Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Second Best
2007-09-24 20:01
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The Yankees finished second to the Blue Jays in yesterday's makeup game, which doubled as their regular season home finale. Thus, the half game in the AL East standings was rounded up, and the Red Sox hold a two-game lead with just six games left. The good news is that the Tigers came in second to the Twins, so the Yanks clinched a tie for the Wild Card, and can clinch outright with a win over the Devil Rays or a Tiger loss tonight.

As for the game it self, A.J. Burnett was supposed to start for the Jays, but had to head home for personal reasons. Instead, the Yankees faced Jessie Litsch, who beat the Sox his last time out. Yesterday, Litsch seemed to do one of two things, get groundballs right at his fielders, or give up doubles. Unfortunately for the Yankees, he did a lot more of the former. Of the 30 Yankees Litsch faced over 7 2/3 innings, eighteen hit a grounder right at an infielder and four doubled.

The first double was hit by Doug Mientkiewicz with one out (a ground out, of course) in the third. He moved to third when Curtis Thigpen booted a grounder by Melky Cabrera (the only Blue Jay error of the day), held when Johnny Damon hit a week grounder down the first base line, and was stranded by a rare fly out hit by Derek Jeter. The second double was hit by Hideki Matsui with two out (both ground outs, of course) in the fourth. Jorge Posada jutted his right knee into a pitch to reach base, then Robinson Cano grounded out to end the inning. Derek Jeter hit the third double leading off the sixth, moved to third on an Abreu grounder, and scored on a grounder by Alex Rodriguez for what would be the only Yankee run of the day. The last double was hit by Bobby Abreu with two outs (both ground outs, of course) in the eighth. It finally drove Litsch from the game after just 99 pitches, but Casey Janssen got the final out to strand Abreu, then picked up the save in the ninth.

Andy Pettitte, meanwhile, had a rough second inning, allowing three runs on a walk and three hits, including doubles by Thigpen and John McDonald. The Jays added a run in the third when Alex Rios doubled with one out, moved to third on a fly out to right, and scored when Derek Jeter booted the third out. Andy faced the minimum over the next three innings, but, with Litsch cruising, the damage was done. Final score 4-1 Jays.

Hey the folks who put out the Bronx is Burning asked me to mention that Mickey Rivers will be signing the DVD at Modell's at 51 East 42nd Street from 5-7 pm today and Graig Nettles will be doing the same at the FYE in 1290 Avenue of the Americas from 6-8 pm. I'm doing so because I thought some of you might actually want to go meet Mick and Puff, and because they sent me a free copy of the DVD. I hope to have a review of it for those of you who missed the series when it ran on ESPN, likely after the postseason. If I had to summarize that as-yet-to-be-written review in one word, that word would be "mixed."

Comments (59)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-24 23:28:01
1.   Mattpat11
I know what annoys me most.

I'm now going to get another round of Toronto is a contender next year!

2007-09-25 04:00:01
2.   RIYank
They are going to be really good next year. I mean, the only reason they sucked this year is all those injuries. Great pitching, and that big white guy can really hit. Boston and NY had better watch out.
2007-09-25 05:29:04
3.   Sliced Bread
Yankee Rookies in Oz.

NY Daily News Photo Gallery:

Edwar looks creepier than the original Wicked Witch.

Igawa is a little too comfortable in his flying monkey pajamas.

Not sure what to make of Ian Kennedy as Dorothy but I think it explains Liza Minnelli's marriage to David Gest.

"We're Off To Seize The Wild Card" (Daily News) better backpage headline I think than "Wiz Kids" (NY Post).

2007-09-25 06:06:48
4.   Alex Belth
Reggie Jax is still furious at ESPN for not consulting him for the series. I didn't see all of it, but they made Martin a softy, side-stepping Billy's anti-semitism (Ken Holtzman) and his biogtry in general. I still contend that watching a movie about the Bronx Zoo on regular TV is like watching "Blue Velvet" or "Scarface" on Channel 11.
2007-09-25 06:20:55
5.   williamnyy23
4 Do you have any sources documenting Billy's anti-semitism or bigotry? I am not doubting your assertions, but those are some pretty strong accusations and would like to see how credible the claims are.
2007-09-25 06:23:54
6.   yankz
3 "Kei Igawa's first appearance back at Yankee Stadium in months is as a flying monkey, as opposed to the pitcher who allows home runs to fly out of the ballpark."


2007-09-25 06:28:34
7.   williamnyy23
0 The Yankees also need Seattle to lose (assuming they don't win) in order to clinch.

Also, I think Andy's second inning was hurt by the defensive missteps of Alex and Melky. With a little help, he could might not have yielded a run.

2007-09-25 06:28:48
8.   Sliced Bread
4 Tony Montana: Is this it? That's what it's all about, Manny? Eating, drinking, sleeping, standing? Snorting? Then what? You're 50. You got a bag for a belly. You got spits, you need a shoe. They got hair on them. You got a liver, they got spots on it, and you're eating this bad stuff, looking like these rich silly mummies in here... Look at that. A junkie. I got a lazy junkie for a wife. She don't eat nothing. Sleeps all day with them black shades on. Wakes up with a sandwich, and who won't love me 'cause she's in a coma. I can't even have a kid with her, Manny. Her womb is so polluted, I can't even have a healthy little baby with her!
2007-09-25 06:29:57
9.   Chyll Will
4 Heheheh...

But I had said that before. This had the makings of sugarwater; I never counted on E@#$, a supposed "family" network to dig deep into a story like that when the "consultants" they had weren't even a real part of it. And sorry, I don't care how dead-on Tutturro was as Billy, if they brushed off the issues you mentioned, it was all for naught. I don't have much tolerance for ratings grabs, but that's all it seems like to the grown up in me.

The kid in me says the actor playing Reggie took his "straw that stirs the drink" comment a little too literally...

2007-09-25 06:33:21
10.   jedi
3 seriously, what did Ian Kennedy do wrong to be subject to the "Dorothy" outfit versus the seemingly cooler outfit of a "Palance Guard" aka Ross Ohlendorf. I mean I get why Chase Wright is subject to the "Good Witch" I guess you can never live down those homeruns he gave up. But, Ian Kennedy!?...come on give the guy a break...if anything Igawa should have gotten that costume. lol

It's almost seems like that's what Edwar really wears outside of a uniform.

Talk about the perfect outfit for Joba. lol

2007-09-25 06:55:33
11.   Alex Belth
If you want to read about Martin's less than savory side, check-out Ed Linn's "Steinbrenner's Yankees," or "Reggie," co-authored by Mike Lupica...
2007-09-25 06:56:51
12.   Sliced Bread
If the Red Sox had any sense of humor they'd dress up their rooks as characters from "Gone With The Wind," which edged out "The Wizard Of Oz" for Best Picture.

Youkilis isn't a rookie, but he makes an fine Scarlett O'Hara. So dramatic with the anti-Yankee thing.

2007-09-25 06:57:06
13.   Alex Belth
I thought this was funny...from the Daily News...

Duncan - who solidified his Scarecrow credentials by adding a rude message to an autograph he recently signed for a 10-year-old Boston fan - warmed to the spirit of the silliness and played his role with aplomb.

"There's only one thing on my mind, and that's nothing," Duncan said. "I'm just trying to do my job. I don't know what that is, but I'm gonna do it."

2007-09-25 06:59:01
14.   Alex Belth
Funny but Oz and GWTW came out in 39. Two years later, The Maltese Falcon and Citizen Kane were released. Both were nominated for Best Picture but neither won. What movie was Best Picture in 1941?
2007-09-25 07:00:32
15.   williamnyy23
11 Thanks...I'll check out Linn's book...anything co-authored by Lupica drops out on the credibility criteria.
2007-09-25 07:01:25
16.   williamnyy23
14 Good Bye Mr. Chips?
2007-09-25 07:03:38
17.   wsporter
8 Weird, I just don't remember Paul Muni saying that. :-)

I saw an episode of "Bronx is Burning", the one where Berkowitz was caught. Tutturro was pretty good as were those ears they glued on him; I think the left one will probably get an an Emmy. I couldn't bring myself to waste the little time I had over the summer by devoting it to that dreck.

