"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

One Up, Four Left

Shawn Chacon pitched a marvelous game last night for the Yankees. He received support from his infield defense, particularly Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez, and stellar relief from Flash Gordon and Mariano Rivera as the Bombers eeked out a 2-1 victory in Baltimore. The Devil Rays beat the Tribe 1-0 (in a game that featured some fine defense of its own–thanks, Johnny Gomes?!?), and Ted Lily mastered the Red Sox as the Jays won at Fenway 7-2. New York is now one game ahead of Boston in the American League East. The Sox and the Indians are tied in the wildcard standings.

Chacon allowed one run–a solo homer off a 2-0 meatball to Javey Lopez–the only run he’s allowed in his last 23.2 innings. The Orioles only managed to get four hits off of the right-hander, all by Lopez (who missed another home run by a few feet and settled for a double instead) and Chris Gomez. Though he walked three, Chacon only threw 91 pitches, and once again, kept batters off balance all night, inducing plenty of soft grounders and harmless pop flys.

Robinson Cano has made some rookie errors in the field down the stretch but you can see why he’s got so much confidence–he makes difficult plays look easy. In the first, he ranged far to his right to backhand a ground ball by Miguel Tejada. There was no time to plant and throw, so in one motion, Cano fielded the ball, and whipped the ball across his body to first. The throw was true and Tejada was out by a step (Cano made a similar but less fantastic play in the fifth). Meanwhile, Rodriguez made two more tough plays himself, stabbing a sharp liner off the bat of Geronimo Gil in the fifth, and gunning out Tejada on a slow grounder in the sixth.

Rodriguez struck out in his first two plate appearances against Daniel Cabrera, Baltimore’s talented, but erratic starting pitcher. Cabrera actually pitched a fine game, keeping himself (and his pitches) under control. In the first inning, Rodriguez swung through a low, 3-2 fastball–a pitch that was right in his happy zone. The second time he was up, Cabrera uncorked his first change up of the game for strike one. The pitch was right over the heart of the plate. Rodriguez went down looking on a fastball on the outside corner. But in his third at bat Cabrera tried to sneak another breaking ball past Rodriguez–it was a flat curve, I believe, and it was up and over the plate. Rodriguez pelted it over the right center field fence for his 47th homer of the year. (Rodriguez now has more home runs in a single season than any other right-handed hitter in Yankee history.)

The Yanks chased Cabrera in the seventh after Jorge Posada singled to center (a screaming line drive, which was a scary moment for the pitcher who had been beaned by a Gary Sheffield liner in the previous inning), and Bernie Williams was plunked. After Cano successfully sacrificed the runners to second and third, Derek Jeter singled to right scoring the go-ahead run. Rodriguez was next and he lined a fly ball to right field. Jay Gibbons made the catch and threw the ball home. Bernie Williams beat the throw and slid under the tag but was inexplicably called out by home plate ump Hunter Wendelstedt. It was an awful call and one that Yankee fans hoped wouldn’t cost them the game.

It didn’t, and when Mariano Rivera struck out Javey Lopez to end the game, the Bombers–and undoubtedly their fans–were especially animated. With four more games left in the season, they just need to keep winning, stich-by-stich, day-by-day. Anyone got a mantra? I’m sticking with the ol’ reliable, Ohhhmmmmmm, myself.

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1 mikeplugh   ~  Sep 29, 2005 6:00 am

2.  I posted on the last thread that it's all up to Aaron Small tonight. As I see it, win tonight and we are virtually guaranteed a one game playoff on our home field at the worst. No way the Sox sweep us in Fenway.

I also posted Matt Clement's awful numbers against the Jays this year(8+ ERA), and his poor showing in September thus far(5+ ERA). Two weeks ago he gave up 6 runs in 6 innings to the Blue Jays and we can only hope he duplicates that feat. A Yanks win and a Sox loss ends their season effectively.

Think about this. Chacon, Small, and Wang get consecutive starts in the waning days of September in a pennant race where the Yanks and Sox are separated by a game going into Fenway to close things out. Chacon did his part. If Small does his we're on the brink, and if Wang can keep the line moving, we get Randy Johnson in an elimination game.

Three guys who weren't on any team's radar this year, and they are about to impact baseball history. Good luck fellas. We got your backs.

