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Jeter Leads, Bombers Follow
2006-10-03 20:57
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

ALCS Game One: Yanks 8, Tigers 4

The auxiliary press box takes up four full sections in right field. Each row actually takes up two rows of seats, one with a long wood board laid across the top to serve as a table. A security guard named Lee Brown shows me my seat. He is a lanky middle-aged man, with a high forehead and an afro and has the features of the jock-turned-actor, Bernie Casey, only he's thinner. So, I am sitting in the front row, second box from the right. Not three feet to my left is a 25 inch Television set, resting on an additional wood platform. Each row has its own TV, which is playing the Fox broadcast of the game. The TV feed is about three seconds delayed and it is truly surreal being so close to a set, seeing the game the way we normally do in the privacy of our own homes, our own lives, out of the corner of my eye as I look out onto the real Yankee Stadium field.

After the anthem and the pageantry, two jet planes fly over the Stadium. "This gunna be awesome," says Lee as he moves to far right corner of the loge section. As they pass by, Lee salutes and releases with an exaggerated gesture, waving the planes goodbye. The field is cleared and then "Hell's Bells" by AC DC starts to play. The door to the bullpen in left center field opens as six umpires climb out of the Yankee dugout and slowly amble towards the plate. As they move the song continues to play. They plod slowly but with purpose like an unintentional Quentin Tarrantino parody.

Curtis Granderson fouls off the first pitch at 8:20. The game time temp is 70 degrees. I know this because a loudspeaker is blaring the information over our heads. To our right, the bleacher creatures commence roll call. It echoes throughout the press box. The crowd groans as Wang just misses with the 0-2 pitch. It takes a moment to know what the call is because home plate ump, Tim McClellan is always slow to physically indicate balls and strikes. So the crowd and the announcers will wait with bated breath throughout the entire game.

The creatures end roll call with their customary, "Box seats suck, box seats suck." Granderson lines a ball to left and the crowd hushes for a moment. Godzilla doesn't have to move but a few feet and when he catches the ball the crowd erupts. The next two hitters are retired on weak grounders, one to Wang, the other to Cano.

It's a new beginning. It if it takes that to bring some peace to the world," he waves his hands, holding them face down, as if shaking something off. He screws up his face and looks even more like the character actor John Witherspoon than he already had. "Then I'm all for it, you know what I mean?"

Derek Jeter singles in the first but the Yanks do nothing else against Robertson and Magglio Ordonez lines a double off the wall in left center field to start the second. It smacks off the wall with a thump. Man, he did he hit that hard. Wang falls behind Carlos Guillen, 3-0, throws two strikes and then walks him. Pudge Rodriguez squares to bunt and takes a ball. He misses the next pitch, the runners go, and Posada nails Mags at third, Guillen moving to second. Wang throws a four seamer past Pudge. Then misses with a slider, low and away, then throws a nasty sinker or splitter in the dirt and Pudge waves at it for strike three. Craig Monroe grounds the first pitch softly on the ground to Derek Jeter who throws to first to end the inning.

In the third, Giambi is announced and his music plays. He's ready to come to the plate and Robertson is ready to pitch. But they both stand there. Then Robertson crouches down. I look to my left and see a commercial on TV. They are waiting for it to end on at the Stadium too. Robertson hits Giambi with the first pitch. Alex Rodriguez receives a loud ovation as he comes to the plate. Takes a strike and then a ball. "Lets Go A Rod." Ball, low in the dirt. Then a strike, late call, and another ball.

Lee comes down and sits next to me, in front of the TV. A bead of sweat trickles down the right side of his face. He crouches down in his seat. "I dig your vibes, I like you," he tells me. We shake hands. "Well, I'm appreciating every moment of this, I can tell you that," I said. "You resting?"

"No, I'm hiding."

Lee asks how long I've been a sportswriter. A Rod fouls a pitch off, and then fouls one back. I tell him and then mention that I used to work in the movies business. "That's perfect. I'm a stunt man." I ask him if he's on TV. "Well, like everything, it's a process," he says standing up. "You know, a beginning. I've got to get your card before you leave." I remember that I should really get cards again one of these days. Rodriguez lines a pitch that is stabbed by a leaping Placido Polanco. Giambi slides back in safely. The crowd applauds anyway. Rodriguez hit it hard anyway. Matsui flies out to left and Posada singles to center. But Robinson Cano weakly taps a grounder on the first pitch to Inge at third and the Yankees are retired.

Marcus Thames, the former Yankee, falls behind 0-2 to start the third, and then lines a ball JUST fair down the left field line for a double. The first break of the series goes to the Tigers. Wang gets ahead of Inge 0-2 as well, who then grounds out to third. Granderson singles to right but Thames holds, respecting Abreu's arm. Okay, now the Yanks need a double play ball. And he gets it as Jeter has to go to the hole to turn the 6-4-3. Nice turn and mustered on the throw by Cano. The crowd erupts as the first base umpire remains frozen in an outstretched position. He doesn't move, but nobody mistakes the call.

Damon dribbles a ground ball past a stumbling Robertson for an infield hit to start the bottom of the third. With the count 1-2 to Jeter, Lee cops a squat next to me and peers out from behind the TV at the field. He stands up not more than 10 seconds later as Jeter takes two pitches out of the zone to load the count. Damon runs and Jeter lines a base hit into center field. Damon turns second and heads for third and Jeter races for second, thinking double all the way. The throw is off-line and Jeter slides in safely head-first. The bleacher creatures start to rock with Abreu at the plate. I can hear a cow bell and a Spanish chant from the bleachers which makes me think: I'm home. Dominican people making music, loudly. That is so New York. Abreu's smacks the 1-1 pitch into the gap in right center field past Ordonez for a double. Yanks score first, 2-0.

Sheffield lines the first pitch he sees into right center for a single. Abreu scores, 3-0. The dugout camera shows the reaction replay. Jeter stands up and walks up the steps waving his arm around, stopping only to shoot a darting look directly at the camera, letting you know how aware he is of his surroundings. Robertson gets ahead of Giambi quickly 0-2, and the slugger cranks a high foul ball deep to right on the fourth pitch of the at bat. The crowd gasps and Giambi fouls the next pitch right back—he just missed that one. He gets the next one lifting a high fly ball to right. I don't know if it has even juice to get out so I step out of my seat to see it go over the fence, over Mags, and into a kid's hands in the front row. The kid is wearing an away Robinson Cano jersey and he cradled the ball to his right side and held onto it. Hot damn.

Rodriguez lines a single to left, making up for his first at bat and the crowd roars. For the first time all night I want to cheer. Jim Leyland comes to the mound and the Tigers bullpen gets ready in a hurry. Matsui skies out to center and the crowd gasps for more. Posada follows and hits a fly ball to the corner in right field. Mags races over and makes a fine one-handed catch close to the wall along the first base side. That was not an easy catch. Well done by Ordonez. Cano ends the inning with a harmless fly ball to left. Still, a five spot for Wang as Robertson has thrown 58 pitches through three.

Wang jumps ahead of Sean Casey 0-2 in the fourth, and retires the first baseman on a line drive to right. Tino Martinez, who received a huge roar from the crowd when he threw out the first pitch, is wearing a blue shirt and standing in the owner's box. When he sits down, the camera shows his wife, unsmiling, sitting next to him. She does not look happy to be there. Martinez is glowing, looking ahead of him, smiling. Mags skies a pop-out to Abreu in right. There is no sound effect for a moment and no loud cheering, but the park is not quiet like it would be in such a pause during the regular season; instead it is loud with conversation, an enormous wala-wala-wala sound. Carlos Guillen lines a double down the left field line. Wang gets ahead of Pudge 0-2 and the crowd begins to stir. By the time he throws the pitch, they grow louder, then quickly go silent as Rodriguez fouls a ball at the Tigers dugout. Wang misses outside with a slider. Dick Ebersol, Donald Trump and Regis are shown on TV in George's box and Wang misses with another slider, low and away. Pudge tips the next pitch but Posada cannot hang on for the strike out. The crowd starts to clap again. Wang throws another slider and Rodriguez waves at it, his second strike out of the night.

Fox replays a mid-inning interview with Joe Torre as Derek Jeter lines a one out line drive single over Polanco's head for his third hit of the game. The Yanks put on the hit-and-run with the count 2-1 to Abreu, but the pitch is so far inside (it almost got Abreu) that Jeter is hung out to dry. The Tigers catch him in a rundown and then Abreu pops out to left to end the inning.

It hasn't really gotten cool yet but a gentle breeze can be felt between innings, as I am fixated on the feeling that Sheffield is going to make at least one big error at first this fall. For starters, Craig Monroe pounds a 2-1 pitch over the centerfield fence for a solo dinger to start the fifth. It would be nice if Wang could pitch three more solid innings, but the Tigers are now on the board. Thames grounds out to Jeter and Sheffield scoops the throw for the out. Inge slaps the first pitch to right for a single. Granderson flies out to left and then Polanco bloops a double that falls just fair down the right field line. Another break for the Tigers who score their second run. That's two seein-eye hits for them tonight. A meeting on the mound, followed by a hard line drive into death valley by Sean Casey. The Tigers take advantage of their good fortune and are now back in the game, 5-3.

Brain Bruney is getting warm for the Yanks as Magglio Ordonez comes to bat. Ordonez slices the 1-1 pitch right at the ball boy down the first base line. The kid is sitting in his seat and simply puts up his glove to make the catch. The crowd gives him props and he acts cool. Ordonez strikes out on the next pitch, the 70th of the night for Wang.

I stretch between innings and talk to a fit, handsome magazine writer, who is sitting one row behind me, dressed in a light blue smart izod shirt. I tell him that I keep waiting for Sheffield to make a mistake and he says that he can't believe that Leyland took the bunt off twice so far in this game. "Sheffield has never fielded a bunt in his life, I don't get it," he says.

Robertson retires Sheffield without any trouble and then Giambi lines the 1-1 pitch just foul down the first base line before getting hit for the second time in the game. Rodriguez takes strike one and then swings and misses at a fastball, low and outside for strike two. He takes an off speed pitch, just high for a ball and then is called out looking at a cutter on the inside corner. Excellent pitch. Matsui rips the first pitch foul down the first base line. He was all over it, just too quick. Yanks just missing now. Giambi takes second on the 1-2 pitch. The crowd cheers and laughs and buzzes but Matsui taps out meekly to the pitcher to end the inning.

Scott Proctor is announced to be warming up in the bullpen as Wang falls behind Carlos Guillen 3-0. He then throws two sinkers with good movement for called strikes and then gets Guillen to roll a slow grounder to second for the first out of the sixth. Pudge grounds a high-hopper to Jeter for out number two, and Craig Monroe chops Wang's 84th pitch of the night to Rodriguez to end the frame.

You've got to imagine that Robertson is on a short leash here but he's done a good job of recovering after that one bad inning. Robertson crouches down on the outfield side of the mound, again waiting for Fox to return from commercial. Jorge Posada grounds out to third. Lefty Jamie Walker and righty Jason Grilli start to warm for the Tigers. Cano, having a poor night, swings at the first pitch and hits a dribbler to the mound. Inge races in and makes the play. Robbie, you fat ass you. Two out. Damon slices a pitch foul to the upper deck in right and then one to the field level in left before taking ball one. He fouls off another pitch and then serves a single into left, a trademark Damon base hit.

Fastball inside to Jeter, 1-0. Jeter laces the next pitch to left and legs out another double. Geesh. Robertson stays in the game to face Abreu. This will certainly be his last hitter of the night. Abreu swings at the first pitch and places a ground ball just passed the reach of a diving Polanco. Jeter roars home and it is beautiful to watch him, possessed, knowing nothing is going to get him out at the plate. The ball was not struck hard but it was hit in the right place. Break for the Yankees. The fit magazine writer holds his hands out in disbelief looking back at Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. He probably can't believe that Robertson was left to pitch to Jeter, let alone Abreu.

"Shout" plays over the loudspeakers as Robertson is pulled as Grilli sprints to the mound. Before throwing a pitch, Grilli tosses the ball to first, but the throw is high and deflects off Casey's glove into the stands. Sheffield grounds the ball to short for the third out.

The crowd around us explodes as Abreu comes to his position. "Bobby, bobby, bobby." He tips his cap.

Wang is back out there in the seventh and he K's Thames on four pitches to start the inning. Bill Shannon, the official scorer at the Stadium, reads Nate Robertson's line over the press box loud speaker. Shannon sounds a lot like Harry Carey did by the seventh inning of every bottle of Schlitz he ever called. Inge hits a solid ground ball to Cano's left. The Yankees second baseman backhands the ball and makes a strong throw to first for the second out. Joe Torre walks to the mound and a slow cheer turns into an enormous roar for Wang as Mike Myers trots to the mound. They are slow with the music cue for the "Halloween" theme music, but when it starts when Bob Sheppard says, "Now pitching…" in his grave voice which makes it feel as if we are living in a scary movie.

Myers floats a pitch outside for a ball and then Granderson runs his hands up to bunt and takes a strike. He swings through the next pitch and then the crowd gets noisy again. A ball low and then a foul tip and then Granderson belts his first career post-season home run into the bleachers. One and done for Myers who exits to a half-hearted boos as Proctor jogs to the mound.

We hear Wang's line on the loudspeaker: 6 2/3 innings, 8 hits, 3 runs (all earned), 1 walk, 4 strikeouts and 1 home run.

