"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


Joba Chamberlain’s third start under the new spring-training-style Joba Rules didn’t start terribly well. Jason Bartlett led off by smacking a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left for a homer. (After the game Joba said it was the pitch he wanted to make and pointed out that Bartlett was having a great year; Joe Girardi said the pitch was “a mistake.”) Carl Crawford followed with a single, moved to second on a wild third-strike to Evan Longoria, stole third while Chamberlain was in the process of walking Ben Zobrist, then scored on a Pat Burrell single.

After that, the Yankee shortstop went to the mound and gave Chamberlain a quick verbal kick in the pants. Chamberlain struck out the next two batters on nine pitches and retired the side in order in the second and third innings. Because Chamberlain’s night ended there (due, I assume, to the 32 pitches he had thrown in the first), it’s difficult to say if that is likely to have been a meaningful turnaround in Joba’s performance going forward, but it was the most encouraging performance Chamberlain has had since his final start in July, which also came against the Rays.

Tampa Bay starter Jeff Niemann, a 6-foot-9 righty who bears a slight resemblance to the actor Jeff Daniels and is having a fine rookie season five years after being drafted fourth overall in the 2004 draft, made those two runs stand up for seven innings, stranding runners in every frame while striking out eight. Meanwhile, the Yankee bullpen matched Niemann by following Chamberlain with six hitless innings, including three from Alfredo Aceves and two from Jonathan Albaladejo.

Alex Rodriguez led off the bottom of the eighth by singling up the middle on Niemann’s 110th pitch, driving the tall 26-year-old from the game. Joe Maddon curiously chose righty Lance Cormier over lefty Brian Shouse to face Hideki Matsui. Matsui singled, sending Rodriguez to third, and Chris Richards threw Nick Swisher’s ensuing grounder into left field while attempting to start a 3-6-3 double play, sending Alex home and pinch-runner Jerry Hairston Jr. to third. Maddon then went to Shouse, who struck out Robinson Cano for the first out of the inning.

Jorge wins it (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)With one out, the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on first, Girardi sent Jorge Posada up to bat for Brett Gardner. Gardner made a spectacular, game-saving play in Monday’s day game, but has been struggling to rediscover his stroke since coming off the disabled list, going a combined 1-for-18 since starting his rehab assignment. Maddon countered with hard-throwing Aussie Grant Balfour, flipping Posada around to the left side. Posada worked the count full, fouling off the two strikes, then launched the next pitch into the seats in right for a game-changing three-run home run.

And that was that. Protecting a two-run lead, Brian Bruney typically walked the first man he faced in the ninth on four pitches, but got the next two out on three more tosses before yielding to Phil Coke, who got the final out and a cheap save. The 4-2 win was the 24th game the Yankees have won in their final at-bat this season, a total which leads the major leagues. On the season, the Yankees are averaging more than two runs scored per game in the final three innings and 1.2 runs score per game in extra innings, when one is usually enough to win it.

The win gave the Yankees an unexpected four-game sweep of the rival Rays, who are now a shocking 18.5 games out in the division, and ran the Yankees’ second-half record to 40-13, good for a .755 winning percentage. If they can keep that up through the final 20 games, it will stand as the third-best post-break mark since the All-Star Game began in 1933.

Oh, I almost forgot. Derek Jeter went 3-for-4, tying Lou Gehrig for the most hits in team history. It’s an impressive accomplishment that might have meant something to me had the YES Network not killed it to death by overhyping it beyond all reason. In fact, after watching the YES broadcast the opening of my recap looked like this:

Derek Jeter derekjeter derek jeter derekjeterderekjeter. Derek jeterderek Jeter derekjeter derek 2,721 jeter, Derek Jeter.

Then I checked the box score and realized there had been other players on the field.

At one point, YES seemed so obsessed with Jeter and all of their related graphics (the post-game graphic behind Bob Lorenz was a picture of Jeter swinging over a faded image of Gehrig’s number four with just the word “History” written underneath), that they seemed to have farmed out the rest of the broadcast to school children. The trivia question was a syntactical nightmare so severe that Michael Kay had to pause in the middle of reading it to get his bearings (“Who has the most games with hitting home runs from both sides of the plate in their career?”). They then cut to a shot of Alfredo Aceves warming up, but the camera framed Aceves so that he was hidden behind the graphic listing his season stats. The camera then readjusted with a few jerks during the live shot.

Typically YES does a fantastic job of broadcasting a game, but Wednesday night’s game was an embarrassment of FOX-like proportions. The network’s absolute murdering of Jeter’s pursuit of the all-time hit records for Yankee Stadium last year and the franchise this year have helped me understand why fans of other teams become enraged over what they feel is the outsized praise Jeter receives.

Jeter acknowledges the crowd (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)Still, for those in the ballpark, it did seem to be a genuine moment, as Jeter received a big ovation from the crowd and both dugouts, and seemed genuinely touched while tipping his helmet in response. It’s no small thing to have the most hits in the history of such an old and accomplished franchise, even if people tend to forget that, for all that the Yankees and their players have achieved over the years, long, durable careers have not really been a part of that.

It was also nice to hear Jeter speak at length and without obfuscation about the accomplishment and his emotions after the game, a rare glimpse behind the Jeter Curtain, albeit typically serious and humble. I also enjoyed hearing Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, and Mariano Rivera reflect on their friendship with Jeter and their time together over the past decade and a half (though I found it telling that Posada focused more on Jeter eventually getting 3,000 hits than on catching Gehrig, while Mo wants Jeter to go after Pete Rose’s all-time record).

Unfortunately, that was marred a bit by the absurdity of some of Kim Jones’ questions (sample: “Jorge, to know that for 72 years Lou Gehrig held this record alone, and tonight he got some company, is that almost mind boggling, the accomplishment this is given those decades?” or “Can you take us through that moment, Andy, when he hits the ball to right field, he’s obviously headed to first, you guys come out of the dugout and are clapping?”). Jones does a solid job, but she has a habit of trying to put words into peoples mouths by asking yes/no questions (“did that ovation touch you?” etc.).

Getting back to Jeter. He broke an 0-for-12 slump with a bunt single on Niemann’s first pitch of the night, hit a ground-rule double to the warning track in center in this third at-bat, then singled to right for the record-tying hit. Jeter and Gehrig are now tied for 53rd on the all-time major league hit list, 22 behind Al Oliver.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Recap

Tags:  Derek Jeter  YES Network

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1 Eddie Lee Whitson KO   ~  Sep 10, 2009 2:36 am

Well written, Cliff. i intentionally did not watch the YES feed, and you've validated that decision. BTW, what's up with BJ Upton? Not to take away from the lovefest, but that double should've been an out, and he loafed on another hit. Was he hurt?

Winning is still substantively better than losing. And Joe Wilson is a turd in a punch bowl.

2 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Sep 10, 2009 2:41 am

[1] I'm not sure the double would have been an out with a typical CF, but Upton probably would have had it had he made an effort. I don't know what the story was, but Maddon did pull him mid-game, be it for loafing or because of an injury. That and Mo not pitching the 9th seem to have been ignored due to Jeter.

3 Boatzilla   ~  Sep 10, 2009 3:37 am

[1] According to ESPN, Upton was hurt. He was playing with a sprained ankle and was gutting it out like Jeter might, rather than loafing. Unfortunately, the YES booth decided during the game to that he has a character flaw and was "Cadillacing It," which sounds like a racially charged metaphor if there ever was one. Why doesn't the guy get the benefit of the doubt? Cheesh.

4 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 10, 2009 6:08 am

[3] I never heard the phrase "Cadillacing it" before, but yes, that is a really poor choice of words to use towards Upton..as was discussed in earlier threads about Robbie Cano, certain players will unfortunately always be judged quickly and unfairly...

5 Ben   ~  Sep 10, 2009 7:12 am

Yeah, when I saw Upton make a basket catch coming in on a flyball, I was reminded of Rickey and his snap catch. It seemed like showmanship, maybe cocky, and could lead an analyst to think he was a showboat and Cadillaccing it. But then I thought, the basket catch is actually a very safe way to catch a ball AND, if you're injured and want to save the extra step, it's also a smart catch.

It doesn't really matter though. Upton made a few plays last night that threw his effort/readiness into question. Maddon was right to remove him.

I'm just glad that the days I don't give 100% at work aren't captured on a telecast.

6 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 10, 2009 7:50 am

Very well written Cliff.
A few random thoughts:
... ESPN actually covered Jeter and hit big hit very well. If you can catch it on tape, I recommend taking a look.
... I have never 'loved' Jeter the way other fans (and others here) have. I think that is because of the constant, year after year after year, overhyping. Jeter is an EXCELLENT but not great ballplayer. He is also a very fine character and indeed a most excellent role model. But if he played his career in KC, we might hardly ever hear his name mentioned. Indeed, because the Jeter show takes place in NY, it is simply overblown to the point that those like me actually appreciate him less because the NY media, and at times the national media, treat him like the second coming.

(Take note young parents: Both Jeter and ARod are prime examples of the lifelong affect of parenting [excellent and missing] on a child's future being. I give Jeter's parents a Nobel Prize for the tremendous foundation they have layed down for him. Every child is born with many predispositons and abilities. But there is still a LOT of blank space that is filled up by their environment, which in a child's early years, is mostly the parents. The formula is unlimited love, consistancy and disipline. [That's buddha type disipline, not military disipline. Parental disipline is often a dirty words amoungst liberals like myself]).
... (Off topic) I thought Obama's speech to congress last night (during the game) was excellent. I recommend that everybody watch a tape of it
... This is an amazing year. The only Yankee position player underperforming is an injured ARod. Melky is about what we expect from Melky. Just about everyone else is having a better year then expected (although certainly within their ability). However, it's hard to imagine that next year, so many players will be 'ON" at the same time. The only question is will this continue in the PS when we are facing elite pitching.
... 7 years for this Blog? Amazing. I know I started following regularly about 3 months before Cliff joined. When was that?
... Cano continues to be an enigma. This year, great D, excellent BA and power. But his OBP... only 30 pts higher than his BA? He can never be a great player unless he dedicated himself to improving that to at least 60 pts.
... I don't care if Minn. goes 0 and 162. Mauer must be the MVP. His line of .367, .433, .601, 1.034 is just sick for a Catcher
... There is a noticable difference in ARod's approach. The big swing is gone and his has a nice, short stroke that has resulted in many line drives and singles. Is this a compromise due to his hip or a conscious decision? His OPS is dwon (a little) from earlier in the year, yet his BA is 50 pts higher. I think this approach will suit him (and us) in the PS.
... I think this (.279 .338 .426 .764 ) is Melky. His has been both well above and well below, but I believe these numbers are about what we can expect. I think with better plate disipline and shortening his stroke in appropriate situations, he could push his OPS to .800-ish.
QUESTION: With above average (but not great) D, is this enough to be a Yankee CFer? Is this enough to be a Yankee corner OFer?
... ESPN commented on how a 37 yr old catchers bat speed should be greatly diminished... but NOT Posada's. I do think his D has slid a bit, but his bat is still very potent. I wonder, if he DH'es 80 games next year, dare we still expect a .899 OPS? Does he need to be in the field (ala Giambi) to keep his bat potent, or might the rest a DH gets keep him fresh?
... A LOT of players have not responded well coming to NY. TeixIS the real deal Seeing him lose a hit to the shift however, was brutal. Was he always an extreme pull hitter, or is this Yankeestadiumitis? If he could go the other way a BIT, you would think his numbers would be better?
... It looks like AJ has been true to form. Sometimes an absolute AceStud. Sometimes an absolute waste of talent. But hey, he hasn't been injured yet, so we are ahead of the curve.

7 unmoderated   ~  Sep 10, 2009 8:02 am

regarding Melky in center, no it's not enough. not sure what the answer is, but here's an off-season predection for you:

joba, melky, romine and brackman to toronto for halladay and wells.

I usually hate unfounded trade speculation, but what the hell. it's not like I can complain much about this team.

8 Dimelo   ~  Sep 10, 2009 8:27 am

For me, Jeter is worth all the praise by the local and national media. Just like you can't do anything about who you are born to, then I feel it's the same with Jeter, he can't do anything about being drafted to play for the Yankees and making a great career out of it. I don't begrudge or change my view of him just because he plays in NY and not in some other crappy market.

Jeter was drafted by the Yankees, went through their farm system, had a rough go at SS in the minors, wasn't trusted to be their SS, he overcame adversity, he was steady, he was constant, he never embarrassed the Yanks, all throughout he played his best and was an all-star, he dates super models, he's humble, and, oh yeah, he won championships.

When I read stuff like ".. why fans of other teams become enraged over what they feel is the outsized praise Jeter receives" or "year after year after year, overhyping".

How is that his fault? How can that be used to condemn the man? I know no one was condemning Jeter, but it's like people are angry at his success, as if he's not worthy. I think he gets the praise cause he's a clean-cut guy who always seems to do the right thing.

Shouldn't that be applauded? Shouldn't we be praising that and, dare I say, overhype that as much as possible?

We constantly hear about athletes that are beating their involved in some domestic issue, driving intoxicated and killing people, killing animals, etc, but now we have a person who does the right thing and we want to diminish his accomplishments.

Congratulations, Derek S. Jeter.

9 bp1   ~  Sep 10, 2009 8:47 am

[1] [2] I was curious about that, too (Upton getting benched), so I googled around and saw the Tampa blog reports that Madden benched him 'cause his ankle was acting up again. Would have been nice if the Yankees broadcasters let the viewers know he was playing on a bum foot, rather than saying he wasn't hustling. But the guy has a bad rep in that dept, having been benched a few times last year for lack of effort. That's the sort of rep that sticks with a guy.

Dude has gobs and gobs of natural ability.

And yeah - Cliff - I agree re: the YES Jeterpalooza over the past week. Enough already. No need to drive the point home with a sledgehammer. It was kinda surreal. Makes me cringe at wondering what will happen when A-Rod approaches those home run milestones. Will those games be watchable?

The Yankees are on an amazing run. My jinxes and good luck charms at home have been rendered obsolete (knock on wood). They just win. A lot. Wow.

10 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 10, 2009 9:02 am

I understand how the YES hype could drive you to take a contrararian stand, and I'm sure Jeter would structure his game re-cap the same way, putting the story of the team's victory first -- but with all due respect, sir, you buried the lead. Sorry, you're one of my favorite writers, but I'm scoring it at home as an error. We all make 'em.

Pinstripped pomp and ceremony come with the turf. Even if that's not your thing, and even though it can sometimes be too much depending on your taste, the big story last night, perhaps the only story last night was Jeter and Gehrig.

As for fans around the league who get worked up when Jeter gets too much praise, I think even they would tip their cap to the man today, and be reluctantly envious of Yankee fans for having a player like Jeter to root for, and hold up as a baseball role model.

11 Ben   ~  Sep 10, 2009 9:05 am

[9.] I didn't know that about Upton last year. It's tough to live that stuff down.

How about comparing Jeter to Biggio. Both great players at their positions, played the game 'right', were respected by their peers, caused zero distraction off the field. The difference - NY vs. Houston. I have an opinion as to which is a tougher environment.

But to me the Jeter/Gehrig record is more about realizing what a special career he's had rather than how great he is.

12 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 10, 2009 9:14 am

[10] oops, I'booted the ball! The other big story last night was, of course, Posada's home run. That was sick. Can't take big hits like that for granted. Damn, Po, that was nice.

13 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Sep 10, 2009 9:14 am

I read OYF and Dimelo, and I ... agree with both, and disagree. (How's that for a first coffee sentence?) OYF, I really don't see the distinction between excellent and great as meaning a whole lot. When someone is nearly a lock for 3000 hits playing a difficult position that gets them to flat-out great, to me. I also note that fangraphs showed he's the 3rd best defensive ss this year (both leagues). Rangers' rookie is #1.
I am fascinated, I admit, by how defensive numbers bounce around ... does make me wonder about the numbers, at least as much as the players!

