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Nice editing, jerks. Or should I say,
"Nice editing jerks"?
You couldn't even spring for a competent copy editor, Ms. Blume? Maybe I'm a little snarky because of the Yankees' palpable descent into phoning-it-in behavior. But I'll tell you one thing, the egregious punctuation free-for-all going on on the cover of the original edition of the Lisa Frank Sticker Collecting Generation's cult classic? It's not helping.

(I do find it a little suspect that in the 7 times this book has been reprinted, there was one version--the penultimate one--that at least partially paid respects to the basic rules of comma usage. It also prominently features a bra. I don't know where I'm going with this. But it's somewhat topical given this hilarioud development in the world of marketing hail marys. I shouldn't joke, though, considering the longstanding unmet need for a "Ventilated cap compliant with ISO 11540 / BS 7272-1 standard" has finally been addressed.)

What, the Yankees are the only ones allowed to forget what they're supposed to be doing? Yeah, I said it. But maybe it's like the words of Schmitt's sage father: "Do as I say, not as I do."

In other words, just because I'm incapable of focusing on anything for more than 22 seconds, it doesn't mean I have to give the Yankees carte blanche to exercise the same kind of flightiness.

Tough love shit.

It was a beautiful day outside today, and all the people at Yankee Stadium who took off on Wednesday to preemptively kick off the Farewell to Summer Weekend, were probably expecting all the stars to align. For some reason, a flawless blue sky above a baseball stadium instills a kind of bright certainty in the home team's fans.

It's like how my mom can't wrap her head around it when a "good looking guy from a good family" is arrested for stabbing his girlfriend to death or something. Similarly, baseball fans can't wrap their heads around it when their team loses in an otherwise perfect day.

You know what else is making this hard to fully digest? This:
Good work maintaining decimal point usage consistency.

That made me gag. Also, it made me fact check it. Not that I don't trust Marc Craig. But I thought it could have been a CYC thing of being like, "You know how many games Justin Chamberlain has ruined in the last 3 years? Approximately 732,198."

The Yanks have won ZERO games when trailing in the ninth? It's true. Our boys are 0-46 when they're down after 8 innings.

They are virtually unrecognizable from the guys of 2009 glory. I'm sorry, I know they didn't get anywhere in terms of the 'ship in the past few years, but even those teams have more fire in them than this one.

I can't put my finger on it. Because Jeter certainly seems to have the fire of 10,000 suns. Ditto for Swish. But as for the rest of the offense, even the great ones are starting to look like paled versions of themselves.

Anyways, to briefly review the afternoon delight that wasn't a delight (Afternoon dedark. Afternoon disgust? Options from which to choose.):

Yanks take early 2-0 lead, what else is new, thanks to Jones' ribbie single and Grandy's fielder's choice groundout. I think if you look at the runs scored in the last month, it'll be some kind of well curve graph:

I have no idea if the above is accurate (which of course didn't dissuade me from going to the trouble of creating a graph to "validate" my hyperboles/hypotheses). But it's immaterial, sort of, since the main take-away is that win or lose, we don't walk away from the game convinced the Yankees were the dominant team.

Jays come back to score 3 in the third, with that annoying ass Escobar, Encarnacion, Lind stuff. 3-2 game. The Grandy puts the Yankees on top with a double that scored Swish and Jones. 4-3! Wahoo! We're in business!

No. Escobar homers, like a little bitch. 2 innings later, Mathis sac flies, like an even littler bitch. And the Yanks find themselves in a 6-4 hole going into the 8th.

Fortunately, they're not allergic to regaining leads in the 8th, it's a localized ailment that only afflicts the 9th inning so far. But who knows? Disease spreads. Especially during seasonal changes.

R-Mart doubles in Ibanez, and a 1-run game should absolutely smell like an f'n dramatic walk-off. It should be emblazoned on our psyches. Yankees come from behind. Have faith.

No magic. None. Fans at the game didn't get much of a chance to get their hopes up too stratospherically high, seeing as the promising little 6-5 game quickly became a deflating 8-5 game in the top of the 9th. Escobar, shame on you for hitting the bal so hard that it shattered our optimism.

Oh, also, you know what? Fatso was the starter. Yeah. got Clubbo'

And by "Clubbo'ed" I mean, he let up 9 hits over 7 innings. 5 runs. Here's the part that started to make this game feel like this:

Round Boy left the game having gave up 5 runs.

Only 3 of which should have been real. Jeter, Nix, and a Z-Packer all had errors.

If the offense wasn't being so shady, I'd throw Nix under the bus. But since the fat guy has compassion (either that or the self-deprecating guilt-prone esteem of devout biblical characters), he had this to say:

"It's all my fault, obviously."

Oh, Big Guy. Stop it.

3 f'n errors. 66% of those names just don't make mistakes in the field. But today they did. What could have been a 6-2 game just fell out of our grasps.

The bullpen tried to patch together a win, aka Girardi was acting like he was doing laundry on a Sunday and there's only 1 washing machine left that isn't being used, so he tries to fit all 592 loads of laundry into one machine.

Lard pitched til the top of the 8th. In the span of those 2 remaining innings, Girardi shoved in the following laundry:

Lowe. Logan. Eppley. Color Swatch. Justin/Joba. 6 pitchers. One for each out? This isn't CYO basketball, Joe. You don't HAVE to give all the players fair playing time, you know.

Nothing good comes from force fitting things into a washing machine. Alex Hug and my broken rib will attest to this.

So, yeah, great. Sarcasm. Frustration. Huffing and puffing. Frantically trying to calculate W-L scenarios for the rest of the league.

The Yankees look like Braden Looper's baseline expression. This look of confidence that acutely melted into sheepish dejection.
Any time you're comparing the state of play of an entire team, to the remarkable failures of a former Met...then we've arrived at a time when this doesn't seem too farcical.

Et cessare faciam ens amara, quando desinis vocans illud fefellitus.

I agree with close to 100% of what my buddy Keith says. HOWEVAH, today he said the first thing in the history of our friendship that I took issue with.

"Come out tonight! It's a must-win situation!"

If there's baseball to be played the following day, regardless of the game's outcome, then it's not a must win.

Nevertheless, I am very happy they won this "highly desirable win" situation.

I am also very confused about how the game played out.

Yesterday, I'm looking at the pitching matchup and I see 2 guys who are in dead heat in the "Who Can Drive Their Fans the Craziest?" contest.

Ricky Romero and Phil Hughes both have unequivocal, raw talent. They also both have trouble figuring out what works. You know? It's kind of like you realize the "trick" to something. Like when you throw your back out and find the one position that it doesn't hurt. And then it's like, Ok great! I just need to sit like a circus contortionist all day, and I'm good!

Hughes and Romero seem to just like stumble into their contortionist positions and then it's nirvana and then the next day they sneeze and fall out of them.

Ricky didn't have too ugly an outing, though. He only gave up a handle of hits, but that doesn't really matter when you're in the middle of winless streak of so many games that you need a 3rd hand to keep track of them. (This is assuming, of course, that you mentally archive pitching stats by virtue of the ol' finger abacus.)

Hughes gave up 4 hits, one of which was a homerun to someone with all sorts of different letters in his name. (Adeiny Hechevarria. If that doesn't sound like the name of a rare, deadly strain of bacteria, then I don't know what's what. Well, congrats, on your first long ball. Staphylococcus as nothing on you.)

So as much as Adeiny belongs in a petri dish, that's how little Steve Pearce belongs in the New York Yankees' clean up spot. 

That was one of the weirdest things I've seen all season. I mean, even weirder than when the Yankees were playing the Socks and Jeter dropped a can of corn. You have a roster filled with all-stars, a team notorious for relying on their slugging, and you think, "Hm..yeah, no one here would be good for the 4 spot. Let's pick up some also-ran from the NL and stick him in this pivotal spot. Yeah. That's what Ima do!" 

Oh, yeah, and R-Mart was batting 5th. These are all interesting decisions, and as I said in an earlier post, it looks more and more like Girardi is going the way of the Maddon Method of Ostentatious Intellect. 

Swisher went yard, as usual, and Grandy knocked in a run with a sac fly. That was all the Yankees needed to take down the BEST OFFENSE IN BASEBALL! MINUS BAUTISTA!

Hey, our offense is minus Arod and Tex. But the thing is, I don't even know where the keys to the team lie anymore. It keeps getting passed around. Are Arod and Tex our guys? Or is it Swisher and Jeter? Kuroda? Cano? When Mo went down, it was devastating because you know that's where our bullpen strength is. No question. He was the key.

But now? Who's winning the games? 

Also, I don't know if this needs to be solved. Unless the Yankees get stranded on a deserted island without food, water, or toilet, and are forced to start to eat themselves, like in that movie Alive. Then we might need to identify where the talent is most concentrated, because that person gets immunity from cannibalism.

On that note, GOOD WIN, YANKEES!

You didn't HAVE to win, but you did. Cheers to keeping it up. Not to alarm you, but the Birds are 3.5 games back. You only need 1 hand to count that. 

That and horse height. 

That was supposed to end differently. As in, not end with Swisher standing at the plate arguing about the most cut and dry strike in the world. If he checked his swing, it was a strike. If he held up, a strike. What's there to argue about, really?

The good news is that the Devil Rays also lost so our ginormous 3.5 game lead in the AL East is still in tact. The bad news is that the O's have somehow crawled into that spot. Great. A cinderella team. Underdogs in the Yankees' radar are like non-NYY's favorite things in the world.

Yeah, and also, that 3.5 lead means almost nothing to me, really, since you know what this time of the year is like. It's like the Month of Momentum. 

(Month, incidentally, is what my autocorrect insists on making Mo. It's more than a little aggravating when I'm texting something about either my cat or the closer and my phone keeps saying, no no no. Allow us to make things easier for you. MONTH.

They're insistent on it, too. I don't even know why this macro is programmed into the phone, given the universal premium placed on economic character usage. The autocorrect I DO think would be kind of funny is if advertisers got into the mix, and started changing words to brand names. For example, "Yo this cracker got all up in my grill" would be "Yo this Ritz got all up in my George Foreman." That wouldn't be condusing at all.)

So, the Yankees lose in extra innings, and the seesawing continues, the Yankees firmly sticking to their No Streak policy, while maintaining a stranglehold on their Win Some Lose Some modus operandi. 

And speaking of consistency, Jeter hit another homerun today, and I feel like I might be the only one who is finding this absolutely ridiculous. Yeah, it's awesome, and I love it like I love Bagel Mondays, calla lilies, and wild tea vodka. But as I've mentioned in another post, the players on the Yankees are sort of reminding me of the Fire Gang in that movie "The Labyrinth." Those weird muppets who remove their heads and swap them with one another. (That's the second detachable head reference I've made today. I don't know what that means. I'm actually hoping there is no significance whatsoever to this.)

Just when you think you got someone all figured out, he starts doing something pretty out of character. Like Grandy disappearing as of late. Or Jeter being our homerun king as of late. Kuroda being an ace. Ichiro being slow. Swish being All Around Player of the Season. 

Everything's weird.

Tex got hurt. He's out for at least a week. Arod is taking his sweet time on the DL. I feel like it's similar to when I ask someone "I'm here. Where are you?" and if I get "En route" it means "Almost done getting ready." "Getting in cab" means "About to leave apartment." And "On my way!" means "In 10 minutes I will start thinking about getting into the shower and starting to get ready." Similarly, Arod was "cleared to take batting practice on Tuesday" which means "in 2 weeks, talk will shift to the potential value Arod's return stands to provide during this critical time for the Yankees."

And speaking of injuries, this game was like that scene in Billy Madison when they're playing dodgeball. All of a sudden, the Yankees weere like, "Now you're all going to die." And commenced roping hard shot after after shot right at the shins of anyone in their way. Alvarez got hit twice, then Loup and Laffey. Chavez was the gunman behind 2 of these, and really these hard hit shots had mostly zero bearing on the game since the Yankees ended up losing and all. 

The only things I do think are notable and worth assigning some importance to, are Cano's 2-bomb game (welcome back, kid), and Jeter's tying homerun in the 9th. Lowe screwed up with a horrendous pickoff throw and I guess that's what Red Socks Nation might refer to as the "Derek Lowe face." I think everything Red Socks Nation does is a testament to imbecility, so I'm not even going to look for an alleged hint of a Derek Lowe face. He got an error. Who cares what he looked like. Porbably sad. 

There were a bunch of homeruns and comebacks. Also, according to TV captions, Darren Oliver was throwing 776 mph breaking balls. That's really fast!

So tomorrow is another day. Hughes vs Romero. I don't see this being a Master Class of Pitching Lessons. But who knows. Maybe Hughes and Kuroda switched heads. Only after Hughes tried to switch heads with Tubbo and realized that that particular head may be better off used for medicine balll purposes. 

So I'm in the process of moving, which is the irrefutable excuse for slacking on the posting this weekend. I really think that moving is the #1 reason that trumps all other reasons, for not being able to post. I mean, I'm homeless theoretically so I have to find a place to live pretty soon. My apartment is all packed though, and the storage facility is locked up and all.Now I just need a place to call home!

That said, it's not like I didn't watch any of the games this weekend.

Friday night, though. I feel aleep at 8pm and woke up at 1 then next day. I wish Ohyob still lived in the city. No matter how stressed out I could get about something, he had an uncanny way of placating me.

SO, back to the games.

FATSO IS BACK. returned to snap the Yankees' 3-game skid. Swisher drove in 3 runs. Jeter got beaned, but he was ok. And the Yankees won 3-1 on Friday. I missed all of it, I'm sorry I can't provide more cutting commentary, but I've been a inexplicably exhausted as of late.

On Saturday, the tables were turned, and the Yankees were on the losing end of a 3-1 effort. Kuroda pitched pretty spectacularly, though, despite that little hiccup in the 1st when he gave up a 3-run bomb to Brantley. 3-0 game, and after that, Kuroda pitched a 4-hit game. Yankees had about 192 opportunities to get those runs back, AGAINST THE WORST TEAM IN BASEBALL, but nothing happened.

Tex's sac in the 6th brought it a run, but considering the Yanks spent half the game loading the basese, it was a pretty weak excuse for a run.

So they lose, and the funniest part of Saturday had nothing to do with the Yankees (obviously. Since losing is rarely funny.) The best part of Saturday had to do with the Red Socks completely ridiculous "rebuilding" moves.

See ya, Beckett, A-Gonz, and Crawford.


Sunday's game was the only win I saw this weekend, actually, and it was while I was at my parents' place. My parents, like ohyob, have an uncanny way of destressing me. MOST of the time. There are definitely times when I'll be like, "Man, I'm really worried about the fact my head keeps detaching from my body!" and I'm looking for them to say something like, "Oh, don't worry about it, that happens to everyone every so often."


Moving on. Horrible, tortuous death notwithstanding, the Yankees pulled off the W on Sunday, which included Grandy's 200th career bomb. Also, Kipnis played well, which worked out well for me and other managers who have him on their fantasy team. (3 hits, 3 stolen bases. Good showing, Jason.)

Sorry, that's all I got. I'm coming up on the Blue Jays game soon, anyway. I'm sorry. Let's hope the Jays series hands us a merciful stress-free win. A blowout in the Yankees favor. An easy game would be GREAT. But any win. Any win would be fantastic. Glen Livet. Glen Galley. Any glen, perhaps. Any glen or win will do.

This part of post was written last night, starting at 1am, and then picked up intermittenly between bouts of dozing:

None of the games were really blowouts, by any stretch. The most the Southsiders beat the good guys by was 4.

9-6, 7-3, 2-1. No blowouts. But they might as well have been, from where I was sitting. They looked like the Mighty Ducks taking on Trinidad. (Cheers, Alex L.) The White Sox looked like they had a plan and were executing it. The Yankees looked like Kevin Arnold's garage band ("The Electric Shoes." Awesome.) at their first gig

Everytime the top of the inning rolled around, I half expected the Yankees to start looking around at each other completely panicked and bewildered, like they were in a dream where the curtains were about to raise, and they were all collectively realizing that they didn't memorize any of their lines.

Ok, I'm exagerrating. It is more to point out how seamless everything about the White Sox was, and how strained everything on our end was. Phil Hughes was the losing pitcher tonight, and he really wasn't all that bad, but he did lose, so I'm not too impressed. I mean, it's like March Madness rolls around and ESPN shows the Top Ten Buzzer Beaters and they all look so fantastic, but for my money, the only ones that were REALLY worthy were the ones that won the champtionship game. Because who cares how awesome you were if there were no dividends? No, it's not how you play the game. It's whether you win or lose. Everyone's been so misinformed. (Nice job, Mr. Rice.)

Moving on.. sorry, I'm more than a bit tired right now, having gone on zero hours of sleep for the past 2 nights, and it's starting to take its toll. I'm scared I may just slip into some kind of micronap mid-day at work, and I won't realize I'm asleep, and start doing what I normally do inmy sleep. Which is ramble incessantly. And stick cheese slices on my face. And scoop peanut butter into the sink. Make a sandwich out of whipped cream, proscuitto, and ice cubes.

Argh, focus, asshole. Not you. Me.

So, Hughes was kind of effective but mostly ineffective. He gave up a homerun, as he want to do, and it came off the bat of Alex Rios, as is want to happen.

This is where I resumed writing this morning.

Strange and I watched the 2nd half of game together. He's one of 5 people (at most) who know how to deal with me during baseball games. And he's also THE only person I know who loves 2 teams almost equally. How is that possible? It's "strange," even. (See what I did there?)

So Strange texts me a few innings into the game: "3rd straight night of our announcer ripping us. I'll give you the quotes when I see you." So he comes to meet me at a bar, and it's the first time I've seen him in ever (IN EVER, JERRY. IN EVER.) And he tells me how the announcers can't stop marveling at how sparse the stadium is.

"South Side Sox blog said Ken Singleton nailed the attendance thing - I guess the variable pricing (Tix way more $$ for Yankees, Boston, Angels, Cubs (Which one doesn't belong there??). Still disappointing for a first place squad vs NYY, but I guess it's a sign of the times. These games have had a playoff feel.  I'm sure tonight is no different. Hopefully this is the year they meet in the ALCS - although my head may explode (pause) if that happens."

Um, yes. If the Yanks playing Chicago in the playoffs, the entire city of Manhattan would be on high alert. With Strange and I on opposite ends of the city, it would be like some kind of medival joust.

And this is when I finally got to finish it, at 8:37pm.
Upper East/Lower East Gauntlet
Anyways. The game flew by ("Sorry we picked the one 2-hour game of the season to meet up to watch the game.") And the Yankees lost. Chris Sale was on my fantasy team last year and I remember he was like my go-to "holds" guy (pause?)

And last night he was filth. Pure filth. In the most poetic, paralyzing way possible. The baseball cornered like it was on rails.

And it was both breathtaking and heartbreaking.

Also, Addison Reed? Not a bad looking guy. I'm sorry for the ridiculous brevity of this recap. I'll make it up to you this weekend. A special apology to Strange. Also, a special retraction of the apology because your team swept the Yankees and it was bad.

I was talking to my dad today, and he said he never gets nervous before he gives presentations because if you know your subject matter inside out and backwards, if you're prepared and confident, you can't go wrong.

The White Sox played this series the way my dad does public speaking. The Yankees played this series the way I did high school math tests. You justify not studying with the excuse you can't study for math, you can't memorize math, you don't know what problems you'll be asked to solve.

But there are ways. And not identifying the gaps in your scope of faculties sooner rather than later amounts to painful floundering.

The difference is that at my best, I could never master math. At their best, the Yankees ARE baseball.

You're better than that, guys. Put on some montage music and get back to work!

I need sleep. Or a cheesesteak.

Jughead probably grew up to be either a stud or fat.
I know. I'm really going out on a limb.
I have probably the WORST excuse for not writing the recap of game 1 for the ChiSox series. It's so bad, I'm reluctant to say it, but we're all friends here.

Sigh. I was working from home. Mariano Rivera (the cat) went uncharacteristically bonkers and took a swipe at my face. And cut my nose. And then he started at my feet. So I took him to the vet.

The End.

Apparently you're supposed to take the pet to the vet once a year, but Mo hasn't been to her since 2005. Aka when he was 1 year old.

This is largely do to the fact that the postcards from the vet reminding me to bring him in are in the form of a postcard that'll look something like this.

Fine, that's normal. (Sort of. Kind of creepy and a little Animal Farm-y. Tomato, tomahto.) But then I'll flip the card over and any call-to-action the postcard had put forth, is immediately eclipsed by shrieks of bemused joy:

It just goes to show you the type of all-access info you're privvy to when you join the Yankees Fan Club. Also, I think there's a discount at Modell's.

Anyways. Those games. Those 2 losses against a team that got swept by Kansas. I do like the White Sox though, but this is almost 100% because of Strange. And I only say "almost" because I don't want to later cite a reason I like them, and have someone throw my hyperbole back in my face.

Oh, see I already thought of another reason I like Chicago. Their team has a very discernible heirarchy of power. Not their brass, not their management. But the players. They're like a Broadway ensemble caste, where no one's mad about being Townsperson #4, because he knows that there are no small roles.

Alright, that sad, let's jump into the double digest edition of the first two games of the Southsiders-Bombers series in Chicago.*

*Please excuse gibberish, spelling, and acute departures from coherent thought. I have already found myself sleep writing 3 different times.

Monay, Monday

No more Chicago lovefest, or no justifiable one anyway, as the Yankees blew this text book example of a "shoulda won that one" situation. Roar. Yeah, they should win all of them. But seriously, I say this because Jeter was still doing that whole, "THIS IS THE MOST FUN GAME EVER. I LOVE LIFE! I LOVE ME!" thing where he "silences his critics."

To whom exactly are people referring when they speak of these proverbial "critics." Jeter critics, if they exist, don't publicize it. So how can you silence them?

What all the meant was that Jeter was 4 for 5 with a homer. Typ.

Everyone on the Yankees hit except Z-Pack #2. Also, Christ Stewart and Russell Martin.

You know who also got a hit? Justin Chamberlain. If you couldnt see the shadow puppets his rolls of flubber create every time begins to emerge from the bullpen, you can tell because the score pendulum starts to swing in the opponents' favor.

He kills momentum. And overall pitching robustness..

Am I being too hard on him? Possssssibly. Because I want to say that his pitches didn't look half bad. But what the hell do I know? If he goes over the fence, it's a bad pitch, yeah? I don't know. It looked like it had some kick to them. And I applaud him for cutting down his slider usage in a way that obese people cut down on starch consumption.

That's all I applaud him for, though.

Ok, here's the thing. The Yanks had a nice 3-0 lead and Sweaty Freddy actually was ok. Not like his last start, but decent. As evidenced by the 3-0 score he carried through 5. Then things fell apart, the center couldn't hold, in the 6th.

Sweaty gives up a show to Wise, 3-2. Eppley relieves him with bases loaded. You know who I want in a jam like that? Cody Eppley. (Things no one says ever.)

3-3 game.

It's not his fault, he inherited the mess, which he was probably a little happy about because it meant he could escape a certain degree of culpability.

Then Color Swatch comes in with runners on 1st and 3rd. Lets more in. 3-4. See ya, "cushion."

Chamberlain gets a Rios-on-third situation, and he lets him in. Not his fault, really. Kind of is, but whatever. I'm not up to the part where he is infuriating yet,

But now I am. He gives up a homer to start the inning. Then he whiffs Wise. Then he beans Youkalis.

I like torturing that assclown as much as the next guy, but Joba/Justin doing it annoys me. Like he's trying too hard to remind everyone of his electric youth.

When you develop an infatuation for someone you always find a reason to believe that this is exactly the person for you. It doesn’t need to be a good reason. Taking photographs of the night sky, for example. Now, in the long run, that’s just the kind of dumb, irritating habit that would cause you to split up. But in the haze of infatuation, it’s just what you’ve been searching for all these years.” -Alex Garland, author of The Beach

Similarly, that's how I feel about Joba. Except the exact opposite. He hit one of my least favorite players in the game and I find fault with it. If ever there was stronger proof of my hollow objectivity, this is it.

Strange agreed with me, sort of. In that he texted. "I feel very conflicted about that Joba-Youkilis thing. It was weird."

The Yankees score 3 runs in the bottom of the 6th to come back, but it was short-lived.

It wasn't Joba's fault. But only because other pitches were used earlier than he was. So he didn't have the chance to initially blow the lead. He only had the chance to keep it that way.

Boone Logan and Derek Lowe (Berek Lowgan) each took their turns at giving up a homerun.

The White Sox battered our pen. And then won. Jeter's big night was not a big deal. 6-9. The homeruns abounded. Tough loss.

Tuesday, Tuesday

The Yankees lose again.

This isn't a cute little side-team-you-root-for-for-kicks anymore. Strange somehow roots for both the Yankees and the White Sox with close to equal fervor, except in instances where they play each other. This is confusing beyond the telling of it.

