Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Out Cold
2007-04-06 04:49
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The fans who stuck around for the entire game last night are bonafide die-hards, man, cause it was brick cold in the Bronx. Unfortunately, they didn't go home happy as the Yankees lost an ugly game to the Devil Rays, 7-6. Andy Pettitte was far from sharp and the bullpen wasn't much better. The Yankees made three errors, including two by Derek Jeter, and Jorge Posada had perhaps one of the worst defensive games of his career. Still, they had two men on with just one out in the bottom of the eighth. Jeter tapped a ground ball back to the pitcher, who inexplicably tried for the force at third. The throw was late, and bases were loaded. But Bobby Abreu was jammed, and grounded out to the pitcher before Alex Rodriguez missed a fat pitch and popped out to end the inning. Rodriguez threw his bat down in frustration, the cheers turned to boos, and the tabloids had their cover story.

All of this with wild snow flurries falling at different points throughout the game. In the seventh, the snow looked like a swarm of locusts, or, as YES announcer Michael Kay noted, a snowglobe turned upside down. Elijah Dukes, looking thuggish in a black mask--which many of the Devil Rays wore to keep warm--hit a line drive home run to left field which brought back memories of Winfield and Rice. Josh Paul was as good behind the plate for the Rays as Posada was terrible for the Yanks.

It's too soon to get upset, right? That may be true, but my blood was angried-up well enough during the last few innings as the Yanks let one slip away. Can't teach an old dog new tricks, eh?

2007-04-06 05:11:53
1.   Dimelo
First time ever I've done this @ a Yankee game, but I had to leave early. It was f'ing cold. I had my Timbo's on and wool ski socks and my feet were still freezing, at one point I looked at my brother and said let's go to a bar uptown to finish watching this game. This is no longer fun.

If I would have stayed at the stadium though I don't think I would have been that mad because all my attention would have been focused on how cold I was. I was so pissed with last night's game, I'm glad that was only game 2.

160 more to go.

2007-04-06 05:16:17
2.   The Mick 536
Who, dear Alex, is the dog who you cannot teach new tricks to?

The cold didn't have anything to do with the 8th inning failure to drive in runs.

2007-04-06 05:21:46
3.   Josh Wilker
Hat's off (or ski-masks on) to the fans who toughed out the cold.

Two thoughts on names mentioned in the post:

Elijah Dukes sounds like the name of a guy who might have helped integrate the NBA in the '50s along with Sweetwater Clifton and Earl "Big Cat" Lloyd.

Josh Bard's off to a good start with the Padres (going there along with Cla Meredith in a bad trade by the Red Sox for Mirabelli). The Devil Rays' guy is Josh Paul. (I am a big fan of all those making that name a legitimate sports name, as it wasn't when I was a bespectacled lad.)

2007-04-06 05:35:43
4.   murphy
good question about posada, alex. between opening day and last night he must have let about 10 pitches get by him - and all this after the big defensive strides he made with the help of peña last year.

it was so fitting that dukes and delmon "bat man" young looked like bank robbers because that's probably what they would be doing if the devil rays weren't so overly patient with their - ahem - "antics".

2007-04-06 05:46:41
5.   Knuckles
Josh Paul is also the catcher that dropped the called 3rd strike in the playoffs a couple years back...that AJP took 1st on.
2007-04-06 06:03:41
6.   Shawn Clap
Far be it from Posada to blame the equipment manager, but come on. His mitt should have been dunked in mineral oil between innings (softens the mitt).

As an added bonus, it also softens the ball, giving the pitcher a firmer grip on nights like yesterday.

One of the "respectable" ways of cheating in baseball.

2007-04-06 06:09:59
7.   Knuckles
Piling on some more...since I feel like ish and froze my ass off riding to work today...
- Jeter's range to his left these past 2 games has rivaled that of Giambi. He made Zobrist look like Ozzie Smith last night. My frame of reference as to what is and is not a fieldable hit up the middle is so out of whack from watching the Yanks these past 12 years. It's a harsh, sad thing to say but it's true.
- If Posada's gonna hit .700 and play this kind of defense, I'm gonna go into full JimDeanMode and say put him at DH, Giambi at 1st, and trade all the RHP's in the minors for a young, defense oriented backstop. I kid, I kid. But seriously...
- Enough with the damn bunts. You got one of your slowest guys on 1st (Minky) and a somewhat unaccomplished bunter in Melky at bat- you're just begging to have the lead runner gunned down, or worse, doubled off on a popup.

Can we please just go out and dominate the O's this weekend?

2007-04-06 06:19:31
8.   Sliced Bread
Please pardon my tasteless relgious puns, but it's a "good" Friday for self-flagellation in Yankeeland.

Betrayed by our pitching (Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please. Now pitching for the Yankees, Judas Iscariot) --
and crucified by the Devil Rays (who were those masked men?): can the Yanks rise again? Faith dictates they will, and soon, but our eyes reveal a team that is flatter than Manischewitz egg matzos at this moment, and softer than the pink marshmallow Peeps in our Easter baskets.

Remember, don't eat or serve Pavano on Good Friday. Oy vey.

mercifully off topic: did you catch Gator intensely coaching Bruney in the dugout before "God Bless America"?
Bruney, believing he had notched strike three, (his teammates sharing this belief), started walking off the field a split second before the slow ump called it a ball. Bruney proceeded to zip in a low F.U. of fastball for a called strike 3. In the dugout, Guidry held him by the shoulders, looked him in the eyes, and appeared to be encouraging and admonishing him at the same time. I couldn't discern what was being said, but it was cool to see Guid handling the kid.

By the by, others disagree with me about this, but I love the "God Bless America" interlude, especially viewing the game from home. I love taking in the un-narrated sights and sounds from the Stadium, and YES always presents a nice "live" montage.

