"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Now That’s Progressive

The Cleveland Indians, stuck in last place in the AL Central, one game behind the Kansas City Royals, inspire such excitement that the following exchange took place during the YES telecast in the top of the fifth inning:

KEN SINGLETON (To John Flaherty): “Take a look a the light towers here. … Look at ‘em! Don’t they look like toothbrushes?”

FLAHERTY (after a long pause): “You know, I see it more looking at the shot on TV. I was looking out there and I didn’t get that feel.”

Oh yeah, exciting stuff. Never mind the fact Singleton had a point: the light towers at Progressive Field do resemble the shape of a flat-headed toothbrush.

Amid the stimulating intellectual chatter, a baseball game did occur, albeit a largely nondescript one save for the eighth inning. In the top half, with the Yankees trailing 2-1 and making Jake Westbrook look like he should be pitching for a contending team before the end of the week, Jorge Posada led off, battling back from an 0-2 count and singled to left. It was only the Yankees’ third hit of the night. Curtis Granderson followed by drilling a sinker that didn’t sink deep into the right-field seats to put the Yankees on top. The 8, 9 and 1 hitters — Francisco Cervelli, Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter — went quietly to hand the lead to Javier Vazquez.

Vazquez had pitched reasonably well through seven innings. Yes, Vazquez benefited from an impatient Indians lineup that swung at anything near the strike zone, which kept his pitch count low, but he threw strikes and when he put runners on base, he did a fine job pitching out of jams and minimizing damage. It was one of those outings that had “hard luck loser” written all over it until the Granderson bomb. Vazquez faltered when handed the lead, though, walking leadoff man Michael Brantley. The hiccup prompted Joe Girardi to bring in David Robertson, who succeeded in his audition for “the 8th inning guy.” Robertson threw a first-pitch ball to Asdrubal Cabrera, but overpowered him with fastballs thereafter. On the fifth pitch of the at-bat, Cabrera bounced one to short that seemed to handcuff Jeter, who uncomfortably backhanded the ball but quickly fired to Robinson Canó at second. Canó’s quick turn and rocket toss to Mark Teixeira completed the double play and eased tensions. That was until Joe Girardi emerged from the dugout to take the ball from Robertson and hand it to Boone LOOGY. LOOGY did his job, though, striking out Shin Soo Choo to set up the inevitable with Mariano Rivera.

As Yankee fans, we truly are spoiled. Even when Rivera allows a leadoff hit and that runner advances to scoring position, rarely is there a doubt that he’ll pitch out of the jam. Three broken-bat groundouts later, game over.

The Yankees needed this one because Rays won’t go away. They blanked the Detroit Tigers 5-0 paced by Matt Garza finally putting Tampa on the correct side of a no-hitter. The lead is still three games and hasn’t wavered from that number since July 18, when the Yankees took two of three in the Bronx. The Yankees and Rays are the only two teams in MLB with 60 wins and run differentials of more than 100 (the Yanks are at +129, the Rays are +120). Clearly, they’re the two best teams in the game and they’re both treating games at the end of July as if they were being played in mid-September with a playoff spot and seeding on the line.

THE UMPIRES STRIKE BACK
On June 2, Jim Joyce gave Jason Donald a gift call in Detroit and in the process, took a perfect game away from Armando Galarraga. Tonight, second-base umpire Dale Scott gifted two calls to the Indians in consecutive innings. In the top of the fourth, with one out and Mark Teixeira on first base, Alex Rodriguez hit a sinking liner to left field that Trevor Crowe appeared to have trapped. It was ruled a catch, he quickly threw the ball to the infield, where Donald promptly tagged Teixeira to complete the double play. Teixeira, A-Rod, and Joe Girardi protested the call. In real speed, it looked like a trap, and the slow-motion replay confirmed it. The biggest clue was that Crowe slowed up as the ball continued to sink, and then squared up to field the ball like an infielder. If Crowe intended to catch that ball on the fly, he’d have charged it.

In the top of the fifth, with one out and Posada on first, Granderson hit a long line drive to right that caromed off the top of the wall. Choo played the ricochet perfectly, barehanding the ball off the wall and hurling a seed to second base. The throw beat Granderson by about a step, but Granderson’s slide looked to have beaten the tag from the shortstop, Cabrera. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t believe the thought that if the throw beats the runner, the runner will automatically be out.

At least neither blown call changed the complexion of the game.

46 comments

1 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 26, 2010 11:32 pm

Haren just got taken out of the game in the 5th after taking a line drive off the right forearm off the bat of Youkilis.

Stealing is a sin Tony Reagins...now you're paying.

2 monkeypants   ~  Jul 26, 2010 11:35 pm

[1] Yep, though Haren was getting hit fairly hard by the Sox (albeit to the tune of just two runs).

3 thelarmis   ~  Jul 26, 2010 11:41 pm

[2] and 8 k's...

i'm glad my boy boBBy hit homer. i hope the halos hit eleventy more tonight!

4 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 26, 2010 11:42 pm

so I'm watching MLB Tonight and they're talking about potential trades and whatnot and Brett Myers comes up, not in regards to the Yankees but just in general.

There's been some talk about the Yanks going after him, and I never ever say this but even if all it cost was a bag of balls I still think I'd pass. I try not to let character issues cloud my judgment when it comes to a guy who can contribute, but he is just such a scumbag...I'd really hate it.

5 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 26, 2010 11:48 pm

[4] Agreed..Myers is scum. Stay away...

[0] Toothbrush light-towers...riveting summer night baseball!

6 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:09 am

Anyone watching Sox -Angels? Looks like Scioscia's men are out of the race this year..Sox soon to follow?

7 monkeypants   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:09 am

According to MLBTraderumors, The Yankees are trying to trade Chan Ho Park, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark (via Twitter).

HAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHA

Ok, seriously, who would trade for CHP?

8 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:15 am

[7] Miguel Cairo still in the bigs..always room for marginal talent!
And Chan Ho is still a "proven veteran" who "knows how to pitch in big games" and "is such a presence with the young guys on the staff"...etc etc etc...

9 monkeypants   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:20 am

[8] True, but...I don't think either has been traded for in a while. It's one thing to sign a guy for the cheap in the off-season. It's another thing to trade for a guy in the middle of an awful season. I'm just trying to imagine which "buyer" at the deadline would A) want to add CHP and B) be willing to help the Yankees.

I guess maybe the Yankees could try to foist him off on some loser team if they eat his salary. Would be just as happy if they just cut him.

10 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:21 am

[4],[5] Character has not really stopped the Yanks from getting a player they needed. I just wonder why everyone feels the team needs to purposely create a logjam situation that might potential hurt the development of their young starter, whom they're counting on beyond the one who they're temporarily replacing. I don't trust any of the Yanks' development plans under the current system, so adding another starter is still a headscratcher to me...

11 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:23 am

[9] Did you see the Mets trade rumor (did i read about that here?? can't remember..) Can NOT be true, Ollie Perez, Francouer, L. Castillo for Gil Meche, Jose Guillen and..someone else..thing is, I can imagine both teams making such an awful trade...

BTW, know a good site that compiles baseball cliches? Trying to teach some to Mrs. Jazz...she isn't catching on...

12 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:26 am

[7] Crikey, the Fish might have a go... but I'm guessing only a dip would trade for CHP...

13 monkeypants   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:30 am

[10] You have to take into account the Yankee injury translator: Andy is supposedly out for a for a few more weeks, which means he may be lost for months or has had a leg amputated.

More seriously, the last few years the Yankees seem to have an organizational plan to load up on starters (consider last year's redundant Gaudin and Mitre moves). Myers has spent time in the BP. I suspect that IF they were to pick up a pitcher like him, he would fill in for Andy, then go to the BP, then come back at the end of the year when Hughes hits his limits.

This is not to say that I trust the organizations development plans. But I think this would be more or less their idea.

14 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:31 am

[11] Heyman says the Mets aren't interested, so you know there had to be something to it... maybe Minaya bumped his head and realized it would be a stupid trade.

15 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:32 am

Big PooPoo with his 21st tater..oh well, rumors of his demise..blah blah blah..

16 thelarmis   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:33 am

4-1. i really hate Fat Liar. thing is, i always have. i know he's supposedly "endearing" and what not, but i've never liked the fat fuck. hell, i didn't even care for him when he was a nobody on the twins. didn't he have a different name than "david" when he started?

anyway, that's 2 more homers for the dh tonight. and, fuck, when i checked the scoreboard a minute ago, he was up. i said to myself, "why is it that the fat fuck is ALWAYS up when i check on the shit sox game. great, he's gonna go yard again." and there it is...

bollocks.

17 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:35 am

[13] Provided you can keep Myers calm enough to go along with that plan...

18 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:39 am

[16] David Arias

19 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:39 am

[14] My cousin a big Mets fan..said the anger is building and the want Omar gone..

20 thelarmis   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:41 am

[18] that was it. i hate that guy, too! ; )

21 monkeypants   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:43 am

[16] How can you not like a guy who has achieved so much on the field only through hard work, determination, and virtuous living?

22 thelarmis   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:45 am

boBBy & Mats both go deep. still need more runs...

23 thelarmis   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:45 am

[21] fat fuck oughtta wear a sign! : )

24 jjmerlock   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:45 am

[21] And milkshakes.

No on Brett Myers. That guy makes my skin crawl.

25 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:48 am

[22] Gameday says "on field delay"..what happened? Go Go Matsui!

26 thelarmis   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:58 am

[25] pitching change perhaps? papelbitch came in for the four out save...

[4] agreed. that fucker can go rot in hell. he's a total assfuk.

27 thelarmis   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:58 am

[26] my goodness. the language!!!

28 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 27, 2010 1:01 am

[27] I heard Keith Moon's favrorite curse was "ass-mold"..can't verify this but...you offer good competition anyways!

29 thelarmis   ~  Jul 27, 2010 1:03 am

[28] oh, that's one drum-off i'd win! i'd put my cursing up against his any day! : )

30 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 27, 2010 1:12 am

Damn, Nancy Drew with the clutchity-clutch 2B..I'd like to see Boston 10 games back.

31 thelarmis   ~  Jul 27, 2010 1:16 am

[30] yeah. crappity-crap. i'd like to see boston contracted.

seriously, i'm sick of them...

32 Just Fair   ~  Jul 27, 2010 1:43 am

[31] I'm with you. Fuck Ortiz! Wish him and Scioscia would go to Japan never to be seen again.

33 thelarmis   ~  Jul 27, 2010 1:58 am

[32] nice. and our boy grandy is doin' alright these past coupla games! i hope he'll have a strong finish to the season.

34 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 27, 2010 2:00 am

[32] Hey! Don't send them here! They'd be sent to the Sumo stables anyways, only places big enough in Japan for asses that size..

35 The Mick536   ~  Jul 27, 2010 8:03 am

It changed the complexion, but it didn't directly affect the outcome. Bad calls.

36 Will Weiss   ~  Jul 27, 2010 8:18 am

[35] Thanks Mick ... Outcome was the word I was looking for.

37 rbj   ~  Jul 27, 2010 8:59 am

Morning folks, looks like it's gonna be another scorcher.

So which is more important to fill, the pen or the bench?

38 monkeypants   ~  Jul 27, 2010 9:20 am

37) philosophically or realistically?

If I ruled the world, they would address the serious deficiencies on the bench. But in my world, they would only carry 11 pitchers and would be more willing to give serious innings to guys like Albie before trading for yet another reliever.

In the real world, the organization seems committed to defense-first back up players and the now standard 12 man minimum BP. Since THE EIGHTH INNING GUY will be more likely to get more PT than a solid bench bat, they might as well try to fill that role.

Now, I would actually reject your dichotomy and present a third alternative: get a full-time DH.

39 The Hawk   ~  Jul 27, 2010 9:35 am

Somewhat insightful and somewhat college term paper BS bit on A Rod at SI today ...
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/ben_reiter/07/26/arod.600/index.html?eref=sihp

40 rbj   ~  Jul 27, 2010 9:39 am

[38] I look upon the DH as a way to give regular guys a half day off, and with an older roster that's necessary. Only time we need a full time DH is October when all the regulars are going to be playing.

I think realistically the Yankees need to improve the bullpen. Look at the lineup. If you have to wait upon a bench player to get the critical hit then this lineup won't win. I think it's more important to get a different arm in the pen, someone reliable for October, than an ok, tie-score bases loaded, Brett Gardner scheduled to hit, let's send up a pinch hitter instead guy.

Yankees are 3 games up on the team with the second best record in baseball.

41 cliff   ~  Jul 27, 2010 10:23 am

Speaking of scintillating if not titillating TV commentary, did anyone catch Michael Kay's bombshell the other day: Michael Kay has NEVER had soup. In his entire life. Not once. He did have a good followup when the next batter popped out: "No soup for him."

42 monkeypants   ~  Jul 27, 2010 10:35 am

[40] I think the half-day-off argument is sort of bogus. The only older guys who need any sort of regular time at DH are Posada, ARod and Jeter. Jorge has DHed a lot, about two-thirds of the games he has played this season. But ARod has only DHed 9 games out of 84 played (one in nine, or about once every two weeks), and Jeter has DHed only 5 out of 91 games played.

So that means if the Yankees keep up their current usage, they "need" to use the DH spot only about half of the games they play. That still leaves plenty of ABs for a legitimate DH to really help the team AND lengthen the bench.

Moreover, Jeter has been hitting so poorly this year that on the days he is rested from the field, he should NOT be wasting the DH spot. That's a few more ABs for a full-time DH.

Lastly, if the DH can play any OF whatsoever, that allows Granderson to sit against LHP and Gardner to move to CF (or, Thames can "play" OF and the DH would still bat).

If you have to wait upon a bench player to get the critical hit then this lineup won’t win.

Ahhh, but you want to use the DH to rest starters, which means lots of ABs by Peña and Cervelli. As well, Jeter has not been Jeter all year, and Granderson can't hit lefties. Suddenly "this lineup" does not look so formidable. There are, in fact, plenty of opportunities for PH the way the current roster is set up and employed. So many, in fact, that they really should eliminate one of their plentiful number of useless, rarely used relievers and carry an extra bench player.

43 Chyll Will   ~  Jul 27, 2010 11:08 am

Watching the replay of Dan Haren getting hit in his pitching forearm, I couldn't help but think how the Angels seem like that child that somehow is given a toy that had sentimental value to someone else and immediately breaks it.

[38] That's an interesting verse to add to that old song, but we'll make it work somehow...

[41] That's nothing, you should see Thelarmis about the things he's never eaten. He's like Mikey from the Life cereal commercials; Kay's got nothing on him >;)

44 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Jul 27, 2010 12:55 pm

[41] There is a phrase my mother would have used to describe Michael Kay, "He's a pill".

He has also said that he has never ate a condiment in his life. Was he raised in a Skinner box?

45 Raf   ~  Jul 27, 2010 1:46 pm

The Yankees were able to trade LaTroy Hawkins, I don't see why they wouldn't be able to trade Chan Ho Park.

46 monkeypants   ~  Jul 27, 2010 2:57 pm

[45] Touché!

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