"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Summertime, and the Livin’s Easy

My wife is reading “Charlotte’s Web” to my soon-to-be Kindergartner, one chapter a night before bedtime. The younger guy doesn’t have the attention span for that yet, so we read picture books while they visit with Templeton and get ready for the fair.

When it’s time to say goodnight, one parent stays in the room while they drift/wrestle to sleep. Allegiances from story time carry over. The little guy demands that I stay in the room; my older son wants my wife. Tonight it was my turn and it was a disaster. My older son wailed for Mommy for a long time. I pleaded half-heartedly, but basically was just hoping he was going to run out of tears.

Finally I got up and and calmly walked to the kitchen, snatched the iPad from the wall socket and, just as calmly, re-entered the room. I said, “I know you want Mommy, but I if I stay I can tell you the baseball scores.” He jumped into bed like Jack Flash and the “tears,” if there ever were any, dried up before his head hit the pillow.

In the dark I whispered updates and he counted runs the way some people count sheep. By the time the Yankees got to six, he was asleep and the Yanks were on their way to an easy victory.

The Yankees won a game tonight the old-fashioned way. By kicking Cleveland’s ass up and down; by having all the best players on the field and dominating every aspect of the game. Hiroki Kuroda’s splitter dug into the dirt around home plate with such precision that I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he was writing a message down there – “Sit Down” or something to that effect. The Indians swung over it again and again and Kuroda racked up seven strikeouts.

The Yankees scored two runs in each of the first three innings. Everyone’s noticed that Robinson Cano is, suddenly and by far, the best hitter on the team? He drove in three on a ringing two-run double and a solo homer. Dewayne Wise knocked in another three runs – two with a homer and one with a triple.

But this 7-1 win is best summed up by the three outs of the top of the eighth. Girardi tried to squeeze the eighth out of Kuroda, but he was over 100 pitches and Sin-Soo Choo’s double put Indians at second and third with no outs. Clay Rapada replaced Kuroda and faced three Indians. None of them were especially turned around by his sidewinding delivery and all three slashed dangerous looking drives into right field.

Nick Swisher, breaking on balls like he was Carnac the Magnificent, tracked down all three. He raced in and towards the line to make an excellent sliding grab on the first ball. He went back toward right center to stab the second. And he ran deep into the right field corner to haul in the third. It’s not so much that any of the catches were difficult, it’s that he covered a ton of ground each time. And he did it with an ever-expanding grin. By the time he caught the third ball right in front of the fans in the right field corner, his smile was epic.

He led off the next inning and I was kind of glad he struck out. Had he hit his second homer of the game, he might have pulled the muscles in his face.


Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Categories:  1: Featured  Game Recap  Jon DeRosa  Yankees

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1 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Jun 25, 2012 10:37 pm

Baseball! Puts some to sleep. Sweet write up.
Shhh...ya know which team has the best record in MLB?
Pleasant dreams everyone.

2 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 25, 2012 10:56 pm

Nice tidy win.

3 NYYfan22   ~  Jun 26, 2012 1:11 am

During the top of the 8th, I was laying in bed with my son (an 8-year-old who's missing his baseball camp this week due to a case of the chicken pox) and listening to the radio broadcast. He was ecstatic each time Sterling called another Swisher putout. After the third out was made, JJ--beaming and punctuated with red blisters--said, "you can score that one nine nine nine".

That's the beauty of sports, Jon. For a short while right after the kids are born sports seem less significant, but soon the sports begin fill in all the small gaps. They become a bond of sorts. Baseball is always common ground between me and my kids.

4 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jun 26, 2012 1:29 am

[0][3] So cool!

I'm just getting Jazz Jr into it slowly..he's only 4 1/2 so not quite up on the rules. But I brought back a Whiffle Ball form the recent US trip, so he's learning to hit a bit.

Jazz Princess gets super excited for "Daddy's Baseball!" though is still a little confused..saw the NBA Finals on my laptop and yelled happily "Daddy's Baseball! Yay!"

5 MDF   ~  Jun 26, 2012 1:56 am

Thank you, Jon. Beautiful piece!

6 Boatzilla   ~  Jun 26, 2012 3:51 am

Beautiful piece, Jon.

I wish I could watch with my daughter, but she's in school when the games are on. However, I already brainworshed her to hate Boston, love the Yankees and be an A-Rod fan.

(BTW, She also knows that A-Rod is the Don Draper of baseball.)

Is there anything (legal) more intoxicating these days than Nick Swisher's smile. What a joy he is to watch. What a joy it is to see someone who loves what he's doing every single moment.

You gotta love Jeter, keeping everything together, 007, but I'm so glad we have Cano and Swisher to remind us this is just a game and it's a fucking blast.

7 Chyll Will   ~  Jun 26, 2012 4:19 am

*yawn*, what a great bedtime story, now I'm off to work. G'morning...

(Tell me you didn't read the rest of the recap with a whisper in your mind >;)

8 RIYank   ~  Jun 26, 2012 4:42 am

[7] Hah, I did.

Jon, can you come over this evening and read me the scores while I fall asleep? Maybe the west coast scores.

9 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 26, 2012 5:38 am

[4] My son is coming up on five and he's suddenly so into it that it's caught me off guard. He went from objecting to baseball being on TV to being devastated if the Yanks or Pirates lose within the course of this current season.

We just got back from Pittsburgh so he could see god-on-earth Andrew McCutchen and the rest of the black and gold. McCutchen, wouldn't you know it, hit a homer and the Pirates beat the Tigers 4-1. I watched his fandom set in stone as he watched the ball go over the fence. I just thought back to watching Reggie when I was young.

10 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jun 26, 2012 7:19 am

[9] That's great to hear. I'm waiting for him to make the jump to being really into it but promised my wife I wouldn't push him..there's enough of that with "See, this is MILES DAVIS. He's what all those people in church are praying too."

11 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jun 26, 2012 7:19 am

Settling in to watch the game now, already tired of the "Yankees Home Runs" talk by Kay in the first inning..

12 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 26, 2012 7:44 am

".... he did it with an ever-expanding grin."
Damn... I'm willing to sign Swisher for the rest of his career, simply to continue to witness his joy of the game. His childlike joy is infectious and gratifying. Andwhile Robbie has a thousand dollar smile, there is something so pure and joyful about Swisher that it seems like he is playing a pickup softball game.

Watching the Yankees is always great, but not often 'joyful'.
Swisher simply adds joy to the game, the team, amd my evening.

13 Alex Belth   ~  Jun 26, 2012 7:45 am

Wow, that was a pleasure to read. Thanks Jon.

14 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jun 26, 2012 7:49 am

[12] I'd throw Teix in there too. He may be the most boring interviewee this side of Jeter but in the dugout he always seems fired up. I don't know why so much of the media talks about the "corporate" Yankees. There are a lot of quirky, memorable guys on this team.

15 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jun 26, 2012 8:22 am

[10] I offered baseball, was rebuffed, waited, offered again, was rebuffed, and so on ever since he learned to speak. But never pushed it.

So when it clicked for him, it was on his own terms - hence the Pirates and my wife voting for Andrew McCutchen for the the All Star Team 75 times last night.

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