The Yankees offense broke-out the whupping stick on Sunday afternoon and pounded out nine runs against the Orioles (Alex Rodriguez homered for the third consecutive game). However, the bullpen couldn’t hold a six-run lead and wouldn’t you know it, but before all was said and done, there was Mariano Rivera on the mound, closing out the game. While this continues a disturbing trend, you would think that Rivera, Tom Gordon and even Paul Quantrill will eventually get a breather down the stretch as the Yankees are comfortably ahead of the Red Sox. Boston lost a close one against the Twins yesterday and now trail New York by nine-and-a-half games.
Esteban Loaiza arrived at the Stadium yesterday and by the time he put his uniform on his goatee was gone. We shall see if he can give the Yankees more than Jose Contreras did; Steve Bonner, for one, remains skeptical. John Olerud will be a Yankee and evidentally, he’ll be the starting first baseman, pushing Tony Clark back to a reserve role. Characteristically, Clark is taking the “demotion” in stride. According to the Daily News:
“Any time you can add a guy like Olerud to your lineup, it can’t help but be a positive. He’s solid on the field, off the field. Offensively and defensively, he’s as good as they get,” Clark said. “It’s about winning ballgames. It’s about being the last team standing. You can check your egos and your personal dreams at the door short of winning the World Series.”
In other Yankee news, today is the 25th anniversary of Thurman Munson’s death. I was eight-years old at the time and recall seeing the news on the front page of the New York Times. I also remember that it was the first time that I ever saw my father cry. That was puzzling to me because my old man was and is an avid Yankee-hater. I asked him, genuinely confused, why he was upset and he explained to me that it is sad when people die even if they are Yankees. Hey, who knew?
The Bombers have the day off today. They will host the surging Oakland A’s starting Tuesday night.