2 Chucksax   ~  Sep 29, 2005 6:00 am

3.  Bernie was out. He just missed the plate when he slid in - his foot was six inches off the plate towards the pitcher's mound. I thought that was one of the few calls that the home plate ump got correct last night, as much as I wanted Bernie to score. Check the replay from behind the plate - you can see Bernie's left foot carve a divot in the dirt as it misses the plate.

Bernie is, in my opinion, one of the worst baserunners that I've ever seen in my life, and this was another bad play by him. He's still one of my all-time favorite Yankees (behind Donnie Baseball, Reggie Jackson & DJ), but baserunning is something he's never been good at.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 29, 2005 6:09 am

4.  Chucksax,
We'll have to agree to disagree on that one. I'd have to look at it again, but from every replay I saw last night, Hunter blew the call.

Bernie has never been a good baserunner but surely he's a lot better than our boy Jorge who is a true menace on the bases.

4 mikeplugh   ~  Sep 29, 2005 6:18 am

5.  Bernie may not be a top baserunner, but I will give him this:

Bernie busts it down the line on ground balls harder than ANY player I have ever seen at any level. He also goes 1st to 3rd, and 1st to home, better than most players. At least he used to when his knees were still good.

He makes some bonehead decisions sometimes, but he busts it as good as anyone. Jorge is just plain dumb on the bases. I groan when I see his thick coconut running around out there. I love Jorge, but Ty Cobb he ain't.

5 mikeplugh   ~  Sep 29, 2005 6:19 am

6.  Anyone know who the umpiring crew is in Fenway this weekend?

6 KJC   ~  Sep 29, 2005 6:32 am

7.  "No way the Sox sweep us in Fenway."

And no way the Sox can win 4 in a row in the ALDS. ;)
This weekend is gonna be brutal on my nerves...

7 Dimelo   ~  Sep 29, 2005 6:37 am

8.  I really don't know what replay you saw, Chucksax, but every replay I saw (even on BBTN) they had Bernie safe at home.

8 mikeplugh   ~  Sep 29, 2005 6:48 am

9.  KJC,

I know it's going to be brutal, but I honestly can't see the Sox beating us 3 times at this point in the season. Last year was clearly a different Red Sox team.

Schilling was pitching well. Pedro knew we were his daddy, but he was still Pedro. Lowe was having a career year. Arroyo was fresh and confident. Foulke was totally lights out.

This year Schilling is a shadow of his former self. Pedro is a Met. Lowe is a Dodger. Foulke was ineffective and is finished. Arroyo is shaky at best. Wells is mediocre. Clement has turned into a pumpkin. The pen is in a total shambles.

On the flip, the Yankee pitchers are on a major roll. The pen is shaky but we have Gordon and Mariano.

9 Bob B   ~  Sep 29, 2005 6:54 am

10.  Chucksax, you blew the call too!

10 Upperdeck   ~  Sep 29, 2005 7:00 am

11.  Was it Gene Michael that recommended Chacon? If so, I don't see how even the idiots in Tampa could rationalize pushing Gene out of the organization.

11 KJC   ~  Sep 29, 2005 7:01 am

12.  "Last year was clearly a different Red Sox team."

Absolutely -- I'm not expecting a Sox sweep with these pitchers at all. Then again, all 3 games are pretty good pitching matchups -- it could really go either way in any game.

I'm just doing my best to stay positive. Like Lloyd Christmas said: "So you're telling me there's a chance..."

12 mikeplugh   ~  Sep 29, 2005 7:07 am

13.  Agreed KJC. I'm with you.

My favorite victory would be against Wells. I'd love to see him grasp his lower back in the first inning and take himself out of the game, a la 2001 World Series against the Marlins. I hated him from that moment and I hope we shell him.

13 22Ryan   ~  Sep 29, 2005 7:09 am

14.  "Lowe was having a career year"

That's pretty funny.

14 mikeplugh   ~  Sep 29, 2005 7:19 am

15.  Yeah 22Ryan....I gotta laugh at myself on that one too. In retrospect, Lowe's career year was 2002, and 2003 wasn't all that bad. 2004 was only big because he won the clinching game of each post-season series. Aside from that he was pretty hideous.

A +5 ERA and very bloated stats. Forget I mentioned him. Call it Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

15 Dimelo   ~  Sep 29, 2005 7:25 am

16.  I love the determination on the Yankees faces. It was the same look the '98 Yankees had. Even if they were down by 5, they always felt they would win. It felt good when Torre validated my sentimentsin yesterday's pregame with Sterling saying that going into the 8th even though they were down, going into the bottom of the 8th down 13 - 9 they still felt they were going to win. It's great when a team has that attitude. Then when they lose, and come back the next day and get a great pitching performance.

