Joe Torre bumped his struggling slugger, Hideki Matsui to the seventh spot in the batting order, and Godzilla responded, going 4-5, with three doubles as well as a monstrous home run to straight away center. Guess Godzilla took his meds yesterday. The Yankees other big import, Jose Contreras somehow averted early disaster---escaping a first inning, bases-loaded, no-out jam without letting in a run--and pitched well enough to get the win. He was erratic, but the free-swinging Reds helped him out plenty.
The Yanks broke out the whooping stick, stomped on the Reds, 10-2, and there was much rejoicing in Yankee land as they avoided getting swept in Cincy. Joe Torre added to the pleasure, by getting tossed by the home plate umpire after arguing a called strike three on Jason Giambi. It was a bad call, and since the game was in hand at that point, it was great to see Torre let off a little steam. Robin Ventura added 3 RBI, and Lil' Sori had 3 hits, including a homer. (It's a good thing Sori is such a marvel as a hitter, because he continues to regress defensively.)
The Red Sox and the Pirates, who faced off in the first World Serious back in 1903, wore throw-back uniforms last night, and the Pirates nipped the Sox, 5-4. The Yanks go into the weekend series at Wrigley Field a half a game up on Boston. The first game will be played this afternoon at 3, followed by the Rocket Clemens-Kerry Woods Game-of-the-Week tomorrow afternoon, and then the finale, which will be televised on Sunday Night baseball.
There could be a ruling on Sammy Sosa today, but I would doubt that MLB will make him miss the marquee match up this weekend.
According to the tabloids former Yankee Ruben Sierra will be joining the Yankees in Chicago. The Yanks will apparently send minor league outfielder Marcus Thames to Texas. Does this move have George written all over it, or what? This was the same Sierra who had some parting shots for Joe Torre when he was traded for Big Daddy Fielder in the middle of the 1996 season:
"All they care about is winning." The next spring in Plant City, Fla., as a member of the Reds, Sierra said, "Joe Torre [bleeped] up my career."
Torre was critical of Sierra in a book following the '96 season, but Sierra later apologized to the Yankee manager. Torre has admitted he admires how Sierra has rebuilt his career after stints in Mexico and Atlantic City.
The 38-year old Sierra makes the Yanks more muscular, that's for sure. I always liked Ruben, Ruben because he was such an ass. But the Yanks are maxin out on the ass cap here. At least Raul Mondesi has another buddy. Perhaps he'll be a good bat off the bench, but this is another move that makes the Yanks look more like the Rangers and less like the old Yanks (currently being played by the Seattle Mariners).