"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Beat Down

The Yankees spanked the Tigers 12-3 on an unseasonably cold, and rainy night in the Bronx. (The weather was so bad that the Yankees gave the fans tickets to another game, later in the season.) Alex Rodriguez drilled a solo home run to right field. In the fourth, he smacked a two-run dinger in the same general direction to put the home team ahead 3-0. That made him 4-4 lifetime (all four hits being homers) against Wilfredo Ledezma. Rodriguez leads the league in home runs (16), runs scored (40) and RBI (46). He’s second in the AL in slugging (.642), and tied for fourth in on-base percentage (.413). He’d make Ron Washington happy if he brought his bat out to the field with him to help him with those tricky hops (he botched another easy play last night, though he wasn’t charged win an error).

Mike Mussina was sharp, hitting his spots and changing speeds nicely. The immediate question was whether they were going to be able to get the game in. The Yanks scored ten runs in the fourth and fifth inning, the rain contiued to fall all night, and nine innings were played. Jorge Posada added two dingers of his own, and Gary Sheffield and Robinson Cano went deep too (It was the first of Cano’s Major League career).

There was some excitement by the time the game was in the bag, when Alex Rodriguez was plunked on the top of his leg in the top of the seventh inning. Rodriguez looked angry and was replaced by a pinch-runner. In turn, Paul Quantrill got two outs in the bottom of the inning and then threw one behind Jason Smith. Both sides were issued warnings and then Quantrill drilled Smith in the back. The Tigers were not happy with the location of the pitch. They stepped out of their dugout and angrily yelled at Quantrill, who walked off the mound and gestured for anyone to come forward. There was no fight, but the Tigers had some angry words for Quantrill afterwards. You know the routine.

Share: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email %PRINT_TEXT


1 jkay   ~  May 25, 2005 6:56 am

1.  It looks like A-Rod ia a true Yank after all. Nice to see PQ step up for the Yankees main man.

2 Alex Belth   ~  May 25, 2005 6:57 am

2.  Score one for therapy.

3 Jen   ~  May 25, 2005 7:02 am

3.  Wasn't Dmitri Young the guy that flattened Posada during an exhibition game this year? And he's going to bitch about Quantrill throwing at someone? And what's with him walking out there with a bat in his hand to yell at Q. (ok, maybe I just have a biased against the guy because I don't like how he flips off his helmet every time he has an extra base hit.)

I'm glad to know that we finally have a couple of goons in the pen to turn to. Sturtze had to be held back from running onto the field last night.

4 singledd   ~  May 25, 2005 7:21 am

4.  In listening to a video clip on Posada's 2nd HR, the announcer said "if it's high enough and deep enough, this will be gone". Anybody know the brainiac that made this astute comment?

5 Murray   ~  May 25, 2005 7:29 am

5.  I know and agree that there should be no stigma associated with therapy, but did Rodriguez really have to share that information with the whole world? Is nothing strictly personal and confidential any more?

We finally have a couple of goons in the bullpen? What was Jeff Nelson?

6 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 25, 2005 7:44 am

6.  Singledd, that was Bobby Murcer, who was in top "do you have a nickname, Scooter" shape last night. As you probably noticed on the clip, the ball had touched down on the other side of the wall when he was somewhere around "high enough," yet he kept on going with is "this will be gone" call.

Earlier in the game, when Bernie hit a shot down the first base line but held up at first for a single, Murcer said something along the lines of "Bernie's going to stop at first for his second hit of the night, and his second double." True Harry Carey/Ralph Kiner level stuff.

Then, when Rey Sanchez was batting following Cano's homer in the eighth, he refered to him as Russ Johnson throughout the at-bat (Sanchez and Johnson both subbed in once the game was 10-0 in the latter innings). After Sanchez singled and they showed a close of up his face, Murcer stuck with it saying "and Johnson gets a hit," actually accentuating "Johnson."

Amazingly, in neither of those last two instances did he ever correct himself, nor was he corrected by Kaat or Singleton, who I can only imagine were stunned into silence.

7 Jen   ~  May 25, 2005 7:53 am

7.  Sorry Murray, I meant finally in the short term sense, specifically what seemed like the lack of brushbacks last year. The Yankees certainly have had their share goons but it seemed like once Clemens left no one was going to step up.