16 sam2175   ~  Sep 29, 2005 7:25 am

17.  14

Totally agreed there, I thought the same thing.

Last year, we lost mentally in a battle of attrition to a very good team that peaked at the right time, and had the breaks going their way.

Forgive me, but no matter who they were facing, the New York Yankee baseball team circa 2004 should not have lost 4 in a row to the same team. And they should not lose 3 or 4 in a row to the same team this year as well. Doesn't really matter who we are playing, this isn't a team full of dummies.

That said, rare occurrences happen in baaseball as in many other uncertain situations in life. No need to put any spin on them when they happen.

17 Jen   ~  Sep 29, 2005 7:28 am

18.  mikeplugh, I think you mean 2003 World Series. He ruined my fucking birthday, the fat bastard.

18 Dan M   ~  Sep 29, 2005 7:29 am

19.  I'd like to take this opportunity to give a big Shout Out to our nothern brothers, the Toronto Blue Jays. They went up to Fenway and, at worst, split the 4 games. And remember, gentlemen, win tonight, and sweep the lowly Royals this weekend, and you finish over .500! Now go out there tonite and whip some American ass!

19 Paul in Boston   ~  Sep 29, 2005 7:34 am

20.  Good piece, sums it all up nicely:


Needless to say, I'm still in total nail-biting mode. I have tickets to Friday night's game, and get nervous just thinking about it!

20 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 29, 2005 7:52 am

21.  Paul, I think that, as Tom Petty once sang, the waiting is the hardest part. And I'm sure that goes for all fans whose teams are in it right now. The days are very long. All we can do is wait, kibbitz, and wait some more before game time. The anxiety is almost palpable.

21 Max   ~  Sep 29, 2005 8:35 am

22.  I'm still nervous, though I felt a bit more relief after last night's game because 1) we gained a game, giving us a cushion 2) we're one day closer to the weekend series 3) it was a crisp victory that highlighted our best blueprint for winning -- great starting pitching followed by great relief, and clutch, late game hitting.

I'd prefer more offense, but last night's win was nice.

However, I'm on pins and needles with Aaron Small these days wondering when midnight is going to strike. I love him out of the pen, but I still have a hard time envisioning him going undefeated for 2005, which is why tonight makes me nervous. A loss tonight and we're looking at a split with the O's.

I'll settle for a one game lead going into Fenway, though any help from the Jays is much welcome in case we falter.

22 Shaun P   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:00 am

23.  Am I the only one who doesn't feel nervous or anxious heading into tonight? Maybe I'm just numb from the emotional overload of the last few days. It was nice to get a decent night's sleep for a change.

23 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:01 am

24.  Boston peeps, what's the weather forecast for this evening? There's a big system moving across the east coast today, I'm thinking it will clear Baltimore by game time, but might just be getting to Beantown at that point. Any insight from the locals?

24 rilkefan   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:04 am

25.  A brief rant about C-M Wang being dressed up as a cheerleader by his teammates:

25 Bob Timmermann   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:05 am

26.  Weather Channel says 70% chance of rain during the day, 30% chance of showers at night.

26 tocho   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:07 am

27.  I also saw dark clouds looming towards Boston. What would happen in a rainout?

Do they play a DH Friday. Morning v. the O's and afternoon v. Yanks.

Let's all start doing the rain dance. C'mon Tlaloc don't let us down!

27 Shaun P   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:08 am

28.  For now, the sun's shining a bit with many, many clouds in the sky - the puffy white kind nearby, darker and more storm-looking to the west and south. VERY windy, moreso than usual.

The last weather report I heard says good chance of severe T-storms tonight, with lots of wind. If they are smart - they have to be watching the weather reports, right? - I'd think they'd move the game up to this afternoon.

28 Shaun P   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:10 am

29.  OK, move it to early afternoon, if the weather channel has it right. How could they pull off a DH tomorrow? I'm sure a two-team in one day double header has been done before, but boy, I can just hear the complaints now.

29 KJC   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:15 am

30.  "I also saw dark clouds looming towards Boston."

Is that a weather report or a prophesy...?

