Yankees Win; Baking in the Bleachers; Thoughts on Steinbrenner

“The other sports are just sports.  Baseball is love” ~ Bryant Gumbel, 1981

Joba Chamberlain does not play soccer.

Sunday found your humble blogger at Yankee Stadium as the Yankees took on the Tampa (Devil) Rays in the rubber game of a three game series.  The Yankees started Andy Pettitte  (11-2 2.70 ERA) and the (Devil) Rays started David Price (12-5 2.84 ERA).

As the game started the Yankees flashed a statistic on the scoreboard to the effect that Andy Pettitte is 900-0 in day games with a 0.00 ERA.  This can mean only one thing – he’ll be knocked out early.  And so it was. The Rays scored first as Andy gave up three runs in the first thanks to a B.J. Upton lead off double, Evan Longoria being hit by a pitch and Carlos Pena hitting a home run.  The Yankees got 2 back in the bottom of the first after a Nick Swisher double, a Mark Teixeira walk and a Robinson Cano bases clearing triple.  3 -2 Rays after one.

Andy Pettitte left the game in the top of the third with tightness in his left groin.  But at least he got to talk to respected Yankee beat reporter Kim Jones Respected sports reporter Kim Jonesafter the game about it.  Hey, I’ve been trying to talk to her for years about my groin. What makes Andy so special?

Andy did mention a “burning sensation” in his groin.  Careful Andy.  Could be syphilis.

The Yankees tied the score in the bottom of the third when Teixeira singled in Derek Jeter.  Yankees 3 – Tampa Bay 3 after three.

The Yankees broke it open with 4 runs in the bottom of the fifth as Jeter singled in Brett Gardner, AROD singled in Derek Jeter and Posada doubled in AROD and Cano.  7 -3 Yankees after five.

The Yankees scored again in the bottom of the sixth when Nick Swisher singled in Curtis Granderson.  8 – 3 Yankees after six.

Tampa Bay got a run back when Gabe Kapler homered to deep left in the top of the seventh.  The Yankees countered with AROD’s 598th career home run to the Rays bullpen in the bottom of the inning.  9 – 4 Yankees after seven.

Tampa scored their final run in the top of the ninth.  Final score:  Yankees 9 Tampa Bay  5.

Notes on the game:

It was an oppressively hot and humid day in New York.  Those of us in the bleachers were in the sun the entire time, baking and perspiring and turning a nice lobster red. At one point the woman sitting next to me burst into flames.  Her last words were “Oh my God I’m on fire!  I regret nothing.  Nick Swisher I love you!”

In honor of George Steinbrenner, all those sitting in the bleachers were optioned off to Triple A Scranton Wilkes-Barre before the game.

This past week the Yankees lost Steinbrenner and long time P.A. announcer Bob Sheppard.  Since everything comes in threes people were naturally wondering who would be the next Yankee to die. Well, always eager for publicity, Reggie Jackson graciously agreed to be killed in a tragic accident involving a basset hound and a tube of K-Y Jelly.

The Mets proudly play “Sweet Caroline” to pump up their crowds and love to ask Yankee fans why we don’t have a song.  Well, I’d like to suggest “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails as our song.  And, with a few alterations in the lyrics it could be an very appropriate commentary on our oft-injured DH Nick Johnson.

I hurt myself today

Which is why I haven’t been in the lineup since May

Speaking of which I now present the updated Nick Johnson injury watch:

While rehabbing Johnson was arrested for loitering and sentenced to hard labor on a chain gang.  Well, his big mouth and attitude did not sit well with the head of the labor camp who said that he and Nick had a “failure to communicate.”   Nick got sick after swallowing 50 eggs.  Then was shot to death when cornered in a barn.  Yankeee officials are confident that this will not delay his eventual return to the team.

Best heckle of the game:

As you know, Joba Chamberlain has had his struggles this year.  Seeing as he is part American Indian (I refuse to use the term native American) as Joba was warming up in the bullpen I shouted to him, “Hey, Joba, remember the Trail of Tears?  We did it before we can do it again to your people so pitch well!”  Joba must have heard me because he pitched well, striking out three and giving up only one run.  So Joba’s people, for now, get to stay on their reservation, er, I mean their ancestral homeland they’ve lived on since the Pre Columbian era.

