"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Running with the Devil

I spoke to Pat Jordan this morning. I don’t need to borrow his gun after all–and oh, I learned that you can’t polish a Glock because it’s plastic–but he might want to put his to good use as his beloved ‘Caines were trounced by Florida State last night. He got so pissed watching football, he turned to the Yankee-Twins game. Then he got furious with the Twins, who went out like mice against the Yanks.

Me? I was at the game with the Mrs, sitting in the Todd Drew box, and I have to admit–by the ninth inning, I felt bad for the Twins. Or at least their fans. There was a group of five of them sitting in the row in front of us and by the time Time “Enter Sandman” played over the loudspeakers, these fans were getting heckled pretty good. On their way to another loss, another loss to the Yankees. They have a guy on their team named Hardy (first initial J and everything)–Damned Yankees, indeed.

The Twins had a few chances last night to do some damage and came up short. They had pitches to hit and they missed them, striking out, popping-up. The Yankees, on the other hand, removed any tension from this game early on, put up runs in the second, third and fourth innings, capped by a two-run dinger by Marcus “They Call Me Mr.” Thames. Phil Hughes pitched about as well as we could have hoped, and the only trouble the Yanks encountered was a lousy outing by Kerry Wood, who let up a run and loaded the bases, recording just one out in the eighth. But Boone Logan and Dave Robertson got out of it–Jason Kubel and Delmon Young missed their pitches and hit sky high, yet harmless fly balls.

Then it was time for the Great Mariano who retired the Twins in order and for the last time of the season. Jim Thome, a future Hall of Famer, faced Rivera in each game–popped-out to Rodriguez in Game One, and popped-out to Brett Gardner, who had him played perfectly, in Game Two. Now, in Game Three, Thome led off the ninth and saw three pitches. The last one, fastball on the outside corner, froze Thome, and he walked off the field, dismissed for the year.

Final Score:  Yanks 6, Twins 1.

Yanks advance, looking every bit the part of defending world champs.

Emily and I had a good time–and I thoroughly enjoyed scoring the game in my new scorebook—but from the time we got off the subway, the energy around us was subdued. And it remained that way for most of the game, the by-product of the Yankees’ great success. There was no urgency in the building, something closer to entitlement. I don’t think that’s unnatural–how else would a fan base that has been so spoiled react?–but Emily turned to me late in the game and said, “This doesn’t feel any different than a regular season game.”

That said, we’ll take it. Another series win. Never gets old.

[Photo Credit: Andrew Burton/Chris McGrath--Getty Images]

17 comments

1 Mattpat11   ~  Oct 10, 2010 10:39 am

I was at the game too, and you do feel bad for the Twins. I like Mauer. I like Hudson. I like Span and Young and Kubel and even Cuddyer and his awful fake tan. I really like Thome and Gardenhire. If they didn't keep running into the Yankees, I'd root for them.

2 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 10, 2010 10:58 am

part of me does kinda feel bad, because if the Twins were playing anyone else in the first round I'd absolutely be pulling for them. The '91 series is my earliest baseball memory, I've had a soft spot for them ever since...I can't actively hate them, I just can't.

This really does feel like the late '90's where the Rangers were just a formality on the way to the ALCS, but after '02-'08 I don't take these first rounds for granted.

3 RagingTartabull   ~  Oct 10, 2010 11:04 am

and I gotta give credit where its due, great line from Lupica in the News today:

"Let me get this straight: John Henry of the Red Sox can pay $500 million for the Liverpool soccer team and couldn't find enough money under the bed for Mark Teixeira?"

4 The Mick536   ~  Oct 10, 2010 11:24 am

I'd like to talk about Yogi. Who doesn't love Yogi? But he should not be throwing out no balls or appearing at any games. Doesn't anyone remember 1985? I don't care that Georgie probably made a big contribution to his museum or that he drove there to make an apology. What Steiney and Billy did to him was disgraceful, disgusting, and despicable. George owed us an apology for what he did to the team, its players, and Yogi. For these reasons and more, he should not be in the Hall of Fame and his plaque should be minimized.

5 rbj   ~  Oct 10, 2010 12:31 pm

For everyone who was at the game, what was the chanting going on? On tv, it sounded a lot like "asshole" and "Yankees suck." What was the actual chants or what was the situation.

