"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Pork Chops and Applesauce

Okay, let’s start with the good news.  At 28-19, the Yankees have the second-best record in all of baseball, tied with the San Diego Padres, if you can believe it.

Now for the bad news, which will take a bit more than one sentence to describe.  On Wednesday the Yankees made like bullies, calmly taking the Twins’ lunch money yet again as they swept a makeshift double header.  Just a day later, though, things don’t look quite as good.

Problem number one is that this team suddenly can’t score any runs.  Derek Jeter led off the game with a single, then dashed to third on Mark Teixeira’s single two batters later.  You could make the argument that even though we were only ten minutes into the action, this was the biggest moment of the game.  With Javier Vazquez on the mound, a pitcher who has been, shall we say, less than dominant this year, it was probably important to get off to a quick start.  It didn’t even need to be a big inning; just a 1-0 lead would have done wonders.  And with Alex Rodríguez coming up with runners at first and third and only one out, even a lazy sac fly would do.  Instead, A-Rod tapped weakly to short and produced a 6-3 double play to end the inning.

When presented with the exact same scenario in the bottom half of the inning — first and third and one out — Justin Morneau did his job and lofted a fly ball to centerfield, easily scoring Orlando Hudson to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.

The game was essentially over right then and there, but since they played eight more innings, I’ll give you the highlights — or lowlights, as the case may be.  The first thing you need to know is that Javy Vazquez was awful, as you might guess from this line: 5.2 IP, 8H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2K.  The second thing you need to know is that he was actually worse than that.  Included in those eight hits were four doubles, a triple, and a home run, and there wasn’t a cheapie in the bunch.  It seemed like every ball the Twins hit off Vazquez was a rocket, even the outs.  As shaky as his confidence already seemed to be, it will be interesting to see how he bounces back from this.

Jason Kubel, who had already driven in a run with a second-inning double, led off the sixth inning with a monstrous home run to right, stretching the Minnesota lead to 5-2.  Vazquez lasted another two batters, but he was a dead man walking at that point.  Joe Girardi brought in Chan Ho Park with two outs, and was just as effective as you might think, giving up a harmless single before closing out the sixth but then starting the seventh by walking Joe Mauer and giving up a single to Morneau before Girardi lifted him for Damaso Marte.  Marte got his man (Jim Thome), and Girardi brought in our old friend Chad Gaudin with two on and one out, hoping to keep the game close.

It didn’t work.  After Michael Cuddyer struck out, That Man Kubel came up and rocked a home run into the Land of Pork Chops on Sticks.  8-2, Twins.

So now that it’s all said and done, I’m left with three burning questions, and I’d appreciate some answers.

1. Why is that when I watch televised games from Target Field, it still looks like the games are being played indoors?

2. When will the Yankees start scoring runs again?

3. Exactly how many beers does it take to convince someone that it would be a good idea to sneak up and take a bite out of a pork chop in Kim Jones’s hand while she is using it as a prop during a live shot?

As we wrap this up, let’s end with something positive.  Take a look at the next sixteen games:

4 games vs. Cleveland (17-28)
3 games vs. Baltimore (15-33)
3 games @ Toronto (27-22)
3 games @ Baltimore (15-33)
3 games vs. Houston (16-31)

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1 randym77   ~  May 28, 2010 7:35 am

Still wondering why she was holding a pork chop. Do they sell pork chops on a stick at the stadium now?

2 bp1   ~  May 28, 2010 7:42 am

I wish I saw that Kim Jones thing. That looks kinda funny. A lighthearted break in an otherwise bleak game. I got a chance to tune in when the score was 5-2 in the 8th. Thought I'd hang around and watch a late rally, and then in a blink CHP put two on and things went downhill from there. I went to bed.

On the TMKS radio show, they were still going off on the "Andy should have had to face a batter in the 9th". The reason was it delayed the game.

No it didn't.

What's the difference between:

Andy pitches to a batter,
Mo comes in and does his warm ups.
No pitches to two batters


Mo comes in and does his warm ups
Mo pitches to three batters

There is still a warmup, and still three batters faced. The only way the delay/warmup could be avoided was to have Mo start the inning, but that wasn't even part of the argument. Silly argument (and I'm not helping any here).

I say we all join in with Sliced around 5 today for a rousing rendition of "Here Comes Granderson" in hopes we can wake up some of these slumbering bats.

3 Sliced Bread   ~  May 28, 2010 8:50 am

[0] brilliant headline/photo-combo, and excellent re-cap, Hank.
I can't answer your questions, but I've been wondering the same things myself. Target Field is pretty (nice lines, clean, pleasant for a lack of architectural insights) -- but it feels a little closed-in from where I'm sitting 1,163 miles away (yes, I looked it up being oddly precise that way).
As for the offense: I can't say when it will come around, but I do feel it coming.

[2] It's a catchy little ditty if I do say so myself.

[1] no, but if you're a Full Season licensee, located in sections 115 to 125, you receive membership in the exclusive Audi Yankees Club, and there's *A CHANCE that you will be hand-fed by Kim Jones.

*but not in this lifetime

4 Alex Belth   ~  May 28, 2010 8:55 am

Great picture! i still don't know why Mike Kay thought it was revolting. Get a drunk fan who knows he's on TV, hold a pork chop on a stick in front of him...seems like the logical move to me.

If Kay-Jones weren't so uptight they could have really rolled with it and made it funny. I'm not sure why the YES cameras insisted on showing her when the first drunk guy and then the pork chop bandit were clearly clowing behind her. Pork chop dude was a dumbass (nice broom, dillweed, how did that work out for you?)--biting that pork chop was the best thing he did.

5 Raf   ~  May 28, 2010 9:01 am

It could've been worse; he could've bitten Ms. Jones.

6 ms october   ~  May 28, 2010 9:02 am

[0] yeah hank love the headline. what a doof that peter brady was.

[4] mk is revolted by almost everything.

as for the answers, here are my best guesses:
1. the lighting seems a little weird
2. i believe the score truck is scheduled to arrive in the bronx at 7:42pm local time.
3. i would guess for that tard 4 beers did it.

7 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 28, 2010 9:23 am

Is it me, or did that guy seem like a Jason Sudeikis character?

[4] Kay thought it was revolting because he has a weird relationship to food. The guy has never had ketchup and a number of other basic things like that (cue thelarmis).

As for Target Field, I thought it looked awesome, plenty open and outdoors, and, most importantly: grass! There are just two turf fields left in the majors. Of course, they're both in the AL East and Toronto's isn't going to be replaced any time soon.

8 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 28, 2010 9:24 am

Kim's Pork Chop must have been tender, the meat bandit easily took a bite from an awkward angle.

Great wrap up and the photo gets right into the action.

[4] Kim Jones was nonplussed, and kept it light. It was Kay who who took all the humor out of the scene and prevented the opportunity for some clever spontaneous TV.

The game itself was agony to watch, and you have to really appreciate the pitching performances from AJ, Robertson, Joba, Mo, and Andy for the two previous wins. Offensively, the team is non-productive, and if you dropped in from space and witnessed these games without any preconceived notions, how honest would it be to assess that the NY Yankees are the best in baseball at this time. I know players are returning from injury soon, but will it be enough?

9 The Hawk   ~  May 28, 2010 9:25 am

Hi, broken record here but would they please get Gardner out of the "two hole"? I can't take it anymore!

And everyone seems to be assuming these games against shitty teams are going to be a slam dunk, but I remember a similar stretch last year that was anything but. You can't predict ... things.

10 Repoz   ~  May 28, 2010 9:27 am

I saw it dif...

Just to the right of Kim Jones was a bouncer/producer type that "allowed" two guys to stand behind Kim...both wearing head/toe Yankee garb for the..."hey look Yankee fans ARE EVERYWHERE, we must be the best!" money shot. While jersey wearing Twins fans sat rather quietly and took the nonsense in.

Kay told Jones to turn around and pop the one Yankee fan for hogging up too much time/space...a few seconds later Kim magically produced the Pork Chop on a Stick and started to wave it around. Again, magically...she stopped waving it and basically fed the Yankee fanplant who had been waiting for his cue to chew. Then she acted surprised.

Lame chop.

11 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 28, 2010 9:36 am

[10] You are prolly right on this. The lame part of it is that Kay as MC doesn't know how to flesh out an opportunity for a meaty comedic sequence.

12 randym77   ~  May 28, 2010 9:41 am

[2] Lots of videos on the web, including here and here.

[8] I was thinking that, too. I bet they tenderize the pork chops, because otherwise, it would be hard to eat them on a stick.

13 Alex Belth   ~  May 28, 2010 10:02 am


14 Sliced Bread   ~  May 28, 2010 10:41 am

[10] deeper (dumber) conspiracy theory:
The Pork Industry - still suffering from the stigma created by the "swine flu" scare - paid the YES network three-quarters of a million dollars to stage the moment, and the not-so-subtle message: pork chops are irresistible, especially when appealing TV girls feed them to you.
How else does one explain this morning's sudden run on "Shake n Bake" in the YES viewing area?

15 bp1   ~  May 28, 2010 11:08 am

[14] "appealing TV girls".

Hi. My name is bp1 and I have a crush on Kim Jones. I need help. Even though she asks the dumbest questions in the history of sports interviews (she is fascinated by "how big" things are - not going there), I think she's terrific. Big time crush.

(slinking back under my rock)

(I can hear Alex now - "What a Herb!")

16 rbj   ~  May 28, 2010 11:45 am

I got home in time to see the pork chop incident. I thought it was hilarious, what else could you expect from a drunk fan.

I'd eat Kim Jone's pork chop any day.

17 Crazy8Rick   ~  May 28, 2010 12:14 pm

I don't care what anybody says.... that was damn funny. Pork chop on a stick, pork chop grease on my boy's lips.... great picture and article Hank. I can see the Yankees taking a bite outta the next 16 games. Sounding like Homer Simpson :"Hmmmmm....pork chop!"

18 Diane Firstman   ~  May 28, 2010 2:29 pm

The estate of this player wants to know what Ms. Jones is doing ...

19 rbj   ~  May 28, 2010 2:32 pm

[18] Heh.

I think the Yankees should have a "bring your pork chop to the park" day.

20 kenboyer made me cry   ~  May 28, 2010 4:36 pm

[19] Or lamb chop for the Jews and Muslims. Veggies can bring tofurkey legs. For "Meat The Mets" day at the New Yankee Stadium.

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