I had a bad feeling about Roger Clemens before the game last night, and when I saw his little, ol' mom throw out the first pitch and then clutch at her hulking son, shaking with tears, I figured it was going to be a long night for the Rocket (you know how emotional he can get). Or a short night, depending on how you look at it. The White Sox played like the Gashouse Gorrillas and handed Clemens one of the worst beatings of his Hall of Fame career, as the Sox pounded the Bombers, 13-2. Esteban Loaiza was nasty and showed the Yankees why he's a leading candidate for the Cy Young award. He moved in and out, and spotted his pitches, all of which seemed to have a good deal of movement on them.
The Yankees welcomed Felix Heredia and Gabe White to the bullpen, and released Jesse Orosco. Jeff Weaver is headed to Tampa single A, mostly to work with pitching-guru (and the former Mr. Seka) Billy Conners. Weaver will be called up next week in order to make the post-season roster:
"A lot of things have happened this year that I wouldn't have expected, but this is one year out of hopefully many," Weaver said. "Hopefully, 10 years from now, I'll say that 2003 was the year that built me as a player and as a person.
"I jumped to conclusions too much when things went wrong," he added, "and flooded my whole approach with stuff that was basically useless. Maybe I've taken a wrong turn a couple of times, trying to get back. I've made too many corrections, too many adjustments."
..."I have no problems here," Weaver added. "They want results right away. I look at it as my fifth year in the league and the first one that I've struggled. I wouldn't say I've been treated unfairly for what they're trying to accomplish here."
Since I had an inclination that Rocket might get spanked, I didn't find the game upsetting, especially since Toronto jumped all over the Sox in Boston. Of course the Red Sox stormed back and made things exciting, but the Blue Jays were able to hold on for the victory, and the Yanks lead over Boston remains at five games (six in the loss). The A's edged by the Orioles, 2-1 in extra innings and now lead the Sox by a game in the wildcard.
I caught two funny moments in the game as well. Jose Contreras, the Yankees' sleepy Cuban pitcher who is Delroy Lindo dark, was sitting on the bench in the fourth inning. His eye-lids were heavy and it looked as if he could barely stay awake. Why is he always so sleepy? I don't know why, but I find it amusing.
Also, in the second inning, Bernie Williams was rounding second, when the bag jumped up and bit him. Bernie seemed to forget where the bag was I guess. He wiped out, flat on his face. A sympathetic Robbie Alomar tried to contain a smile. He was probably happy that it didn't happen to him, and not surprised that it happened to Bernie. Williams smiled sheepishly at Willie Randolph at the end of the frame, and must have taken plenty of abuse from his teammates in the clubhouse later on.