Girardi's fantastic in the booth: insightful and honest. Can't ask for more than that.

Daisuke was downright dirty. Haven't seen breaking stuff like that since, I dunno, Vida Blue.

2007-04-06 06:24:18
9.   Alex Belth
Elijah Dukes is a great name. I caught some of the women's NCAA final the other night and the Rutgers Knights have a point guard named Epiphany Price. Now, THAT's a good hoops name.
2007-04-06 06:35:04
10.   Yankee Fan In Boston
8 the shot of guidry talking to bruney was great. i enjoyed the lingering shot, and then the two of them jumping and sprinting to the top of the dugout steps. great stuff.

other than that, i can honestly say that i didn't really enjoy watching the game. (the fact that wasn't giving me any audio didn't help, either. grrr...)

2007-04-06 06:36:25
11.   Yankee Fan In Boston
9 my favorite baseball name at moment is merkin valdez. it makes me giggle.
2007-04-06 07:18:26
12.   Sliced Bread
re: Elijah Dukes's line drive home run:

My dad says as a kid he witnessed a similar out of the park liner by DiMaggio that he swears the third baseman leaped for in vain, before it smashed into the seats like a chunk of something from outer space.

Of course such debris had further to fly before it cleared the fence back in the day.

2007-04-06 07:22:24
13.   pistolpete
Last night was absolutely fugly. The passed balls would have been comical if the game didn't actually count in the standings.

Cue Peter Gammons to pronounce the Red Sox winners of the AL East...

2007-04-06 08:37:17
14.   Peter
I was there last night and actually stuck it out to the end. My girlfriend's brother was freezing and wanted to leave, but I talked him into staying (I had my heavy winter coat and a few layers underneath so I wasn't too uncomfortable). It's only one run and the D-Rays bullpen, I reasoned, they'll win this. What an ugly game.

That 8th inning rally was really exciting as it happened, though. Snow swirling around us, the Yankees taking one base at a time, the Stadium absolutely jumping as Abreu dug into the batters box. But alas...

The boos didn't seem that loud after the popup and the crowd was overly supportive of ARod (who by the way, was the only non-pitcher not wearing sleeves. I don't know how he did it.) all night, I thought. Vizcaino got it pretty bad, though.

They played Frank Sinatra after the game. I thought that was pretty odd.

8 When you wrote Manischewitz, I read Mientkiewicz.

2007-04-06 09:17:54
15.   OldYanksFan
No doubt that like all here, I am starved for Yankee games, and especially Yankee wins. But while I'm pissed they lost, I can't make too much out of a poor showing in a '2nd game-of-the-year-in-the-snow'.

We love to analyze, but the truth is, for the by and large, this is the same team as last year, with (hopefully) an improved BP. But everything else looks the same. Last night might well have been a video replay of a number of games from last year.

My guess is the buzz word for this team will be infuriating, bang-tour-head-against-the-wall inconsistancy.

Some days our offense will be scary good, and make us feel sorry for our opponants. Some days they will threaten, come close, and then fail in many opportunities to shut the door.

Some days ARod, Jetes, Minky and Cano will dazzle, and others, just as likely to fizzle.

Some days our BP will dominate, and clearly be the best in the league. Sometimes in a drunken stupor we will dream of Mendoza, Stanton, Reardon and Mo.

Some days we will be so good, it's really unfair. Some days TB and the Royals will be 'so good' as to boggle our minds.

In short, aside form a few extra MPH from our BP....
Just like last year.

2007-04-06 09:33:31
16.   pistolpete
15 The offense and pitching did 'well enough' t win IMO - it just doesn't help matters when the ball is rolling to the backstop every 3-4 pitches.

Pettite only gave up 2 ER - that's the difference in the ball game, folks.

2007-04-06 09:36:43
17.   nycfan
"it was so fitting that dukes and delmon "bat man" young looked like bank robbers because that's probably what they would be doing if the devil rays weren't so overly patient with their - ahem - "antics". "

What did Young do other than the bat-throwing thing? That was bad, but it's far from bank robbery, and you wouldn't be saying that he would be a criminal if he weren't a baseball player if he was white

2007-04-06 09:36:44
18.   nycfan
"it was so fitting that dukes and delmon "bat man" young looked like bank robbers because that's probably what they would be doing if the devil rays weren't so overly patient with their - ahem - "antics". "

What did Young do other than the bat-throwing thing? That was bad, but it's far from bank robbery, and you wouldn't be saying that he would be a criminal if he weren't a baseball player if he was white

2007-04-06 09:50:27
19.   Jim Dean
Me, I was wishing they had a fiery manager last night. Just two godawful performances in a row. Someone needed to be screaming at them. Shoot, Yogi would have been fired after two games like that.

7 Wish I could help you but after last year I'm cool with Jorge behind the plate. Now if the season looks like last night, they'll need a catcher by May. At least Wil Nieves is on the roster. He and Minky can battle for playing time.

2007-04-06 10:14:08
20.   Count Zero
7 I had the same thought about Jeter and his "range" last night. But then I realized that he and Cano were playing mid-depth most of the night because the DRays speed makes it impossible to throw a lot of them out on a slow groundball if you're playing back by the grass. If you noticed, when most of those balls went by Jete he was moving left on a line with the bag at second, not close to the outfield grass.

All in all, that was an ugly game. But I have to cut them some slack for 1) the weather conditions and 2) second game of the season. I didn't think Pettitte was anymore impressive than Pavano though, really. Without the bonehead running play at plate in the second, it's quite likely he gives up more runs. The DRays ran themselves out of that inning.

2007-04-06 16:35:56
21.   claybeez
4 I've got to back up 17. That definitely hit me the wrong way. Uncool. Offensive.

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