The White Sox are in first place in the central division. Geez. Ollie's right. I really have tunnel vision when it comes to what I pay attention to in baseball. '

And does anyone else think it's funny that Dewayne Wise has been like the game piece of Catch Phrase?

(In searching for a video example of this on the world wide web, I realized that the Pollina family perhaps plays a bit more aggressively than general populace. It's all in vain though, if my Dad and I are the same team, I could say, "cup" and he'd correctly guess "Thomas of Arabia.")

Anyways, you know what else is funny? How Wise is perfectly comfortable with this. It waffles between endearing and sad. When he says, "I'm just really happy to be here," it's not a sound byte.

He's the guy who will never be promoted to boyfriend but still hangs around the object of his affection and dotes on her, because even though he has to watch her endless stream of boyfriends, he's just happy to have some connecting thread to her.

"I mean I'm not going to lie. When you play against a former team you obviously want to go out there and try and do well," Wise said. "I don't think too many people can leave one team that was in first place and come to another one, so I'm pretty blessed and just glad to be here."

Moving on. Loss #2.

Text of the night, from Strange: "Our announcer really giving us the business on the crowd again tonight. I guess bad turnout and mostly yankee fans: "and the yankee fans...that's who's here tonight...applaud"

Jeter hit a homerun in the first pitch of the game. You'd think this would be a good sign. But it's like that scene in Clueless, when everyone is talking about "Tai's brush with death at the mall." And Alicia Silverstone is all, "Well, I know when I was held at gunpoint.." only to get interrupted by someone who wants to hear more about Tai's montage right before dying.

Jeter keeps doing spectacular things only for each accomplishment to be swept in the undertow of a losing effort.

Youkilis is an asshole. He hit a grandslam. Shame on you, Youkilis, for hitting the ball so hard. Also, he's a jackass. To boot. "I think there is a rivalry in the past that I played on and that was blown out of proportion." Oh, really, Kev-O? Really? You think there was a rivalry between the Socks and the Yankees? Or it's possible that he actually just doesn't remember anything that happened longer ago that 7 minutes. H/t to FackYouk, an all-time favorite blog:

In the immortal words of Fack Youk Hall of Famer Matt Taibbi:

Youkilis fighting a middle reliever to a nine-pitch walk looks like a rhinoceros trying to fuck a washing machine.
I dont know what this means, but you have to assume that between this, his uncanny resemblance to Soda Popinksi (cheers, NYSJ), and his general msshapenness--he is likely in a constant stage of being concussed.

Other big hits came from our favorite aw-shucks boy Wise, 4 for 4, and Konerko, who Sterling has once noted "does everything right."

So even though the Yanks staked Nova to an early 2-0 lead, it was gone. Soon after Grandy's grounder that plated Tex in the 2nd, AJ Pierknasalskdja [sic] sac flies in Rios. Konerko does that aforementioned "right" thing.

Tied game. Which I love as long as we're not in playoff season. Adrenaline junkies, the lot of us.

Not for long. Salami. Blows game open. 6-2. Jerk store calls Youkilis to ask about his consignment rates.

R-Mart homers and the difference between an R-Mart ding and a Jeter blast is just that. One's a ding. One's a blast. One sounds like yelps and flying beers. One sounds like a dainty bottle-clinking "Cheers."

Point is, nothing came of it. But..nice shot R-Mart. Good on you.

Beckham threw on what most may term an "insurance run." I don't like this term because all the runs are insurance runs. They help ensure you win the game.

But the Yankees did not win the game. The lost the game, which made them lose a little fat in the cushion between them and Tampa. 4-game lead is, as my dad might say, "a ham sandwich" which is synonymous with anything insignificant. (Which is ironic because for my dad, calling any kind of sandwich "insignificant" is on par with saying, 'It's just a game.")

And now...what has happened to our Super Nova? I mean, he looks generic and inert.

Fortunately, I can't dwell on this concern for too long since Tubbo is starting Friday. I think he just likes the first start off the DL. Because he's a weirdo and likes things that no one else likes. Like asphyxiating humidity and heat. Oh he was a ballerina in the Oakland production of the Nutcracker.

Round Boy must absolutely KILL IT in "Two Truths and a Lie" contests.

See you tomorrow, where I'm sure I'll have scores of White Sox insights from Strange.

And hopefully just scores from the Yanks.

Ustulo plus tua quam adversarium. Numquam moreretur.

It totally is. A sneach. Life is a sneach.
You know what's been missing this season? The "so-and-so isn't a TRUE Yankee" talk.

I mean, the only reason I kind of like that stuff is because it almost always is about A-Rod, and then whenever I hear someone say that about him, I get to counter with talk about the 2009 World Series.

And who doesn't like talking about that? Phillies fans, I guess. But whatever, you know what I mean.

So can we just pretend there was talk about Sneach not being a true Yankee, just so we can all jump up and down and say, WAIT!! HE IS A TRUE YANKEE BECAUSE LOOK WHAT HE DID AGAINST THE SOCKS!

Done. Problem solved. So all you Sneach-isn't-a-real-Yankee-disciples-that-don't-actually-exist...well, he is. Sneach is a pinstriped wackadoo. I'm into it.

Ok, before I jump into the game recap, I want to bring up possibly the funniest sentence the Associated Press has ever written in ever. No, not in ever. Just this season. But maybe in ever. Whatever, it's f'n hilarious:

"I thought Josh had some of the best stuff that he's had in a while," Boston manager Bobby Valentine said, fiddling with a DVD of Les Miserables on his desk.

You know what that reminds me of? This line in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower:"

All interviews say the same thing...'As______gingerly munched her Chinese Chicken Salad, she spoke of love.'"

As Bobby V fiddled with his Les Miz DVD on his desk, he spoke of his delusions.

Also, I like how the AP is going for this symbolism element. Must be an intern writing that copy. Or an English major with big dreams and a big heart.

Or a really bemused AP vet who wants to embarrass Bobby V. I don't really care which one, I just love the apostrophe either way.

So, the Yankees take 2 out of 3 from the Socks. Beckett pitched a great game, if you're looking at it from the side of the Yankees. Or if you're Bobby V, I guess. He only gave up 2 homeruns, which is good for him, but I hope he thinks long and hard (pause) about the fact he gave them up to a guy who's pushing 80, both in terms of lbs. and in terms of years of age.

There is another Japanese guy on the Yankees who, not to be outdone by Sneach, trotted out another sterling performance. 8 innings, 4 hits, 1 run (off the bat of A-Gonz, who hit another homerun. He is basically the Adam Banks of the Socks. Too bad no one can change the territory boundaries in Boston for him, so he can legally jump ship.)

R-So got another save, another shirt pull, and the pitching story for the Yankees was golden.

As for the Socks, well, they remain confident. Beckett thinks that if they play really well and everyone else starts falling down, that they're still right in the thick of things. I guess they figure that since it's already happened to them, that it could happen to anyone. But their "confidence" is on par with this.

So the Yankees take an early lead WAHOO when Grandy doubles in Jeter. Then in the 3rd, Jeter hits a ground rule double. Then after Swish walks, there's a DOUBLE STEAL, which for some reason I think is the biggest slap in the face to the opponents. Almost like swinging at 3-0. Haha, you guys are so bad, we can do things like double steals on your defense!

Next thing you know, we'll be stealing HOME or something.

Which is exactly what Jeter did. Sort of. So, not "exactly," per se. He didn't have to steal. Because Josh gave it to him on a wild pitch. Yankees 2, Playoff Ready Socks 0.

(Also of note in that inning is the fact Beckett intentionally walked Grandy, who's like 1 for 50 in the last month. But the PRS got him out of that slump, and put Grandy's mind at ease. 3 games, 3 home runs. Thanks, Socks.)

With a 2-run lead (which is never safe!), the Yankees head into the 4th and Sneach jacks one over the right field fence. Ha! Good work, new guy! 3-0. Then he does it again in the 6th. Seriously.

Text from Alex R: "Ichiro's trying to fit in. I think he's upset you call him sneachiro!"

God, I hope not. Because I have no intention of putting a cease and desist on that nickname. None, whatsoever. (Sorry, Sneach.)

The best part about Sneach's night might have actually been the next at-bat, the one where he just singled in the 8th. Because he was swinging like he was auditioning for the part of Gary Sheffield's understudy in the Broadway musical. It was insane. And awesome.

He was all giddy too, which is nice to see. I like when people aren't coy about their excitement.