30 rbj   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:21 am

31.  A rain out in Beantown? That would be sweet. Probably they'd play the game on Monday, if necessary. Yankees would then be going into the weekend, I hope, one up in the loss column. Man, that could totally screwup any sort of tie-breaking playoff scenario.
Don't worry about Boston, we've got to win tonight. One game up really helps with the lack of homefield advantage, but Yankees still need to win 2. Unless, of course, Yankees win tonight and Boston loses. . .

31 tocho   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:23 am

32.  KJC, both.

32 Yanks in NH   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:24 am

33.  Right on KJC!

33 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:25 am

34.  RBJ, they're trying to keep Monday open for tie-breakers. The ALDS has to start on Tuesday. As for a day/night double header vs. Tor then vs. NY, the Blue Jays have a home game that night in Toronto against the Royals. That said, baseball would be wise to just cancel that Toronto game, which won't effect the standings, and force the double header. Not sure the Blue Jays would go for it, though, as they'd lose a lot of revenue from bagging a home game in favor of a road make-up.

Hopefully it won't come to all this.

34 unpopster   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:28 am

35.  A few days ago I predicted that the Yanks would take 3 of 4 from the O's and that the Sox would plit with the Jays.

So far so good...

I think our offense will give Small all the support he'll need tonight. Bedard won't be folling anyone.

With tonight's win, the Yanks wil come into Fenway confident yet very much aware of Boston's ability to sweep (see 2004 ALCS). Arod's already eluded to last yera's collapse in yesterday's post game interviews and I think the Yanks will come into Boston ready for whatever the Sox throw at them. Wells doesn't scare me, neither does Schilling...

I have a wedding to attend on Sunday afternoon. I am praying that I won't need to spend the day with my blackberry in hand, checking the score of a Yankee "must-win"...but my gut tells me that the Yanks will take the AL East crown on Satuirday vs. SHELLing.

35 unpopster   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:29 am

36.  A few days ago I predicted that the Yanks would take 3 of 4 from the O's and that the Sox would split with the Jays.

So far so good...

I think our offense will give Small all the support he'll need tonight. Bedard won't be fooling anyone.

With tonight's win, the Yanks wil come into Fenway confident yet very much aware of Boston's ability to sweep (see 2004 ALCS). Arod's already eluded to last year's collapse in yesterday's post game interviews and I think the Yanks will come into Boston ready for whatever the Sox throw at them. Wells doesn't scare me, neither does Schilling...plus, I have faith in Wang and The Unit to deliver some "W's"...

I have a wedding to attend on Sunday afternoon. I am praying that I won't need to spend the day with my blackberry in hand, checking the score of a Yankee "must-win"...but my gut tells me that the Yanks will take the AL East crown on Satuirday vs. SHELLing.

36 unpopster   ~  Sep 29, 2005 9:29 am

37.  sorry for the repost. #36 is the correct post.

37 Shaun P   ~  Sep 29, 2005 10:11 am

38.  Just saw some numbers I liked, and thought I'd share them (from BPro's postseason odds report):

Team Division Wildcard Total
Yankees 64.54740 12.74468 77.29208
Red Sox 35.45260 17.47743 52.93003

Indians 13.34850 57.18272 70.53122

FWIW, coolstandings.com also has odds in our favor (61.7% chance of winning the East, 77.0% total chance of making the playoffs).

38 Dimelo   ~  Sep 29, 2005 10:14 am

39.  http://www.erh.noaa.gov/ifps/MapClick.php?CityName=Baltimore&state=MD&site=LWX

The weather is not looking good in beantown. Good.

If MLB has to cancel the Royals - Blue Jays game I doubt anyone would care if a game from that much heated rival was taken off the schedule. Plus how much money can the Jays make from that game anyway?

39 Peter   ~  Sep 29, 2005 10:23 am

40.  #25: Say what you will about the cheerleading hazing, but Cano and Wang had it easy compared to the Red Sox rookies.


40 rilkefan   ~  Sep 29, 2005 10:29 am

41.  Yeah, I figured it was probably worse elsewhere in baseball. Is this something football teams do? Soccer teams? Women's soccer teams?

In Wang's position I hope I would have said, You want me to pitch next week, don't mock me this week.

