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Bang, Zoom
2005-06-16 04:42
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

It had all the makings of another frustrating game for the Yankees. They couldn't come up with a timely hit and the Pirates kept tacking on runs. Not only that, but when the Yankees did hit the ball hard it tended to be directly at a Pittsburgh defender. The Pirates boast a slick defensive infield, and they strutted their stuff all evening long. But with a little bit of luck (in the form of a missed call that would have ended the game in the ninth, as well as a ball that hit Russ Johnson in the tenth), the Yankees finally earned a come-from-behind victory, as Jason Giambi's moonshot off of Jose Mesa sent Yankee fans to bed with a smile on their face. The final was 7-5, and the Bombers didn't lose ground to the Orioles and the Red Sox, who both won as well.

Giambi couldn't catch up to southpaw Mike Gonzalez's gas in the eighth inning, but Mesa couldn't sneak the heater past him in the tenth. I called Cliff a few minutes after the game ended and he said something to the effect that Jose Mesa is good for what ails ya. Amen to that, brother. The Yanks pounded out fifteen hits in all. Kevin Brown had to leave the game due to back spasms, and Tanyon Sturtze was roughed up again, but Mariano Rivera dominated the Pirates for two innings, lowering his season earned run average to 1.09 in the process. After a one-two-three ninth, Rivera clapped his hands and encouraged his team in the dugout.

With Gary Sheffield on first and two out, Alex Rodriguez came to the plate. The Yanks trailed by one run. Rodriguez missed a room service fastball with the count 1-1, and I thought that might be the game right there. Man, was it ever a fat pitch. As much as I think the notion of Rodriguez as a choker is nuts, I admit that in a tight situation I don't have the same confidence in him that I do with, say Sheffield. Nevertheless, Rodriguez was patient, and eventually muscled a good fastball that was bearing in on his hands into center for a single. Jorge Posada followed and laced a line drive into right, which tied the game.

After Tino Martinez walked to lead off the bottom of the tenth, Russ Johnson came into the game as a pinch-runner. Increasingly disgruntled left fielder Tony Womack, who replaced Ruben Sierra in left an inning earlier, was set to sacrifice him to second. After several pitches the Pirates called a pitch-out. Johnson was running. Hung up, he retreated to first. But the throw hit him and he made it back safely. At that point I turned to Emily and said, "There is just too much going right for them tonight to lose this one." Fortunately, I was right, and I couldn't be happier for Giambi, who absolutely crushed the ball into the upper deck, momentarily turning the jeers to cheers. After he was mobbed at home plate, Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez all took the time to not only hug Giambi, but give him some words of encouragment too. Good for the Big Lug. And kudos to the whole team.

Especially since tonight's match-up could be special.

Ain't We Great?

As expected, the Yankees announced their plans for a new stadium yesterday. George Steinbrenner even suggested that his son-in-law Steve Swindal will run the show when he's finished.

Comments
2005-06-16 05:53:43
1.   rbj
Outside of the new stadium lookss decent enough, inside is meh. Yankee Stadium should not look meh.
2005-06-16 06:38:48
2.   jalexei
Not sure what I think of the new stadium. I'm both relieved they've left the interior similar to how it is now and disappointed they didn't take the once-in-several-decades chance to make something really special and spectacular.

My one pet peeve with middle-aged ballparks is the gigantic foul area, and this doesn't look to be changing. Every place should resemble Fenway in that regard.

2005-06-16 07:04:07
3.   STONER
Alex wrote: After he was mobbed at home plate, Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez all took the time to not only hug Giambi, but give him some words of encouragment too. Good for the Big Lug. And kudos to the whole team.
///

A big Amen to that - man, I was squirming in my chair, begging Jason to hit a least a scratch single - single my ass- what a monumental blast - like Mel Allen used to say - 'that's a Ballantyne Blast"...