Proctor starts Polanco off with a fastball for strike and then gives up a single to right on the next pitch. Ah, the underbelly. C'mon Scotty, hold it together, Meat. We need four outs to get to Mo, buddy. Sean Casey is next and he takes a fastball high and outside for a ball as the crowd begins to get restless. Lots of murmuring, and even some cursing and booing as the next pitch is even further outside. Polanco bluffs a steal as Casey swings through a good fastball. Casey misses the next fastball too, fouling it straight back. I bet he wishes he had that one again. The crowd stands and claps. The writers in the press box lean forward and looked bored. Casey lines a single to right and Polanco takes third. Stirring and moaning from the crowd. Here comes Mags? What do you say, three run dinger right here? A disco whistle blows from the upper deck as Ordonez fouls the first pitch back. A sweaty moment for the Yankees here in Game One. Mags lifts a high fly ball to right. Damon and Abreu call for it. But Abreu demurs and Damon makes the final out of the seventh.

Ronan Tynan comes on to sing a beautiful if bloated version of "God Bless America." He seems to sing more and more slowly as the song progresses. The crowd sings en masse and enjoys ever second of Tynan's turgid rendition. Another big ovation once the song ends and then "Take Met Out to the Ballgame."

The lefty Jamie Walker faces Giambi to start the bottom of the seventh. Giambi takes ball one as the Fox camera shows Cooter Farnswacker warming up. The count goes full before Giambi walks. Walker stays in the game, as does Giambi. Rodriguez skies the first pitch foul down the first base line then takes a pitch in the dirt for a ball. A Rod swings through a change up, jerking his head back to Manhattan in the process before lining out sharply to right field. Two well hit line drives with nuthin to show for 'em tonight for the much-maligned Rodriguez.

Emma Span, who blogs about the Yankees on Eephus Pitch and covers New York baseball for the Voice stops by to say hello. She sits down next to me. Here we are, two Yankee bloggers commiserating in the press box. Matsui grounds a soft grounder to second, good to force Giambi but Godzilla legs it out to first to keep the inning alive. Posada singles to center and Matsui storms third and narrowly gets in there safely. Cano falls behind 0-2 and looks terrible again. He takes a ball outside and then flies out to Mags in right. Tough night for the kid.

Farnsworth replaces Proctor, Andy Phillips subs for Sheffield at first. Oh, man, dying time's here. Starts Guillen off with a ball in the dirt. 56, 291 is the announced paid attendance. Ball two, and then ball three. Boos. Ball four. More boos. I look back. Steve Jacobsen of Newsday is sitting next to the handsome magazine writer. Farnsworth throws a ball to Pudge and I wince, looking back at the writer who smiles. Ball two. A fastball strike and the crowd gives up a sardonic cheer. Pudge lines out to medium deep left field for the first out. Ball one to Monroe. Strike one on the inside corner. Low, ball two. Swinging strike two. The pensive crowd revs up again. Home plate umpire Tim McClellan looks at the next pitch and slowly rises and makes the "Yer Out!" call.

Emma tells me that Suzan Waldman was nice to her and said told her that she looked like Carol King. When Sterling met her, he said, "You do look like Carol King." And it's true, she does a little bit.

Ball one, two and three to Marcus Thames. A called strike, another mock cheer. Foul back, strike two and now the crowd stands again. The reporters continue to sit. A foul ball sliced to the right side. A rocket foul near third base. The clapping stops and builds again and Thames pops the ball up to short left...

The P.A. speaker announces that Mariano Rivera is warming up in the bullpen as Damon faces Walker to lead off the eighth. Johnny goes down looking. "MVP, MVP, MVP." The chants grow thunderous after Jeter belts a solo dinger over the fence in center, the 17th playoff homer of his career. Huge cheers and then eruption as Jeter steps out of the dugout for a curtain call. This is the first time Jeter has ever gone 5-5 in a playoff game. The fans chant "Deh-rek Gee-ter" as Abreu grounds a 2-0 pitch to first for the second out.

Andy Phillips hits a fly ball to the warning track in center for out number three.

The magazine writer puts on his black suit jacket and leaves for the press room as "Enter Sandman" by Metallica begins to play and Mariano Rivera runs across the field. About two thirds of the auxiliary press box is empty now. Dan Shaughnessey is still here though, three rows behind me. He has a pink face and is typing intensely.

Mo. Ball one to Inge. Then a cutter for a strike. Fastball, low, 2-1. Inge waves at a high fastball and the crowd gets loud. Fastball, upstairs, full count. Inge pops the next pitch up to Andy Phillips. One out.

Granderson takes a ball inside for a ball then a cutter for a strike and then he fights off another cutter into left for a single. Bob Sheppard announces Placido Polanco and takes an obvious delight in pronouncing the name.

Mo almost decks Polanco with the first pitch. Then, a fastball outside for a strike, 1-1. Polanco grounds the next pitch to second base and the fans swell in anticipation of what will happen next, a 4-6-3 double play that ends the game. It is 11:34 p.m. and the game lasted three hours and fourteen minutes, not bad for an American League game at Yankee Stadium.

The hero of the game, Derek Jeter is being interviewed on Fox by Ken Rosenthal. The bullpen pitchers and catchers walk across the outfield and Frank Sinatra's recording of "New York, New York" plays as the crowd files out rapidly. By the time Sinatra's song plays for the third time, Jim Leyland is on the TV monitors in the interview room. The audio can be heard over the P.A. speakers. Only four other writers remain in the box. A female guard eats popcorn. Lee cleans up garbage from the aisle to my right as the last of the crowd files out of the park.

A good start indeed for the Bombers. Catch everyone tomorrow.

Comments (103)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-10-03 21:03:22
1.   C2Coke
No need to wait until tomorrow morning.
Alex, you rock! Thanks.
2006-10-03 21:06:31
2.   weeping for brunnhilde
Why the hell does Derek call them Wang and Canu?

I just don't get it and it's cracking me up 'cause he says it with such gravity. Is it a joke? What the hell?

2006-10-03 21:06:38
3.   RichYF
Watching the post-game interview. Jetes calls Cano Canoe and Wang wang like it's nothing. Pretty hilarious if you ask me. Now to read the wrap-up!
2006-10-03 21:10:54
4.   weeping for brunnhilde
Kay's explained it. It is, in fact, Derek's joke.

But it's so funny because he says it as the straight man.

That Derek, what a card.

:)

So long as he continues to hit he won't need to work on that vaudeville act.

2006-10-03 21:13:28
5.   randym77
2 Yes, it's a joke. It's been mentioned in numerous articles this season.
2006-10-03 21:13:39
6.   RIYank
Dang, Alex, you fast.

Going to bed happy. Very satisfying game. Tigers do not suck, but we beat them soundly.

2006-10-03 21:21:21
7.   Xeifrank
DodgerSims said the Yanks had a 56% chance of winning tonight and with the much more polished Mussina pitching tomorrow it ups the Yankees chances of winning to 63.4% based on simulated runs scored and the pythagorean theorem. vr, Xei
http://DodgerSims.Blogspot.com/
2006-10-03 21:31:01
8.   Travis
2 5 Does it have anything to do with Chris Russo frequently (and non-jokingly) referring to them as "Wang" and "Canoe?"

Also, not to correct Tom Verducci, but I imagine Gary Sheffield fielded at least one bunt during the 468 games he played at 3rd base.

2006-10-03 21:34:21
9.   C2Coke
8 Cap'n God started calling them Wang and Canu long ago, when they came up last year, I think.
And Sheff looked pretty damn solid on 1B.
2006-10-03 21:39:01
10.   3rd gen yankee fan
I would hope that any concerns about Sheff at first were allayed tonight. D'you see that forward split he made?
2006-10-03 22:02:49
11.   weeping for brunnhilde
10 I'm very pleased with Sheff's performance, needless to say, but personally, my concerns are about the weird plays involving positioning, fielding bunts and the like. Those aren't allayed.

But that stretch was a thing of beauty, no doubt.

2006-10-03 22:37:06
12.   greenfuzz
Nice wrapup, I was at the game and I relived it reading this. My first playoff game in 20 years and my first time in the bleachers. Really fun, I've no voice left.
2006-10-03 22:51:23
13.   SF Yanks
Hey Alex, not to sound redundant, but excellent recap. It's a great way to relive the game. I usually don't comment on your writings, but feel compelled to do so now. I truly do appreciate your hard work and fascinating pieces and hope you stay in this business for a long time to come.

Is it Wed night yet? Game 2 baby. Go Yanks!

2006-10-03 22:54:08
14.   markp
I thought it was kind of odd that with all of the talk about Sheff, Sean Casey let a throw get past him and nobody said a word.
2006-10-03 22:59:48
15.   Adam B
Travis, you beat me to it on the Verducci remark.

And it appears that John Sterling can say something insightful, it just can't be about baseball.

Good work Alex. Your writing is always enthralling.

2006-10-04 00:12:40
16.   Rich Lederer
Nice job, Alex. That was a fun read. But I know being there was even more fun. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
2006-10-04 04:28:37
17.   Bags
Alex, your writing is soulful. That's the only word for it. Roger Angell, if he liked hip hop.
2006-10-04 04:48:06
18.   Chyll Will
Tim McClellan just called strike two...
2006-10-04 05:03:18
19.   Chyll Will
Careful, Alex. You have Palanco bluffing a steal and swinging through a fastball at the same time against Proctor. Otherwise, fine-fine work as usual, B >;)
2006-10-04 05:15:17
20.   Sliced Bread
Funny, I always thought Carol King looked like an Emma.

Great flavor, Alex. Sprinkle of smug Verducci here, dash of Lee Brown (recognizing your unjaded vibe) there, dollup of Tarrantino parody umpires.

Take us out to the ballgame, player.

2006-10-04 05:23:11
21.   rbj
Nice wrap up Alex. Much better than the AP version that was in the newspaper this morning.
2006-10-04 05:40:50
22.   Murray
I was there last night and I had the exact same thought as Alex when Sheppard introduced Polanco before he stepped in against Mariano, Breaker of Bats, in the 9th. It was a thrill to be there--I wasn't sure I'd be able to see any games at Yankee Stadium during the playoffs this year.

This club looks really good.

2006-10-04 05:42:55
23.   mikeplugh
One thing that is interesting to me in the wake of this game is A-Rod. I don't really want to write about him too much at COH, but in this forum I think I can make a point without waving it around like a big flag.

A-Rod was asked after the game about Jeter and he gave a very cool answer. I think he's lost right now. Not at the plate, or on the field, but as a player. Guys like Abreu come and thrive because they melt into the mix. A-Rod is analyzed and over-analyzed (like I'm doing right now) because he's so great that he is begging for a defining moment of heroism.

Torre dropping him to 6th robbed him of some luster in a way, and Jeter's big night was fuel for those who would hold him up above all others. A-Rod will never match Jeter. He will never be as popular as Jeter. He will always be overshadowed by Jeter. If he could melt into the mix like Abreu, he'd probably hit his 40 and drive in 130 and people would marvel at him.

Jeter could be the golden boy and all would be well in Yankeeland. A-Rod is begging to be the golden boy himself though, and is so great that it's hard for him to accept that he isn't. He came to the Yanks and moved to 3B for Jeter. He hits 6th in the postseason now, while Jeter stays at 2 and goes 5-5. I will never be one of those people that says the Yanks should trade him, but does anyone wonder how things would have been different if Steve Phillips had signed him in Queens, or if Boston had pulled off the trade.

He's ours. I'm proud of him. I hope he wins a few games for us in the postseason, but I wish he'd just blend in and forget about all the rest of the stuff swirling around him.

2006-10-04 05:43:57
24.   Chyll Will
18 one ball, two strikes from McClellan...
2006-10-04 06:03:42
25.   C2Coke
Is it 8pm yet? Moose v. Verlander, can't wait.

When is someone going to figure out that Yankees fans should get days off in October? It's not like we can get any work done anyway...

2006-10-04 06:05:47
26.   Sliced Bread
23 I think Rodriguez was the first to hop to the top of the dugout steps, and celebrate the Jeter home run.

I didn't see his postgame interview, but I imagine he's as tired of being asked about Jeter as Jeter is tired of the A-Rod questions.

I think he recognizes he will never be Jeter in NY, but maybe that still bums him out. I don't know.

I think he's trying to blend in, but nobody will let him. He's not allowed to blend in. It's probably in the MLB rule book by now. A-Rod, because of his talent, his paycheck, and personality, will always stand out in a crowd whether it's in NY or KC.

Batting him 6th is a wise attempt on Torre's part to camoflage A-Rod. But while he still has his skills, A-Rod will never be just part of the scenery.

2006-10-04 06:08:48
27.   mikeplugh
26 I'm with you, man. I feel for him because I think that some of the questions he gets are designed to kind of prod him, and he answers cooly.

I'd like to see him have a 3-4 night with a few key RBIs tonight. That will help a lot.

2006-10-04 06:16:41
28.   Chyll Will
23 Is this like M+M Boys 2.0 or what... at least the way people thought it was back then actually playing out now (or not)...

Biggie said 'more money, more problems" and that couldn't be any truer than it is here. Blending in is not really an easy option for Alex as it is for Abreu, simply because the dollar signs for Abreu are simply smaller in New York than they would be in Philly, whereas Alex has the biggest $$$ hovering over him in all baseball. Most propaganda equates dollar value with player ability/statistics, so if Alex doesn't drive in, say, 200 runs next season, people are still going to find a reason to be disappointed (witness how one report this year stated that he left over five-hundred men on base to date) and pick-axe him to death.

I think there's something much deeper to the resentment, though. Jeter and A-Rod have different lifestyles and outside of winning championships, I get the impression their goals are quite different. Alex is married while Jeter is a playboy, both have good looks and money, but one can't really do what the other does and vice-versa. Even if the Esquire comments never happened, could you see these two as attached at the hip? Furthermore, their life situations are not comparable.

Alex could certainly find a better way of dealing with his personal issues than to discuss them with media, but then so could Jeter than to simply ignore them. My point is, the criticism will not go away, not so much because Alex won't keep quiet, but more because no one will leave him alone (except his teammates), compounded with the fallacy that money = talent and he's letting the team and fans down by not equalling what we figure to be his value.

