Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Sunday Bakin
2008-07-20 14:08
by Alex Belth

Andy Pettitte pitched a terrific game on Sunday out-dueling Justin Duchscherer at the Stadium as the Yanks completed a three-game sweep with a 2-1 win.

Duchscherer is an interesting-looking guy. He has a gaunt, narrow face with pointy features--he could be a spy in a WWII movie. He is a likable pitcher because he thows junk but has excellent control--he's thinking out there. He was under-the-weather on Sunday but still went seven innings allowing both runs--one on a sac fly by Alex Rodriguez, the other on a solo homer to Jason Giambi. But he wasn't as good as Pettitte who was a horse, going eight, allowing a run on four hit and no walks. Pettitte also tied his season-high with nine strikeouts.

The game moved along briskly, a welcome change on a scorching hot day. It took just under two-and-a-half hours to complete. Robinson Cano continued to hit the ball hard. But it ended on a strange note.

With Mariano Rivera on the mound and one out in the ninth, Ryan Sweeney on first, Bobby Crosby lofted a fly ball to right field. Bobby Abreu camped under the ball, and at the last moment held up his hands, like Count Dracula meeting the morning light. The ball landed in Abreu's glove and then popped out. He picked it up and launched the ball over second base where Ryan Sweeney was a sure out. Fortunately for the Yanks, Rodriguez snagged Abreu's wild throw and flipped the ball to Derek Jeter who side-stepped his way to the bag just as Sweeney arrived. The Yankees got the call and the second out.

Rajai Davis replaced Crosby as a pinch-runner and was thrown out trying to steal second to end the game. Jose Molina was hit with the bases loaded to win Saturday's game and he throws out a runner to end Sunday's game.

That's twice as nice.

2008-07-20 14:55:41
1.   JasonO
But a spy for which side? Axis or Allies?

Or both? Which brings to mind the classic scene:

2008-07-20 15:00:12
2.   JasonO
For good there anything better than Clint wasting Nazis?

"Broadsword calling Danny Boy."

2008-07-20 18:01:29
3.   OldYanksFan
Funny, while we are sweeping 3 from Oakland, the Angels sweep 3 from the Sox. Over the last 10 games, we have gained 2 on the Sox and 5 on TB. We are now 3 games out of the WC behind Boston (although I still think TB will be our WC competation).

A pretty good weekend, all in all!

2008-07-20 20:02:18
4.   Mattpat11
Fine, fine game. Now lets keep this rolling. Don't turn around and lose five of six now.
2008-07-20 20:49:43
5.   OldYanksFan
The rare trade that hurts both players
A must read, people. Must read.

One of the commenters said: "Bobby was and still remains my favorite player and I was devastated when he was traded. I stopped following the Yankees and switched to the Giants and then the Cubs."

That really struck a cord. Myself, I remember that I was in tears and didn't watch baseball for a few days after the trade. I didn't know anything about other teams (a little maybe about the Mets) so 'switching' wasn't really an option.

It is a real tribute however, to the impact Murcer had on that generation of fans. The Yankees, without Bobby, just didn't seem to be the Yankees anymore.

2008-07-21 04:55:58
6.   Raf
5 That column was linked to sometime last week
2008-07-21 05:20:31
7.   The Mick 536
I don't speak ill of the recently departed. Loved the story about his uniform in space.

The Yankees hadn't been the Yankees for years when Murcer was traded. For starters, they weren't playing in Yankee Stadium. They hadn't played in a World Series since 1964.They finished 89-73 in 1974, led by Pat Dobson, Dick Tidrow, Doc Medich, and Sparky Lyle. Sudden Sam, whom they got for cash was 1-6. George released him around the time he traded Murcer.

It was Lou's first year and Chambliss' first, too. To get Lou, they traded Lindy McDaniel. To get Chris, Georgie traded four pitchers. They needed arms. Everyone thought George was crazy for making the moves he was making.

Nettles arrived in 1973. Steady, becoming great. Hunter came in 1975. White and Munson held forth the Yankees future as the last true homegrown Yankee position players. George was building and there wasn't a place for Murcer.

The game changed dramatically in those years due to free agency. It wasn't yet appreciated, but George understood it.

True, Murcer had led the Yankess in homeruns from 1969 through 1973, though his totals were far from thunderous. And, for a couple of years, there, he was the only Yankee on the All-Star team. I thought they put on the team just to have a pinstriped presence.

Murcer, as noted, didn't like playing at Shea. He hit only 10 homers, while driving in 88 runs and groused. The Yanks were certainly improving, so they got rid of him to strengthen their offense and defense, as I remember. His replacement hit 32 homers.

Bill Virdon was the manager, until Billy replaced him two-thirds of the way through 1975. Wonder what he had to say at the time? Mel Stottlemyre was in his decline, finishing his career in 1974. Guidry, whom they didn't know what to do with came up in 1975. Larry Gura, whom they traded for Fran Healy the next year, was 7-8. The team was a mess even though their arrow pointed up.

Please note that the Yankees enjoyed great success when Murcer was with the Giants and Cubs. They had gotten the superstar he wasn't named Reggie.

I went to a fair number of games in those years and avidly read the papers. I cannot remember anyone shedding tears for Murcer. I also remember being surprised when they brought him back. He was less than happy then too.

2008-07-21 05:48:51
8.   monkeypants
7 "True, Murcer had led the Yankess in homeruns from 1969 through 1973, though his totals were far from thunderous. And, for a couple of years, there, he was the only Yankee on the All-Star team. I thought they put on the team just to have a pinstriped presence." a little homework. He was just about the the best player in the league in 1971 and 1972. Top 3 in SLG both years, second in HR in 1971. You have to put his numbers in conetext--he played at a time when hitting 25 HRs put you on the top 10 in the league.

2008-07-21 07:17:32
9.   Raf
7 The game changed dramatically in those years due to free agency. It wasn't yet appreciated, but George understood it.

Charlie O understood it as well. It wasn't so much George understanding or appreciating free agency, as taking advantage of it; he wasn't the only one in on the Catfish Hunter deal, for example.

After all these years, given the way things turned out with that franchise, it's amazing to me that the Montreal Expos(!) actually put in a higher offer for Reggie.

2008-07-21 11:37:28
10.   The Mick 536
I took you up on it, we were both a little off. Pepitone had 27 in 69 to Bobby's 26. Killer had 49, Howard 48 and Reggie 47. 1970 he hit 23. Howard had 44. Killer 41. Not in top 5 either year. I'll give you 71 and 72. He had good years. 1973, the Yankees weren't even a .500 team. They started to get better in 1974, but he got left behind. I am not disputing the numbers; I am only challenging his sainthood as a ball player. Is he in my list of my ten favorite Yankees whom I have seen play since 1951, NO!

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