"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Baby Bern

If these are indeed the final days of Bernie Williams’ career in New York at least he’s got some games like last night’s left in him. Williams, who has traditionally hit well in August, cranked a pair of two-run home runs to help lift the Bombers past Kansas City 5-1. He received two curtain calls and it was warming to see him being appreciated by the home town fans. Bernie is a favorite of ours here at Bronx Banter and I know that I am trying to savor every at-bat he has–good, bad or indifferent–because this may be it. Of course, it is especially sweet when he does something productive.

Alex Rodriguez added a solo blast into the black seats–his league-leading 38th on the season–and Randy Johnson pitched eight strong innings. It was a good win for the Yanks who kept pace with Indians and A’s who won–as did the Sox.

Meanwhile, according to Bill Madden in The Daily News, the Yankees acquired outfielder Matt Lawton last night fromt the Cubs for a minor league pitcher:

Lawton, who hit .268 with 11 homers and 49 RBI in 120 games with Chicago and Pittsburgh this season, likely will be plugged into left field with Hideki Matsui moving to center on regular occasions as the Yankees address what has been a problem for them all season long. According to sources, the deal came down in the middle of last night’s 5-1 Yankee win over the Royals, after it had been learned earlier in the day that Lawton had cleared waivers.

This sounds like a nice, modest pick-up. I’ve always liked Lawton personally, and he’s an upgrade over Bubba Crosby and Tony Womack in the outfield. Welcome aboard, bro.

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1 Zack   ~  Aug 27, 2005 7:41 am

1.  Yes, but the question is, will he actually replace Womack in the outfield? Replacing Bubba isn't too tough as he just has to sit on the bench, but can anything break Torre's bizarre infatuation?

2 markp   ~  Aug 27, 2005 8:12 am

2.  His 369 career OBA will be a nice "keep the line moving" change from TW, whose current OBA is 100 points(!) lower.

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 27, 2005 8:37 am

3.  A few things on the Lawton trade:

1) It's official, the Yankees have put out a press release.

2) The minor league pitcher is Justin Berg. From the PR: "Berg, 21, was 6-1 with a 3.07 ERA in 14 games (nine starts) with Class-A Staten Island this season (55.2IP, 44H, 22R, 19ER, 19BB, 48K). He was selected by the Yankees in the 43rd round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft." I've never heard of Berg, but those are solid stats across the board. Still, he's much too far away for a 14-game sample to mean much.

3) The Yankees should try Lawton in center rather than moving Matsui. Lawton hasn't played a meaningful number of games in center since 1998, and he wasn't very good there at the time. But I think he at least deserves a look there as he arrives in New York as a solid defensive right fielder and he has far more footspeed than Matsui. Also, Matsui's career Rate in center is worse than Bernie's mark for this season (94 to 95).

4) Was traded from the Pirates to the Cubs for Jody Gerut at the trading deadline (in fact, this is the third time he's been traded since December when the Indians shipped him to Pittsburgh for our pal Arthur Rhodes) and has since had a terrible August. Here's hoping he snaps out of it as the Yankees everyday centerfielder and #2 hitter.

5) Lawton could prove to be a steal like Shawn Chacon. Interestingly, they're both members of what Paul Lukas terms "Crew Askew":


Chacon has gone straight with the Yanks. It will be interesting to see if Lawton does (it wouldn't surprise me if the Yankees have made a rule about this).

6) I'm warning you now, I'm going to call him "Marcus Lawton" about 900 times.

4 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 27, 2005 8:55 am

4.  7) If Lawton's arrival pushes Bernie to DH full-time and Giambi to 1B full-time it solves two problems, as I'm still convinced that returning to the DH role is part of the reason Giambi's lost his stroke. Plus, it gives the Yankees a legitimate hitter off the bench in Tino Martinez. Also, whether Lawton replaces Womack or Crosby on the roster (though I'm sure it's the latter), it's a marked improvement either way. And Womack could actually have some value if they get him playing the infield again and use him as a pinch-runner (okay, that's a stretch)

8) Lawton bats lefty and has occasional pop in his bat. That would seem a great thing for Yankee Stadium, but he has terrible career numbers in the Bronx: .196/.229/.277 (.172 GPA) in 112 ABs. Obviously he'll have to snap out of that. Looking at his hit chart on MLB.com, Lawton spreads his hits around, but did seem to be taking advantage of a somewhat short porch in right field in PNC Park as a Pirate.