It was a marketing ploy that failed. Billionaires move on while the employees get shafted. No matter how much you take home, if you're not on the ownership side, you control nothing.

But that's just IMHO...

2006-10-04 06:18:53
29.   Sliced Bread
Man, has Mariano Rivera spoiled Yankees fans. Anything less than his dominance is totally unacceptable. Anyone else is a worthless, talentless hack, if you ask Yankees fans, that is.

Am I the only one who appreciated Farnswacker's performance last night? Reading the board here, I think so. He walks the lead off man, Guillen, and everybody thinks the sky was falling, and wants Farnswacker's head on a platter.

Look, I recognize he's inconsistent, and does not get the job done from time to time, (same as 98% of all relievers) but let's take another look at his inning.

Who was he up against? Guillen, Pudge, Monroe, Thames. Not a bunch of scrubs eh? So he's careful with Guillen and walks him, gets squeezed by the ump on a few pitches, manages to whiff Monroe looking (who took Myers deep in his previous at-bat) and escapes the inning unscathed. No harm. No foul. In fact, he puts on as many runners as Mo, and strikes out one more batter than him. Was it pretty? No. Late inning relief work isn't pretty. Ask almost any reliever not named Mariano Rivera.

Reading the board here last night you'd think Farnswacker had blown the game. Bronx Banterers wanted to trade him on the spot, Bronx Banterers crapped their shorts, and said he got lucky. Luck doesn't get you through that group of hitters.

I understand Farnswacker's postseason resume does not inspire confidence, but like him or not, Yankees fans, he's our 8th inning guy, and we're going to see a heckofalot more of him before this is over.

He can throw 100mph strikes. He took less money to play for the Yankees. He's been burned in the past, and he's being careful out there. He's going to walk a few batters, which I'd prefer to surrendering home runs.

Stifle the Farnswacker hate, and root for the man already, would ya?

2006-10-04 06:22:23
30.   mikeplugh
28 Enough of the A-Rod mess....

I brought it up, and you guys actually have said it better. I'd like to glow in the joy of Jeter. What he did was so enjoyable and astounding, that you can only wonder if he has it in him to top that this season. The scary thing is, you just know he does.

He'll hit a walk-off homer in the 15th against the A's or something. I hope he won the MVP.

2006-10-04 06:24:20
31.   Chyll Will
26 You always do that. Just when I'm posting something profound, you post the same thought right ahead of me. You're a friggin' genius >;)

27 Me three, but you know something, that will only be a drop in the bucket for most people. Even if he produces three runs a game and gets no less than two hits in every game from here on out, there will surely be those who look at it as the the glass being half-empty. That said, I'm not worried about how Alex does, as opposed to how the team does as a whole. He can't lose the series single-handedly, no matter what anyone would have us believe.

2006-10-04 06:26:45
32.   mikeplugh
29 I agree with you to a point Sliced. The thing is, you have to take the human element into the equation. Think about it for a minute, bro. It's the ALDS. Pressure is high. Fans are high tension every moment of every game from here on out.

Farnsy has a 4 ERA on the year and often has a hard time throwing strikes. There is at least some reason to worry. That worry gets blown out of proportion due to the pressure of the moment. That's the nature of fandom. You can't explain it, and no matter how you or I feel about it, you can't change it either.

In a perfect world, people would keep shit in perspective, but this is far from a perfect world. The Banter is made for that kind of comment. People here are respectful of the integrity of the board by not acting like trolls, but the wave of emotion that goes with the game gets spilled out onto the "page" and you can get a digital sense of how the hearts are beating and adrenaline is flowing.

I'm cool with it.

2006-10-04 06:30:35
33.   Patrick
Nice job, Alex.
2006-10-04 06:32:51
34.   Patrick
Oh, and it's no wonder it was Jeter's first time going 5 for 5 in the playoffs. Only 6 players have had 5 hits in a single game in the playoffs. How did I learn that? Funnily enough, Tom Verducci:

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=cnnsi-yankeedoodledan&prov=cnnsi&type=lgns

2006-10-04 06:39:09
35.   wsporter
29 I had some work to do while the game was on last night so I stayed off the board. I did want to post that the "Captain is not human" etc or some such other nonsense but I figured a hundred or so folks were better equipped than me to handle the job at the time so I let it go. I recall being really annoyed at Farns for walking Guillen yet recognizing that he'd been squeezed by that mental midget Tim McClellan. I thought McCarver and the Jon Voight want-a-be were excessively harsh on Farns and I figured I'd stay away from the Banter because the angst would be dripping off the screen. As it turns out I was right.

So Slice after reading your stuff now for a long time and after finding that my usual reaction to your stuff is either "well said" or "I wish I said that" or "I was about to say that" and after you confirmed things for me this morning I have decided that you have my posting proxy. That should save a lot of wasted space around here. :-)

2006-10-04 06:42:56
36.   Sliced Bread
32 And I agree with you, Mr. Canyon, about the Banter board being a place for fans to work out their frustration, and get their freak on in good and bad game situations. Good point you make, and I'm mostly cool with the adrenaline flow, but sometimes the negativity is too much for me, and I chose not to ignore it.

I've been rooting for Farnswacker all season, maintaining perhaps unjustified confidence in him, while most other Yankees fans, here, at the Stadium, and everywhere have been riding him hard. Here's hoping he can convert his doubters into a few million Farnswacker fans over the next few weeks.

2006-10-04 06:46:44
37.   seamus
Don't over-analyze A-Rod please. He looked like a man on a mission tonight. I thought he looked awesome at the plate, totally intense and smacked three line drives - two of which found gloves. I had good vibes watching him hit all night, don't ruin it punks!

:)

2006-10-04 06:47:38
38.   seamus
anyone know what Mo's post-season ERA dropped to? 0.79?
2006-10-04 06:48:10
39.   mikeplugh
36 I don't think I'll ever be a Farnsy fan, but I also don't fear a meltdown everytime out like some. I have to admit that his lack of nose for the strikezone worries me, but more often than not he'll come through.

I was annoyed by Myers, Proctor, and Farnsworth last night, but I never feared for the game. The real stupidity was taking out Wang a batter too soon, but it all worked out so no harm no foul.

Speaking of no foul....Ewing looked positively enormous and retirement has him on the Barkley regimine. I was elated at the sight of him though, and any Knicks fan out there should kiss the ground he walks on. Look at life beyond Ewing people. It's not pretty.

2006-10-04 06:50:19
40.   JL25and3
23 I also hate to beat a fallen horse, as STerling would say, but I'm pissed off about this hwole thing again.

I don't think it's that Rodriguez is "begging for a defining moment of heroism." But for reasons that I don't quite get, everyone seems to demand it of him. Nothing matters unless he has a defining moment of heroism. The press keep harping on that as a reason to denigrate every success and magnify every failure.

If he had hit that home run in the 8th it would have been just ARod padding his stats.

Then there was this tripe, from George Vecsey in this morning's Times:

"Alex Rodriguez was seething. That is the only way to interpret his terse comments Monday about his demotion to sixth in the Yankee batting order..."It's not important," Rodriguez said afterward. "The main thing is that we won. Now we have to keep our home-court advantage for the next game.""

