"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

What it is

I spent the evening flipping back-and-forth between the Yankees-Royals and the Tigers-Twins, listening to my wife concentrating (Is something burning?) and then cursing at her laptop as she attempted to book a flight on-line.  I watched more of the Yankees game but for the life of me I couldn’t tell you what happened.  It unfolded in a blur, with John Flaherty and Michael Kay rattling on about whatever they get paid to rattle on about.

AJ Burnett struck guys out and pitched well. The Royals starting pitcher had a French-sounding name, funny side burns, and was even better. Mark Teixiera hit a cheap dinger off a change-up that was high and outside. He hooked it to right field, it hit off the top of the wall and skipped into the seats like a flat rock thrown into a lake. Later, Phil Coke shanked a throw to second, blowing a sure double play, and then he didn’t go home when he had a play at the plate. Two runs scored. Oh, Nick Swisher hit a bomb to center field. The cameras showed Phil Hughes warming up in the bullpen. He has a pencil-thin mustache that makes him look a secret agent in an old British spy movie or a hick gas station attendant from the movie Tex.

Kyle Karnsworth, the man who disappointed us by never flexing his pinstriped muscles in a scrap while he played in New York, pitched the ninth inning. And Farnsworth being Farnsworth, things fell apart quickly and right on schedule:  He struck out the lead-off man (Brett Gardner), then gave up an infield hit (Francisco Cervelli), a pinch-hit single (Eric Hinske), and a game-tying sac fly to Robbie Cano, also pinch-hitting. Then Hinske stole second, the throw went into center field and Hinske lumbered on to third diving in safely. Johnny Damon was walked intentionally and Juan Miranda hit a line drive off of Farnsworth’s leg. The ball bounced toward the Yankee dugout, Farnsworth chased after it, and crossed Miranda, who was on his way to first. Hinske scored and the Yankees won 4-3.

Michael Kay shouted about “The Year of the Walk-Off,” his voice now horse.  This was the Yankees’ 15th “walk-off” win of the season.

Pie and smiles and the 102nd win of the year for New York.

Meanwhile, Tom Verducci has a profile on our man Mariano this week in Sports Illustrated. In fact, Rivera made the cover.


The piece is full of goodies:

“I have respect for Mariano like I have for my father,” says Boston designated hitter David Ortiz. “Why? He’s just different. If you talk to him at an All-Star Game, it’s like talking to somebody who just got called up. To him, everybody else is good. I don’t get it. To him everybody else is the best. It’s unbelievable. And he is the greatest.

“You know what? Sometimes in those times when he struggles, like when I watch him on TV, I feel bad for him. I seriously do. Good people, you want to do well.”

Told of this respect from his peers, especially from within the enemy clubhouse in Boston, Rivera is grateful, if slightly uncomfortable. “I don’t wait for people to give me respect,” Rivera says. “I always give them respect. Any player. Even a rookie, an old player, a veteran. I never try to show up anybody. I go to my business. I always take time for somebody who wants to talk to me. That’s my thing.

“It comes from back home. Family. My father was strict and always taught me no matter who it is, everybody is an uncle. To me, everybody was someone I respect like family. I grew up with that.”

…”My mental approach is simple: Get three outs. As quick as possible,” he says. “If I can throw three, four pitches, the better it is. I don’t care how I get you out. As long as I get you out. The quicker, the better. And that’s the only thing I have in mind.”

…”I love everything about pitching,” Rivera says. “Just being on the mound. Being on the mound and competing. There is nobody to come and save you. You have to get it done. There is no time to play around. It’s time to get it done and go home.

“I mean, this is what I do. This is what I was picked to do. There is no hitting. There is no running. When I’m here, on the mound … ahh, this is my world.”

Rivera knows himself, his place in the world, and seems to be perfectly suited to his job. Nice job by Verducci.