All the Socks could put together was the 1-run from Adam Banks, and the game was a nice neat one to end the series. Kind of un-NYY/SOCKS-like, you know? It was like all the extra time that the Yankees usually spend dealing with Beckett and his annoying-ass molasses-like pitching style, was applied to the Pittsburgh game. 19 innings. Good grief.

I kind of didn't really want the game to end. I mean, it went that long, it's sort of a let down when someone actually scores. I would feel differently, of course, if I was a Pittsburgh fan.

In the DL world, everyone is saying the same thing about their wrists. That it still hurts, but they're hoping to be back soon, etc etc. I have a steal-trap memory when it comes to stuff that happened 12 years ago, but my short-term memory is 100% shot to hell. On more than one occasion in recent times, I've ordered takeout. Then called and ordered takeout. Within 15 minutes, having forgotten I had already just done so.

Point being is that I can only process what's immediately in front of me. Out of sight out of mind, etc. So I haven't been giving much thought to our DL-ers.

Fatso, yeah. Just because he's Fatso and all. And Mariano. Mostly because my cat is a constant reminder of him.

But Tex, Arod, Andy, et al...they're huge, some might even say indispensable. But when the Yankees are winning, I forget they're not here.

I mean that in a good way. I'm liking the team that's doing work. Jeter is hellbent on proving he's not old. Kuroda is hellbent on being just as good as the aces he replaces. (Rhyme!) Sneach hellbent on fitting in with the bomb squad. And Swish just hellbent on doing everything. I love it.

I like hellbent people. Even though it doesn't have the best connotation. WELLHELLBENT. There ya go.

Great series. 2 out of 3's better than 1 out of 3. (Math!) Yankees head out to Chi-town to play the Southsiders, who are actually also in first place. Well, this should be a good series! Provided the Yankees win. Which they will. I want vengeance for June 28.

Noli respicere post tergum. Sunt reportando in vos.

It was a stupid game.The Yankees lost. I got into arguments with Red Socks fans. Lester was effective. The Yankees were not.

A-Gonz hit a 2-run blast off Phelps in the 1st, and we're already in the hole 2-0. But I didn't think it would stay like that, I figured they'd eventually throw Lester off the TriBoro bridge.

But it never happened.

Ciriaco should be illegal. He shouldn't be allowed to play against the Yankees because that little pip squeak was 4 for 4 against us, which means that his average against the Yankees is roughly 1.230 or something. Actually it's a little over .500, which is basically the same thing.

The only "interesting" part of the game really was the fact there were these 2 names on Boston I have NEVER heard of before, they weren't even really Boston-y names. They were more like KC names. I don't know why, exactly, but don't Craig Breslow and Ryan Lavarnway sound very Luke Hochvar and Everett Teaford-y? They do.

So these two strange names become the first all-Yale battery ever, or ever since the 1880's. Which cracks me up, because I'm imagining the battery from 1883 up doing afterlife stuff and thinking, "Well, I'll be damned. There goes our 1 claim to fame. WAIT. No, I was just kidding about being damned!!!"

But you know what REALLY cracks me up? Guess what Breslow was doing at Yale. He was majoring in molecular biophysics and biochemistry.


And now he's a reliever for a joke of a team.

If you're THAT smart, that you got into Yale, and not only did you get into Yale, but you're majoring in 2 of the most challenging subjects known to academia, how in God's name do you parlay that into a professional baseball career? And why? I can't decided whether his parents are really proud or disappointed.

Maybe it's like the equivalent of a really smart girl who marries a rich investment banker before she even graduates college. She's well off and set, but see ya potential!

Lavarnway was a philosophy major. I'm sure those 2 ran in the same circles. Nope.

You think maybe Boston purposefully brought that two geniuses on the team, in an effort to do damage control on their beer-and-friend-chicken image? It's like, "SEEEE??? We're the SMART team now. We do crossword puzzles in the dugout, like Mike Mussina. But we also do things like Fermat's Last Theorem. And logs. And matrices."

(And then Lavarnway pipes in with, "And Walden! Don't forget Walden pond and Kierkergard and Oliver Wendell Holmes!")

Ahh, OWH. We had to memerize a poem of his when I was in a sorority. Yeah, sororities are weird. AOT.

Anyways, no more math talk, even just writing about it is making my head spin.

The only run the Yanks could muster up was a bomb from Granderson. All in all, they were 0 for 9 with RISP.Yikes.

I don't know if it really matters how the Socks scored the other 2 runs, seeing as the Yanks only scored 1, and you're not gonna win a lot of games with only 1 run. According to Baseball Reference, there have been 364,258 games played since 1901. (That number seems low, maybe I didn't do it right.)

Then I looked up all the 1-0 games from 1901 to 2012. I'm not kidding. It took a while. And then I added them all up, and got 4,308.

Which would mean that in baseball history, only 1.2% of games were won when the team scored only 1 run.

If I got that right, I'm so so so proud of myself. Look at all that math!

Anyways, I don't know why I just tortured myself like that.

Probably because there isn't a whole lot else to say about the game, since the Yanks only scored 1 run. I got into an argument with some Red Sock fan at the Frying Pan, who said "Gay-Roid" sucks, and you can "know everything you need to know about how much he sucks by looking at pictures of him slapping the ball out of 1B's hand."

To that, I shoved my phone in his face and said, "WHAT CAN YOU TELL FROM LOOKING AT THIS PICTURE THEN?"

I knew bookmarking that gif would come in handy someday.

The Yankees played like they wanted to remind the Socks with whom they were dealing.

"Just to drive the point home, this is how we score." I was going to say "this is how we drive the point (and baserunners) home," but then I remembered that there weren't a whole lot of extra base hit ribbies. Just solo bombs. For the record, I'm 100% on board with this methodology. Screw manufacturing runs.

The numbers on the score board amassed in the Yankees favor. How is that NOT manufacturing runs? I'm adding that phrase to my list of banned baseball terms. Because it doesn't make sense unless you define "manufacturing" as "scoring in the least economical way." Where does it say that creating runs precludes the avenue of long balls? I'll tell you where. NO WHERE.

So...good on you, Yankees, for manufacturing more runs that the Playoff Ready Socks.

(I'm sorry, but I'm still not over Bobby V confidently asserting the Socks are, indeed, playoff contenders. For some reason, it reminds me of this guy my sister saw on the subway, who was wearing a tshirt that said "I'm a High Roller," and he was muttering to himself while counting on fingers. What exactly he was counting was unclear, but this element of the scene was eclipsed by the fact he was saying, "Yeah...yeah! I AM a high roller! Wait, no....ok, maybe I'm a low roller. Yeah, high- ...Okay. Wait. No, I'm definitely a middle..? No, probably a high roller." And like Bobby V, this was always done in the same non-ironic manner. This is why I love New York, and always why I hate it. No one is normal.)

Anyways, the PRS lost to the NYY, but it was a close one. Swish has been stunning this season, really just jaw-droppingly effective. But I'll get to that. You know what a premium I put on coherent, sequential narration. Nope. But I'm working on it. Also, not true. Whatever, giddy up.

Phil Hughes miraculously got the win. It's funny how the box score looks like a typo, since there's a big donut in the ER column. And anyone who didn't watch the game is thinking, "what a lazy editor! The score was 4 to 6! Kids. Always cutting corners."

(I will never cease to be fascinated by people who don't watch the game yet are interested in what the score was. I mean, it's one thing to not watch the game becaure you're just plain UNABLE to, but it's another thing to be at home doing a puzzle or something, and then the next morning you read about the game. Why not just watch it? But what's REALLY bananas is when this happens during the playoffs, and I'll be outside of Dorrians freezing while honoring the CYC-watches-game-from-outside-because-the-Yankees-scored-first-playoff-run-that-way-and-you-can't-argue-with-that-airtight-logic superstition. And someone will come up to me and be like, Hey, who won the Yankee game? "IT'S THE PLAYOFFS, WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST WATCH IT IF IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO YOU TO KNOW THE SCORE?" Annnd...this is why my last date was circa the Reagan administration.)

Oh my God, I can't believe how far I'm getting from the game. Ok. Levelset.

So in the 1st inning, Swish homered. The in the 2nd inning, Grandy and Martin went belly-to-belly, almost pitch-to-pitch-belly-to-belly, which is like a straight flush, I think. In the span of 3 pitches, the Yankees were up 3-0.