I give up. I have no idea what the man is supposed to say that won't be wrong.

2006-10-04 06:50:23
41.   JL25and3
23 I also hate to beat a fallen horse, as STerling would say, but I'm pissed off about this hwole thing again.

I don't think it's that Rodriguez is "begging for a defining moment of heroism." But for reasons that I don't quite get, everyone seems to demand it of him. Nothing matters unless he has a defining moment of heroism. The press keep harping on that as a reason to denigrate every success and magnify every failure.

If he had hit that home run in the 8th it would have been just ARod padding his stats.

Then there was this tripe, from George Vecsey in this morning's Times:

"Alex Rodriguez was seething. That is the only way to interpret his terse comments Monday about his demotion to sixth in the Yankee batting order..."It's not important," Rodriguez said afterward. "The main thing is that we won. Now we have to keep our home-court advantage for the next game.""

I give up. I have no idea what the man is supposed to say that won't be wrong.

2006-10-04 06:50:43
42.   JL25and3
Oops. My finger twitched twice.
2006-10-04 06:54:45
43.   mikeplugh
I'm sorry I brought it up. I like A-Rod and I killed the vibe of the early thread. Forget I said it.

I think he's between a rock and a hard place and I feel for the guy. It's tough being Jeter's teammate, but especially when you have the pressure of being A-Rod on top of it.

I love him. I want to bake him cupcakes. Forgive me.

2006-10-04 07:00:15
44.   JL25and3
43 Nah, don't worry. I was headed for that little rant anyway. Having gotten it off my chest, I'll try to shift the mood as well.

I went to bed before Jeter's home run - I figured the game was in the bank, and if it wasn't I sure didn't want to see it. At that point it seemed clear to me that the story of the game was Bobby "Donuts" Abreu. And, despite Jeter's awesome game, I'm surprised that Abreu's been kind of lost in the shuffle.

Wasn't the knock on him in Philadelphia that he wasn't a "winner"?

2006-10-04 07:02:12
45.   mikeplugh
44 Yeah. Abreu was lost in the shuffle a bit. It was kind of like....

"Captain Jeter is a baseball God. He's done it again. Is there any player that better represents winning? And Abreu had 4 RBIs"

2006-10-04 07:02:12
46.   Chyll Will
29,30 Hear-hear! Only on the Yankees can Thames be considered a scrub of Andy Phillips proportions (and I mean that sardonically if that isn't obvious).

Wang had the sinker going for him, left it up for an inning and a half, but was certainly effective. I'd never seen a ball move like that so quickly....

Most of the starters got timely hits, Cano struggled but was smooth in the field (can we give it up for his defense, people?), Matsui gave up on a ball that could've been a single, but made contact in his at-bats, Sheff with the beautiful ballerina stretch, Giambi doing a Ricky Henderson impression and Jeter...

Man, what can you say? It could only be scripted better if this were Game 7 in the WS. This, if nothing else, is why Jeter is Captain and beloved. Hit the ball, catch the ball, throw the ball, eat the ball, tell 'em to kiss your butt if you have to (or better yet, don't say nuttin'), play ball. Onto Game Too!

2006-10-04 07:05:08
47.   Sliced Bread
31 Hey, man, you've beat me to the punch too many times to count.

35 as your "posting proxy" do I get to cast, on your behalf, a vote of unjustified confidence in Farnswacker?

2006-10-04 07:20:47
48.   buffalocharlie
Great recap Alex!

A couple of questions for everyone:

1. I was upset that Torre took Wang out of the game. I thought he should have let him finish the 7th. What's are your opinions on this? Was Torre thinking post-season pitch counts, or did over-manage the situation.

2. With a 8-4 lead, why bring in Rivera. All game, McCarver talked about how Rivera was going to a one-inning pitcher, and it seemed to be overkill to bring in Mo. Any opinions on this. Personally, I would have preferred to save Mo for a more meaningful appearance in game 2 or 3.

Great game to watch and kudos to the Tigers for not rolling over (esp. Robertson) after the five-run inning. Oh yeah, 5 for 5, awesome!

charlie h
buffalo, ny

2006-10-04 07:20:54
49.   Chyll Will
Bobby Donuts was lost in the shuffle because he did what people expected him to do. It seemed as though everytime he stepped to the plate with men on, Detroit just said, "okay, another two runs..." Abreu was given carte blanche by everyone to just hit with men on base, which is what he has done.

No one seems to expects anything else of him except to make contact, and catch the ball without killing himself when it goes to right field. And for his part, he doesn't seem to mind.

2006-10-04 07:44:25
50.   Sliced Bread
Abreu is so powerfully smooth, and quietly comfortable there should be a Cadillac named after him.

The 2007 Cadillac Abreu. Damn, that's fine.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-10-04 07:47:22
51.   mikeplugh
;)
2006-10-04 07:47:24
52.   Shaun P
29 I appreciated it, Sliced, I think I even posted a comment that Farns was getting squeezed by McClellan.

That said, mikeplugh in 32 is dead on - in the heat of the moment, I want Farns to throw strikes, dammit! And I'm likely to shout to high heaven about it. The next morning, I've calmed down some.

I'd rather have Farns any of the other relievers who were available last winter. Dude is young (30), throws gas, and strikes guys out. As a reliever, here are his career numbers of what he controls (BB, K, HR), not including the playoffs:

468.1 IP
56 HR ("about 1 home run every 9 innings pitched" says John Sterling)
215 BB ("about 1 BB every 2 innings pitched")
543 K ("over 10 Ks per 9 innings pitched! - that's outstanding")

I will take that any day of the week.

2006-10-04 07:48:21
53.   Emy
48 I've got no problem handing the ball to Mo with a four-run lead. Every postseason game is important...let's close the door right there and move on to game two. There is no guarantee a Mo situation arises in game two or three (Yanks down late or a blowout either way).

I've seen no mention of this in the papers today, but does anyone know what the record is for consecutive postseason hits? Dating back to the '05 Division Series, Jeets has at least 6 straight (remember he led off the 9th with a 1B before Arod hit into the DP). I think Billy Hatcher had like 6 straight in the 90 WS, but not sure if anyone else had more.

2006-10-04 07:49:54
54.   Max
Hell with the ARod drama...I was just as speechless as anyone when Jetes hit that last home run, then I was chanting "D-E-R-E-K J-E-T-E-R" at the top of my lungs from my home office along with everyone at YS. Then I shut up and let the cheers just reverberate...gave me chills, actually.

Must have been just amazing to be there, Alex.

2006-10-04 07:53:50
55.   Count Zero
26 29 I'm with you on both counts Sliced.

A-Rod can't win with the press or the fans. He looked good at the plate last night...patient, smooth swing, hit three bullets. Didn't show up in the box score.

I also thought Farnsworth pitched well. When he missed, he was just missing, and I also thought he got squeezed just a little bit. All in all, he looked nasty and his control was there. He was nibbling low and McLellan refused to give anything at the knees or on the black.

I was happy with that win, and my one and only regret was that our defense never got tested...the jury's still out on that.

2006-10-04 07:56:16
56.   Shaun P
And Alex - what a writeup! Thanks for sharing the experience with all of us. I've always wanted to go to a playoff game at the Stadium, never have - but reading your recap made me feel like I was there. Congrats - I hope you get to go back for Game 2, and beyond!
2006-10-04 07:56:30
57.   Emy
53 OK, to Hell with work, I decided to look it up myself...

Hatcher actually had 8 in 1990 and he tied Reggie Jackson who did it in 77 and 78. Believe it or not, Miggie Cairo tied them in 2002 with the Cards.

2006-10-04 07:58:45
58.   RIYank
Hey, I was waving my Farns Flag on Banter when he was pitching last night. I thought there was tension, but no real hatin', here at BB.

Tonight will be Robbie and A-Rod, and maybe Godzilla will cash in too. And let's see the same tight, professional fielding that we had last night, to keep the Moose calm and happy.

2006-10-04 07:58:50
59.   Sliced Bread
52 Nice numbers there, Shaun P. I'll definitely take that. See, unfortunately an 8th inning home run can kill the team, especially if it's following a walk. Farnswacker lives dangerously, and I enjoy watching his tight rope act. No net, Farnswacker! No net!

I wish the Stadium crowd would get behind him. After he throws ball one, the place falls silent, and it sounds like he's scrambling to sink a 45 foot putt on the 18th, rather than trying to hold an 8th inning lead.

Support your local Farnswacker, people! That's all I'm sayin'!

2006-10-04 07:59:48
60.   RIYank
Emy, I'm sure we all suspected that Miggy had a piece of that record, but thanks for doing the leg work.
2006-10-04 08:04:52
61.   Chyll Will
48 I did note a look of perplexity by Wang as Joe was coming out, or was that just me? You think everyone gathered around the mound to reassure him that he did well? It did seem rather odd to take him out when he was still effective and with one out to go, but I'm guessing that Gator and Torre saw or knew something we didn't, so I'm okay with it as long as he's not injured.

As for Mo, well, he does get cranky when he's not used, so maybe it was a safe exercise situation, as opposed to using him when the game's tight and he hasn't been in a game for a week or so. I might be wrong, but it seems like an unused Mo is almost as bad as a tired Mo.

2006-10-04 08:06:07
62.   Chyll Will
McClelland now says three balls, two strikes...
2006-10-04 08:08:10
63.   Sliced Bread
62 at least he's picking up the pace
2006-10-04 08:13:29
64.   Sliced Bread
If you've ever wondered what it would look like, watching Pudge Rodriguez being devoured by a giant shark, get yo bad self to Mike Plugh's Canyon of Heroes blog.

Mad genius artwork as always, Dr. Plugh.

2006-10-04 08:23:43
65.   Shaun P
62 Of course ball three was over the middle of the plate, just above the knees and should've been strike three, but at least he isn't working the plate tonight. Moose hates getting squeezed, always seems to throw him off his game.
2006-10-04 08:39:55
66.   JL25and3
50 2007 Cadillac Abreu is great. I can't remember the last time they've picked up a guy who so completely exceeded my expectations. I expected good performance, but not a guy who's such a pleasure to watch.
2006-10-04 08:48:52
67.   Chyll Will
66 Maybe David Justice? I think even moreso Scott Brosius...
2006-10-04 08:54:00
68.   3rd gen yankee fan
Hey Alex, this article got a link from Soxaholix today.
2006-10-04 09:06:29
69.   Chyll Will
That third inning was like watching Jiffy Pop, wasn't it?
2006-10-04 09:11:15
70.   RIYank
68 Hey, cool.
(In case others want to look, the link here is the last line in the cartoon.)
2006-10-04 09:14:43
71.   JL25and3
By the way, apropos of absolutely nothing: a correspondent on another e-mail list pointed out that the name "Pujols" is guaranteed to make any kindergartner convulse with laughter. It's completely ruined the name for me.
2006-10-04 09:21:53
72.   RIYank
71 My kids pointed it out to me. And they've invented several jokes centering on it.
On the other hand, all (okay, many) of us 'grown-ups' at BB giggle absurdly at certain remarks about certain members of the Yankee starting rotation.
2006-10-04 09:24:37
73.   JL25and3
72 And I'm one of them. I posted that out of admiration, not criticism.
2006-10-04 09:27:17
74.   RIYank
Hah! ;-)
My lamest rotation humor is all on the record here, so...
2006-10-04 09:27:18
75.   LI yankee
72 Who said we're all adults. I'm a gifted 8 year old.

Wang. Hee-Hee.

2006-10-04 09:27:45
76.   Shaun P
70 Try to avoid following the link to the CHB's recap of last night's game, though. I'm not going to upset the good vibes here by repeating his ridiculous statement.
2006-10-04 09:35:59
77.   JL25and3
75 I keep hoping the Yankees will pick up J. J. Putz someday.
2006-10-04 09:40:54
78.   RIYank
75 If they do, I know just the sports writer to cover it:
http://tinyurl.com/jkfoh
(He's good, actually.)
2006-10-04 09:41:17
79.   RIYank
78 was about 77, sorry.
2006-10-04 09:41:32
80.   rbj
48 I don't have a problem with Torre taking Wang out in that situation.
1) WormKiller is way beyond his previous workload. Sure, one more batter in the grand scope of things shouldn't matter, but with a 7-3 lead at that point, why not save that extra hitter for a game down the road.
2) Yanks brought in Myers to be a LOOGY. I'm sure that sabermetrically one will discover that LOOGIES aren't worth it, but that's going to require a fundamental shift in baseball thinking - not one of Torre's strengths.
3)It was the right situation for a LOOGY, and if Myers couldn't get the job done then, at least it wasn't costly. Find out what he's got before it's the top of the 11th of the 7th game of the WS.
4) Even LOOGIES don't succeed 100% of the time.

So, does anyone know of a study on the merits of LOOGINESS?

2006-10-04 09:41:37
81.   BklynBmr
I love reading the opponents hometown paper after a Yankee postseason win. Enjoyed this one today from Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press:

http://tinyurl.com/larmf

Here's to a Moosterpiece tonight. Can't wait...

2006-10-04 09:44:17
82.   Murray
77 Johnson. Huh huh.
2006-10-04 09:45:14
83.   JL25and3
78 I don't even need to follow the link, I was already thinking about him.
2006-10-04 10:03:12
84.   mehmattski
Actually, Abreu's was recognized, by Steve Politi of the Newark Star-Ledger.

http://tinyurl.com/q9mfn

Of course, the first thought in my mind was: why does Abreu 'earn his pinstripes' after one pretty good game? Meanwhile Alex Rodriguez, who hit .421/.476/.737 in the 2004 ALDS has yet to 'earn his pinstripes'in the eyes of most of these sportswriters.

This two-faced stuff pisses me off.