Finally, all of our best to Pete Abe who covered his last game for the Lo-Hud tonight. Good luck in Boston, Pete. And good news for us, as Chad Jennings will take over for Pete on the Yankee blog beat. Jennings has been terrific covering the minor leagues and he’s as good a cherce as we could have hoped for to replace Pete.

Yup, lots of winners in Yankeeland tonight.

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1 Mattpat11   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:43 pm

I wonder if there's a Kansas City version of me doing the Farnsworth rant

2 Alex Belth   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:45 pm


3 RagingTartabull   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:48 pm

[1] yeah, he just released a book about the '75 Reds

4 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:48 pm

[1] I wonder what the life expectancy for such a fan would be?

5 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:49 pm

thelarmis, posted this in the game thread regarding Banterite PJ from Tennesee:

「124」 Yeah, I was thinking about him as well because a GREAT Sumo tournament just ended here on Sunday..he seemed to be quite a knowledgeable fan..

6 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:51 pm

Posted this on the previous thread:

Only 10 Yankee teams have won more than 102 games; only 6 have won more than 103; only 5 have won more than 104 or 105; and only 4 have won more than 106.

Only 14 Yankees teams have had a better winning percentage than the current .646. If they win out, the 2009 team can pass the 1951 team for 13th place.

7 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:52 pm

[1] To be a Royals, Pirates or Mets fan would require serious Buddhist training at this point..

8 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:55 pm

Yikes..anyone see the news about Chuck Knoblauch? Arrested for assaulting his wife...you wonder about roid rage...

9 thelarmis   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:56 pm

[8] yeah, i saw that. he's had a pretty rough go of things. you create your own destiny, i guess...

10 williamnyy23   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:56 pm

[8] Knoblauch has reportedly been suffering with depression and I have a feeling that is more the culprit. Either way, it is a very sad story.

11 RagingTartabull   ~  Sep 29, 2009 10:58 pm

[7] I think even Royals and Mets fans feel bad for the Pirates at this point...hell, I think Nationals fans feel bad for the Pirates.

12 thelarmis   ~  Sep 29, 2009 11:09 pm

papelbitch drilled Lind right above the elbow, in the 9th. Lind hit 3 homers prior, 2 off Laptop, 1 off Saito.

13 Chyll Will   ~  Sep 29, 2009 11:10 pm

[10] Depression is no joke. Considering what he's been through the last several years even before his name was exposed, I'm inclined to be sympathetic.

14 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 29, 2009 11:13 pm

「13」 Yeah, the daily news reported that he had mixed some medication with alcohol..that is never going to end well..hope he gets some help (and his wife too of course)

「12」 Papelbon is such a wiener..

15 Rich   ~  Sep 29, 2009 11:25 pm

Tonight was payback, Mattpat, or at least a down payment.

16 Rich   ~  Sep 29, 2009 11:29 pm

Obviously, I only know what I have read in the papers (online, as it were), but it seems like Knoblach has gone downhill since his dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's some years ago. I have gone through similar (although not exactly the same) things. It's not easy, so I do have compassion for him, but it's no excuse for hitting someone, if the allegations are true.

17 thelarmis   ~  Sep 29, 2009 11:44 pm

[16] i hear ya on all accounts. after he hit her in the face, he choked her. that's just not good... : (

18 thelarmis   ~  Sep 29, 2009 11:46 pm

wow, Brew Crew crushed Street and tied the game by scoring 3 in the 9th. tied up in Denver, top 10. braves might stay 2 back, after all... hope so!

19 Diane Firstman   ~  Sep 29, 2009 11:56 pm


Even more bizarre? They tied game on a 3-run homer by Jason Kendall!

20 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 30, 2009 12:03 am

I have irrational hatred for the Rockies..Go Braves! It'd bee cool to see Larry Jones come to New YS and lose a WS to the Yanks again!

21 thelarmis   ~  Sep 30, 2009 12:03 am

Adam Dunn has 38 homers. ooh, how i hope hits 2 more this week. that'd give him exactly 40 for the fifth season in a row!!! man, talk about consistency...

22 thelarmis   ~  Sep 30, 2009 12:05 am

King Felix throwing another excellent game.

[19] no way! i didn't know that. Josh Wilker recently had a post about Kendall's dad...

[20] it'd be kinda cool for me to see a playoff game in person! knowing this city, i'd have my pick of the litter, as far as seats go...

23 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 30, 2009 12:19 am

「22」 King Felix is one of my favorite players..watching him and Zach the Great this year has been awesome! Wish I watched more NL games to see Lincecum too..

Atlanta just not a sports town I guess..I know the Hawks often struggle for fans..(sucking for years hasn't helped..)

24 thelarmis   ~  Sep 30, 2009 12:22 am

[23] i'm a big King Felix fan too! i collect some of his cards, also. my favorite is his topps traded rookie card. it's '05, methinks.

well, Atlanta doesn't really have to worry - Rox just "walked-off"...

i actually played a pre-season game for the Hawks a few years back. it was pretty lame. goddamn, those muthafuckers are TALL, though!!! they're wives were gorgeous too, but i guess that's to be expected.

anyway, i gotta hit "stop" on this Donald Byrd CD and head back to the studio. gotta practice!!!

25 monkeypants   ~  Sep 30, 2009 12:31 am

[23] Is it just my screen, or are your [##] references showing up sort of crazy? Like this: 「##」.
Are you using special characters?

26 Eddie Lee Whitson KO   ~  Sep 30, 2009 12:50 am

Two thoughts, one on the game and one on the Verducci article. On the game, didnt we all know that Farnsworthless would blow it? It was a certainty, 100%. He was, is and will always be the Anti-Mo. What a turd.

Speaking of, what an article about Mo. To hear his opponents ( and his arch-rivals) speak so glowingly of him, his balance and humility and approach to his work and his life is nothing short of inspiring.

We are witnesses to something amazing, and it's not named Lebron.

27 Eddie Lee Whitson KO   ~  Sep 30, 2009 12:55 am

...I always forget the 3rd point. Loved the heads-up play by Hairston Jr, leting the popup drop and getting Anderson on the DP. Here endeth the lesson....

28 Bobtaco   ~  Sep 30, 2009 12:58 am

[25] Those are fancy Japanese brackets

29 monkeypants   ~  Sep 30, 2009 1:29 am

[28] Oooohhhhh....perdy...

30 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 30, 2009 1:35 am

「29」 Yes, my desire for praise extends to searching for a funkier bracket style! :)
I'm saving the Mo article for this weekend..

The Tampa series should be a bit of a snoozer..unless Shelly Duncan hits 4 home runs in a game or something like that happens..

31 monkeypants   ~  Sep 30, 2009 1:54 am

〖30〗Oh yeah, well take that!

32 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 30, 2009 2:05 am

そ31そ Your Arial brackets are no match for my squiggly-alphabet boundaries!

I don't want to start a whole Momentum debate again but..Boston has really stunk it up the last 10 days..are they going to enter the playoffs against the Angels and be able to just turn it on? Or am I using baskeball terminology here..still unsure whether momentum matters in baseball...

33 monkeypants   ~  Sep 30, 2009 2:22 am

❛32❜ Momentum is tomorrow's starting pitcher, that's what I say! And with that...

34 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 30, 2009 2:29 am

栄33栄 Well, that is indeed true..but if those pitchers themselves have NOT been in a groove recently (and Beckett has certainly not been...) well, I think the Angels have a really good shot to win their series...and that worries me, because they will be tough in the ALCS...I really think we would beat Boston in 5...

35 OldYanksFan   ~  Sep 30, 2009 3:09 am

Pitcher's fielding on both sides let up 1/2 the runs scored.
Knobby is also in a divorce, which 75% of the time, leaves one spouse wanting to kill the other. Anyone who has been there knows it can be brutal. Divorce... depression... alcohol..... could have been a lot worse.

Both Beckett and Lester look like they might be OK for the PS, but one never knows, They need both guys to get anywhere.

36 monkeypants   ~  Sep 30, 2009 7:28 am

⁂34⁂ It's tricky though, because at some point the law of averages kicks in.

37 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Sep 30, 2009 8:07 am

凸36凸 With young pitchers? Lester has thrown a lot of innings the last two years..and while Laptop has looked great recently, is he ready for the playoffs?
Taking a look at the staffs for all the playoff teams..Cardinals are impressive, and Chris Carpenter is probably the best pitcher in the post-season..

38 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 30, 2009 9:02 am

Verducci does a very good job of breaking down Mo's mechanics, and astutely nails down his consistent, and meticulous assassin-on-a mission psyche. That makes it a compelling read even for those of us who've been marveling at Mo for years. But I gotta say, I don't like seeing Mo on the cover of SI. Trying to put my finger on why... but look, he's OURS, not some idol of the moment to be hyped for mass consumption. To me, Mo's story that does not need to be told, nor sold across America at this point. He doesn't need to be on the cover of SI any more than he needs to pitch 3 innings tonight against the Royals. His story is OURS - not something some schmo from West Bumphuck, Wherever should happen to read (yawn) in the waiting room of his doctor's office. I don't begrudge SI for trying to sell magazines (though I doubt Mo's mug will attract buyers in many Yankee loathing markets), but to me, this profile smacks of pandering. Thanks mostly to his sneak attack on ARod a couple years ago (The Lonliest Yankee) I sometimes get the feeling that Verducci is sneering at me as a Yankee fan. My distrust of him grows when he needles with bits like that stomach churning quote from Papelbon. Yuck.

39 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 30, 2009 9:03 am

oh, forgot to turn rant off.

comeback victories, and pies....
ahh, that's better.

40 Shaun P.   ~  Sep 30, 2009 9:19 am

╠36╣╠37╣ Oh you guys and your fancy brackets . . .

[38] The A-Rod article you mention, and that book he co-authored that received some attention earlier this year, leave me wary of Verducci, too. That said, he is an excellent writer, and so I'm going to pony up the $3 (or whatever a single issue of SI costs these days) to read the article and have that cover, because that is pretty sweet looking. I just wish it didn't have any words beyond "Sports Illustrated" and the date on it.

41 rbj   ~  Sep 30, 2009 9:21 am

Aaauugghhhh! Isn't anyone else upset/worried about the SI jinx, with Mo on the cover going into the playoffs!!!!

Now I need to find my lucky rabbit's foot and look for a four leaf clover.

I turned the game off after the eight. Just too tired to watch the ninth, though if I had known Farnsworth was coming in, I might have propped my eyelids up with toothpicks.

42 Pete   ~  Sep 30, 2009 9:52 am

Gotta hand it to SI - even in this world of instant news and media saturation, they can still put out a great feature story - and take some killer photos too! I'm definitely picking up that issue...

43 Sliced Bread   ~  Sep 30, 2009 10:16 am

[40] right, how could I forget the book? Bought it, and started reading the week it came out. Shelved it for this offseason. (would be a fun read after the Yanks defeated the Dodgers wouldn;t it?)

[41] right, how could I forget the jinx?! Eek!

[42] you just wanted to be #42, didn't you? but good point about the SI photography. Absolutely top notch.

44 Pete   ~  Sep 30, 2009 10:31 am

[43] I wasn't even paying attention to the numbers, but cool!

45 RIYank   ~  Sep 30, 2009 10:43 am

[41] I said in an earlier thread:
If it's Mo vs. the Jinx, I know who my money's on.

46 Bama Yankee   ~  Sep 30, 2009 10:46 am

[41] That's the first thing I thought of as well. The jinx is alive and well. Oklahoma State, Oregon, Ole Miss and Penn State were all featured on regional College Football preview issues this year...and all four have already lost.

However, if anyone could beat the SI Jinx...it would be Mo.

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