2007-09-25 07:05:35
18.   wsporter
Love John Ford but How Green was my Valley should not have won.
2007-09-25 07:07:40
19.   Sliced Bread
'Citizen Kane' wuz robbed.

'Hold Back The Dawn' was another good one that year.

2007-09-25 07:13:05
20.   JL25and3
I think Chase Wright may actually be a little better looking than Billie Burke. But then, I always hated Glinda.
2007-09-25 07:15:42
21.   mehmattski
They couldn't come up with a different costume for TyClip? Or did they just order two flying monkey costumes by mistake? I think they should have made him "A Horse of a Different Color."
2007-09-25 07:16:10
22.   Max
3 I have to admit that "We're Off to Seize the Wild Card" back page headline, with the picture of all the rooks in their costumes, was pretty funny. Especially after the sorry performance yesterday, it was somehow fitting.

Am I the only one that would almost rather face the Halos? I'm not crazy about the prospect of playing at their house of horrors, but somehow I feel our guys would be really motivated to finally get the (rally) monkey off their back, and I'm not scared by their pitching.

With Cleveland, on the other hand, I'm afraid our bats would go to sleep again like they did against the Tigers last year. I'd rather face them in a seven game series.

Oh well, plenty of time to consider this after we clinch.

2007-09-25 07:23:33
23.   Cliff Corcoran
22 Yes, you are the only one.
2007-09-25 07:25:54
24.   williamnyy23
22 With home field, I'd rather face Anaheim, but without, I think Cleveland is the better matchup.
2007-09-25 07:28:42
25.   JL25and3
22 Seeing the Yankees beat the Angels would be more satisfying - maybe more satisfying even than beating the Red Sox. But I have no confidence that they actually would beat the Angels - and losing to Garrett Anderson and Chone Figgins again would just infuriate me more. I'll take the Tribe.
2007-09-25 07:43:49
26.   Sliced Bread
I don't think the Angels are any tougher than the Indians, who play in a tougher division.

The Indians have a slightly higher OPS .772 than the Angels .767.

Higher slugging % too: .429/.420

OBPs are similar .344/.347

Indians have a lower ERA 4.09 to 4.20
and have allowed fewer earned runs 635 to Anaheim's 650.

Indians also have a slightly lower WHIP 1.32 to Anaheim's 1.36

The ultimate intangible is Rally Monkey Park At Thunderstix Field.

I want the Yanks to tear that sucka up, but I don't care who the Yanks have to beat in the first round, as long as they get it done.

2007-09-25 07:45:42
27.   Chyll Will
18 ,19 There was a lot of controversy surrounding Citizen Kane at the time because William Randolph Hearst took it as a personal attack on him and his mistress, Marion Davies, whom he was trying to build up as the new Clara Bow of that generation. He ordered all of his newspapers to never run, include or mention anything having to do with Citizen Kane, and he also tried to bribe RKO studio execs to burn the negatives. Think Rupert Murdoch trying to bury Matt Greoning and The Simpsons in their first season if he knew what was coming... also Louella Parsons, the Joan Rivers of her day, took it upon herself to blast the picture and Welles at every opportunity she could.

Ol' Orson had pulled a fast one on the execs while filming the movie by clever subterfuge and bait'n'switch, so only the cast and crew knew what was going on.

But between Hearst and Parsons, most of the damage was done and Citizen Kane premiered with a cloud over its head and non-blockbuster returns. The politics caused it to be virtually shut out at the Oscars, except for Best Screenplay, which was shared by Orson and Joseph "Scribble" Meintkewicz...

"How Green Was My Valley" won, mainly because they didn't want to offend Hearst by giving Citizen Kane it's due. The ramifications included the virtual destruction of "Magnificent Obsession" when studio execs took the project away fom him while he was in South America film "The Lady from Shanghai" along with tripping up Orson's career; he never really regained the glory he had with Citizen Kane, though he did make fine performances and films ("A Touch of Evil" was made because Charlton Heston thought he was already on the production and wouldn't do it without him.)

Ironically, it was the French New Wave that rediscovered and brought renewed focus and deserved renown to the movie that was originally scripted under the title "American", and Orson enjoyed latter-day success as a pioneering and revered visionary in cinema history.

2007-09-25 07:47:52
28.   Mattpat11
2 I'm going to go on the record right now and say that the 2008 Blue Jays, just like their "much improved" 2006 and 2007 versions, finish no closer than eight games out of the playoffs.
2007-09-25 07:55:17
29.   JL25and3
27 Great recap, but one small correction: the movie that the studios hacked up was "The Magnificent Ambersons." "Magnificent Obsession" was a Douglas Sirk tearjerker.
2007-09-25 07:55:23
30.   Sarasota
10 .....Kennedy being Dorothy is really quite interesting.....perhaps his teamates are giving you some insight on how they really feel about Kennedy........Dorothy was way more central to the story than the Tin man (Hughes).
2007-09-25 07:59:04
31.   williamnyy23
30 I have a feeling the real story is the smaller Kennedy was the only one in the group who could fit into the Dorothy costume.
2007-09-25 08:00:37
32.   Chyll Will
29 You are correct, sir, and I will proceed to smack myself silly for such an obvious oversight, especially since I've seen both (stupid job, -smack!- >;)
2007-09-25 08:00:58
33.   Bob B
I clerked for a Federal Judge in 1977 and remember that summer vividly. It was the only time I lived in the city-June 1st to September 1st. I thought the series did a very good job of covering that summer. I went to a ton of Yankee games that year,followed the Reggie/Martin/Bronx Zoo daily in the papers and still remember the fear of the 44 caliber killer (son of Sam).I remember the blackout and the wildness in the streets that night, too. And yes, Tunturro's ear should get an Emmy. One of the craziest summers to live in NY, NY.
2007-09-25 08:02:58
34.   Bama Yankee
27 "Orson enjoyed latter-day success as a pioneering and revered visionary in cinema history"
...and Paul Masson wine pitchman. ;-)
2007-09-25 08:03:39
35.   Chyll Will
31 Agreed... although it's quite hilarious that a guy who's six foot has the best build among those available to portray a little Kansas farm girl...
2007-09-25 08:07:21
36.   Chyll Will
34 Don't forget the frozen peas... like that classy statesman and Clinton protege Stephon Marbury always says, "Money makes you do crazy things, man..." >;)
2007-09-25 08:13:21
37.   Mattpat11
35 I've had some doubts about him being six feet.

He's no Dustin Pedroia, but I think he height might be a bit fudged as well.