8 Harley   ~  May 25, 2005 7:53 am

8.  Who knows? Maybe PQ's revenge was meant as a more global statement as well. It seems like the Yankee hitters, Jeter in particular, get nailed more than most teams (anyone got the numbers?), and it might not be a bad idea to assume a "We're mad as hell and we're not gonna take it anymore" posture at some point. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

9 Murray   ~  May 25, 2005 7:56 am

9.  Or just not looking at the monitor, perhaps? Having never sat in a television broadcast booth, I don't know how that works.

From my extremely limited experience broadcasting college baseball on the radio, I know that it is considered extremely bad form to correct your broadcast partners.

10 singledd   ~  May 25, 2005 8:00 am

10.  I guess I have to forgive him, as he did hit 4 consecutive HRs in one of the very few Yankee's games I got to go to. Is he a YES broadcaster? Embarrassing.

A great call by Kiner was a game in the 60's where a Met hit a crucial HR down the line.... very close to being foul. As the ball finally landed, Kiner exclaimed "and the pole hits the ball. The pole hits the ball!"

I don't know how Singleton is, but his writings are every bit as racey as flannel pajamas. When I started following the Yanks ('65), the team really sucked, but the broadcasters were Rizzuto, Coleman and Joe G. These guys could call grass growing and make it entertaining.

With all the Ex players out of work, I don't know where they find these guys. Its a shame, as commentators have a big effect on the enjoyment of watching/listening to a game. I wonder how Paulie is.

11 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 25, 2005 8:02 am

11.  Also, a quick comment on the Quantrill incident. I don't believe that German did mean to throw at Rodriguez. I'm also not entirely sure that Alex was angry as much as he got a mighty fine Charley Horse on his thigh and was cursing because of the pain (he never even looked toward the mound, let alone barked something or made a move toward German).

Thus, I think it was pretty foolish of Quantrill to do what he did, forcing the Yankees to use an extra reliever in what should have been a two-pitcher game. Even more so, the game was a complete drubbing that had to demoralize the Tigers, but by plunking Smith, Quantrill gave Detroit something to get energized about. After he got thumbed Groom gave up a three-run homer to Thames and a double to Dmitri Young that accounted for the only runs and extra base hits the Tigers got all night. It was a shame to give the Tigers some life like that.

That said, Quantrill's real mistake was missing Smith the first time. No warnings had been issued at that point, so had he hit Smith with his first attempt he and Torre would likely not have been run and he could have finished the game. But by missing he put himself in a spot where he had to peg Smith after the warning to save face. Missing Smith with his first pitch (which was intended for Smith's thigh, a thigh for a thigh you know) also forced him to aim for an easier target up around the chest/back/shoulders, which lead to the Tigers thinking he was throwing at Smith's head (which he wasn't, besides which he hit him with what looked like a soft toss).

Still, you have to like Quantrill's attitude, his taunting the other team to come get him, and his post-game poker face about wet balls and "missing inside" etc. Classic stuff. You know he's move up several pegs in that clubhouse and in Torre's book (as Joe is a big believer in tthe old school, eye-for-an-eye method of the game "policing itself").

12 BFenwick   ~  May 25, 2005 8:05 am

12.  PQ hasn't been having a great year: might this have been a move on his part to rally the team (and Torre) behind him?

13 jalexei   ~  May 25, 2005 8:06 am

13.  Quantrill's comments last night:

"If they've got a problem with what went on on the field, instead of coming five feet in front of the dugout, just come out and do what they're threatening to do," he said. "I've got no problem with that. ... If they've got a problem, they should come and address me directly about it, instead of coming onto the field and doing a lot of chirping."

"Chirping"! - I love it...

14 Alex Belth   ~  May 25, 2005 8:31 am

14.  Once a hockey guy, always a hockey guy.

15 Nick from Washington Heights   ~  May 25, 2005 8:41 am

15.  was quantrill a hockey player?

16 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 25, 2005 8:52 am

16.  Well, he's Canadian. That's close enough, right?

17 Nick from Washington Heights   ~  May 25, 2005 9:13 am

17.  blame canada!

regarding the a-rod therapy thing, i think it's pretty cool that he's putting money into services in my native neighborhood. and i think it's ok that a-rod is honest about his own therapy. for a figure from the macho world of sports to admit such a thing goes a long way to erasing the stigma. so i guess i disagree with murray on this issue but i understand it could be perceived as self-serving on a-rod's part.

18 rbj   ~  May 25, 2005 9:35 am

18.  Regarding broadcasters, here in Toledo the Yankee-Tiger games on extra innings are blacked out (also Indians and Red games) so I have to suffer through the Tiger announcers. Did anyone know that the Yankees have the best team money can buy, and that their payroll is $200 million? Such great insight and detailed investigation.