41 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 29, 2005 10:30 am

42.  Dirt Dogs thinks Millar was the guy who made the "Pope" comment. Interesting.

42 hugo   ~  Sep 29, 2005 10:42 am

43.  #25, 41 - I think it doesn't happen in other sports, but I'm glad it happens in baseball. I think it's why so many younger players in baseball (think Jeter when he came up, David Wright on the Mets now, Brian Roberts, but many many others) come into the league as good guys with respect for the veterans, the coaches, and the game. In other sports like the NFL and NBA, 1st and 2nd year players are already causing problems, mouthing off, feuding, etc. That doesn't happen much in baseball, and I think a little hazing and the idea that rookies have to pay their dues is a big part of that. I for one support it and am glad that younger MLB players usually have such great attitudes. Now if only the veterans would...

43 Dan M   ~  Sep 29, 2005 10:54 am

44.  I'd be really surprised if MLB cancelled an scheduled game to accomodate another. You have to hold up the sanctity of the 162 game season, and can't cancel a game because it's inconvenient. Then again, it was Bud who tied the ASG to home field advantage, so apparently nothing's beneath him if it serves his bottom line.

44 Schteeve   ~  Sep 29, 2005 11:01 am

45.  #43 that's nonsense, you're picking out a couple of good guys and saying they are that way because they were forced to dress up like girls when they were rookies?

That's one of the most surreal things I've ever heard.

45 tocho   ~  Sep 29, 2005 11:02 am

46.  I'm not a weatherman (fortunately) but watching the map in motion at weather.com. It seems like the storm will pass Boston at about 7 pm. so we are probably looking at a delayed start if the grounds crew works their asses off and if the decaying drainage system of Fenway works.

I'm sure they will play even if the field is not that good (remember last year with the puddles in the outfield during the world series).

I will keep up the rain dancing anyway...

46 rbj   ~  Sep 29, 2005 11:07 am

47.  Cliff, wasn't a LDS or LCS series put back a day to accomodate a makeup game a few years back? I could see scrubbing the KC - Toronto game, but then the Blue Jays would demand some monetary compensation (reasonable, to me.) (Heck, scrub it anyhow because the AAA season's over, I don't know why KC is still playing.)

Football players do get hazed, notably being told to sing their Alma Mater song during lunch, and being duct taped to the goal posts. For basketball players, I bet hazing involves the vets smoking all of the rookies' stash.

47 hugo   ~  Sep 29, 2005 11:18 am

48.  Nah, it's true. Obviously hazing is not the whole thing, and I wouldn't ever say it was. But the ideas that the younger guys have to pay their dues and earn respect is a big factor in why younger baseball players respect the game and generally cause less off-field problems. Another big part is the history behind the game and everything that goes along with it, but it's part of the equation. Seriously, ask anybody.

48 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 29, 2005 11:19 am

49.  I really don't have a problem with the rookie hazing. It's not as if they're doing anything dangerous or offensive. It's all in good fun, and it's actually a gesture of inclusion and initiation, not of ridicule. Nor do I think Hugo's comment in 43 is that ludicrous. Yes, Jeter etc. are good guys because of the way they were raised by their parents and coaches, not because of some rookie hazing that set them straight, but there does appear to be more of a heirarchy of seniority in baseball, and older players very often take it upon themselves to take rookies under their wing (see Sierra and Cano, as much as we all poke fun at Ruben for having few admirable skills he seems to have grown a great deal as a person and a teammate). I do see that as a good thing. I also welcome humor in all situations. That the Yanks and Red Sox can laugh at themselves, particularly in the thick of this pennant race, is refreshing.

Also, remember that Matsui had to dress like a pimp when he was a "rookie." He had 300+ homers in Japan and signed a huge contract, but he was a rookie here. It's an initiation, a welcoming and a silly experience that binds the players because they've all gone through it. Steve Goldman has written about esprit de corps before regarding the Yankees policies on physical appearance. Steve's in favor of it. Now he has a beard and I've had my share of long hair and wacky sideburns etc., so obviously our impulses lean toward self-expression, but there's something to be said for esprit de corps when you're performing as a uniformed team, as in sports or the military. This sort of harmless hazing is a part of that process, and I'm all for it.

49 Shaun P   ~  Sep 29, 2005 11:37 am

50.  Beantown weather update:

Dark clouds have (literally) rolled in over Boston - I'm watching them as I type this - and they seem to be moving rather quickly. According to my wife, its raining in Framingham (about 20 miles west of Boston), so the rain is on its way . . .

50 PeteyNice   ~  Sep 29, 2005 11:40 am

51.  Unlike last year, where I simply could not watch the last three games of the ALCS, I am supremely confident. This team has shown me a lot over the last few weeks and with destiny in their hands I'd be shocked if they don't take the division.

51 Shaun P   ~  Sep 29, 2005 11:43 am

52.  Dan M 44, I'm with you that there's nothing Bud wouldn't do - but there have been lots of times when a team plays only 161 games because playing the last game would be inconvenient. The Yanks played only 161 in 2000 (87-74) and only 160 (!?) in 2001 (95-65, unless baseball-reference.com has their numbers wrong), as the lost game(s) would not have impacted who got into the playoffs. IIRC, this goes back to at least the early 70s, as the famous '73 Mets went only 82-79.

52 rilkefan   ~  Sep 29, 2005 11:45 am

53.  So how about improving esprit de corps further by expanding the fun? Alternate years all pitchers have to wax the hitters' cars while wearing bikinis, and v.v. How about new teammates get swirlies?

I say esprit de corps is fostered by insisting guys play hard on the field and act stand-up off. If part of playing hard is having a serious, uniform mien, then I guess I'm ok with banning even well-trimmed facial hair. But then somebody should tell Jeter to stop smirking.

53 Max   ~  Sep 29, 2005 11:55 am

54.  I don't know about everyone else, but the idea of being ahead or behind half a game after the weekend, and having to wait for the Sox to play a make-up in order to determine whether we win the division/make the playoffs is not my idea of fun.

Here in Boston, there are definitely some gloomy clouds and a heck of a lot of wind gusts, but the storm seems to be moving quickly. I'd just as soon they get the game in tonight.

54 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 29, 2005 11:57 am

55.  Rilke, why does this bother you so? What's wrong with harmless goofiness? Rookies get pie-plates of shaving cream in the face when doing TV interviews too. I've seen countless clips of it and in every case the rookie cracks up. They love it because it's the team's way of saying "you made it, kid." Look at those photos of Wang and Cano and Vento, they're having fun. What's wrong with fun?

55 Andre   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:01 pm

56.  It's pouring in Burlington, MA. You can look it up on a map if you want to see how close it is to Fenway Pk. Answer - fairly close as far as weather goes.

56 unpopster   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:03 pm

57.  ESPNews is reporting that the Red Sox have picked up Mike Stanton from the Nationals for the Yankee series. That's right, they picked him up for the Yankee series -- and ONLY for the Yankee series. He would be ineligible to ptich for the Sox if they make the post season.

If I were a Red Sox player or fan, I would be livid! This reeks of DESPERATION!

57 tocho   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:04 pm

58.  I just read at ESPN that the Bowsux picked up Stanton for the series v. the Yanks.

I don't know if we should laugh, cry, not pay attention to it, or be thankful.

Its not like our big lefties (JG and Matsui) suck v. LHP and its not like Stanton will suddenly realize that he's good.

58 Shaun P   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:05 pm

59.  Max, just for the hell of it, where are you in Boston? I'm down by the waterfront, and you're right - the clouds are booking out towards Logan and the Atlantic. No rain yet, but it may just pass by.

59 rilkefan   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:06 pm

60.  Ehh, just seems an affront to Wang's dignity - he's proven what needs to be proven in my view - and beneath say Tino Martinez's dignity, and this particular hazing reminded me of baseball's problem accepting homosexuality. Anyway, if everybody here would enjoy having to cross-dress when starting a new job, then fine, I'm just a crank. Regardless, dropping the issue.

60 rilkefan   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:09 pm

61.  I guess I'd prefer to beat the RS without them being able to complain about unfairness due to weather. And I'm liking our chances anyway.

Nahh, whatever it takes.

61 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:10 pm

62.  Wow. They actually traded for Stanton. Remarkable!

Stanton has actually been murder on lefties this year (no reverse split), but righties have crushed him (.358/.430/.605). Torre keeps his lefties staggered, but I assume Stanton's going to be used primarily to get Matsui and Giambi out. If so, here's hoping the leave him in to pitch to Sheff.

62 Max   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:11 pm

63.  Shaun, I work in the South End/Back Bay area, but I live NW of the city (Lexington/Bedford). I just drove home, and it's already raining up here.

Again, given the weird winds, I think this storm could simply graze the Fenway area...even if it hits, they'll probably try to get the game in later in the evening. It would have to be one massive downpour that taxes the crappy Fenway drainage to call off the game tonight, I think.

63 Andre   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:11 pm

64.  RE: hazing -- during Spring Training, the team had a rule where if a player screwed up, they had to run laps, and they could choose someone else to bring along with them. Wang chose Randy, and there was a bit of a story about it. It's these little quirky things that are generally harmless, and that personalize the players to the fans. Trotting rookies out dressed like women is just a way to say to the rookie: hey kid, you made it, but don't get a big head yet. The fan gets a laugh, and gets a few autographs. No one is hurt in the process. Making men dress up like women really, literally, has nothing to do with gay or straight.

64 Shaun P   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:12 pm

65.  Stanton, huh? Will they use someone who was on the DL to slip him on to the playoff roster if they make it that far?

I guess they want two lefties around for this series, but I don't understand why. unpopster is right - Giambi hits lefties OK, Matsui hits 'em better than righties, so does Bubba. Most of the switch hitters (Posada, Bellhorn, and Sierra - but not Bernie) hit lefties better.

Is this move to neutralize Cano if Myers comes in to face one of the other lefties? Am I over-analyzing this to death? (Probably, so I'll stop now.)

65 tocho   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:13 pm

66.  Maybe they want Stanton as a LOOGY to face Bubba...

66 Shaun P   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:17 pm

67.  Hey, if the Nats are in the mood to trade relievers, I've always thought Luis Ayala would look GREAT in pinstripes. ;)

Did the Sox give up anything of value? Perhaps some AA first baseman who draws walks and hits doubles, but hasn't shown power yet? ;)

67 Dan M   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:25 pm

68.  Didn't the Yankees pick up Rick Honeycutt one year for the final 4 or 5 games?

Shaun P, that's nice, but there's something fundamentally different between not making up a game that's been rained out because it has no effect on the season (and thus ending with 161 played) and cancelling a perceived meaningless game so that you can play one that's "meaningful." Maybe it's not the integrity of a 162-game season I should have trumpeted, but rather the integrity of the single game - that you can't just scrap some game that has been scheduled (and lawfully had to be scheduled) to fit your playoff needs.

68 rbj   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:30 pm

69.  Maybe they're hoping Stanton has some secret Yankee Achilles' heel knowledge. Otherwise, if you have to pick up a middle reliever this late in the season with the expanded rosters, that does not speak well of your relief corp.
BTW, any way we could trade Embree for Jeff Nelson?

69 KJC   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:32 pm

70.  "If I were a Red Sox player or fan, I would be livid! This reeks of DESPERATION!"

I'm a Sox fan, and it does reek of desperation -- because they are desperate! Have you seen the Sox bullpen? (Sure, I'm glad Embree's not in there anymore, but the rest haven't exactly been stellar.) Personally, I'm glad to see that they're willing to try to fix problems this late in the season...

70 Max   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:37 pm

71.  KJC, I know Timlin's got some miles on his arm and Foulke is gone, but is Papelbon as a setup guy and Myers/Bradford as specialists really that bad?

I know this equation kind of breaks down if you're in the sixth or early 7th inning, but the Yankees have the same problem. I agree that Harville, Gonzalez, diNardo et al aren't the answer, and that Hansen is a little too green right now to bring in consistently in pressure out situations.

71 boo   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:41 pm

72.  I think a fair metric of who wins the Yanks Red Sox series is whether Stanton or Embree faces more batters.

72 Dimelo   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:48 pm

73.  I think that's a fair metric, boo (did I scare you?).

Anytime Embree is in a game it can't be a good thing. If Stanton is in the game then THAT'S A GOOD THING.

73 KJC   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:51 pm

74.  "is Papelbon as a setup guy and Myers/Bradford as specialists really that bad"

No. The only real problem I have with Papelbon (and Hansen and Delcarmen) are that they're inexperienced. Yeah, they throw hard, but I'm not confident enough to think any of them are the next K-Rod...esp. against NY.

As far as Myers/Bradford go: first of all, I've been a huge fan of sidearm pitchers since I first saw Dan Quisenberry as a kid, so I like them for that reason alone (having both on the same team is a treat for me). That said, they're good, but they're specialists. So other than the rookies or using Timlin for 2 innings, there's not a lot to choose from out there for innings 6-8. (Well, except for Stanton now...)

74 Fred Vincy   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:54 pm

75.  I like the last series pick-up idea.

How much do you think the Marlins would want to trade us A.J. Burnett to start Sunday?

75 TracedOut   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:55 pm

76.  I'm at Boston College, and just went to a professor's office. Maybe a 5 minute walk, and in the process was so thoroughly soaked that it was as if I jumped in a pool. I don't think they'll be able to get a game in.

76 Mick S   ~  Sep 29, 2005 12:57 pm

77.  How do these deals get done after the trade deadline? Does he have to pass through waivers first?

77 Dimelo   ~  Sep 29, 2005 1:15 pm

78.  Did anyone read these comments by David 'Glazed Donuts Please' Wells?

He's such an ass.

78 yankz   ~  Sep 29, 2005 1:24 pm

79.  IMO, this is just as much of a must-win as last night. I don't want to go into Boston tied- that means the Yankees HAVE to win 2/3, because the season wouldn't end tied.

79 TracedOut   ~  Sep 29, 2005 1:32 pm

80.  I just can't get mad at Wells at all. Deep down he still loves the Yankees, and even if he doesn't I'll believe he does.

80 Dimelo   ~  Sep 29, 2005 1:44 pm

81.  If Torre is pissed at Wells, he has every right to be. They (Mel and Joe) checked with Wells numerous times the days leading to game 5 to see if he could pitch that game. He told them he was fine to pitch. They sent Pettite back to NY so he can get ready for his start vs. the Marlins in game 6. Yet Wells vowed that he'd pitch. After that, Yankee fans were left with Contreras to bring home a championship. The big Cuban wanted no part of that world series or a high pressure situation, so he sucked.

That fat donut eating dick cost us the championship. I hope he gets burned in beantown too. Their wrath will be much worse than what he heard back in April at Yankee stadium.

81 Schteeve   ~  Sep 29, 2005 1:47 pm

82.  Cliff, I love having fun. Ask my parole offcer, but seriously....

I don't mind hazing, but I don't believe that it exists in baseball and not NFL and NBA. And i don't believe that baseball rookies have more respect for their elders than NBA or NFL rookies, for any other reason than that you can't get by on raw natural ability and athleticism in MLB the way you can in football and hoops. Baseball itself begets humility.

Also, it's funny that this comes up the day after I read a piece about Miguel Cabrera mouthing off about how vetrans better not come to talk to him about his attitude problem. Maybe a little more hazing woulda helped him?

82 atc   ~  Sep 29, 2005 1:52 pm

83.  Mike and the Maddog BOTH, just agreed that Bernie is a tougher out than Giambi....I'm not sure what to even say to that, so I'll just go with the old saying "never argue with an idiot, because anyone listening may not be able to tell the difference."

83 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 29, 2005 1:54 pm

84.  Mick S, yes, Stanton would have to have passed through waivers, but it's common practice for teams to put many of their players, if not a majority of their players, through waivers just after the trading deadline. Most either pass through without anyone knowing or get claimed and pulled back by their teams. Stanton surely was passed through waivers back in early August.

Also, the Sox traded a pair of A-ball pitchers, a 19 and a 20-year-old.

84 JVarghese81   ~  Sep 29, 2005 1:55 pm

85.  Both of them are morons...

On the other hand, Bill Simmons aside (who should stick to pop culture & comedy and NOT baseball), it looks like most of the country agrees with common sense that A-Rod is CLEARLY the MVP.

Also, Mo is leading the CY young vote for the AL.


85 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 29, 2005 1:56 pm

86.  atc, great saying and good advice for me today as I'll be on the radio this evening myself (details to come in Alex's pre-game post, but if you're in Boston or on a high-speed connection around 7:00, please give a listen).

86 mhmitch   ~  Sep 29, 2005 2:18 pm

87.  Hope they got Stanton to face Giambi. He's
6 for 8 against Stanton including a walk-off HR on a 3-2 curveball (a 2001 game I attended at the Oakland Coliseum and recall with much disgust).

87 randym77   ~  Sep 29, 2005 2:32 pm

88.  Wang chose Randy?? LOL! Did the Big Unit actually run the laps???

There is definitely hazing in the NFL. I think it's inevitable, really. Part of the whole team bonding thing. Wang, Cano, and Vento seemed to be having fun. Especially Robby. He was bouncing around, shaking his pom-poms and singing for the reporters.

88 Paul in Boston   ~  Sep 29, 2005 2:46 pm

89.  I wonder how Stanton suddenly figured out how to get out lefties; he was generally pretty bad doing so with the Yanks, sometimes with a reverse split from the expected.

89 rilkefan   ~  Sep 29, 2005 3:20 pm

90.  Sierra dh again tonight. Ack.

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--Earl Weaver