2007-09-25 08:21:58
38.   Chyll Will
37 I should have put 'supposedly' in there, because I've thought the same thing at times >;)
2007-09-25 08:22:13
39.   JL25and3
32 Well, Agnes Moorehead was in both movies. And though I've never seen Magnificent Obsession, I've always had trouble telling Rock Hudson and Joseph Cotten apart.
2007-09-25 08:27:27
40.   Chyll Will
39 You're kidding, right?
2007-09-25 08:37:22
41.   wsporter
27 Yeah, a sad end for the 'Boy Genius' trapezing around Europe begging for money and eating himself to death. T.T.O. Othello should have fixed things for him but it didn't; he must have been some royal pain in the ass. What else could we expect from the great Harry Lime? Now there's a guy who'd come in high and tight on ya whether you crowded the plate or not.
2007-09-25 08:39:48
42.   Chyll Will
39 In fairness, I don't remember ever seeing Joseph Cotten with his hair any other color but blonde, but I haven't seen all his films either. Rock Hudson's kinda hard to miss, though... I think Cary Grant if he had just retired from the NFL after 10+ years...
2007-09-25 08:46:22
43.   JL25and3
40 Have you ever seen the two of them photographed together? Kinda makes you think, doesn't it...
2007-09-25 08:47:45
44.   Chyll Will
41 Yes. There's a documentary about the making of Citizen Kane in which at the end he lamented his life and the choices he made, breaking down in tears; but our professor said afterwards that he was known to be an irrepressible showman and could have just faked his remorse on camera for the story's sake. For all his personal demons, I loved his techniques as an actor and filmmaker. It took me a long tim e to realize the irony of his role in "The Muppet Movie", but Jim Henson was that other kind of genius as well...
2007-09-25 08:50:01
45.   Chyll Will
43 This looks like a job for Bama!
2007-09-25 08:51:48
46.   wsporter
Watching Tom Holt gobble down Agnes Moorehead's strawberry shortcake is an experience that should not be missed.
2007-09-25 08:58:24
47.   wsporter
44 Yeah he's a fascinating person. It's curious that some people who are so smart and talented in some ways can be so unaccomplished when it comes to getting along with other people and how that can handicap them. He was never going to get away with Citizen Caine but treating the people who bankrolled the studios like morons really didn't help his cause.
2007-09-25 09:00:33
48.   wsporter
43 "The Last Sunset" - Oh they're different alright!
2007-09-25 09:03:03
49.   Bama Yankee
36 Yeah, that frozen peas clip is pretty funny stuff. I'm sure Welles was a difficult guy to work with, but the results were usually worth it. Those wine commercials were pretty popular, IIRC. Even as a kid, we would go around imitating the famous catchphrase. From the following clip, it looks like Orson's motto should have been: "We will drink no wine before its time"

2007-09-25 09:10:28
50.   Ben
It's been bugging me all year, but I finally figured out who Phil Hughes reminds me of. It's the guy that plays the older brother in the sitcom the Wonder Years. It's the southern california thing, maybe, and the underbite.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-25 09:16:55
51.   JL25and3
48 I did find that at, but was hoping I could slip by anyway. Have you really seen that movie?
2007-09-25 09:20:05
52.   JL25and3
50 And I finally settled on my nickname for Shelley Duncan. Given his large size as well as his puppyish enthusiasm that verges on physical assault: Marmaduke.
2007-09-25 09:22:31
53.   Chyll Will
47 It kinda makes you think he wasn't so far off character with Charles Foster Kane, honestly. There definietly had to be a little sense memorization with that role. Coupled with his War Of The Worlds "joke" and you have the makings of a royal class jerk. Still...

49 One of my buddies has an audio clip of Colonel Sanders cursing quite noticably while trying to record Kentucky Fried Chicken radio spots. Imagine an old man sitting on a stool in a cramped recording booth for hours repeating the same lines over and over again... from what I recall watching a doc on him, he was far from a pushover himself...

2007-09-25 09:25:44
54.   Bama Yankee
50 Good call on Jason Hervey:
2007-09-25 09:40:07
55.   Bama Yankee
53 Hmmm, has anyone ever seen a photo of Orson Welles and Colonel Sanders together? ;-)

I'm sure they would have gotten along great, Orson would have loved the chicken and mashed potatoes while the Colonel probably would have loved the wine (and frozen peas)...

2007-09-25 10:24:50
56.   jedi
30 wow, I didn't think of it that way. Good point. But, I was thinking more on the lines of how demoralizing it is to a man to dress up as a girl compared to the other characters available.
2007-09-25 10:33:29
57.   wsporter
51 Yes, but TCM won't fool me twice with that one; although Dorothy Malone is always worth watching! Joe Cotton gets shot in the back early on so it's a Rock v. Kirk rollick to nowhere for the next hour or so. Oye!
2007-09-25 10:39:14
58.   wsporter
46 That is of course Tim Holt not Tom. That's what I get for playing at work.
2007-09-25 11:01:08
59.   pistolpete
34 Mhhhaaaahhaaaa...the French!

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