So is Q going to be suspended for 5 games?

19 brockdc   ~  May 25, 2005 9:48 am

19.  Anyone who has MLB Extra Innings has to endure TERRIBLE commentary by hack announcers whenever the YES games are blacked out. Because these announcers have done such little research on the 2005 Yankees, whatever commentary they have is either steeped in cliche or just plain erroneous.

We make fun of Kay, Murcer, et. al, but they really are the gold standard in terms of regional broadcasts (scary thought).

20 Andre   ~  May 25, 2005 9:58 am

20.  Actually, I am a lifelong Yankees fan living in Massachusetts, and the Sox announcers are pretty good too (Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo). I prefer the Yankees announcers but if you're comparing, then the Sox announcers should rank pretty high up on the list.

21 Knuckles   ~  May 25, 2005 10:06 am

21.  Quoting Cliff:
"You know he's move up several pegs in that clubhouse and in Torre's book (as Joe is a big believer in tthe old school, eye-for-an-eye method of the game "policing itself")."

Do you really see Torre this way? I feel the opposite- Joe has shown zero inclination towards protecting Yankee batters with a little inside wildness now and again. Hopefully this is the start of something new.

As for the Yanks' hit and been hit ratio, I don't have that but I did an (Excel file) study showing the correlation between walks and HBP for teams from 2002-2004. Not surprisingly, HBP and Walks rise at roughly the same rates for most teams, with the stark exception of the Red Sox, who almost always seem to be among the league leaders in hit batsmen while also having one of the lowest Walk rates in baseball. I can send the file to people if they'd like.

22 markp   ~  May 25, 2005 10:08 am

22.  "(he botched another easy play last night, though he wasn't charged win an error)."

Arod hits 2 HRs, drives in the first three runs, and gets on base all four trips to the plate. That's nothing compared to allowing a meaningless infield hit.

I think the "why doesn't he..." posts in the previoud thread describe the attitude behind silly remarks like that perfectly.

23 Oscar Azocar   ~  May 25, 2005 10:10 am

23.  I grew up watching Rizzuto, so I've become immune to announcing errors. My memory is sort of fuzzy on this, but there was one game where he mistakenly called a guy, maybe Gary Gaetti, "Sal Bando" at least a few times in an inning. Sal Bando had not played a game in the majors for at least 5-10 years at the time. I miss the Rizzuto/White combo in the booth. I like it best when Singleton and Kaat are announcing. For some reason, it always cracks me up when I hear Kitty lambast pitch counts. He always brings that one up.

24 rbj   ~  May 25, 2005 10:19 am

24.  Rizzuto/White was a great combination. With the Scooter it always felt like I was with a friend at the park, where you'd talk about anything and oh yes, there's a ballgame going on too.

25 Nick from Washington Heights   ~  May 25, 2005 10:35 am

25.  i loved rizzuto's late-inning shout-outs to his friends in florida.

26 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 25, 2005 10:46 am

26.  Oh, I love Scooter too. Miss him terribly. But Bobby doesn't have his charm and humor. You can get away with Sal Bando when you've got Scooter's personality and are flat out entertaining to listen to. Murcer ain't that. I've never liked him as a Yankee announcer. He had a fluke season last year in which he was sharp and informative and that's been it.

Meanwhile, I believe Singleton and Kaat are among the very best in the business, though Kaat's reactionary stances are getting worse by the year. The pitch count and radar gun stuff drives me nuts. Even when I agree with him (radar guns) he needs to realize when to move on to a new topic. Also, I could deal with his railing against pitch counts if he made the distinction between young and old pitchers. Pitch counts have been proven to be crucial to keeping young arms from falling off. If Kitty argued that coaches should toss out their pitch counters with veteran pitchers on the mound (which is basically what he means anyway), he'd have a lot more credibility.

Meanwhile, Kitty's comments about the composure and funky windups of "Asian" pitchers and the nonchalant fielding of "Latin" infielders make me a bit uncomfortable. I don't get hung up on the PC, but those comments border on inappropriate given his position. At least he uses the right ethnic terminology.

Knuckles, I just finished editing Howard Bryant's book on the juiced era (Juicing the Game, on shelves in time for the All-Star Game!) and in it he discusses the way the inside pitch has been taken away from pitchers by the new warning system. One of his chief sources for that section is Joe Torre, who pines for the days of the game policing itself. Joe's comments after the game reflected that (something along the lines of "it used to be that these things would take care of themselves").

