Brett Gardner batted with bases loaded and two outs in the fifth. He represented the tying run. The home plate ump rang him up on a pitch that split the border of Weehawken and Hoboken. Gardner unleashed the power of a thousand exploding suns, or at least a bunch of frustrated Yankee fans. He got ejected and, yeah, it was worth it.
It’s hard to believe, but the Yankees actually had a legitimate shot to win this game before Gardner got tossed. They opened that inning with five straight base runners. But because Carlos Beltran could not score from second on a double over the head of Cespedes (he got a bad read, he’s old, he’s slow, the there were no outs, the ball was somewhat close to being caught, all true, but gotta score on a clear double from second base unless your hamsting rips apart) Martin Prado ran up the back of Brian McCann at second and was tagged out. They still ended up scoring two runs in the inning, but with the gift out on the bases and the bridge and tunnel whiff of Gardner, the Red Sox only needed to get one out on their own.
That’s not to say the Yankees didn’t get walloped. They lost 9-4 as the youngsters from Boston clobbered homers off an off-model Shane Greene. I know this is heresy, but I like both Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts and am kind of excited to see what they become.
The loss was awful and the Yankees look less and less like a team that will play meaningful baseball in September. That’s OK. When they lost four of six in Detroit and Toronto, that was the official sign to stop thinking about October. Of course there’s no reason to write them off until they’re eliminated, but I no longer feel the need to check the standings or the scores of the more realistic contenders. If they play improbably great baseball for the rest of the month and get back into it, fabulous.
Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images
The Yanks host the Sox and there ain’t much at stake but the Bombers’ flickering playoff hopes.
All that and Zoilo Almonte was designated for assignment. At least Zelous is still around.
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
SS Derek Jeter
LF Brett Gardner
1B Mark Teixeira
RF Carlos Beltran
DH Brian McCann
2B Martin Prado
3B Chase Headley
C Francisco Cervelli
Never mind the call ups:
Let’s Go Yank-ees!
All right, I’ll settle for one more inside-out line-drive double to deep right —the Jeter Blue Plate that’s been missing of late. It still astounds me—Derek’s brilliance as a hitter has always felt fresh and surprising, for some reason—and here it comes one more time. The pitch is low and inside, and Derek, pulling back his upper body and tucking in his chin as if avoiding an arriving No. 4 train, now jerks his left elbow and shoulder sharply upward while slashing powerfully down at and through the ball, with his hands almost grazing his belt. His right knee drops and twists, and the swing, opening now, carries his body into a golf-like lift and turn that sweetly frees him while he watches the diminishing dot of the ball headed toward the right corner. What! You can’t hit like that—nobody can! Do it again, Derek.
It’s sobering to think that in just a few weeks Derek Jeter won’t be doing any of this anymore, and will be reduced to picturing himself in action, just the way the rest of us do. On the other hand, he’s never complained, and he’s been so good at baseball that he’ll probably be really good at this part of it too.
And if you haven’t seen it, check out Margaret Talbot’s 2007 New Yorker profile of David Simon.
Is there anything more precious in New York than space? Say you are standing on an avenue–Amsterdam or Columbus. A clutch of vehicles pass by and then there is nothing. You look down the avenue and there is space. For a New Yorker, this is a small luxury because the space is perishable. In another moment, the next procession of cars and trucks come along. But for a moment, the sense of space is beautiful.
Which is why Labor Day Weekend is my favorite holiday of the year in New York. You’ve got space. It is quiet. And soon, that will gone, replaced by returning vacationers, kids ready to go to school, people back to work.
Today is the most acute because now we’re down to a matter of hours before the city music begins again. But this morning, even into the late afternoon, it’s still and calm here in New York. Summer. Corn and tomatoes and long days. Drink it in. Watch some baseball. Listen to some tunes. Or just walk around, feel the space, and enjoy the silence.
Yanks are off today but there are other games on TV all afternoon.
Happy living, y’all.
[Photo Credit: Danielle Hughson]