Reader mail:

M.B. of Brooklyn writes, “Hello from St. Lucia.  I got married!”

You got married?  During the baseball season?  During the Yankees season?  What are your priorities?  True love or the Yankees? This kind of irresponsible and feckless behavior can only result in a brilliant and successful career in publishing.

Venerable Bede writes “Prayers are hindered by conjugal duty.”  

So……I’m guessing you got rid of the wife so you can watch the Yankees?  Smart man.

W.J.J.B. of Florida writes, “We sat and talked of revolution.  Just like two liberals in the sun.”


John Paul II writes, “It is possible that the evil done as the result of invincible ignorance….may not be imputable to the agent.  But even in this case it does not cease to be an evil.”

Obviously John Paul II is writing about those who insist on rooting for the Red Sox.  And what does  Boston do? That’s right.  Bahstahn sawks cack!

What’s ahead for the second half?  Despite having the best record in baseball we are vulnerable.  Age is a factor.  Jeter, Posada, AROD and Pettitte are so old they need walkers to field their positions.  Phil Hughes is reaching Joba Rules territory and soon will be shut down, skipped starts or placed in the bullpen.  If you google “Epic Fail” you will come up with Curtis Granderson.  Yeah, that Curtis Granderson for Austin Jackson trade is looking great isn’t it?

And now onto Steinbrenner.

Look he did one good thing as an owner:  He wanted to win and he took his profits and plowed them back into the team which is a lot more than  most owners do with their profit.  But the hagiography of St. George this past week was in my opinion annoying.

Yes, he gave lots of money to charity.  Yes, he was very generous to ex players.  But he was also a bully and a prick.  Just ask Jim Beattie.  Just ask Yogi Berra, fired 16 games into the 1985 season.  Just ask Dave Winfield.

If you look at the Yankees times of success, they all happened after a Steinbrenner suspension where he was not in day-to-day control of the team.  His first suspension in 1974-75 allowed GM Gabe Paul to put together the great late ’70s teams.  But then George asserted control and hence began the long night of the 1980s-early ’90s.  The Bucky Dent/Stump Merrill era where the Yankees were the laughing stock of baseball.

Then Steinbrenner got suspended a second time after hiring gambler Howie Spira to dig up dirt on Dave Winfield.  With Steinbrenner out of the picture GM Gene Michael was able to put together the core of the great teams of the late 90s, including perhaps the best trade ever – Roberto Kelly for Paul O’Neil.  Then Steinbrenner regained control  and another dark night of the 2000s came upon us where George and his “baseball people” in Tampa had no plan except panic every offseason and buy the most expensive, elderly and useless free agents.

Then Steinbrenner started his decline.  Brian Cashman was able to gain control of baseball operations, rebuild the farm system  and put together the team that won the championship last year.

All in all, George had his merits. He wanted to win and put his money where his mouth was.  But he had his faults too.  But he’s dead now, God rest in peace.

So this year my record stands at 7 -3.   My next game is Tuesday July 20th against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Go Yankees!


Andy Pettitte and his burning, syphilis ravaged groin will be out for five weeks.   Bad news for the Yanks.




3 Responses

  1. KingShamus says:

    “But at least he got to talk to respected Yankee beat reporter Kim Jones after the game about it. Hey, I’ve been trying to talk to her for years about my groin. What makes Andy so special?”

    Best line I’ve read in a while.

    Nice job with the Steinbrenner bits too.

  2. innominatus says:

    Can’t remember which neckbone ESPN commentator (Olbermann?) started it all, but I still laugh when one of them says “So-and-so pulled a groin. Thankfully it was his own.”

  3. Dragongrrl says:

    Good post. I especially liked the Steinbrenner retrospective. Nailed it!

Leave a Reply

Using Gravatars in the comments - get your own and be recognized!

XHTML: These are some of the tags you can use: <a href=""> <b> <blockquote> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>