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Oh, Tanaka. Welcome to American baseball.

Me and Ldawgzo at Old Timer's Day 2005
Unlike my sister who ALWAYS surpasses the hype, the Japanese kind of just answered the hype in an appropriate if not spectacular manner?

Yeah, there was a LOT of hype around this guy, as there generally for any pitcher whose starting salary could bankroll implementation of a small off-shore civilization.

Also, he's Japanese, so his talent is worth more because it's never been actually demonstrated in American Major League Baseball.

Also, the mysterious does-he-doesn't-he around the speaking/language barrier is an asset that is worth its weight in gold.

I'm sorry, I'm giving the kid a hard time for no reason. Except the reason that was he let up a homerun to Melky Cabrera within 3 pitches of his very first outing. Somewhere, Stephen Strausberg is exhaling a sigh of relief, as he tightens his grib a little more possessively on his "I beat the hype" trophy.

It was a veritable smorgasboard of Japanese tv shots, from the panning around the dugout to the Asian players, to the terrifyingly austere shots of the Japanese film crews and photographers. We get it. Japan loves their baseball players.

I love when the Yankees win. Which is what they did tonight in a very, very odd manner.

Game notes:

The Yankees overturned a call by virtue of some extremely complicated relay system between Tony Pena and Joe Girardi that I don't even remotely understand. Sneach beats out the throw to first, as Sneach is want to do, and he's called out. Girardi challenges it. And so opened a whole ginormous can of worms that I wish I never saw.

"Call Overturned" is something I should never see flashed across my tv screen in relation to a baseball game, and I say this after said overturned call realllly worked to the Yanks' favor, allowing Robinson Sheffield to hit a go-ahead double in the 3rd.

The game lasted 3:26 minutes but for some reason it felt much longer...maybe it was the creative medley of game delayers, like the fan who ran across the field, the challenges, then reviews, and of course the strange exit of Teixeira (Teixit). Ok, apparently he got hurt, but since it was right after his, like, 3rd error in as many games, I legitimately thought Girardi came out to serve Tex with an arrest warrant or something.

And Tex DID look pretty much storming off the field. No news yet on whether Tex is just being "first 3 months of the season carte blanche" Tex. Or whether we got to start getting more comfortable with Kelly Johnson at 1st.

I know that in the past few years, the Yankee line-up isn't always what we remembered it to be in the classic Yankee sense. But there was something particularly Central Park softball league-y about today's murderer's row.

Like they were the lineup you assemble when it's 4:45 and half of your team emails to say they can't come to the game, and you're scrambling to pick up enough players before 6 so you don't have to forfeit a game to a team call "McCormack's Half Pints" or something.

Especially, Jeter's esteemed back from SD: "Dear Anna."

No, I didn't mean Dean. Dear Anna. That's his name.

Seriously, when I saw the infield positions at the beginning of the game, I was basically positive that they couldn't field a team, so they called someone's girlfriend to come in and play and that's how someone named "Anna" ended up at SS.

His defense? Ehhhhhh.

He got a hit though, as did every Replacement Yankee today, except B-Rob. I continue to be impressed by this team's speed, though. Like Jacoby had 2, GGBG had 1, and B-Rob threw on another. And I'm pretty sure Kelly Johnson randomly posted a triple today. Just for fun.

Robinson Sheffield had another ridic day, going 2 for 5 with 2 doubles, and 3 ribbies, and a lot of smiling, and stellar fielding. He looks and plays like a kid who will play as absolutely hard as he can because he knows how lucky he is to be here.

And that's straight up Mom-genes talking, as I can now cite April 5, 2014 as the day I first started doing my Mom's thing of inventing stories about complete strangers and passing them off as hush-hush fact.

In terms of the pitching, Tanaka gets up through 7 innings, with 8Ks, and only 3 runs (2 earned), and I gotta say, I was not as impressed as I guess I was prepared to be, but I've already forgotten about my lack in impression since the Yankees won. The relievers bridged to the way nicely to the W, with Thorton, Betances, and D-Rob synthesizing their forces to yield a hit-less final 2 innings.

You know what's weird? I don't think I've ever said this before, but if I had to pick a weakness on the Yankees right now, a weak skill set (or lack their of, etc) wouldn't be the batting, the manufacturing runs, the slugging, the RISP BAs....not the pitching, relief, or, the biggest weakness I see right now is the the infield defense.

Maybe I'm just spoiled from the whole Jeter-Robbie-Tex-Arod-iron curtain thing. But the Yankees just don't commit errors (fielding ones anyway), and they looked a little less that crisp out there. Like, I was finding myself excited to see successfully turned routing double plays.

Which reminds me, congrats to the Mets for their 1st win!

Tomorrow Pineda goes up against Dickey. This should be interesting.. (Yeah, let's go ahead and add Toronto to the list of teams/fan who are officially never allowed to make the inane "Yankees buy their team" hiss.)


Plurimos annos ad meus soror mirum!


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