75 With any luck, there will be a Hughes-Cox combo in the Yankees' near future...

2006-10-04 10:17:34
85.   mehmattski
Oh, for the love of all that is Holy, Joe Morgan will be broadcasting both NY games tonight. To get between games, he's getting a police escort (otherwise known as a "Doug Mirabelli"). I wish I were making this up.

http://tinyurl.com/pya4n

With any luck, the Mets' game will go like 25 innings and Miller will have to do the Yankees' game by himself.

2006-10-04 10:17:58
86.   JL25and3
84 The whole "earned his pinstripes" concept is part of some bizarre Yankee mythology that's come about over the last decade. It's pretentious twaddle.
2006-10-04 10:19:21
87.   JL25and3
85 Great news! I'm going to the game tonight, so I won't have to endure him.

Sigh. He was such an incredible ballplayer...

2006-10-04 10:27:31
88.   markp
JL25and3-amen to that. It's the amazing arrogance of a minority of fans which the media gleefully portrays as the prevailing mindset of Yankee fans in general.
2006-10-04 10:28:53
89.   Shaun P
86 I am going to use that quote whenever I hear someone say "true Yankee" or the like - if you don't mind, JL25and3. That's fantastic.

85 I already watched most of last night's game with the volume to low to hear, so I am ready to do the same tonight.

2006-10-04 10:30:11
90.   Sliced Bread
87 We'll look for you on TV. Guidry shirt, and "Sheffield - 4 More Years!" poster will be you, right? NOT!
2006-10-04 10:36:13
91.   JL25and3
90 My neice and nephew gave me a Sheffield t-shirt a couple of years ago. Needless to say, it's never been worn. But I have been considering getting a t-shirt with the number 11 and the name "Stanley."

89 Feel free, I'll be flattered. Also applicable to "nothing matters until October."

2006-10-04 10:36:39
92.   JL25and3
*niece.
2006-10-04 10:39:06
93.   rbj
Re: Morgan. Just make it a drinking game. Whenever he says something inane, take a drink.
You'll be drunk by the second inning, passed out by the fourth, dead by the ninth.
2006-10-04 10:42:07
94.   underdog
85 As a Dodger fan, I'll be watching the game with the sound muted, because Joe Morgan is not only inane but he truly hates the Dodgers. Another drinking game is to take a drink anytime Morgan mentions his pal Barry Bonds (even when not broadcasting a Giants game). "Barry told me that..." {swig}
2006-10-04 10:53:33
95.   pistolpete
94 Drink a shot whenever Morgan says the word 'very', but pronounces it as 'vurrry'.
2006-10-04 10:59:59
96.   Sliced Bread
Joe Morgan is an irritant I can handle.
Can't listen to Buck, and nobody can make me.

But the broadcasts have hit a new level of annoyance.
I swear, by Game 3 of the ALDS I will be standing over my television, waggling a baseball bat a la Sheffield, ready to swing hard at the next Tommy Lasorda MLB promo.

2006-10-04 11:10:36
97.   Shaun P
96 Good point, Sliced. At least with ESPN, there is no Lasorda garbage.

Anyone else here keeping an eye on A's-Twins? Looks like a pitcher's duel so far.

2006-10-04 11:15:05
98.   RIYank
New thread has arrived, folks. And Alex links to an interview of him for Sports Media Guide.
2006-10-04 11:16:00
99.   Start Spreading the News
Anyone see the George Vescey article in the NYTimes sports section? The guy could have written a review about the game. But no. It is better to write something negative about A-Rod instead. These sports writers are true idiots. A-Rod did well yesterday. He hits a bunch of line drives but at people. That happens in baseball. And the Yanks win so A-rod didn't hurt them. But Vescey downplays that since Jeter went 5-5 with a homer. Ridiculous.

The more and more I pay attention to sports, the less and less I like sports writers.

I won't link to the article since it is considered a "premium" article. But here are the choice Vescey lines:

Opening Line:
"Alex Rodriguez was seething. That is the only way to interpret his terse comments Monday about his demotion to sixth in the Yankee batting order."

Later:
"While his old pal Derek Jeter went 5 for 5, including a home run — and the crowd chanted "M.V.P.!" — A-Rod lashed two line-drive outs around a single and a called third strike."

"Rodriguez has been a cleanup hitter as the Yankees failed to reach the World Series in his first two seasons in the Bronx. This year he had fielding difficulties, went through a batting slump in August, had to endure the revelation that Jason Giambi, of all people, was critical of him. Now all of a sudden he bats sixth.

"It doesn't make a difference," Rodriguez said Monday. Asked if he was surprised at the new order, Rodriguez replied: "None. Joe spoke to me." His words were dutiful, but his brusque response suggested he was miffed, mightily so.

Some athletes respond well to a shakeup or scolding from the coach or manager, but Rodriguez seems to prefer order and maybe even a touch of deference. If A-Rod had played for Billy Martin, there would have been all kinds of barbed challenges that A-Rod has not yet carried this team on his sculpted shoulders.

Rodriguez could brood about being replaced in cleanup by Gary Sheffield, who played only 39 games because of injuries but worked his way back, hitting homers and showing he could play at first base, thereby allowing Torre to hide Giambi, a dreadful fielder, as designated hitter.

The blunt reality is that Sheffield might be a more menacing postseason presence than A-Rod, until further notice. Last night's lineup could have been one of the most potent in modern baseball — Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu, Sheffield, Giambi, Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui, Jorge Posada and Robinson Canó, who nearly won the batting title with a .342 average.

"Robby's batting ninth," Rodriguez said Monday. "For most teams, he'd be batting third."

Theoretically, this surplus could relax Rodriguez. The crowd gave him a highly personal cheer when he batted for the first time last night, a show of support at the start of what could be a long haul.

A-Rod's definitive Yankee moment, if he is ever to have one, is still ahead of him. "

That last line is the killer. A-Rod has had plenty of moments as a Yankee. What about the homer he hit off Schilling in Boston as all the fans were screaming. That was a tie game in the ninth!!! For days, my Sox friends were saying that the homer still hadn't landed.

Stupid Vescey.

2006-10-04 11:29:27
100.   BklynBmr
Anyone watching the A's-Twins? What happened with Milton Bradley, some kind of blowup in the dugout?
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-10-04 11:32:48
101.   pistolpete
>> "It doesn't make a difference," Rodriguez said Monday. Asked if he was surprised at the new order, Rodriguez replied: "None. Joe spoke to me." His words were dutiful, but his brusque response suggested he was miffed, mightily so." >>

Maybe he's miffed at having to constantly answer questions about his state of mind. I would be too.

2006-10-04 12:00:26
102.   pistolpete
Minnesota's version of Derek Jeter ties it up, 2-2. ;-)
2006-10-04 12:53:04
103.   seamus
Can someone clear something up for me. Weren't they advertising that you can watch post-season games on mlb-tv so long as they were out of market games? So, while my account expires tomorrow, why can I not get the twins game (which is apparently a national broadcast - aren't they all technically national broadcasts)?

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