2005-06-16 07:13:06
4.   blue
I just saw this:
"After Wednesday's game, the Yankees optioned infielder Andy Phillips to Triple-A Columbus. They will recall outfielder Bubba Crosby before Thursday's game."
Possible preparations for a Womack trade?
2005-06-16 07:17:19
5.   rbj
Well, if Brown is more injured than at first glance, the Yankees may need to trade for a pitcher, but who'd they get for Womack?
2005-06-16 07:18:35
6.   Bob B
Regarding Jason Giambi, with a Slugging percentage of .372 I say, Thanks but no Thanks. He needs more than words of encouragement and a hug. I don't know why anyone would root for him. His salary, lack of production, fielding deficiencies and Balco troubles are going to hurt this team for years. And Tony Womack should shut up and just keep saying "baseball been very, very good to me". He's lucky to be drawing a salary in the Majors with numbers.
2005-06-16 07:20:29
7.   Nick from Washington Heights
Why would any team want Womack? If Cashman can unload him on anyone, then he's done a good job.

By the way, has anyone heard rumors that the Yanks are shopping Sheff? I don;t like the sound of that.

2005-06-16 07:23:05
8.   seamus
I think I like the new stadium. It has a zing of class and is similar enough to the existing stadium to make one feel nostalgic. I am interested to see how it plays out and in what plans are for a Metro North. Not because I'm likely to be taking the subway there anytime soon but i am a big public transit fan! :)
2005-06-16 07:24:51
9.   seamus
As for Womack, there are teams that could use him. Not a lot of them, but there are some. In any case, he is clearly unhappy and could be sent as part of a package for a pitcher potentially. Who knows.
2005-06-16 07:36:43
10.   Don Fiedler
Did I hear the Giambi home run call correctly last night? I swear I heard Murcer say that Giambi's ball was hit "fairly deep to right field." Gee, Bobby, I'm pretty sure that thing was more than "fairly" deep.

This comes on the heels of Murcerism #1,256 last night:

"With those 8 RBIs, Jason Bay became the only Canadian with the most RBIs in one game."

I'm not even sure why that doesn't make sense but I'm sure it doesn't.

2005-06-16 07:55:45
11.   jalexei
I like Jason a lot, but one homer isn't going to change things. What's that? His high OBP? The fact is we're out $80 gazzillion for what could be accomplished by paying a rookie league-minimum to stand at the plate and get hit by pitches.

And odds are the rookie would have a better glove to boot. Or not boot, in this case.

As to Womack, wow, that Verducci article was brutal. I knew his numbers were bad, but not historically bad. Hopefully someone somewhere'll want him.

2005-06-16 08:13:34
12.   monkeypants
"Not sure what I think of the new stadium. I'm both relieved they've left the interior similar to how it is now and disappointed they didn't take the once-in-several-decades chance to make something really special and spectacular.

My one pet peeve with middle-aged ballparks is the gigantic foul area, and this doesn't look to be changing. Every place should resemble Fenway in that regard. "

The old (pre-1976) stadium had even more room behind the plate, and even after renovation the team has removed foul territory to put in extra seats.

As for the overall design of the new park, I like the look of the exterior, as well as some of the interior decoration (we'll see if these really come to pass). But, and this is related to my comment about foul territory, I am rather disappointed that the dimensions will replicate the current pseudo-symmetrical configuration. Even in 1976 LF was 387, LFC was 430, and CF was 417. I was hoping we would see a return at least in part to the Death Valley days--give me at least 415 in LCF. No, they want to reproduce the dimensions that Winfield built.

Also, it is a shame to lose the true three deck arrangement, since the stadium was the first three tiered park in the country. I guess that is probably inevitable given the need for luxury boxes, the elimination of seats, and the desire to move fans "closer" into the first deck.

2005-06-16 08:29:22
13.   jedi
If Brown is injured, the yanks shouldnt look for pen help from another team. They need to bring up Henn again for another spot start. He has been lights out in AAA recently and I personally believe he needs another shot under the lights. If anything, if it is not Henn, at least someone else down there so we can start dangling some trade bait come july. I am wondering why Jason Anderson has not been brought up yet? Any clue why the Yanks aren't releasing Quantrill/Stanton yet and bringing him up given Anderson's numbers in AAA?

Womack is getting traded not a matter of where but when. The taker is definitely the Padres. The Padres are stupid for doing it? Well, what choice do they have? 2b base around the league is a very scarce commodity. The talent is thin and losing Loretta was a big blow. Loretta is out with his injury for some time and Womack is a proven 2b in the NL...unfortunately not the AL. So the Padres will be a perfect match. Now its a matter of when it will happen and who get back in return. The Yanks should be careful with this trade. They have the leverage because they have someone that someone else wants for a change. I personally am not impressed with the Womack for Roberts trade talk. You are talking about a null trade. Roberts was notorious for his basestealing in last year ALCS, but the guy has hammy problems all the time which was evident with his Dodger days last year. If you are getting Roberts for the CF capabilities, I rather have Bubba out there. He needs some playing time and is the same quality as Roberts without the hammy risk. I say the yanks unload womack to the Padres with money to cover the 2nd year of his contract for a minor leage prospect. Cut your losses and get something good out of the deal. By the way they have sent down Phillips last night and brought up Bubba, it looks like they are definitely making a move soon.

2005-06-16 08:38:10
14.   Sporting Brews
Thank you, thank you to everyone who mentioned a Womack deal. I know that doesn't make it any closer to being done, but at least I know other people are beginning to realize that he's utterly worthless. One of the worst non-pitching off season acquisitions we've made in a while.

The Sporting Brews

2005-06-16 08:38:16
15.   Sporting Brews
Thank you, thank you to everyone who mentioned a Womack deal. I know that doesn't make it any closer to being done, but at least I know other people are beginning to realize that he's utterly worthless. One of the worst non-pitching off season acquisitions we've made in a while.

The Sporting Brews

2005-06-16 09:14:49
16.   Cliff Corcoran
I've lost faith in Bubba. I'd take Roberts over him a thousand times over. I'm trying to withold judgement on the Phillips/Crosby switch for the moment, but let me just say that it better be either a) the precurser to a Womack trade or b) a result of Hideki's gimpy ankle. Even given the latter, I'm not sold. I'd rather have Andy doing what he can in the outfield with his bat as compensation than give his roster spot to Bubba.
2005-06-16 09:27:05
17.   jonm
If San Diego is the destination for Womack, I wonder if the Yankees would have a chance to get Nady. I'm not sure how high San Diego is on him, but he would be very useful on the Yankees and is coming into the average player's peak years.
2005-06-16 09:31:02
18.   WahWah
This is to the guy who likes to crack on Bobby Murcer. LEAVE HIM BE! He is the last connection with old Yankee teams in the booth. After suffering years of listening to the drunken Tom Seaver and the ultimately condescending, talk slow so the rank and file can follow along-Tim McCarver, Murcer is a breath of fresh air. Most people love his down home style. So what if he doesn't make sense, we all know what he means. You may not remember or maybe you weren't even alive at the time of the Pine Tar Game, but Murcer called it, he's a proffesional that has been doing it for a long time. Relax and turn on John Sterling if you don't like Murcer.
2005-06-16 09:41:49
19.   vockins
I think I might be the only Yankee fan on the planet that thinks a)the mezzanine in Yankee Stadium is the worst place to see a game, and b)it looks like an overgrown parking garage.

It may be difficult to separate the building from the events that occured within it, but on its own, the building is not as engaging as SBC, Wrigley, Dodger Stadium, Safeco, or Kaufmann. The only stadiums I have been to that are worse are (or were, in one case) the Vet and Shea.

Sorry to think the unthinkable, but has anyone heard anything from Steinbrenner about naming rights?

2005-06-16 09:58:29
20.   Simone
Tony Womack has got to go. I appreciate his effort to play left and hustle on the bases, but he is a rally killer and sucks the life out of the line up even when hitting 9th. Joe Torre is not stupid man, but for the life of me I'll never understand why he insists on having Womack hit 2nd.

I hope that Verducci is wrong about Giambi.

2005-06-16 09:58:30
21.   Simone
Tony Womack has got to go. I appreciate his effort to play left and hustle on the bases, but he is a rally killer and sucks the life out of the line up even when hitting 9th. Joe Torre is not stupid man, but for the life of me I'll never understand why he insists on having Womack hit 2nd.

I hope that Verducci is wrong about Giambi.

2005-06-16 10:08:58
22.   Peter
I know I'm just stating the obvious here, but a Womack trade would certainly end all those nightmares of Cano in an Astros uniform.
2005-06-16 10:17:40
23.   Bob B
I like where Verducci says of Giambi

"Giambi cannot field, he cannot throw, he cannot run, he cannot hit with power, he cannot hit the ball to the opposite field. " Kind of touches all the bases, doesn't it?

2005-06-16 10:30:20
24.   Don Fiedler
Hey Wahwah, relax! Who said anything about not liking Murcer? I bet if you asked Murcer about his slipups he'd get as big a chuckle out of it as anyone. I think he's hilarious and fun to listen to and generally does a pretty good job, certainly more amenable to my ear than Kay or Sterling. I'm not hatin' on the man, just having fun with his cherished folksiness. Chill.
2005-06-16 10:37:09
25.   WahWah
I suppose I saw that you are keeping count of his mistakes, so I rushed to his defense. I do that because they even rip him in the papers, believe me I write them about it too. As long as you love the Yankees you're good with me. Lets hope we never have to live through a Tim McCarver type again!
2005-06-16 10:42:12
26.   Neuman
Regarding Murcer, I'd love anyone who is between say, 40-50 (I'm 46) to chime in regarding what a God Bobby is in some sense. If you became a Yankee fan when you were approx 10 years old, this guy was IT. He was there before Munson and had only Roy White with him (and it's pretty special having RW coaching now too.) Share your Bobby moments. Here's mine - growing up, kids in the neighborhood, all Met fans, b/c we had moved to Queens by this time from the Bronx - they always made fun of me because I wouldn't do anything or go anywhere without my transister radio if the game was on. One day, I'm 11 I think-I decide to be "mature" and prove I could do it...hang out and not have the radio on for the game, that is. We're playing stickball and the whole time I'm thinking "what's happening in the Yankee game". It's killing me! Then some kid rolls up on his bike and says "Murcer just hit 4 homeruns in a row." - that sealed my fate forever. I had a friggin earpiece in my ear with the game on at my wedding 24 years later!! Everytime I hear Bobby tell the story of those 4 consecutive HRs I get sick to my stomach for missing it.
2005-06-16 11:31:04
27.   Nick from Washington Heights
from the "scary if it's true" category:

" I had a friggin earpiece in my ear with the game on at my wedding 24 years later!!"

2005-06-16 11:32:24
28.   WahWah
Murcer was my favorite player as a kid (i'm 47 in July). I had a Bobby Murcer fake-autographed glove. I loved that thing. It had a checkerbooard web. It got stolen at a little league game. I looked for at least 3 weeks at everyones glove at school, games (even the other teams), playgrounds etc. I finally found a kid using my glove (i wrote my name on it)and knocked the crap out of him until he handed it back to me. I also had a Horace Clark glove that was stolen.... didn't care though.
2005-06-16 13:08:41
29.   Neuman
WahWah,
Was that YOU? You did give me one helluva beating, but I probably deserved it.
2005-06-16 17:06:48
30.   mhmitch
I'm 41 and Murcer was also my favorite player (White and Ron Blomberg a close 2nd and 3rd). I still recall buying a book from our 3rd Grade Mail Order Catalog called Baseball Superstars: Bench/Aaron/Jackson/Murcer. Nice company. That gives you an idea of how important Bobby Murcer was to the Yankees of the early 70s.

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