27 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 25, 2005 10:48 am

27.  Ah, here's Joe's quote: ""Whether it was [intentional] or not, it came after a couple of home runs. In the old days, teams took care of that stuff."

28 Nick from Washington Heights   ~  May 25, 2005 10:51 am

28.  "He had a fluke season last year in which he was sharp and informative and that's been it."

Murcer's year reminded me of Brady Anderson's 50 hr season. Any rumors that Bobby was juicing?

29 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 25, 2005 10:53 am

29.  I think he was on Red Bull last year. That or he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.

30 Murray   ~  May 25, 2005 12:21 pm

30.  As I said, I don't think people should be stigmatized in any way because they choose to see psychotherapists. I do, however, think that nobody out there is going to say, "You know, if Alex Rodriguez can see a therapist, then maybe I should consider it." It's far more likely that some leatherlunged moron will give him the business about it at Fenway Park. And I'm not sure that serves the goal of promoting the virtues of psychotherapy. On balance, I think that there are things that people should keep to themselves, and unusual frankness about one's medical treatment regimen is an unappealing quality.

The best regional broadcaster I've encountered is Gary Cohen of the Mets. It's a delight to listen to him, and now that Murph is gone, Cohen is having a lot more fun in the booth.

31 Matt B   ~  May 25, 2005 12:28 pm

31.  I have to confess, I like Murcer. No he's not Rizzuto, but he is in that mold. I find him affable and I guess I find him more charming than Cliff does. I like that Kaat is so curmudgeonly, but he really does need to let some things go once in a while rather than drive them into the ground. I think Singleton does a very good job.

The Mets team is pretty solid - Cohen does an excellent job. I miss Murph terribly, though.

32 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 25, 2005 12:46 pm

32.  Don't get me wrong, Murcer seems like a great guy. He seems to love what he does, has a sense of humor, can laugh at himself (frequently), and from what I can tell from a distance is a good and kind man, but he's a crap broadcaster and has not improved in the 20 or so years I've been listening to him.

33 Nick from Washington Heights   ~  May 25, 2005 1:06 pm

33.  It's not as if he's describing his colonoscopy,Murray. Having worked at a school with a number of students with emotional issues, I view A-Rod's frankness on the subject positively. As simple as it sounds, young people look up to public figures, young men look up to athletes. Several students at my school saw a school psychiatrist. Their time with her helped them a lot to deal with their anger, isolation, etc. But, they were also teased by some of the students for the obvious stigma attached to it. This school was in East Harlem, a largely Hispanic neighborhood, and I can't help but believe A-Rod's honesty will in some way temper the taunts of other students and help these students feel less alienated.

34 Nick from Washington Heights   ~  May 25, 2005 1:07 pm

34.  BTW, Murray, I agree with you re: Cohen. He's great and I wish the Yanks had him.

35 Alex Belth   ~  May 25, 2005 1:15 pm

35.  The Yankees have as many announcers as most teams have uniforms. I like Singleton and Kaat the best. They could be the last duo I could ever hear and I'd be fine with that. It's just when you mixed some of the other talent in with them--O'Neill, Kay, Murcer, and now Justice--that the quality gets diluted. I can bear Murcer's "aww shucks" routine much better when it's just the ex-jocks in the booth, for some reason.

Kay was very good with Sterling on the radio. They complimented each other and their clash of the egos made for an entertaining--if not always relaxing--time.

I think the Mets radio team is top-notch.

36 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 25, 2005 1:38 pm

36.  Murcer works better in the all-jocks situation because the only non-jock the Yanks have in the TV booth is Kay and unlike the other low-quality jock broadcasters (Justice and O'Neill), Bobby's too nice to him. Justice and O'Neill are pretty rough in the booth, but they work well with Kay becaues they cut him down and point out when he's wrong or otherwise full of it. Murcer doesn't do that. He practically enables Kay, and that's a very bad thing, for the same reasons that Sterling-Kay was a good thing.

37 brockdc   ~  May 25, 2005 10:53 pm

37.  Man, I miss The Scooter and White. They complemented each other so well. You could practically hear Bill White's eyes rolling with each new cannoli anecdote. Ultimately, though, the thought of Scooter and White reminds me of coming home from little league - my uniform still dirty -and flipping on PIX to see if either Winnie or Mattingly had gone yard yet. Good baseball memories.

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver