely MIA. Unfortunately, I’ve been running out of hours in the day for the past 2 months. But I know I’m going to bludgeon myself to death when I realize I’ve once again let my gainful employment keep me from watching baseball all summer.
So apparently there are a few things going on, most notably that the Yankees are playing like they’ve resigned themselves to just playing for a first pick in the draft next year. The other thing going on is that A-Rod has become the face of all things evil in the world of our Great American Pasttime.
Ima go backwards in terms of addressing both of these things. Tomorrow I’ll get to the Yankees, but first, here we go again…
|Maybe I'm just a moron, in addition to |
being one of the "oxy-" persuasion.
I know I’m a minority here—like, a big one—but as I see it, everyone’s attacking the guy that it’s safe to attack. Some people are hard to defend.
But for my money, it’s even harder to defend social hypocrisy.
I’m not saying I condone steroid use, or lying, and particularly not lying about using steroids.
But I do have a categorical aversion to inconsistent condemnation of behavior based on predisposed antagonism.
The chief problem with spearheading the Crusade Against Haters is that my “client” is guilty. A-Rod did indeed admit to using steroids at one point, so to speak.
(Perhaps the most beautifully candid line in this whole sordid ordeal is Cashman's hilarious, "I don't think that Alex is very good at communicating, to be honest." In the docket of historic understatements, file that one alongside the penetrating questioning from the reporter at the 1956 World Series, "Mr. Larsen, was that the best game you ever pitched?")
"You're the one who weazed off his gig the whole time...cuz you thought maybe he'd get you somewhere. Now the guy gets a little crusty and you're gonna bag him."
When the Yankees hadn’t won a ring in a decade, and when we were being harassed non-stop about this fact, A-Rod gave you a ring. A-Rod won the 2009 series for the Yankees.
At least A-Rod can comfort in knowing that Yankee fans have also bestowed the same kind of alienation treatment onto Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, etc. Yeah, Yankee fans BOOED these guys.
A-Rod came back into the lineup to replace the 3B who was treating our team to a bright .143 batting average. I know my math is less than stellar, but I’m pretty sure I’m okay with seeing how well life-time all-star fielding magician A-Rod can do at 3B.
There’s a pretty good chance he’s going to help the team. Because, well, he has.
If you’re going to say A-Rod has always been awful in the clutch, then you may as well subscribe to things like Bleen, and other fungible worlds of math inanity.
In 2012, when the entire Yankee team batted a breath-taking .147 in the ALCS, A-Rod’s .111 average was the one that was most severely lambasted.
Why should we boo A-Rod? He’s one of the greatest that ever played. This is true.
If you want to say it’s only because he used steroids, then you must be prepared to strip EVERY single player of their merit who has ever been suspected of steroid use.
You must be prepared to strip Gaylord Perry of his stats because he threw a spitball. Or Bobby Thompson because the Giants were stealing signs. Or Whitey Ford. I don't think any of them deserve to be stripped of what they did for baseball. Neither should A-Rod. Especially because...
ON A CLINICAL NOTE….
Steroids can be pretty helpful when used safely and properly. I mean, it basically puts you back in the game faster after an injury. You’re not wasting time puttering away on the sideline trying to get your game back to snuff.
THAT SAID, I’m going to play the medical copywriting card here. I’ve done a fair amount of reading and research on diseases such as acromegaly that are based on overproduction of growth hormone and IgF-1.
And without getting too much into the clinical data etc, I will say that based on what is known about these types of diseases, it does not support the fact that an increase in both GH and IgF-1 (which is the core output of steroid abuse) promotes any kind of performance enhancement.
Basically, there are rare diseases in which “steroid abuse” occurs naturally. So you’d think that in these patients, there would be evidence of muscle hypertrophy, but there’s actually a notable LACK of physiological/performance changes.
In one clinical review article of published literature on manifestations of GH impact, the results showed that “although growth hormone may alter body composition, it has minimal effect on key athletic performance outcomes and may, in fact, be associated with worsened exercise capacity.” [Liu H et al. Ann Intern Med. 2008;148:747-758.]
This is consistent with the Mitchell report, which actually noted the lack of evidence supporting growth hormone use and enhancement of athletic performance.
ON A MATHEMATICAL NOTE…p ⊕ q
(Either "p" or "q" but not both)
Here’s the thing about steroids. And, well, everything, actually. It’s extremely difficult to make claims about the relationship between A and B, if everything is not known about the prevalence of A.
For example, you can’t say, “Eating carrots help your eyesight” if you do a study of 5 people who eat carrots who have good eyesight. If you do a study of 10 people, 5 of which eat carrots, 5 of which don’t, and the only people with good eyesight are the ones who eat carrots, then you can make that case.
But we don’t know that A-Rod ate carrots. Or say that we do. Say we absolutely know he did steroids for his entire career. We’re mad because he had an unfair advantage, and all his years of greatness made it impossible for the non-steroid-users to succeed.
But is that what happened?
If steroids gave A-Rod such a huge unfair advantage, then where do we get off spitting vitriol at his years of barely creeping pasting the Mendoza line when he should’ve been banging it out all over the place?