I do feel bad for the Twins, but Pavano delenda est-ed!

6 Just Fair   ~  Oct 10, 2010 1:05 pm

I don't feel sorry for the Twins.

7 RIYank   ~  Oct 10, 2010 1:14 pm

Alex,

Phil Hughes pitched about as well as could be expected...

Huh? That sounds kind of disparaging, as if he didn't really pitch very well but, ya know, what can you expect? Maybe you meant: he pitched as well as we could have hoped?

8 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 10, 2010 2:28 pm

[7] yeah, I'd say he pitched better than anyone could have expected. I wouldn't even *expect* 0 runs in 7 innings out of CC, Cliff Lee, Halladay, King Felix, pick a pitcher. I fIgure even an ace is going to give up at least a run in a playoff game, especially a righty in Yankee Stadium. Anything less than that is outstanding. I had a feeling Hughes would come through (6-7 innings, 3 runs) but who expected him to come through in such a big way? That was a tremendous win. I love that kid.

9 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 10, 2010 2:30 pm

[4] Yogi's a proud man. If he can get over it, so should you. Bygones, water under the bridge, life's too short, and all that.

10 Alex Belth   ~  Oct 10, 2010 2:36 pm

7) Great point. Thanks for that. You are right, I've fixed it.

11 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 10, 2010 2:38 pm

[3] The Red Sox definitely like to play the penny wise to the Yanks pound foolish. But they don't look too wise right now, do they? When the Yanks landed T-reix, I can't remember who it was, but they sagely noted that particular acquisition(slugger/stud 1b added to the Yanks, via subtraction from Boston) could influence the balance of power between the Yanks and Red Sox for years to come. Throw the Rays into the equation, and it was treble damage to the braintrust on Yawkey Way.

12 RIYank   ~  Oct 10, 2010 2:46 pm

[3] [11] It will be a great 'talking point', and RSN is going to agree with Lupica. But, he's wrong. The New England group bought the Liverpool club because they think they're going to make money. It's not an expensive toy for John Henry. (The deal looks like it might be blocked by a bankruptcy filing, I just heard.)

13 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 10, 2010 3:03 pm

[12] I didn't read the Lupica column, but there's some truth in the line quoted in [3], no? Is the point whether the New England group makes money on Liverpool, or whether the Red Sox are watching Teix and the Yankees in the playoffs, while the New England group spends half a billion elsewhere?

14 RIYank   ~  Oct 10, 2010 3:24 pm

[13] Well, if they're spending half a billion on something that's going to earn them a billion, then I'd say that has nothing to do with whether they should be spending money on free agents for the Red Sox. It's a business. They spend money on things they think are going to be profitable.

15 Sliced Bread   ~  Oct 10, 2010 5:14 pm

[14] yes, they spend millions on things they think are going to be profitable, things like Matsuzaka, for example. [rimshot]

bottomline, if you're a Red Sox fan sitting out the playoffs this year, you just don't want to hear your owner is buying a soccer team in England. If I'm a Red Sox fan (I thank the Good Lord I am not), I don't give a shit about John Henry's other business ventures at this moment, nor his precious profit-margin. I want him investing in my team. I want him improving the Red Sox product, and pronto. Let him fall short of purchasing a soccer team in England, rather than a free agent baseball player who can change the balance of power in the AL East.

16 Raf   ~  Oct 10, 2010 7:28 pm

It's a shame that a collection of Willard Mullins' work isn't available.

17 The Mick536   ~  Oct 11, 2010 11:51 am

[4] Ask his wife. Ask Winfield. Ask all the people he hurt. Ask the fans who begged for his disappearance everyday. Did you ever wear a bag over your head at the stadium? Ask Faye Vincent. Ask Al Rosen. Ask Lou Pinella. So they won a few championships. He isn't the Yankees. Ask Dick Howser. I just cannot see these guys or hear them talk without remembering what a shit Steinbrenner was and is. If Pete Rose is banned for life, so should he be. Do you remember him selling, trading, or demoting players to spite managers and general managers at the fan's expense. None of these recent returnees have convinced me that they don't have hate in their hearts, especially Reggie.

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