Then the 3rd inning happened. What a magical night. Lightening and thunder. It looked very "The Natural"-y. If "The Natural" was remade in 2012 with Jim Carey taking Robert Redford's role. And this was replaced with this.

Hughes had 4 unearned runs because he made a throwing error, so even when he pitches well, he throws poorly. What a weirdo!

I don't get why Pedroia's homerun isn't counted as earned though. I mean, yeah, I dislike the small fry as much as the next guy, but just because he shouldn't have been even batting in the first place doesn't mean he didn't EARN that fence-clearing shot. He hit it hard. It went far. I'd say that's well-deserved.

But I guess since Hughes threw into the outfield and let everyone in the whole world score (Aviles, Ciriaco, and Kind of Jacob-like), it doesn't count? It's not like that double-play would have ended the inning. So who's to say that the Socks wouldn't have had the same run rally with 2-outs, instead of none?

There seems to be some a little tortious about this whole thing. Like Hughes' act of throwing into center field instead of 1st, where he SHOULD be throwing, has indirectly caused harm and hence makes him liable. I'm watching too much Law & Order.

In more Bobby V-trying-out-for-the-part-of-Ozzie-Guillen-in-the-Made-for-TV-movie news, he says that the Socks let Hughes "off the hook" after "having him on the ropes." Thanks, Bob. We appreciate you and your men taking it easy on us. Let us know when you're going to play at full strength, yeah?

So after this mess of a 3rd inning when no one knew exactly what the hell had just happened, the Yankees are losing. And boy, were we mad! Mostly at Hughes because that STUPID move is gonna cost us the game!

BUT THEN, in the 5th, Jeter hit a homerun, and the fact that he tied up the game with that shot was awesome, but in terms of the grade of awesome it was, his reaction was a pretty close second.

He basically was like, Nyah, nyah. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. I never hit homeruns? Really? REALLY? Well, what do you call what I did tonight? Yeah. That's what I thought.

But, yeah, if there were any questions about homerun hitting, Crawford spells it out for us: "This is definitely a park where they hit a lot of homeruns." Totally, Carl.

Nix drove in McGehee in the 6th, and Swish went yard from the other side of the plate in the 7th. For good measure. He smiled a lot when he rounded the bases.

D-Rob and R-So brought us home, with more scorelessness (cheers to Grandy for a saving a run).

Annnd the Yankees won against the Socks and Morales. It's very telling how little Morals [sick] [sic x2] come into play with that team.

Saturday's grame features Lester v. Phelps. This should be interesting. As it always is with the GREATEST RIVALS IN SPORTS!

Some sun-is-rising-time-for-bed-see-you-in-11-hours parting words:

Facientes opus, Yanks. Fac eos clamabo.

You know what saying is really applicable to the series finale loss?

"You can't win them all."

It's true. You can't. Isn't that weird? No one is undefeated in anything. In significant sized sample pools, anyway. At my last job, I was at a happy hour and there was a new, young art director there, and the first words out of her mouth were "I've never lost a beer pong game in my life." But that was impossible. HOWEVAH, I also thought it was impossible for first impressions to be rendered completely immaterial, but she threw that preconceived notion out the window, too. (Cheers, Lindsay! I miss you and Team Grapefruit Bullet.)

Anyways, back and forth the game went this afternoon. Which is pretty much the worst way a day game can go, unless you took off work to actually see it. If it's a blow out either way, then that's just a little gift from the baseball gods. Like when my mom comes back from TJ Maxx with whatever impulse item was stragetically positioned near the checkout for consumers just like my mom, and she retrofits an unmet need into the purchase when she lovingly surprises me with it: "Do you have any interest in a pink whale that opens bottles? Thought you might so I picked it up for you." I love her.

Similarly, when there's a crazy scoring disparity in a day game, it's like the baseball gods are working around our work schedule. Like they know we're in a status meeting so they just go all crossing guard on the game, holding their arms up and putting the kabosh on excitement until we're back at our desks and can pur the game on in the background.

Conversely, when there's a textbookk case of a nip and tuck game (why does nip and tuck mean back and forth?), then it's just kind of cruel. Obviously, we can't follow the game in any dedicated fashion, so putting us in the position of squirming around in a conference room wondering what happened since the last time we saw the score, and it was 2 on with 1 out and the tying run on deck..well, what a bitch!

The Yankees lost, as I disovered very flatly after I returned to my desk. There were post-its indicating urgency and a computer screen indicating a final score of 10-6. Grumble grumble.

Nova struggled again, and maybe I'm getting a little nervous that the bloom has fallen from the rose? Maybe. I'm not really going to harangue Nova too much though (ps, harangue sounds too much like harass, and their definitions aren't that different, which seems dumb. Like making the 2 main characters in Liar Liar look identical for no real reason. Or like naming the Super Bowl "The Super Bowl" when its origin actually stems from a Super BALL.)

And the reason I'm not going to lemon merengue harangue Nova is because why would I do that when I have Justin Chamberlain back in the mix? Plus Nova was shaky, not abysmal. 5.2 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs. Besides, the Yankees made up those runs in the 5th, when they came back from 4-0 to just realllly needle (reedle?) Pocket Protector. Which is not to be confused with a Lead Protector. (So many times people confuse the two.) Derek Holland was not protecting anything. 

He actually didn't fare much better or worse than Nova. 5.2 IP, 5 hits, 5 runs. Except he whiffed one more than Nova. Gave up 1 more homerun than Nova. And walked 4 less than Nova. 4BBs?? See, this is what I was talking about yesterday. Sweaty Freddy pitches like him and Fatso got involved in some kind of "Vice Versa"/"Like Father, Like Son" plot. And today Nova pitches like he's mildly concussed and forgot that he's supposed to be our little plucky pistol of a starter. 

The offenses on both sides were comparable. Not THAT comparable, as evidenced by the score, but you know what I mean. The Rangers finally looked more Ranger-like. Not REALLY that Ranger-y, but more so than they have for the past week. I mean, they're playing the telephone booth sized stadium, and not a one homerun. Not even from the Almighty Josh Hamilton, who went 2 for 4. Also, he did drugs at one point in his life but he's so bravely cleaned up his act. 

Everyone on Texas got a hit, actually, except for Mitch Moreland, and that really just sounds like the name of a guy who'd be the one who didn't get a hit, you know? No chance lance someone named Geovany Soto is going to be the odd man out in anything. David Murphy, maybe. I could see someone groaning something like, "Oh GREAT, look who's here. The Murphster." 

But no, the Murphster was firmly entrenched in the hit party, going 3 for 5 with 2 ribbies. Gentry and Beltre each chipped in 3 ribbies of their own. So...Bentre had 6 RBIs. 

I'm gonna use one of my favorite Dad lines here, in regards to Boone Logan and Justin Chamberlain: "Everything's all screwed up now." My dad is NOT discriminating in what he applies this exclamation of frustration to. It usually refers to their circa turn of the centry IBM computer that he attributes a lack of functionality to the "kids coming home and doing all that downloading." Or "Everything's alll screwed up now" can be uttered when he sees there's no more olive oil in the house, if he misplaces the remote, or if he loses his Magic Penny.

I am going to use it to drive home my contempt for the Return of Joba. "Everyhing's all screwed up now." Ok, yeah, he didn't really lose the game for us all on his own or anything. I mean, think of it this way: in a little over 3 innings, 4 pitchers gave up just as many runs as one  starter did in over 5 innings. Eppley, Boone, Justin, and Color Swatch all gave up at least 1 run a piece. And that amalgamation of bullpen deflation was the undoing for the Yankees.

Not their hitting, because that was just great. 10 hits, 3 of which came from Sneach. The rest of the team, eh their numbers don't look good for the game, but I thought overall the bats appeared to be hittting on the screws, etc. (Pause? Is that a pause? Where's Strange when I need him.)

A few other items of the game worth mentioning:

Poor Mike Olt. Not because of his name. But because he is a rookie and dropped a can of corn. He is 100% paying people on the street to crack eggs on his head right now, as a form of punishment. What, that's what everyone does when they feel guilty, right? No? Maybe he's not doing that then. I don't know what he's doing.

Andruw Jones batted clean-up for the first time ever, and it was a very Maddon-y move for Girardi. He's been channeling Maddon more and more these days. Maybe it's like when Shooter McGavin tried to do Happy Gilmore's crazy slapshot golf swing. You're in the lead, but you got a threat closing in on you, and you panic a little so you decide to beat him at his own game. Let's just see how effective this quirky methodology REALLY is. 