You can’t hiss at A-Rod for being a shitty ballplayer for bouts of time in his career and then in the same breath hiss at him for taking steroids for that entire time. Because that would suggest that steroids did not, in fact, give him an unfair advantage.
And if he didn’t have an unfair advantage, then why are you mad at him for doing steroids?
It’s almost identical as the arguments made by Yankee haters around the whole “they buy their team” nonsense. And then when the Yankees deflate in the first round of the playoffs, everyone starts pointing at them screaming “THEY PAID BAJILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR A RING AND THEY COULDN’T EVEN GET PAST THE FIRST ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS!!!!”
Wouldn’t that suggest that spending money on your team doesn’t actually have the “championship guarantee” that everyone seems to think it has? If there are teams failing and succeeding across the entire financial gamut, then there how is there a proven statistical significance to the impact of payroll on success?
SILENCE IS GOLDEN UNLESS IT’S A-ROD’S
A-Rod cannot do anything right, because apparently his handling of steroid accusations are the WORST possible way to go about it. As long as you don’t do what A-Rod’s doing, you’re granted immunity of social stigmatization.
Ryan Braun “apologized” without ever apologizing, much like a boyfriend caught cheating who admits he cheated. A-Rod no-comment-ed his way through all queries, but you know if he had done anything but that, he would have been seared for disloyalty, deflecting blame, and taking down hoards of people with him.
A-Rod did steroids before there were penalties in place for them. So did half the free world. So we can’t get angry at that, unless we are prepared to be equally as incensed by every other soul who did the same.
A-Rod said he never did it, and that makes him evil because he did do it. Bitch, please. Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone here. Obama signed a sweeping, tough bill for an anti-smoking campaign, but never really kicked the habit himself.
Is the crime here that A-Rod fraudulently aligned himself with an anti-drug campaign when he himself was (allegedly) doing the very thing he was telling kids not to do? Is that why everyone is so up in arms?
You think that every spokesperson for every charity is innocent of the evil he or she purports to loathe? Would A-Rod be absolved of such harsh criticism if he had never aligned himself against steroids publicly?
If that is the case, then why are we getting on his case for his silence? Spike Lee gets all on his soap box about NBA players being essentially slaves, and how cruel is the exploitative business of pro sports. But no one’s hating on him for not giving up his courtside tickets.
What about celebrities who go all high and mighty about how their perfect physique is the product of a vegetable diet and cardio or whatever? Would we be so incensed to find out that to no one’s great surprise, they had work done and actuallllly it turns out they’re not really 100% au natural?
NARCS vs FARCE
You know what? I’d be ok with the criticism if it wasn’t a charity with which A-Rod aligned himself, but rather, if A-Rod was in a position of doling out punishments.
Like, if was fining people, or if he was a PED-hall-monitor-narc-type person, or otherwise was in charge of exposing steroid use for the purpose of furthering swift punishment. Then his own alleged use would be the height of insidious hypocrisy.
But all A-Rod did was tell kids not to use steroids. That asshole. I bet a lot of kids didn’t do it because of him. I bet he had an impact on a lot of kids’ lives because of that. If you disagree with that sentiment, if you think that he had zero bearing on these kids, then you really have no reason to get upset that he lied to them in the first place.
Hey, you know who DID try to enact punishments? David Ortiz. He wanted to ban everyone who tested positive.
"I think you clean up the game by the testing," Ortiz said. "I know that if I test positive by using any kind of substance, I know that I'm going to disrespect my family, the game, the fans and everybody, and I don't want to be facing that situation."
"So what would I do? I won't use it, and I'm pretty sure that everybody is on the same page."
Then he was informed he tested positive.
“Based on the way I have lived my life, I am surprised to learn I tested positive. I will find out what I tested positive for. You know me, I will not hide and I will not make excuses."
“ONLY COWARDS INSULT INJURED MAJESTY.” –AESOP
My mom once told me “our first responsibility is to be a good person.” Is A-Rod a good person? How the hell should I know? We don’t know if any of these athletes that we adore and despise are good people. BUT they are people. They’re human. (For the most part. I wouldn’t rush to file Sneachiro under the “Born and Raised on the Planet Earth” heading.)
My point is that I get why people do steroids. I don’t think it makes them bad people. I got to a point in my life where I realized I don’t have enough energy to waste on harmless people. The only people who I’m okay with unleashing my ire and contempt are malicious people. The ones who go out of their way to be cruel. Who prey on weak, who feel better about themselves when they’re making others feel bad.
I don’t think A-Rod falls into that category. So while I can’t defend cheating or lying, I can certainly attack the treatment he’s getting.
It used to be that society sated its need for moral superiority by actively championing the underdog. But maybe that ideal has been replaced by demonizing juggernauts.
It's not enough for them to be taken down, they need to be stripped of their dignity and spirit. We've come to embrace this belief that perfection is terrifying and that the sooner we can capitalize on its armor's chinks, the better.
If you’re going to lynch someone, then make sure your fury is fueled by logic. Because otherwise you’re really no better than the supposed hypocrite that you’re condemning.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, for as long as A-Rod plays for the Yankees, then he gets my support. "If you want to be on the wagon for the glitz and glammer, you gotta stay on it when it hits the hammer."