Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Pick 'Em (and Sic 'Em)
2005-07-04 04:28
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui are two of the finalists for the last slot on the American League All Star team. According to the Daily News:

Asked if he were disappointed that he wasn't already on the team, Jeter said, "Every year, there are people on other teams who are pretty deserving. I've been on when others have deserved it. It makes you appreciate the opportunities you do have to go."

... Said Gary Sheffield: "I don't know if the Japanese fans count (they do), but if they do, I think (Jeter) is done. He's got vacation."

It is an absolutely gorgeous morning here in New York. It might be a bit overcast, but the sun will be out, the humidity is low and there is a nice breeze. Yanks host the O's at 1:00. Tanyon Sturtze gets the emergency start versus Bruce Chen, who has had the Yankees' number early this year. (Randy Johnson, pitching on three days rest will go tomorrow.) Enough. Time for some fireworks! I'm ready for the Bomber bats to smack Chen around this afternoon.

Here's hoping the Bombers make George's 75th birthday and happy one. And by the way, Happy Birthday Mr. Steinbrenner.

Let's Go Yan-kees.

2005-07-04 06:50:17
1.   Murray
This promises to be the prettiest Fourth I remember in years, and it's the 22nd anniversary of the game that pretty much hooked me on baseball for good. Everybody should enjoy a ballgame on the fourth at least once. In my own case, I remember the following:

1983--Dave Righetti's no-hitter. I still carry my ticket stub around in my wallet. Some day, I'm hoping to get Righetti's autograph on it.

1989. Tom Brookens drives in Jesse Barfield in support of Don Schuzle's short happy life as the staff ace of the 1989 Yanks as the Bombers shut out the Tigers 1-0. The concert is followed by a Beach Boys concert, featuring special guest drummer Steve Sax.

1997. Rick Reed bests the eventual World Champion Florida Marlins 6-2 at Shea. Mets homers for Pratt and Gilkey. Fireworks follow.

1999. The rarest of rarities: my brother and I do the all-New York doubleheader, with a day game against Baltimore at the Stadium, followed by Mets/Braves at Shea that evening. The Yanks lose a Clemens start to the Orioles 7-3 as the bullpen falters on a scorching afternoon, but the Mets get to Smoltz in the seventh to win a thrilling come-from-behind 7-6 on what remains a scorching night at Shea.

2002. Mike Mussina bests Chuck Finley as the Yanks pummel the Tribe 7-1, with Giambi and Mondesi homering. The front row of the upper deck is hot enough to fry eggs.

I'd have to hunt through my scorecards and ticket stubs to see if there are others; I remember vaguely a 1987 game against Texas, I think.

2005-07-04 07:47:21
2.   Patrick
I don't see how one of Jeter and Matsui (at least) didn't make it over Konerko/Anderson/Hillenbrand.

47 R, 19 HRs, 53 RBI, .244 BA .347 OBP, .481 SLG (1B Konerko)
43 R, 10 HRs, 60 RBI, .309 BA .331 OBP, .472 SLG (OF Anderson)
52 R, 8 HRs, 37 RBI, .304 BA .364 OBP, .447 SLG (DH Hillenbrand)
61 R, 10 HRs, 35 RBI, .302 BA .392 OBP, .447 SLG (SS Jeter)
50 R, 11 HRs, 60 RBI, .307 BA .374 OBP, .500 SLG (OF Matsui)

You've got 1 backup for every position except for 1B, which has 2 backups. You'd think Lee and Pujols played in the AL with that 1B total.

For all the talk of fans playing the all star game as a popularity contest, they did a good job, it seems. Meanwhile, the players seem to be the ones who blew a spot or two.

2005-07-04 08:25:14
3.   rbj
I'm surprised there's only 2 catchers on each team. Yo'd think they'd want to have some more back up at that position.
2005-07-04 11:00:27
4.   rilkefan
For anyone not watching the game on ESPN, Womack was tagged out by a glove without the ball in it.
2005-07-04 11:14:23
5.   tocho
Alex, this is getting scary... To say that Chen was smacked around is an understatement.

By the way, Giambi is officially back (he was back in June but without the constant power). He's taking his walks and hitting the ball with authority to all fields. Maybe not 2001 form but could be 2003 form and I'll take it.

2005-07-04 11:42:29
6.   Dan-el
Sturtze gave what he had ... I had a feeling he was gonna fall apart sooner or later. Proctor ... this might get ugly.
2005-07-04 12:02:46
7.   JeremyM
On the Womack play, how can the guy running realize what was going on, and not the guy paid to watch it? It was pretty blatant that the ball wasn't in the glove. Oh well. We need some runs now.
2005-07-04 14:24:31
8.   rbj
Geez. The Yanks are down 8-6, I go to walk the dog, come back and it's 13-8.
2005-07-04 15:13:25
9.   BklynBomber
What I like is back to back wins of 1-0 and 13-8. That hasn't happened in a while. A good sign.
2005-07-04 16:51:01
10.   Jen
Happy Birthday, George!
2005-07-04 18:59:53
11.   seamus
run bubba run!
2005-07-04 20:37:24
12.   rilkefan
And Foulke allows two runs in 1/3 of an inning, handing victory to the Rangers. NY is now four games behind Boston.
2005-07-05 05:12:50
13.   rbj
And is there some rule in baseball that the Yankees - Orioles are required to play at least one 4+ hour game each year?

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