But no, Joe. Don't do it. Maddon is like that quote about juries. You put your fate in the hands of 12 people who weren't even smart enough to get out of jury duty. Don't put your stock in someone who wasn't even smart enough to invest in lasik, and/or wasn't even smart enough to make a demand on MLB larger than hoodie sweatshirt acceptance. (Be more Belichik-y. Gross.)

Jones homered though, so maybe it was a good move, except he also struck out to crush a rally and the last hope of taking the lead back for good. He homered and Beltre goes all linebacker style when the miniscule football refs are trying to peel off layers of players on a loose-ball pile up. 

And all the guys who aren't in the mosh pit are jumping up and down and frantically pointing to their side of the field, as if the refs gonna be like, "Oh, wait, it's your ball? Cool, thanks for the heads up." Beltre starts pointing foul foul foul, except video replay revealed its true nature, which was a ding. Thanks, video replay. For ruining the game. But not in that case. That case was good, I guess. 

(Only time I really loved the replay with every fiber of my being was during Game 3 of the World Series in 2009, when Arod hit a camera and it was ruled a HR. They should have stopped with the video stuff after that. It did its job. Now, go.)

Alright, back to to the crushing of the momentum that occurred when Jones struck out to end the 7th. That was just momentum he crushed. Not our chances of winning, really. He just HURT the chances of regaining lead. Justin was the one who took those crushed up hope particles away from those armed and ready with Krazy Glue, all ready to put shit back together...and Justin went ahead and thew them in a mortar and pestled the shit out of 'em. 

I think he probably throws the hardest when it's hopes going into a mortar, or when it's Phiten-empowered baseball going through a brick wall.

So there you have it. Now it's time to host the Red Socks and their circus of freaks. Wait, actually, what are they positioning themselves as now? Are they still idiots? Or are they a playoff team still in contention? Or just rebels without a cause but with a penchant for BL smoothies?

Their franchise's brand personality is possibly the only thing less crystallized than the structure of the Yankees pitching.

But, you know, our problem is better. Because the Red Socks are bad at everything. Even having problems.

Lastly, speaking of problems, there were sooo many opportunities for great hyperlinking and I couldn't do any of it, because even when an ipad has a little keyboard attached to it, it's not a laptop. And try to copy and paste and move things around...well, the ipad basically said, "You want comfortable, go to Betty. You want hot, stay with Veronica."

(Update 11:51am: Hyperlinks are IN, man.)

Alright, good luck on the weekend opener against the biggest rival in sports history! Excitement!

Recipiet, amentibus. In Yankees sunt onustos enim ursus, parati sanguinem. (Vestrum. Non nostra.)

"That Guy" being the pitcher who isn't dealing. Serf Felix (ok, fine. KING. Whatever) pitched a perfecto, whiffing12 and being generally filthy in all senses of the word, except in the sense that connotes literal filth. One sense of the word he was being filthy. The sense that isn't the actual definition, I guess.

Sweaty Freddy had his own version of a perfect game, which is to say that he didn't throw 19 wild pitches and pantomime a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man, amid trying to get outs.

It was pretty absurd. Seriously. It was like watching this, sort of. Without the tugs-at-your-heart-strings element. And without the inspiring testament to the goodness of humanity. Pretty much the only element that it mirrored was the "if it wasn't documented on video, I wouldn't believe it" element. I'm really overshooting today in terms of multiple layers of analogies thing.

The Yankees won again. WAHOO. Against (again) the BEST OFFENSE! Not really though. Hamilton IS their offense. Did you know that Hamilton used to do drugs? And now he's clean and is really making something of himself? I didn't. That b-side story needs to be trotted out more.

And by that, I mean that I think Hamilton's triumph over personal demons is right up there with Julio Franco's age, Wakefield's knuckleball, Jeter's avoidance of arguing with umps, and Sean Casey's role as "the nicest guy in the game," in terms of boilerplate comments that must be announced during each respective player's camera time.

Hamilton scored all the points. Both of them. "Two mistakes" as they call it. (If you're a Yankee fan. If you're a Texas fan, then you probably call it, "two runs from a guy who clawed his way to the top.")

Cano was out with a sore neck or something like that, but as Alex R. astutely pointed out, it may have something to do with some kind of cartoonish whiplash thing that occurred, upon hearing about Melky's scandalous roiding revelation.

What were you thinking, Melky? Is it because you don't have the influence of Cano around? You wanted to impress him? Grr. You know what that was, Melk? MALO.

And you know who your first supporters were? MY PARENTS.
Kay: "Look at that! Melk and rookies hit the spot! Now
that's a clever sign.."
So basically the big bad evil empire, the guys who only win because they buy their team, won against the big bad offense from the south, with the likes of a lineup absent of A-Rod, Cano, Fatso, Mo...etc.

The only normal guy in the infield really was Jeter, since Tex was DHing.

R-So got Hamilton out for his 29th save, and Hamilton didn't tie the game, like he could've. So what good were your homeruns for, huh? None good.

Sweaty Freddy, I just learned, has an anemic ERA when it comes to the Rangers. Seriously, apparently he hasn't lost to them in ever. ("In EVER, Jerry. In EVER.") How is that possible? Nothing NOTHING about the Yankees' pitching makes sense. Ever.

I mean, I'm not complaining, but it's like this. Or this. Or that weird game in college some law school students tried to rope me into, something called Kosai Bull Fighting, where you were supposed to run full speed down a hall and dive head-first into a big top hat that someone would be holding, like a matador.

There's no point in trying to assign logic to it. You can't follow it, there's no precedent. And it's impossible to try to find a pattern.

That's the Yankee pitching situation. But unlike Kosai Bull Fighting, it seems to be working out. KBF, on the other hand, never seemed to produce a winner.

You know who else has been stellar? Swisher. Yeah. He gets so many hits. He's like the guy in a beirut game who hits all the cups in the beginning of the game to put you in the lead. Not that he misses all of 'em at the end.

But he's just explosively productive early on, and a great asset when it comes to taking pressure off the other player. (cough...Ollie...cough. Ollie and I have won about 2 games ever. He hits all the cups. I miss all of them. But he takes the pressure off me at least.)

Swish's ribbie double, Chavez's ribbie single, and Grandy's sac fly were all the Yanks needed. Kinsler did nothing for his team except get ejected. I'm pretty sure he hasn't had a hit yet this series. I keep thinking I'm going to see "A stat correction has been applied to Ian Kinsler" every time I check my fantasy roster, but no, he's just 000000000. Zeros and uselessness abounding.

There was also a lot of jam-getting-out-of during this game, for both Sweaty Freddy and Not Corey Feldman. It was pretty impressive, more so for Freddy though since he is not exactly what I would call a maintains composure pitcher. He managed to back out of trouble when there was all this activity going on in the 4th inning.

The relievers Boone, D-Rob and R-So were perfect, so profesh looking, you know? Like they were coming on the field knowing they were better than their opponents. How f'n badass. I don't know if they really thought that, probably not, but that's how they looked, and that's how they pitched.

As the score would indicate, they were right. Or, weren't wrong. Whichever.

Hell, end a dork. That's what Derek Holland's name spells. He pitches tomorrow against Nova, who will ideally, in act, end the dork.

This is Derek Holland. Seriously.


Quidquid tua adversarius ponit in, elevate eam.

It's not as if he totally came out of nowhere, really. But for whatever reason, I look at the Yankees starters like this:
Everyone else

Sweaty Freddy obviously gets no credit for anything ever, other than coming within spitting range of the strike zone. Nova keeps plugging away. Hughes is as about as reliable as a Ollie Blacuweather forecast.

And then there's Kuroda.

Who pitched a 2-hit CG last night.


Against one of the best offenses in the league.

Yeah, we all saw that coming. Nope.

But why haven't we? That's the real weird part of it all. There's not a whole lot of reason we should be surprised, given his pattern of efficacy. Remember that.

Yes, yes. Pat-tern. Patt-ern. My friend Pat took a turn. That's how I remember that.
Remember, it isn't just a pattern, It's a pattern of disrespect, and inappropriate behavior.
Disray .My friend Disray got news specs. Disray spect. My friend Inappro drives a Prius with his behind neighbor.

Anyways, so the Yankees win AGAIN! Swish and Tex went back to back or belly to belly, whatever. (Cheers to "Apoorplayer" who cleared up the whole where-the-hell-does-belly-to-belly come from question.)

Not only was it possibly the best pitching of the year from the Yankees (yeah, Girardi agrees with this, so it isn't just me being hyperbole-y), but it was a no-hitter through 7. Those are so stressful. Even more so when you're following the game via radio, when CBS announcers aren't as graceful about this situation.

You know, YES announcers will be a little more savvy when it comes to these delicate jinx situations. Usually because there's an ex-ballplayer in the booth who reveres these types of things. HOWEVAH, Sterling and Suzyn are a little more excitable about things. Which I love about them, normally, but not when the whole world of Yankee-cheering listeners are praying for everyone to keep their pieholes shut.

The tension/no-hitter was broken up vy Andrus, and I wonder if Jayson Nix feels bad about that. It wasn't an error by any stretch, but there WAS a bit of ball-bobbling on his end and he threw a Knoblauch-y airmail that wasn't going anywhere good. BUT, I think Nix needs to realize he kept the ball in the infield. Also, the Yankees won. So who cares.

Actually, I don't think there were more than 2 or 3 balls that left the infield. It's tough to guesstimate here given the highfarcaught-penchants of our beloved Sterling, but I'd bet a lot of money that it was definitely no more than 5. Kuroda was, indeed, dealing.

Matt Harrison, who was on the All-Star team, didn't get it done. He was okay, but like I said yesterday, Harrison pitches in the Yankees wheelhouse. He isn't one of those newfangled crazy off speed pitchers that tend to paralyze the Yanks' bats. No, he is more than hittable. Not that the score really indicated that (3 runs ≤ a lot of runs).

But still. Cano, Jones, Sneach, and Grandy were hitless, but the top and bottom of the lineup were hit-ful. Like I said, the Yankees won, so I'm not about to start analyzing the significance of this. Of which there is none.

Sometimes, SOMETIMES, I'm a little too much of a bottom line person. Which gets annoying when I'm at meetings at work and we all sit down, and before anyone can open his or her mouth, I immediately ask, "ok when is it due?"

Similarly, there's "Did the Yankees win or lose?"

In this case, the answer is WIN.

And like almost everything else that comprises my genetic makeup, my dad's coding is very evident in this type of behavior.

(Phone conversations with my dad: “What’d you do this weekend?” “Well, I hung out with Ollie, and—“ “Ok, I get the gist of it. I’m gonna take a nap now.”)
Kuroda said through a translator that he ALSO is a bottom line guy! Common interests!

"A complete game or a shutout is not really important here. The most important thing is for the team to win, and that's what we accomplished today, and that's why I'm happy."

Awww, we're happy, too!

Yankees moved a game ahead of the O's and Tampa, but 6 is still not as fat a distance as I'd like. (100 is, but I don't know if that's possible.)

Like Patrick Bateman said, "You can never be too thin."

Except, the opposite of that when it comes to baseball division leads. Also, when it comes to our favorite starter.

Speaking of American Psycho, since my cat's birthday is RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, it should be mentioned that his claim to fame is being the cat that is fed to an ATM.

always confused
Also, that's 100% not true at all. But it makes for a great ice breaker. Or a great way to repel any potential person who toyed with interest in talking to me.

The Red Socks lost last night, btw. Hehe.

Kuroda is now 2nd in wins for pitchers born in Japan. I hate stats like this. Why isn't there a running list of white pitchers or something? It's ridiculous. You're a pitcher. Your nationality isn't important. Your ERA is.

See? Bottom line stuff. And I don't care if Kuroda isn't anywhere CLOSE to first (Nomo has 123, our boy has 52), because last night, Kuroda was so good that you'd get goosebumps watching it. Seriuosly. I love watching players perform like that.

It's like what the Olympics is, if you're into the Olympics. But unfortunately, trampoline jumping ousted baseball from the Olympic lineup (this isn't true, but I'm running with it), and in the wake of the Olympics being dunzo for another few years, Kuroda pitched like a champ.

One day at a time.

Manere fortis. Manere acue. Manere mundus.

I had actuallly originally wrote "An Auswishious start." You know, like Swish and Auspicious blended together. But I thought it sounded a little too Third-Reich-y, etc.

Third Reich sounds like Third Strike though, so we're full circle and right back in the more wholesome world of baseball.

What a weird game it was last night. Phelps started the game, and even though he has a perfectly normal name and there shouldn't be any confusion about his identity, I can't help but think of the Phelps of the Michael persuasion OR think of some kind of a poor man's D-Rob.

Great, now there's a pitcher I mix up with D-Rob. Let's just break down the Yankee nomenclature, and you'll see why my head spins a lot:

Cory Wade
Clay Rapada
Cody Eppley
Chad Qualls*

David Phelps
David Robertson

Boone Logan
Derek Lowe

Eric Chavez
Raul Ibanaez
Eduardo Nunez*





*Not on Yankees' active roster, but bolsters my case.

Basically that leaves Jeter, Grandy, Jones, Casey McGehee, and Kirudo to hang out with each other and marvel over their distinctive names. I do and I don't want to be invited to that happy hour.

Anyways, um, YOU'RE WELCOME for delineating the Yankees phonetically.

Last night's game:

Swish hit a grand slam, and I'm pretty sure he hits at least one a week. Elias Sports Bureau confirms this is true, ie confirms that he has hit 2 this year. The Yankees actually have hit more than everyone (9) else though, so my hyperbole tendencies are not that unjustified.

Phelps and Lowe split up the game, and no one in the world knows exactly who comprises the Yankees' starting rotation. Similarly no one in the world knows who is a starter vs a reliever. It's awesome.

It's exactly how I always envisioned my fantasy world of baseball to be: less MLB-y, more little league-y. A gaggle of pitchers that pitch whenever the coach wants 'em to, not necessarily when their job description tells 'em too. ALL HANDS ON DECK. NO JOB TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL.

Phelps picked off 2 batters, (Andy? Andy who?) and he was excited because that meant he had to throw fewer pitches. He must have been NEEERRRR-VOUUUUS. So was Lowe. Seriously. Lowe was scared that all the Yankee fans weren't going to like him because of that whole 2004 thing.

I think he bounced around to enough teams in between 2004 and 2012 for us (me, anyway) to put 2 and 2 together. Also, I don't remember Derek Lowe damning us. He was just there when it happened.

Pretty good work.

I DO remember when Alan Embry joined the Yankees. I did boo him. Just because.

Dempster didn't pitch so well, and he was REALLY defensive about it. "Whatever, it had NOTHING to do with the move from the NL to the AL. It just had to do with the fact that I'm used to having a pitcher at the bottom of the order, and now I have to pitch to actual batters." That's essentially what he said. Yeah. Nothing at all to do with the NL vs AL.

Not great work.
Chavez went deep, Sneach tripled, Jeter had hits. Everyone had a hit actually, except for Cano and Grandy. Considering the Yanks were playing the best offense in the league, it was more than an impressive outting.

The only homerun the Rangers could must was off the bat of David Murphy,who I ALWAYS mix up with Daniel Murphy. This perpetual mix-up rarely affects my life in any significant way, though.

The Yankees are only 5 games ahead of Tampa, 6 on the O's (Sweet Christ), and then excessive amounts ahead of Bobby Valentine's Playoff Team, and the Jays.

The best records in baseball predictably belong to the Nationals and the Reds. Of course. That's normal.

I hope the Yankees keep up this offensive fire tonight (well, forever, really. Why not? In terms of irrational wishes, go big or go home.) But by the same token, I also want the Yankees to save something for the swim back, aka the weekend series against Boston.

Lauren disagrees with me, she doesn't think people should ever save anything for the swim back. From a 2009 playoff recap:

"Have you ever seen Gattaca?" my sister asked, during our somber Game 5 recap.
"Um. Oh. Yeah. With Halle Berry?"
"Huh?'re thinking of Gothika. Wait, you've seen Gothika?"
"Then why did you say--ok, nevermind, the point is, there's this part in the movie where these 2 guys, who always have these swimming competitions with each other, are like treading water in the middle of the ocean, and one guy says, 'How did you do it? How do always, always beat me?' and the other guy says, 'You know how I did it? I never saved anything for the way back.'"

Anyways, Gothika stuff aside, let's just score more runs than the Rangers do. Matt Harrison takes the mound for Texas tonight, against Kuroda. I think the Yankees will win, because Matt Harrison pitches RIGHT in the Bomber's wheelhouse. No funny business.

Keep it up.

Ledo pila dura. Ustule magis currit. Simplex.

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