I do agree with OYF that Mauer's numbers cry out 'MVP' ... except we KNOW that the MVP, unlike the Cy Young tilts towards players on teams in contention. It also tilts (a mistake, to my mind) towards the homer/rbi guys, which gives Tex and Miguel Cabrera their edges. Cabrera's quietly had a superb season.

Dimelo, it is not wrong not to note that Jeter get overhyped. Is it his fault, you ask? Of course not, but that doesn't make it inappropriate to observe that his game is seen as too much better than other players in quieter markets. On the other hand, I have always argued that playing in the Bronx ADDS a burden on players and quieter ponds are easier to swim in. Jeter has excelled on a difficult stage.

I'm honestly not sure what to make of the A Rod season ... from a team point of view, he's just great and it may well make for a better playoff, if he continues to use the whole field and not assume he needs to mash. On the other hand ... what does it mean if he is now a 30-35 homer guy? Is he? Why?

I have to assume the playoff rotation is CC/AJ/Andy with Joba either in the pen or a five inning 4th starter if the schedule forces one. If we start at home, Andy may go #2 to reduce the short porch issue, with two lefties. I have a real sense Joba is either off his game with all these adjustments or, very possibly, simply tired.

And yes, YES was painful last night.

14 Shaun P.   ~  Sep 10, 2009 9:24 am

[6] OYF, right on about ESPN. I was shocked that they just went quiet and let the crowd noise play out. Even Steve Phillips shut his mouth.

YES is pandering to Jeter - and more precisely, to all the Jeter fans out there - from the sounds of things. Can't say I blame them for doing it, but it makes me glad to have had only the ESPN feed last night. That will probably be the last time I ever say that again.

15 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 10, 2009 9:36 am

[14] celebrating team history is pandering?

Sure the coverage was over the top, (what aspect of the franchise's success isn't over the top?) but the backlash is just as unappealing if you ask me.

as for letting the crowd noise play out, the YES announcers didn't step on the moment... but clearly they ruined it for some fans with all the buildup.

16 bp1   ~  Sep 10, 2009 9:51 am

[15] The more I think about it - I think YES was expecting Jeter to tie/break the record earlier in the week and had to drag things out far longer than they had planned. Every day they had to re-play the same interviews, wax poetic again about Jeter's career, etc.. If he did it during the dbl header on Monday, nobody would have complained as the coverage would have coincided with the actual event. As it was, YES had to do their due diligence every game, and for those of us who watched each one, it got repeptive and annoying.

So - I think you're right. No problem with celebrating team history. The celebration of Mo's 500th save was spot on, probably in large part because Mo got it done the first chance he had, lol.

17 bp1   ~  Sep 10, 2009 9:52 am

[16] repeptive - lol. Nice word. Where's that edit feature?

18 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 10, 2009 9:56 am

[17] heh.. repeptive is exactly the word for it!

19 ms october   ~  Sep 10, 2009 9:57 am

i personally don't think it is fair to hold the media's coverage of jeter against him. contrast him with someone like brett favre who calls and texts people in the media on what seems like a fairly frequent basis. i think you can be annoyed with favre for the media coverage of him because he sought it out.

i think it is also worth noting that the yankees are 9 games up in the second week in september. i imagine the ratings have dropped a bit as there is basically no race left, summer is over, and football is starting. this jeter record is something for yes to focus on and have a story to tell.
now with that said the last few days have been over-done and a bit too much to me.

20 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 10, 2009 10:07 am

[9] I think the ARod milestone coverage will be much more unbearable but for a totally different reason. It won't be the praise that's too much. The whole steroids debate and asterisk thing will take the noise level to the point where you'll want to surround yourself with sandbags and hide until ARod's tipped his helmet.

21 ms october   ~  Sep 10, 2009 10:14 am

perhaps the best thing derek did last night was put a figurative foot up joba's ass :}

22 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 10, 2009 10:21 am

[21] funny you should mention that: at this moment the Yankees are constructing a monument that will be placed in the dirt at the exact spot where Jeter put his figurative boot up Joba's behind. There will be a ceremony for the unveiling of this monument sometime this weekend. Also, a chorus of school children will sing Jeter's praises in the Stadium's newly dedicated "Hall of Intangibles."

23 Shaun P.   ~  Sep 10, 2009 10:22 am

[15] Celebrating team history isn't pandering - its YES's job. They do it quite well.

But crazy over-the-top celebrating of team history? (That's the impression I got from Cliff's description; I saw none of it myself.) To me, that's pandering. For exactly the reasons ms october laid out in [19] - with the Yanks up by so much, they may well need a "story" to get attentionratings.

In any case, I fully agree with your [20] Sliced - when A-Rod gets close to Ruth, then Aaron, then Bonds - ugh.

24 Raf   ~  Sep 10, 2009 10:28 am

[3] Because he's having a bad year. Having said that, that wasn't the first time he made a basket catch, and I'm sure that wasn't the first time that he has dropped a fly ball. And because he makes basket catches with a fair degree of consistency, I'd say he's not going to change. Nor should he.

[6] I think it's awesome that Jeter's parents attend his games, I thought it was cool to see Papa Chamberlain around as well (where is he this season?).

[8] Let the haters hate, I pay them no mind.

25 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 10, 2009 10:37 am

[23] see I don't think YES was overdoing the Jeter buildup for ratings, or because they didn't have another story to sell. I think they would have given it pretty much the same treatment even if the Yanks were engaged in a hot series with the Red Sox with one game separating the teams in the standings. I think the Jeter Gehrig thing is genuinely a big deal, and deserved to be celebrated.

as bp1 noted in [16] unfortunately for YES (and the viewers) the thing just got dragged out too long because Jeter didn't hit for a few days.

It also comes down to how much noise and hype one can tolerate. I can easily tune that stuff out so it doesn't get to me.

26 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 10, 2009 10:40 am

[3] As mentioned on the other thread, Upton's error was not the result of his injury. He had plenty of time to settle under it, but instead slowed up so he could catch it over his shoulder. He did the same thing earlier in the game, and in fact does it regularly. Now, I guess you could blame the Rays for not dealing with this sooner, but maybe they have? In any event, all criticism of Upton was justifiable. Even the Rays broadcast took him to task.

[4] Cadillacing is pretty common...I don't see any racial undertones to the term, but maybe it's going over my head.

[6] Do you really think a SS with a career OPS+ over 120 would go unnoticed in KC? Jeter is an all-time great and a deserving first ballot Hall of Famer. I find it hard to believe that you can really over hype those kinds of players.

As for the Obama speech, my recommendation would be to skip it.

[10] I agree with this strongly. How YES covers Jeter's pursuit of the record should not diminish the importance that others give the moment. Of course, I don't see how YES has blown things out of proportion. This is a major record for the sports greatest team. Lou Gehrig is a mythical figure in the team's history and the fact that Jeter is surpassing one of his accomplishments is a very big deal. Downplaying this record would make no sense.

27 Rich   ~  Sep 10, 2009 10:42 am

Jeter has been overhyped at times during his career, particularly during the years when his defense was signfiicantly below average. I don't see the problem with anyone pointing that out. He's not sacrosanct.

Overall, the press treatment Jeter receives is extremely positive. I'm not sure what the complaint is.

28 Mattpat11   ~  Sep 10, 2009 10:44 am

[10] I think A-Rod could be worse, just because it will take longer. Homers are more rare than hits to begin with, and it did take A-Rod ten days to get from 499 to 500. We could be watching him chase Willie Mays for a week and a half.

29 Mattpat11   ~  Sep 10, 2009 10:45 am

[28] That should be [9]

30 BuckFoston   ~  Sep 10, 2009 10:48 am

It seems to me that maybe we are closer to the hype than most. For most of the country they only saw what was on ESPN and probably bearable. Hype is not anything that is unique to New York. Seems Cal Ripken got quite a bit of it for breaking Gehrig's record. Seems to me Cal Ripken got quite a bit of hype for being a career .788 OPS player (.340 OBP). How'd that happen, I mean with him playing in Baltimore and all? Jeter already has more hits than any other SS ever, and his career OPS is .846 (.387 OBP). I think it is safe to say that Jeter may end up being arguably the greatest SS of all time (I know its partially thanks to Arod's move to 3rd). He has a legitimate shot at Pete Rose's record, but only if he shows some selfishness in his later years.
It may be that Jeter's greatest accomplishment has been to exists for so long in the NY fishbowl and be considered a good guy, with a great character. This could also be said about Mo, but see Rodriguez, Alex for how things can go wrong. The only things people have seen to deride him for is the amount of affection Yankee fans have for him and the fact that he has a penchant for dating many (beautiful) women. The latter hate is 90% due to jealousy and 10% due to foisting our own morals upon him. The 10% may be lower.

31 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 10, 2009 10:51 am

[23] Other than Michael's Kay continuing use of the "Yankees Mount Olympus", I don't see what was over the top about the broadcast. It wouldn't have even occurred to me that YES went overboard if not for Cliff's criticism. It's not like they had one camera follow Jeter around the whole game or brought in a myriad of booth guests to recount his career in This Is Your Life fashion. They had a couple of pre-game spots and talked about the pursuit in each AB.

Every morning after a win, I've gotten into the habit of putting on the opponent's broadcast via MLB.com. To be honest, the TB station did just as much as YES regarding the record. They had graphics, discussed it each time he came up and even opined for two batters how many hits Gehrig might have gotten had he remained healthy. Maybe they were just pandering to the Yankee fans in Tampa, but I just think both stations are covering a big baseball story.

32 Bama Yankee   ~  Sep 10, 2009 10:54 am

[3] & [4] To me, it did look like Upton was "Cadillacing" on that play. He had time to get back to the spot, turn around and make a normal catch, but it looked like he was loafing. I don't know if he was bothered by an injury or not, it just looked like he tried to make a fancy catch when a standard catch would have been better. It reminded me of some of Cano's plays that drive me crazy.

Btw, I'm pretty sure that the term "cadillacing" is a common term for a baseball player showing off when it is not necessary. I'm not too sure about it being a "racially charged metaphor", doesn't running back Carnell Williams use "Cadillac" as a nickname?

33 monkeypants   ~  Sep 10, 2009 10:57 am

[6] Jeter is an EXCELLENT but not great ballplayer.

Hm. I will have to Agree with Horace [13] and William [26], among others. Jeter will retire as arguable the second best SS in the history of the game. He s a no doubt HOFer by almost any standard. In addition, he has managed largely to avoid injury and to play to a consistently high level. As William puts it, he has been one of the all time greats. We are spoiled being able to watch him for now a decade and a half.

Maybe this is just a matter of semantics, and I (Like Horace) am not clear about your distinction between excellent and great.

34 Raf   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:01 am

Cadillacing is pretty common…I don’t see any racial undertones to the term, but maybe it’s going over my head.

It probably is going over your head. Stereotypically, those who were successful among "us" drove Cadilacs.

35 monkeypants   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:02 am

[20] If A-Rod's pursuit of the HR record is anything like Bonds' was, then it will be unbearable indeed. For while I think that YES went overboard in Jeter-mania last night (And will again on Friday), we did not have national broadcasts cutting away to each and every one of Jeter's historic ABs as he crawled inevitably to one after another historic benchmarks until finally setting a new historic record.

36 RagingTartabull   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:08 am

Sonny Corleone had some interesting comments regarding Cadillacs in Harlem during the Sunday dinner scene in "Part One."

as for Jeter, I think it is what it is. When his pursuit of the YS 1.5 hit record was followed by YES last year like it was the Iranian hostage crisis I think that was just a case of trying to stir up some interest in a team that had fallen out of the race.

This time around I think you're dealing with a much more legitimately important event, anytime you pass a Hall of Famer and become the all-time Hit King for a franchise that has been around for over 100 years...thats a story. This isn't the all-time Diamondbacks hit record we're talking about here, the thing did stand for 70 years.

Was YES a little over-the-top? Meh, I guess you could argue it. But it was one of the major club records (the only other comparable ones I could think of would be wins by a pitcher and homers), they pretty much did their job as far as I'm concerned.

and watch Obama's speech ; )

37 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:10 am

[34] In the Brooklyn neighborhood in which I grew up, those who were successful among "us" also drove Cadillacs. In fact, for sometime, the Cadillac was a definite status symbol, one that applied rather universally. I still don't see the connection.

38 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:10 am

[34] I dunno, Raf. My Swedish grandfather was a Cadillac man, and baseball wise it's long been used to call out flashiness. I don't think anybody uses it to insult anyone.

I gave it a different spin. Right here on the Banter I used call Bobby Abreu the 2007 Cadillac Abreu: Smooth. Powerful. Comfortable. Quiet. I used it as a term of respect for Bobby.

39 monkeypants   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:11 am

[34] Um, didn't those who were successful among "us" also often drive Cadillacs?

FWIW, from the new Dickson Baseball Dictionary:

Cadillac trot: A home run trot by a high-salaried slugger, often staged to show up a high-priced pitcher or other opponent. During teh 1986 NLCS, CBS radio announcer said that the term should now be called the "Mercedes trot." An interesting variation of the "Cadillac trot" was collected by Peter Tamony who noted that, during a June 1966 interview of John Roseboro by broadcaster Vin Scully, Roseboro thought that he had hit a home run and said, " I was just Cadillac-ing along"; however, the ball did not go out of the park and Roseboro should not have been trotting around the bases. Etymology: The term certainly can be traced to a famous line uttered by slugger Ralph Kiner in the 1950s: "Hitters of homeruns drive Cadillacs, singles hitter jalopies." On another occasion Kiner told a reporter that he never choked up on the bat because the CAdillacs were down at the other end.

40 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:25 am

I'm not usually this way, but I'm just a little bit ticked for not getting acknowledged for breaking the tidbit here about Upton's injury yesterday (comment #220 in the game thread], but that's only because I spent about twenty minutes looking for it and no one even acknowledged it until it was mentioned by someone else as a veiled indication of racism. On that, my first reaction was that I didn't find it racist, I just found it unusual and not surprisingly boorish for Kay to characterize it that way when he would normally use the phrase "lack of hustle". My second was that I still don't find it racist unless you imply it, and if you're used to hearing it that way, then yes it would be. But to me, no. Just dumb, considering that it would have been easy to ask or speculate if he was injured as Kay has with others.

41 Diane Firstman   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:26 am

OK .... since I foolishly didn't snap up a couple of $40 grandstand seats last night for Friday's game, I just got 1 $40 grandstand ticket for Saturday.

Would I be a bad person for wishing for an 0-4 from Jeter on Friday? How about a HBP, a SF, 2 walks and a run scored?

42 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:28 am

call me a gas guzzling part of the problem, but if I could afford a Cadillac I'd definitley drive one.

Sang it, Bruce:


43 Bama Yankee   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:29 am

[40] Do you think his injury caused him to miss that ball or do you think he just dropped it?

44 RagingTartabull   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:30 am

lets put it this way, I think saying Upton was "cadillacin' it" is about as racist as calling Iwamura "sneaky" while he leads off first base looking to steal second.

I mean its not like he called him a "thug," which seems to be every sports pundit's favorite veiled epithet.

45 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:32 am

[36] Rhetoric! >;)

46 Raf   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:33 am

[37] And I'm sure they enjoyed a plate of fried chicken at one time or another. It doesn't change the stereotype.

[38] I'm sure it doesn't, just like we don't use "paddy wagon" to insult the Irish. Personally, I don't see it as an insult, I don't know of anyone who sees it as an insult, I'm merely pointing out why there may be racial undertones to a term like "cadillacing"

C'mon, you guys are messing with me, right? Enter "cadillacs and black people" into your favorite search engine, let me know what you find.

47 Raf   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:37 am

baseball wise it’s long been used to call out flashiness

And baseball wise, who's more likely to be called out for flashiness?

48 ms october   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:38 am

[40] you dropped that knowledge passed my bedtime :}

i feel your frustration though.

i do not think cadillacin it has racist roots (as mp discussed it was more about the big hr hitters), but i do think it is more often used to describe black or afro-latino players than other players.
also cadillacs have taken on a different symbolism for many after they were tied to welfare queens.

49 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:41 am

[40] No, just as many have implied, he seemed like he wasn't hustling, because he did bust it on another play before that one. I have no way of knowing if it did bother him unless HE said it did, in which case I'd have to accept that for what it is. I still think that if Maddon knew, he was foolish for not being more cautious with the injury, but then there's an endless chain of speculation here...

50 Raf   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:46 am

I still think that if Maddon knew, he was foolish for not being more cautious with the injury, but then there’s an endless chain of speculation here…

It could've been one of those things that Maddon asked Upton if he was able to go, and Upton said that he could.

I guess we'll see Upton's usage patterns from here on out, now that the Rays are for all intents and purposes done for 2009.

51 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:48 am

[46] I know what you're saying, Raf, and I wholly agree if you go looking for it, particularly in baseball (ahem, Mutts) it's wide open. Still, keeping it in the context of what Kay was saying, I don't think his intention was that in any way. I don't get that from what I can remember him saying in the past, but then I've not recently seen any red flags either.

52 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:52 am

[50] Aww, do we have to? I don't really care that much about the Rays! >;)

53 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:53 am

[46 47] Sorry, Raf, Ive really got nothing more than [38] on the subject of cadillacing - but like I said, my grandfather (we called him PopPop) drove nothing but Cadillacs after he started making money, so that's what I think of when I hear the word. In reference to baseball, to me it means nothing more than flashiness, and we know all types of players can be called out for that.

54 The Hawk   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:58 am

Wasn't it Flaherty that said "Cadillacing"?

55 The Hawk   ~  Sep 10, 2009 11:59 am

[7] I gotta stick of for Melky here, he's done a serviceable job.

56 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:01 pm

[40] I wasn't in the game thread, but I think it was pretty common knowledge that Upton is battling an ankle sprain. I still think that's irrelevant to the play because Upton did not drop the ball because he wasn't running well.

[46] Usually you can back up a stereotypes implication with evidence. I have yet to see any for Cadillacing. In fact, many of the references I could find apply to white players.

57 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:04 pm

[46] If anything, your search engine test proves that the Cadillac as a racial symbol post dates the origins of "Cadillacing" in baseball.

58 Diane Firstman   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:08 pm

Hmmmm ....

Williams moved on to Auburn University after graduating from Etowah High School in Attalla, Alabama. He got the nickname 'Cadillac' from a TV sportscaster in Alabama for the style and the way he ran...he was a notch above everyone on the field, and the name stuck."

59 Raf   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:10 pm

[51] I agree that Kay and Flash weren't using it in that "way," and to be clear I'm not calling them, nor members here, out on it. I'm not saying that anyone here is bigoted or racist. I'm simply pointing out that the "Cadillac and Blacks" stereotype is nothing new, because williamnyy23 mentioned he didn't see any racial undertones to the term. Now I may have misread or misinterpreted what (s)he wrote, but it still doesn't change the stereotype.

60 RagingTartabull   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:12 pm

FWIW there is a history of Cadillac being the first luxury car brand marketed towards upwardly mobile African Americans.


61 Diane Firstman   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:12 pm


In the same vein, does Ichiro "Honda" around the bases?

62 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:14 pm

[59] Until recently (sometime in the 1980s), the Cadillac was an American status symbol. Every segment of the population strived to own one because it meant they had made it. Whether it was Irish, Italian, Black or Hispanic, every community likely looked at the Cadillac as a status symbol. So, you could say at some point in American history, the Cadillac and (insert ethnicity) had undertones. Because we know the Cadillac no longer holds status and the baseball term pre-dates any connotations regarding black people, I don’t think it is accurate to say that the term is loaded.

63 Bama Yankee   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:24 pm

[58] Thanks alot Diane... ;-) You just had to bring up the fact that he went to Auburn. At one point I thought he would sign with Alabama but he ended up signing with the bad guys. Everyone knows that the real story behind his nickname is that an Auburn booster bought him an Escalade during the recruiting process... ;-)

64 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:26 pm

[59 what makes you think william might be a she?

And on the subject of potentially misleading handles, I hope nobody here thinks I'm sliced white bread.
I'm definitey marble rye... with seeds.

65 Bama Yankee   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:32 pm

[54] You are correct, it was Flaherty who used the term. Kay actually said that Upton was trying to "Mr. Cool it"... I'm not sure what that means, but if he had run through the outfield wall, then maybe you could say that he was trying to "Mr. Kool-aid Man it"... ;-)

66 Raf   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:32 pm

[62] We'll just have to agree to disagree, because I'm not going to go to a library to find copies of Ebony and Jet from the 40's and 50's to prove a point.

[59] I don't... :)

67 Raf   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:33 pm

[65] Or he could've been referring to KOOL's ;)

68 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:35 pm

[64] I guess William could be a female's name. To assume otherwise would be an example of gender bias ;)

69 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:36 pm

[66] Not sure why you need copies of Ebony and Jet, but I am fine disagreeing.

70 Bama Yankee   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:38 pm

[67] My mother used to smoke those... and you know, I never thought it was very KOOL...now, the Kool-Aid Man...that's was a different story...OH, YEAH!

71 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:41 pm

[64] Aww, anything but rye, man! You could've said pumpernickel or wheat or even whole grain, but not rye! >;) jk,jk

I might also throw this into the mix... (you know somebody had to go there, right? >;)

72 ms october   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:42 pm

we do end up in some odd discussions in this place - i love the banter, even when i don't :}

73 The Hawk   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:44 pm

[65] I like it, haha.

74 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:45 pm

All of you are out of your minds today. I love it, it makes me feel all peanut buttery inside!

75 Raf   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:46 pm

[69] Because I'm sure they had puff pieces back then about Negroes/Coloreds and Cadillacs.

While Cadillacs may be a status symbol, it still doesn't change the stereotype that for whatever reason they're linked to black people. Like I mentioned before, I know plenty of white people who enjoy fried chicken and watermelon, but it doesn't change that for whatever reason, that fried chicken and watermelon are stereotypically linked to black people.

76 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:47 pm

[65] I reiterate my comments then to include Flaherty then and disclude Kay in that context. Am I out of order for thinking that Flash is, well, boring and thus so easy to tune out and forget?

77 Raf   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:48 pm

[72] We certainly are a diverse bunch :)

I do enjoy the way we are able to keep things civil around here :D Well, except for certain instances of course, but Alex & Co. do a pretty good job of maintaining this little sandbox, and for the most part we do play well with each other.

78 monkeypants   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:49 pm

[72] I'm not taking the blame for this one!

; )

79 Bama Yankee   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:52 pm

[76] You are not out of order, Flash is dull as dishwater... (no offense to any dishwashers out there... ;-)

80 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:54 pm

[71] hey, I didnt know Luda's Swedish! He's a Cadillac man ljust ike my grandfather.

81 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 10, 2009 12:58 pm

[75] I understand all that, but still don't think the link you are suggesting is anywhere near strong enough or lasting to imply what you think it does. So, we will definitely have to disagree on this...at least until I see some compelling evidence.

82 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 10, 2009 1:02 pm

[75] For the record, I don't like watermelon, collard greens or mac and cheese, sweet potato pie, chitlins, hogmaws, okra, grits, chicken gizzards or malt liquor; I don't drink or smoke at all and I don't like a lot of things commonly stereotyped with black folk, but not because I am actively fighting those stereotypes. I just don't like the taste/effect, and in the case of drinking and smoking I can't for health reasons.

83 RagingTartabull   ~  Sep 10, 2009 1:05 pm

[82] hey come on, EVERYONE loves hogmaws

84 The Hawk   ~  Sep 10, 2009 1:07 pm

It seems clear that "cadillacing" - the slang verb - doesn't have its roots in anything racial. Maybe it's an unfortunate choice of words because Upton's Aftican-Amercian and these associated Cadillac stereotypes, but it appears to be wholly unrelated.

85 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 10, 2009 1:09 pm

[83] Show of hands? I do love me some cornbread, though...

86 Bama Yankee   ~  Sep 10, 2009 1:09 pm

[77] I agree. That's one of the great things about this place. For the record, I've learned a lot over the years from the diversity of the people here. It helps that, for the most part, people are civil in their discussions and that we all have the common ground of our love for the Yankees to fall back on.

87 RagingTartabull   ~  Sep 10, 2009 1:10 pm

[81] From the link I posted earlier:

"Dreystadt pointed out that since blacks (Negroes in those days) had
limited access to high-status housing and other signs of success,
wealthy blacks had adopted Cadillac as a status symbol. (Packard was
the favored car of the white old-money class.)

"Dreystadt pointed out that blacks paid a premium to white buyers to
front for them. Demand like this should be exploited, he said. The
committee give Dreystadt 18 months to develop the Negro market. By the
end of 1934, Cadillac sales were moving up and the division was making

So I think the link (some would say "stereotype") existed for at least a while there. Just to be clear, I absolutely do not think Kay or Flaherty were insinuating anything racial at all.

88 Bama Yankee   ~  Sep 10, 2009 1:12 pm

[85] See, I've never even heard of "hogmaws"...but, I'm with you on the cornbread. On that note, I'm heading out for lunch...all this talk about food is making me hungry...

89 RagingTartabull   ~  Sep 10, 2009 1:14 pm

Just to be clear, I'm a white guy...but I've ridden in a Cadillac more times than Jack Klompus.

90 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 10, 2009 1:15 pm

[88] Don't eat the five bucks! >;)

91 Yankster   ~  Sep 10, 2009 1:16 pm

[33] well said, good summary of the other good comments. There are a lot of stats, position adjusted, by which Jeter is already in the top 10 all time or top 1% all time - that's easily "great."

92 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 10, 2009 1:22 pm

[90] For those who usually don't know what I'm referring to, read the quotes...

93 Boatzilla   ~  Sep 10, 2009 7:50 pm

For the record, I posted the note about Upton's ankle sprain and the idea that Cadillacing could be a racially charged term. While there is no way to prove the latter, the former was reported in the ESPN notes section on their story of the game. My point is that the YES announcers should have mentioned the injury instead of simply ragging on Upton about loafing. There is simply no way of knowing if he was going all out or if he was hampered by an injury, and I think the guy deserves the benefit of the doubt despite what he may have been accused of in the past. And BTW, if Ichiro was showboating it would be in a Tokyo Crown not a Honda.

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