Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2003-04-18 07:24
by Alex Belth


On a cold and blustery afternoon in the Bronx, Jeff Weaver allowed three hits over 7 2/3 innings, and earned his first win of the season as the Yankees shut-out the Blue Jays, 4-0, to improve to 12-3. Weaver threw a lot of breaking pitches, as he was without his good fastball. John Flaherty, who started in place of Jorge Posada behind the plate told the Times:

"A sign of a good pitcher," Flaherty said, "is a guy who doesn't have it and can still go out and get a quality start. Maybe you're seeing him grow up."

Raul Mondesi continued his hot hitting, collecting two more hits, including a solo homer. Manager Joe Torre told the Post:

"I like the start he's had because of his average. Last year took him out of the way he should be hitting," Joe Torre said. "With two strikes he was an easy mark. Now he's grinding better, hitting back up the middle. It allows him to be productive without the home run."

Mondesi credited Reggie Jackson, who worked with the slugger throughout the spring, for his improved patience and offensive production:

"I try to be around him as much as I can," Jackson said, "just to boost his confidence until he can fly again on his own. He's not a No.8 hitter, that's for sure, and I'm certain you're gonna see him moving up in the lineup before long. They told me last winter that Raul just needs to be liked. So did I."

Lil' Sori added a solo shot of his own, and who else but Godzilla Matsui delivered a bases-loaded double to give the Yankees all the runs they would need.

The heavyweights of the New York press were out in full form this morning praising the Yankees for their fast start: Mike Lupica, Bill Madden and George Vecsey.

Lupica spoke with Toronto Manager Carlos Tosca (who looks like a combination of Larry Bowa and W.C. Fields), who is more than somewhat impressed by this year's Yankees:

"They're like the cavalry. They just keep coming over the hill. And after awhile, you think to yourself, 'Well, the Third Division can't be as strong as the First.' But it is. Believe me when I tell you. They don't stop coming, and they don't quit."

..."No matter what the score in the game," Tosca said, "you never have the sense that they think they have enough runs. In that way, they really don't ever go away. You watch other teams and they score a certain amount, and you can see them backing off. The Yankees don't do that. They are the best I've ever seen at add-on runs."

Meanwhile in Boston last night, Pedro Martinez bounced back from the worst performance of his career, to blank the D-Rays, 6-0 in Boston last night. As we all know, an angry Pedro, is a scary Pedro:

''Cold weather and Pedro,'' Tampa Bay first baseman Aubrey Huff would say afterward. ''It wasn't a very good mix.''

No kidding, bro.

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