Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2003-09-18 13:27
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

David Wells was gunning for his 200th career victory last night, but he gave up five runs in the early innings, and the Yanks couldn't score enough runs to help him out. (They managed eleven hits, to no avail.) Wells stayed in the game and pitched well after that, but the Yankees lost, 5-3. The game took all of two hours and twelve minutes.

The Bombers played the game as if they had a plane to catch. If it were up to them, that's exactly what they would have done. With a massive storm headed up the east coast, today's game has been rescheduled as an afternoon affair. The only snag is that the game is about the only thing that will go ahead as planned in Baltimore today, as the schools and local government will be shut down.

"I'm sorry we have to play, period," said David Wells, who pitched a complete game in the loss. "It's not good. The city's closing down, the government's closing down, and we're playing. Figure that out."

..."I don't really see it," first baseman Jason Giambi said. "I don't see the need to get it in, especially when they're shutting down schools and having the Navy get their ships out. I hope everything works out and everybody's safe. I don't understand the thinking of what they're trying to accomplish."

Joe Torre, the Yankees' manager, had a theory. "Everybody's scratching their head about why we're cutting it so close, but it's not our decision," Torre said, later adding, "When you're dealing with revenue in today's game, that's what it comes down to."

Mike Mussina will pitch for the Yanks today, and has a chance to earn his 200th career victory.

The Red Sox were shut out by the D-Rays in Boston last night, while the Mariners finally beat the Rangers (thank you, Mr. Moyer). Boston's lead in the wildcard is down to a game and a half. Johnny Damon missed last night's game, and the Sox, who have been relatively injury-free throughout the season, are starting to show some bumps and bruises.

The A's won behind a strong effort from Barry Zito, and their magic number---like the Yankees'---is down to six. The Twinkies beat the White Sox again and now lead Chicago by two and a half games in the central. Finally, Doc Halladay pitched a complete-game shut out against the Tigers and may have earned himself the Cy Young award.


Is old man Steinbrenner starting to look out the front door? Maybe yes, but on the other hand, certainly not. According to an article by Richard Sanomir today's Times:

Steinbrenner manufactured his own intrigue yesterday in two telephone calls.

In the first one, he was discussing the business acumen of his sons, Hank and Hal, and his son-in-law, Steve Swindal, when he said: "You don't want to let go, but I'm going to let go. After this many years and so many ups and downs, if I can deliver a championship, I can feel like I can step aside."

But minutes later, Steinbrenner called back to say that he did not mean to say that a 27th Yankees championship would trigger his retirement, only that he might slow down a bit.

"I didn't say I'd step aside," he said, "but there will come a time in the not-too-distant future when I'm going to step aside and let the young elephants in the tent. This is not a retirement announcement. What I mean is that the young elephants, the young sons and the son-in-law, will be more and more active."

Love him or hate him, the Yankees will be forever altered when the old elephant shuffles along. I've mostly disliked Boss George since I started rooting for the Yankees in 1979, but I'm also grateful that he's been dedicated in providing us with a winning team, despite of his unsavory methods. I've been thinking a lot about the day when he's gone this summer. Everything that I know about the Yankees, the way they operate with free agents, with the media, with the rest of the league, is rooted in the Steinbrenner Era. I can't help but wonder if I'll actually miss the big bully when he's gone.

In the late 1980's and early '90's, I remember wishing that George would not only leave the Yankees, but God's green earth as well. It was the only way the Yankees would have a chance to win again I figured. Of course since then, George has enjoyed a Nixonian twilight. Some teams wish they had a guy like Steinbrenner running their team---just ask Christian Ruzich.

Just goes to show, you got to be careful what you wish for, huh?

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