5 sabernar   ~  Aug 27, 2005 9:15 am

5.  9?) With a career OPS of .370, and it was .380 with Pittsburgh this season before his trade, (Jeter's OPS is .388), do you bat Lawton leadoff? He has a some speed (17 SB in 26 attempts), and that would give the Yanks a really strong #2 hitter, allowing Matsui to bat 5th and Giambi 6th.

6 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 9:25 am

6.  Will Lawton be playing today?

7 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 27, 2005 9:32 am

7.  Yeah, he's Sheff in right, who's DHing. Giambi at 1rst. Interestingly enough, I think that they sent down Proctor.

8 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 27, 2005 9:32 am

8.  that should read "he's replacing Sheff"

9 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 27, 2005 9:34 am

9.  And yes, I would put him at the top of the order after a couple of games if he shows that he can get on base consistently.

10 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 9:35 am

10.  Who's at CF, then? Bernie?

11 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 27, 2005 9:38 am

11.  Yeah, it goes Matsui, Bernie, Lawton in the outfield and the basic crew around the horn with Giambi at first.

12 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 27, 2005 9:40 am

12.  Yeah, it goes Matsui, Bernie, Lawton in the outfield and the basic crew around the horn with Giambi at first.

13 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 27, 2005 9:43 am

13.  Sabernar clearly means OBP.

Listening to the Managers' show on WCBS, Torre didn't mention the roster move or exactly what his intentions are for Lawton.

Today he's hitting eighth and playing right (his natural position). We'll see what they do with him tomorrow.

Royals start rookie J.P. Howell for the injured Runelvys.

14 yankz   ~  Aug 27, 2005 9:48 am

14.  why are saturday games always blacked out? this one's not even on fox...

15 bobtaco   ~  Aug 27, 2005 10:10 am

15.  Hey yankz, if you have mlb.tv access, it's still possible to get the game even with the blackout, I'm watching right now. I can let you know by email...

16 rbj   ~  Aug 27, 2005 10:26 am

16.  Well that's a bullet dodged.
And you'd think that with digital cable and Extra Innings, I'd be able to select the game I want to watch, even if it's through Fox (e.g. get the YES feed, but have it go on Fox & do a 50-50 on who's ads get shown.)

17 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 10:29 am

17.  Well, front-loading the lineup seems to be paying off...

18 Alvaro Espinoza   ~  Aug 27, 2005 10:31 am

18.  I don't like 55 in the 2 hole at all (as he laces a 1-hopper to fence, 1-0 good guys). Who protects 13? If anybody had to be moved to the 2 hole, it should have been 25. Leave your rbi guy in an rbi slot.

19 rbj   ~  Aug 27, 2005 10:33 am

19.  The problem with Jason in the #2 slot (and with his eye, I think he'd be a good hit and run guy) is that he's slower than molasses in January.

20 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 10:39 am

20.  Maybe Torre figures 13 don't need no stinkin' protection...

21 Shaun P   ~  Aug 27, 2005 10:50 am

21.  Something tells me you're right, Randy - A-Rod should be fine no matter who hits behind him.

I'm really excited about Lawton - good defense, can play any OF spot (in theory), high OBP guy - he could be a great option out of the 2 hole, or even a nice OBP guy at the bottom of the order. Nice move, Cashman!

I'm guessing the Cubs feel they are officially out of it?

22 Yankee Fan in Chicago   ~  Aug 27, 2005 11:12 am

22.  I wonder, given that he's in right today with Shef dh'ing, if Lawton wasn't picked up primarily to give Shef some rest.

Shef, despite the 3 run dinger the other night, seems to be slumping. Avg down to .293. Wonder if he's just tired, or has a nagging injury, maybe to the shoulder again.

Also wonder if he's uncle's problems with the law/substance abuse are taking a toll.

23 Shaun P   ~  Aug 27, 2005 11:45 am

23.  Here we go again with the f#(&'in 5th inning . . .

24 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 11:46 am

24.  Another 5th inning meltdown. :-P

25 Dan-el   ~  Aug 27, 2005 11:46 am

25.  The meltdowns are swift and unforgiving.
Damn. But at least we're only down 2 runs. That last ball hit to Giambi was absolutely scorched though.

26 watziznehm2   ~  Aug 27, 2005 11:47 am

26.  Get him out already!!!!!!!!!!!

27 Shaun P   ~  Aug 27, 2005 11:47 am

27.  The offense better wake up now - 4 walks is great, but only 2 hits . . . c'mon we're gonna need a ton of runs today!

Not very impressed with Wright right now. Please please let Small be up in the 'pen . . .

28 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 11:49 am

28.  I want Small, too, but it sounds like it's gonna be F-Rod...

29 Shaun P   ~  Aug 27, 2005 11:51 am

29.  Well, Rich should be happy - he's always saying F-Rod should get more work. =)

30 yankz   ~  Aug 27, 2005 11:53 am

30.  its still early, and its only two runs. but the fact that the yankees only have 2 hits is discouraging.

31 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 11:53 am

31.  No, it's Small! About time...

32 Alvaro Espinoza   ~  Aug 27, 2005 11:58 am

32.  I really don't see a defense for it. A-rod will be pitched around whenever possible w/o 55 behind him. As for 25's speed, yes he's slow but so is Matsui therefore speed isn't much of a consideration for Torre. This team overwhelmingly plays station to station baseball anyway. I want my high OBP guys at the top of the order so that my RBI guys can bring them home. 25 has missed a lot of meatballs over the past 10 days. If he's going to go hitless and walk 2-3 times a game (a la last night), stick him in the 2 hole. Put 55 back in a run producing slot where the team needs him.

btw - I think all of Sweeney's hits last night and today have been down the 3B line. 13 better be standing on it every time he comes up.

33 Yankee Fan in Chicago   ~  Aug 27, 2005 12:01 pm

33.  Matsui may not be quick, but he's the best baserunner on the team. He consistently scores from second, goes first to third, tags from second and third, etc.

You simply can't put him in the same category as Giambi.

34 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 12:25 pm

34.  C'mon, let's get some hits here. Howell's gotta be tiring...

35 yankz   ~  Aug 27, 2005 12:28 pm

35.  A rookie pitcher for the worst team baseball has seen in years held our offense to four hits.

36 watziznehm2   ~  Aug 27, 2005 12:35 pm

36.  Damn it...

37 Shaun P   ~  Aug 27, 2005 12:35 pm

37.  Maybe we shouldn't have asked for Small to come in?

Suppose you can't fault him too much - Wright is the one who screwed this one up. C'mon, Cano!

38 watziznehm2   ~  Aug 27, 2005 12:37 pm

38.  How can Cano go down looking.....

39 yankz   ~  Aug 27, 2005 12:42 pm

39.  the offense should be able to throttle these pitchers, and jaret wright should be able to shut down these hitters.

cano and giambi are both batting .188 in august, they need to heat up.

40 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:03 pm

40.  Now would be a good time for A-rod to hit a home run...

41 marc   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:21 pm

41.  without a 9th inning miracle it looks like we ran into KC at their two hottest runs of the season. At least Boston caught them in their last series also. Hmm leadoff walk. Let's go Yanks

42 marc   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:25 pm

42.  tying run to the plate! ain't over till it's over

43 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:27 pm

43.  Tino!!! Now it's up to Jete...

44 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:34 pm

44.  Why did they wait until NOW to find their offense?

45 rbj   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:34 pm

45.  C'mon Godzilla.

46 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:37 pm

46.  Man, I can't complain about this inning. Just about everyone's stepping up. Now it's A-rod's turn...

47 jameson and water   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:37 pm

47.  Tie game baby!

Okay if the pitcher makes that throw it's over but this is why you don't concede the game early . . . .

48 rbj   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:38 pm

48.  Sweet, Sheff.
This would be a clutch moment A-Rod.

49 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:40 pm

49.  Holy crap! What a comeback!

50 jameson and water   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:40 pm

50.  Nicely done Alex! Alright, now off to celebrate this one in the fine Greek bars of Astoria.

51 yankz   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:40 pm


52 tom yf   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:41 pm

52.  did that just happen?

53 Dan-el   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:42 pm

53.  YES.

54 yankz   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:42 pm

54.  I've been meaning to bounce the nickname "A-Clutch" off someone for a while and decided this is a great opportunity. Anyone else like it?

55 marc   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:43 pm

55.  Arod the greatest clutch hitter the Yanks ever had (grin)

I'm listening on XM. Sterling says that's the greatest 9th inning rally he's ever seen in 18 years with the Yanks

56 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:43 pm

56.  That was a realllll good win - lots of negatives while the game went on but hell, they came back and beat on a team they should have beat. Good deal - let's see everyone else (BoSox, Indians, & Oak) lose. Good Stuff! AL East is on the platter for sept. - I can feel it... but hey, I'm the resident optimist, remember?

57 rbj   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:44 pm

57.  Suweeet! Nice clutch ABs, guys. Pressure's on the other teams to keep up.
Now off to (hopefully) watch the Mudhens wrap up a playoff spot.

58 Yankee Fan in Chicago   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:48 pm

58.  C'mon O's, let's go Jays, knock em in Tigers.

59 rbj   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:53 pm

59.  I'm just so glad I wasn't able to see that game on tv. Thanks MLB/Fox. Really appreciate not being able to see such a comeback. Gamechannel gives all the visuals of radio with none of the scene painting by an announcer.

60 Schteeve   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:53 pm

60.  Can we officially retire the A-Rod sucks in the clutch thing from now on?

61 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:58 pm

61.  Umm...no. :)

That was great, but not, IMVHO, real clutch. If he struck out, the game would go to extra innings. Sheff was the one who was really in the clutch this time. If he struck out, the game was over.

62 marc   ~  Aug 27, 2005 1:59 pm

62.  talk about a bad fielding play opening the floodgates! Affeldt going to have that bad throw to 2nd on an easy DP in his nightmares for a long time. Yanks gave him an ERA boost to remember.

63 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 2:09 pm

63.  And how about the new guy, Lawton? His first day, and he comes up with a big hit.

64 vockins   ~  Aug 27, 2005 2:48 pm

64.  I hate myself for turning this game off in the middle of the ninth.

65 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 27, 2005 3:50 pm

65.  Well, Cleveland lost & Oak is gonna win (most likely) though if LAA lose, it would make for a very interesting stretch run in that division as well...God, I can't wait for tonight's Sox game if they lose. We'll see how they react to the footsteps...

66 joe in boston   ~  Aug 27, 2005 4:12 pm

66.  Love the A-Clutch nickname

Love the Lawton pickup

Love the win.

Oh God, please let the Sox lose tonight so I can listen to Sports Radio ALL DAY tomorrow and hear the Sox fans bitch and worry !

Great Win !

67 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 27, 2005 5:17 pm

67.  Thank you Dimitri Young...let's keep this going...

68 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 27, 2005 5:18 pm

68.  And thank you Omar Infante, apparently...god, it's fun when it's not happening to the Yanks ;)

69 marc   ~  Aug 27, 2005 5:45 pm

69.  boston holding a 2 run lead on a bunch of bad calls and great catches on rockets being hit off Arroyo.

70 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 6:10 pm

70.  Detroit's in the lead now. Go, Tigers!

71 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 27, 2005 6:17 pm

71.  And a nice thank you gift basket to Brandon Inge - I'm hoping the Detroit bullpen is good enough to hold that lead.

72 Shaun P   ~  Aug 27, 2005 7:04 pm

72.  9-8 Tigers, top of the 8th, one on, one out. I'd like it very much if Detroit scored another 4 or 5 runs here. =)

Thanks to stupid FOX and their stupid Boston affiliate, I was left to "see" the comeback by watching ESPNEWS's scrolling ticket for updates, and then highlights. We in greater Boston were first treated to Cubs-Marlins (a very good pitching duel), but when it finished, where do you think FOX went? That's right, to that exciting Texas-Twins game. 'Cause so many people out here care about that.


73 marc   ~  Aug 27, 2005 7:11 pm

73.  12-8 tigers. This is looking good even with the three bad calls going Boston's way.

74 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Aug 27, 2005 7:26 pm

74.  Marc,

I don't think Sterling quite said it was the Yanks' greatest in his years, but ranked among them. When he said that, I immediately thought of a game in '98 when the Yanks came back from something like 8 runs down in the eighth or ninth. A tremendous and improbable rally was capped off by a Strawberry homerun.

Does anyone remember that game, because that was one for the ages in a season for the ages.

75 JVarghese81   ~  Aug 27, 2005 7:31 pm

75.  I think I remember that game...and Sterling's call from that game too - I think it was against the Royals.

76 marc   ~  Aug 27, 2005 7:43 pm

76.  Boston loses 12-8 after leading by 6. Yanks only 1 1/2 out now. Now I don't have to listen to these droning Boston announcers any more tonight.

77 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 7:48 pm

77.  YES! Thank you, Tigers!

78 mikeplugh   ~  Aug 27, 2005 7:57 pm

78.  In post #61 randym77 says,

"Umm...no. :)

That was great, but not, IMVHO, real clutch. If he struck out, the game would go to extra innings. Sheff was the one who was really in the clutch this time. If he struck out, the game was over."

Yes, Sheff was clutch here, but think about one thing in A-Rod's favor....if he HAD struck out there, we would have had to use Mariano in extra innings and depending on how our offense responded from there, maybe he'd have to pitch 2 innings and then Sturtze and F-Rod, etc.....

Sheff knocked the Royals down, and A-Rod stepped on their neck. It was, by the way, A-Rod's AL-leading 18th game winning RBI of the season.

79 Max   ~  Aug 27, 2005 7:59 pm

79.  weeping,

I remember the game, because I was listening to an internet feed of Sterling's broadcast of that Yankee game in 1998 when I was on a business trip. I thought the same thing: Sterling was as thrilled in yesterday's game against KC as I've heard him during a regular season comeback (which is saying a lot), and it reminded me of the game in 1998 against Oakland, with old friend Kenny Rogers pitching.

Rogers took a 5-1 lead into the 9th, but tired, and the Yanks scored 9 runs in the ninth to win 10-5. Second game of a doubleheader sweep, no less.


80 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 8:25 pm

80.  A-rod did great. Heck, they all did, even freakin' Embree. And I'm too happy about it to argue much. :-)

However...IMO, this game supports what I've been saying about A-rod. I don't think he lacks ability or toughness or moral fiber or anything like that. I think he tries too hard, and would play better in the clutch if he took it down a notch. Moreover, I think he'll learn to do this eventually, and get even better than he is now.

Every time he goes to the plate, he's trying hit a home run. He's often successful. But I think he might have even more success if he just tried to get on base sometimes. Trust the rest of the lineup to pick up the slack.

This time, the rest of the team picked up the slack before he even came to bat. :-) He didn't have to hit a home run. He had Speedy Jetey at 3rd; a single or a sac fly was all that was needed. And he came through.

81 randym77   ~  Aug 27, 2005 8:49 pm

81.  Today's game is rerunning on YES now. They're up the the top of the 8th.

82 rilkefan   ~  Aug 27, 2005 9:03 pm

82.  "a sac fly was all that was needed."

Not with two outs...

83 mikeplugh   ~  Aug 27, 2005 10:48 pm

83.  randym77...

I think you know what you're talking about and I think your perspective on most issues is very good, but.....

What does A-Rod have to do to get some love, my man. :)

Give it to him...no caveats and no qualifiers. He's hit in the clutch all year. You don't lead the AL in game winning RBIs without being clutch. That's the very definition of clutch. If you get a hit that scores the run that decides the game, you're clutch.

It doesn't matter if that hit comes in the form of a 1st inning 2 run homer or a bottom of the ninth, two out, two strike, walk-off grand slam. That's baseball. Clutch means a lot of things which includes getting the hit that wins the game.

I think part of the thing with A-Rod is that his big moments haven't been of the dramtic variety like others. He didn't have that Giambi against Minnesota home run in the rain in the bottom of the 14th inning. He doesn't have those moments where the Yanks are down and out and he belts a 3 run shot when the team is down to its last strike. He just consistently hits and scores and drives in runs.

84 rilkefan   ~  Aug 27, 2005 11:31 pm

84.  If someone was clutch, you'd have to ask what his problem was the rest of the time...

85 tommyl   ~  Aug 27, 2005 11:43 pm

85.  My worst ever FOX experience occurred last fall. I was in SoCal watching one of the early games of the Yanks/Sox ALCS (I think it was game 2) and in the 8th inning they CUT to the warmups for the Dodgers game. To make matters worse, the Dodgers game was actually being shown on FX for the rest of the nation until the Yankees game ended, EXCEPT in SoCal where both FOX and FX were showing the Dodgers game. Yes folks, two channels of Dodger baseball simultaneously and I'm left listening to Yanks/Sox on the radio.

That actually prompted a rather angry letter to FOX broadcasting to which I got a rather curt reply. I challenge anyone to top that :).

86 randym77   ~  Aug 28, 2005 4:24 am

86.  "If someone was clutch, you'd have to ask what his problem was the rest of the time..."

That's a good question. Personally, I'm of the belief that the difference between a good player and a champion is that a champion somehow finds something extra when it really matters.

I'm reminded of something Andre Agassi said once. It was a long time before he won any Grand Slam events, and a lot of people were saying he was more image than talent, or that he was too lazy, lacked discipline, etc. He finally broke through at Wimbledon, at age 22 (pretty old for a tennis player). He went on to win many grand slam events - all four of the majors at least once, which Pete Sampras failed to do. Someone asked him what changed, and he said he learned that you can't play every point the same. You have to learn to keep something in reserve for the big points.

It's not quite the same in baseball, which has a lot less running around, but I think the general principle applies. You can't play every play the same. It was thrilling to see Jeter go head-first into the stands, and against Boston at that point in the game, it was understandable. But if he did that every game, he'd be an idiot.

87 Schteeve   ~  Aug 28, 2005 4:50 am

87.  Dear randym77, that's absolutely ridiculous. Clutch is an illusion anyway, just as "not clutch" is. Why do so many people take pleasure in trying to poke holes in A-Rod? Is it the money? One of the best hitters in baseball plays for "our" team, and yet there is a faction of Yankee fans, that want to ignore the fact that he leads the team in WS and harp on those times he comes up with the game on the line and doesn't produce. Well, we wouldn't have been in a lot of games if it wasn't for his bat. Forget the inning his production comes in, the guy has been a savior for this team, this season.

Rant over.

88 randym77   ~  Aug 28, 2005 4:52 am

88.  BTW, anyone know why KC didn't put their closer in last night?

89 mikeplugh   ~  Aug 28, 2005 5:14 am

89.  "BTW, anyone know why KC didn't put their closer in last night?"

I read that is was due to arm fatigue. That raises the question...why was he up and warming then? And, if you have a young ballclub who just came off a very tough 19 game losing streak, you can't afford to blow a big lead in a game where your pitcher of the future battled the Yankees in NY and was poised for an important psychological win.

What you did when you brought in a journeyman reliever with a 7+ ERA, despite having McDougal warming during the eighth, is send a message to your team that one game is no more important than the next. A fair point, if only it were true.

When you are a team 36 games out or whatever, and have been kicked around for a few years, you need to save those symbolic games from your typical dismal fate. I think this game qualified as one of those symbolic games.

"Okay fellas. We are shot this year. We're buried and nowhere near contention. We have a future, though. That future could start right now. This young pitcher is going to put us on his back in a few years and help carry us to the promised land. Play hard behind him. Get the lead and let him work his magic. Oh.....by the way.....if the Yankees rally, McDougal is kinda worn out so we'll go to Joey Crack over here, but don't worry. You're all used to disappointment by now, right? Now go get 'em."

Sweeney must be wondering why he agreed to stay in KC. Nice work Buddy Bell.

90 randym77   ~  Aug 28, 2005 6:58 am

90.  //"a sac fly was all that was needed."

Not with two outs... //

I swear I wasn't posting drunk last night. At least, not very. ;-) I confess, I recycled a lot of that post from a comment I e-mailed to a friend about a previous game. (She's a Pirates fan, who never fails to rub Womack in my face. She was also at the stadium when Bill Mazeroski made his big hit, and rags me on that, too. I wasn't even born at the time, and she was a little girl, but Pirates fans live on memories...)

Anyway, I don't think I'm dissing A-Rod, and I never have. I'm not one of those who thought he wasn't a "true Yankee." I thought he was a great Yankee from square one. (Giambi, I confess to dissing from time to time, but not A-Rod.) I'm not poking holes in him. Or if I am, no more than I do with everyone. Hey, it's what fans do. :)

Sorry if I've put my foot in it. A-Rod seems to be a more sensitive topic that I realized. I hadn't a clue, really, because all the Yankees fans I know welcomed him with open arms.

Re: KC...I just read an article in a Kansas City paper that implied MacDougal warmed up against orders. Bell says he told him before the game he was not pitching.

Now they've got a 10-game losing streak at Yankee Stadium. Will it be 11 today? Or will the game be rained out?

91 sabernar   ~  Aug 28, 2005 7:47 am

91.  I thought that the sabetricians disproved the whole "clutch" crap a while back. I'm not sure what the link (or links) is (or are), but I'm pretty sure that they've shown that a player being "clutch" is due to luck and isn't carried over from year to year. Sure, some players SEEM to not be "clutch" (i.e. Bonds in the playoffs), but since the sample size is so small, it doesn't statistically mean anything.

Personally, I'm sick of fans, especially Yankee fans, complaining that ARod is not "clutch". They're just being sour grapes for whatever reason (i.e. personal prejudice). Guys, just get over it. He's on our team, and he's having a monster season, so let's support the guy.

92 Hank   ~  Aug 28, 2005 8:37 am

92.  For the record, Mazeroski's big hit wasn't at the Stadium, but at Forbes Field.

93 randym77   ~  Aug 28, 2005 8:51 am

93.  I know. :-) She grew up in Pittsburgh, not New York.

It was really a whole different world. She would run over after school, whenever there was a game. At the time, they let people in free after the 7th inning (I think it was the 7th), and school got out just in time.

After the game, she'd stake out the players' exit and get autographs. She's got a lot of old Yankee autographs, but no Pirates. Must have been the visitors' exit she was camping by.

Can you imagine? My parents would never let me go to a ball game by myself when I was 12 or 13. Heck, a lot of parents today won't take their kids to ball games at all because of the obnoxious drunks. And getting in free to a World Series game? Heck, Game 7 of the World Series played in the afternoon, when most people are at work?

94 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Aug 28, 2005 10:05 am

94.  Max, thanks for the boxscore, I'm way impressed you managed to find it.

It's funny how the memory works. I'd remembered that Straw's homer was a grand slam (which I bizarrely neglected to mention in my original post), but somehow forgot that it was in the pinch! A major part of the small miracle and I somehow forgot about that.

Also, I'd remembered that they were down by like 7, not 4. I guess that's because they scored 9, so I must have remembered that they must have needed all those runs, not just 4 to tie.

Point being that memory's a weird thing, no? It makes me very dubious about the reliability of such procedures as, I don't know, police lineups.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver