"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

This Game's So Ugly, Its Pillow Cries at Night

Leeches; Orcs; Johan Santana’s recent talks with the Mets’ PR department; Abe Vigoda’s armpit; C.H.U.D.s; this guy; Newark; the 2010 Orioles; Don Mossi.

What do those things have in common? They’re all prettier than tonight’s steaming pile of an excuse for a ballgame. And yet, in the end… I wasn’t totally sorry I watched. That’s thanks to the go-ahead Curtis Granderson homer in the 10th inning, and Marian River’s ultra-dramatic white-knuckle save to preserve the Yanks’ 6-5 win. But, lord, you did not want to watch them making that sausage.

I began the evening feeling sorry for Dontrelle Willis – a fun, charismatic player who I loved watching in his prime, which feels like it was a long, long time ago now (…but then, the third inning feels like it was a long, long time ago now). An hour or two later I mostly felt bad for myself and anybody else still watching the slow-motion tragicomedy of errors well after 1 AM on the east coast. The fact that the Yankees eventually came back from their self-dug grave and pulled a win out of their caps made it more bearable, of course, but still, all traces of this game should probably be scrubbed from the archives immediately to protect the public.

You will, I hope, forgive me for not giving you a complete blow-by-blow of this game, but it’s late, I’m tired, I had to delete most of the writeup I had ready in the ninth, and this is a family website. Willis went just 2.1 innings, gave up two hits, and walked seven. It was excruciating to watch, and he left, head hanging, after walking Alex Rodriguez to force in a run. The fact that the Diamondbacks got out of that inning with the score tied at 2 is a testament to how sloppy the Yankees were playing all night – numerous outs made on the bases, often dumb ones; swinging at all kinds of things they shouldn’t be swinging at. By the end of the game the Bombers had amassed 10 hits and 13 walks (!) with six runs to show for it; early in the game that ratio looked even worse. Damaso Marte added some nice flourishes in the sixth inning with a balk and a wild pitch. Going into the ninth, the Yankees were down 5-4 and I was not exactly brimming with confidence, despite the reassuring presence of old friend Aaron Heilman on the mound.

“They play 162, and they can’t all be Rembrandts,” someone wrote to me on Twitter while I was bemoaning this festering eyesore. Which is true. But surely there’s plenty of middle ground between a Rembrandt and this, which is really more of a monkey-painting-the-cage-wall-with-its-own-feces sort of a game.

Or at least that’s what I was thinking before the ninth and tenth innings. It wasn’t a Rembrandt but maybe it was, I dunno, a lesser Basquiat or something. In the end, I was glad I’d stayed up for it – it certainly wasn’t dull. That said, as I wrote last night: just because you made it home okay, doesn’t mean it was all right to drive drunk and high on meth, you know?

Runner-up titles for this post:

This Game’s so ugly, it couldn’t get laid in a prison with a handful of pardons.

This Game’s so ugly, I took it to a haunted house and it came out with a job application.

This Game’s so ugly, even the tide won’t take it out.

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Emma Span

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1 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 24, 2010 2:50 am

[0] The game was so awful, Yankees legendary closer Mariano Rivera disassociated himself from the rest of the team's effort by entering the FBI Witness Protection program to start anew as Filipina actress Marian River... (fortunately, star Banter contributor Emma Span corrected this apparent error of judgment by correcting his name in the recap, thus bringing peace to a terrified Yankee populace which was not ready to lose their beloved Mo before the millennium was out.

No word on whether or not fellow reliever Damaso Marte followed this example by turning up at Miller Park as The Flying Chorizo, but all indications point to this being a very good career move... >;)

2 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jun 24, 2010 3:01 am

[1] Beat me to it, damn you! :)

But this game so ugly, they filmed Gorillas in the Mist in the showers afterwards...no, this game was so ugly, it made the onion cry!

No one more..this game was SO ugly, it made Ruth Buzzi go home early!

Oh enough of this, time for an early afternoon Guinness..

3 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 24, 2010 3:03 am

I was bored senseless for about the first six innings. (Seven, actually, because Robertson pitching in slow motion finally set me off, and that was apparently the seventh) This game is Exhibit A for anyone that wants to claim that baseball is too slow and boring. I was Joe West's worst nightmare.

4 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 24, 2010 3:42 am

[2] This game was so ugly, all the bottled water in the stadium had turned to cottage cheese... it was so ugly, the pitchers were throwing paper bags with a baseball in them... it was so bad, the official scorer was arrested after the last out... during the game, John Sterling was nominated as a write-in for a Best Alternative Grammy for humming obscure show tunes... Major Deegan was demoted to second lieutenant... parking garages were giving fans refunds as a way of apology... Hank Steinbrenner was up to three packs an hour... Nick Johnson tweeted "SMH..." and was immediately shut down for the rest of the season with head and neck injuries...

and I didn't even watch the game!

5 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 24, 2010 3:56 am

[3] Joe West's worst nightmare would also involve being at his own album release party and all his CDs skip interminably...

6 Eddie Lee Whitson KO   ~  Jun 24, 2010 4:28 am

Emma, I profess my undying love for your writing, truly a gift from the gawds. This game, well, not so much. Let's pretend it didnt happen, like the sequels to The Matrix or Gerald Ford's pants
I will be in attendance for the Saturday game at Chavez Ravine. Only traveling 7500 miles for it. A win's not too much to ask, right?

7 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 24, 2010 5:17 am

[1] Oops, did I say Flying...? I meant Balking...

8 Boatzilla   ~  Jun 24, 2010 5:33 am

This game was so ugly, they hired Tony Hayward to give it a make over.

Fantastic report, as always, Emma.

9 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 24, 2010 8:24 am

HEY!!!!!!!!! The Sox and Rays play plenty of ugly games.... but all we care about is if they W or L. We're not pleased if they Win.

I left (slightly nauseous) after the 5th when we were down 4-2.
But I had a feeling the Yanks would pull it out as I slept.
And...... we won last night.
And...... the Sox lost.
And...... the Rays lost.
And...... we lead the Divison by 2.5 games, our best hold on 1st place all year.

So....... like an ugly child, ya gotta love it anyway.

10 rbj   ~  Jun 24, 2010 8:36 am

Heck, this game was so ugly, FIFA referees denounced it.

Seriously, I stopped watching early. Not at all enjoyable to watch Willis self destruct so badly. This is worse than Scott Brosius forgetting how to throw.

But only 2 runs off of Dontrelle? Yes it is sad what's happened to Willis, but if you are playing, you have to stick it to the other team.

11 RIYank   ~  Jun 24, 2010 8:45 am

But there was beauty in the ugly, too: Colin Curtis's pinch hit rbi, and Cervelli tracking the foul pop to rekindle hope. The final K.

12 RagingTartabull   ~  Jun 24, 2010 9:06 am

Emma, I love ya...but you watch your mouth about Newark yo!!

13 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 24, 2010 9:19 am

Mighty ugly, sure, but a win is a win, especially when Paplebon serves up a game-ending tater to Giambo.

14 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 24, 2010 9:28 am

[11] Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder . . . or is that beholder? I forget.

What is it about the Yanks and playing NL West teams on the road in June? Remember the horrible Colorado-SF series back in 2007? At least the Yanks have won a couple of these games.

Emma, you left out something ugly - the panoply of trite stories, and wall-to-wall media coverage, of Torre facing the Yanks. I'm sure there will be a couple of good stories, but after how ESPN treated Manny's return to Boston last weekend, let's just say I'm not hopeful. I'm not sure if even the mute button will salvage the Sunday night game if ESPN hasn't learned its lesson.

Never have I been so glad to not live anywhere near the City. Can you imagine if the Dodgers were coming in, instead of the Yanks going there?

15 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 24, 2010 11:40 am

Jerry Lewis should host telethon to find a cure for this Isner/Mahut match.

68-all now!

16 Diane Firstman   ~  Jun 24, 2010 11:52 am

70-68 Isner .... phew!

17 Crazy8Rick   ~  Jun 24, 2010 5:04 pm

So ugly they had to tie a pork chop around it to get the dog to play with it.

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