"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Category: Game Recap

Light in August

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I’m not sure if C.C. Sabathia has talked about his sobriety this summer, but if he is still sober—no small accomplishment in a first year of sobriety—that is precisely what I’m curious about. Sabathia has been victimized by a ton of dinky hits this year and I wonder if he has a longer view on such occupational misfortune now. Does being sober impact the way he handles disappointment? How is the baseball life different now that he isn’t drinking? Is it even something he talks to his teammates about? I wonder.

Yesterday, C.C. reminded me of David Wells, smooth, expert, he was really pitching out there. Ran into some bad luck and got hit with a loss as the O’s took the final game of the series, 5-0. It happens. That said, C.C. has been one of the best things about the team this year. I’m happy for the big man.

This One Goes to Eleven

Gary Sanchez

Holy Moly. While your friendly host has been sleeping his way through what seemed like a dull season, Baby Huey Gary Sanchez has gone on a run that makes similar hot streaks by Kevin Maas and Shane Spencer seem like an insufficient comparison. Fastest guy to ever hit 11 fingers. Dumb stat, sure, but still…Who knows how his career will turn out, but the guy might be legit—although not this legit.

The goddamn kid hit another dinger today—that makes 10 in the last 12 games—as the Yanks put another beaten’ on the O’s (13-5) and stoked their slender but not unfathomable playoff chances.

Go figure, man. What fun.

[Photo Credit: Adam Hunger/AP]

Moving on Up

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The Yanks won another game yesterday. Our boys are playing well enough to encourage the dreamiest of us to imagine them making a serious run at the second wild card. I don’t see it happening, but far as I can tell, they are playing with house money as nothing is expected of them. This makes it all the more enjoyable for us…Don’t it?

…And, No

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As in, no “W” for Los Baby Bombers last night in Seattle, in spite of two more homers from Garry—Don’t-Call-Me-Kevin-Maas-Or-Shane-Spencer—Sanchez.

California Dreamin’

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Ah, remember the days when the Angels were a thorny pain in the ass? Not so much these past few years. The young Yanks beat up on J. Weaver last night and look for more tonight.

Never mind the sunset:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Thunder Clap

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The good news: Gary Shanchez hit two home runs last night—the second one was a real blast and came just as the rain did.

There was a rain delay and when the game resumed came the bad news as a 6-0 Yankee lead was wiped out by a swift, merciless comeback from the Jays who scored 8 in the 8th and won, 12-6.

Growing Pains indeed.

More rain today? We shall see. Yanks and Jays play a matinee.

Never mind the slickers:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Picture by Bags]

Double Bubble

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There probably is no room left in the world for great deadline sports writing, but the last couple of days in New York on the beat for the Yankees certainly provided a gifted wordsmith a wealth of opportunity. A Rod had his finale last night and just as the Yanks are giving him the standard farewell, the sky opens up and it starts to pour. Only A Rod. Everyone is forced to leave the field, a video tribute is cut short. But Alex’s two young girls seemed to enjoy it. “You like this?” a mic picked up Alex asking the younger one. “I love it,” she squealed.
Of course, the rain didn’t last long and they got the game in. Not before a muderously gorgeous sunset. After the quick storm—which did nothing to relieve the humidity—the sky was a painting.
And then Rodriguez doubled in his first at bat, good for an RBI. That was all he’d get—but that’s more than most get. Girardi put him out at third in the 9th, and then took him out of the game with 1 out, and he got a nice ovation. All very modest. Then Girardi broke down and cried during the post-game press conference (I swear, watching this mind-numbing ritual, day after day these press conferences, I don’t know how these guys hold it together sometimes). Vulnerability is always appealing. He didn’t cry when Jeter left. Tells you something.
Then, the Yanks honored the 1996 champions yesterday at Broiling o’clock in the morning. And let me tell you, Saturday was hotter than Friday. The Yanks make regular business of these kind of events, and if only Hunter Thompson and a bucket full of blotter acid were around, a real gonzo writer could really do justice to it because these ceremonies are just like those awful Jerry Lewis Telethons.
Anyhow, the Yanks called up 2 of their hot young guys—and the kids hit back-to-back homers in their first at bats! The second kid, Aaron Judge, looks like he ate Mike Stanton. Just an absolutely Moose. And while 99 is not a number I’m crazy about for a baseball player, if you are going to pick it you had either be a crazy ass reliever or a Wily Mo Pena Giant slugger. And Judge looked as fresh as a newly picked pea pod at the farmer’s market in his post-game interview.
The ball was flying yesterday—even Aaron Hicks hit a bomb—and the Yanks won, 8-4.
Happy?

 

We’re Havin’ a Heat Wave

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Alex Rodriguez’s pregame ceremony was cut short by rain. But the storm was a passing one and it left the most gorgeous sunset in its wake—the sky was orange and red and fantastic. Rodriguez got an RBI double in his first at bat—his last hit and run batted in for the Yanks. The Old Man even trotted out to third base in the 9th inning before being pulled and given an ovation. It was modest by Yankee standards by seemingly heartfelt (manager Joe Girard’s tearful postgame press conference perhaps being the most genuine televised moment of the night).

And, oh yeah—the Yanks won.

This morning gives a tribute to the 1996 team.

Never mind the humidity:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Winners and Losers

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Hey, Alex Rodriguez got an at bat last night, and just got under a pitch and flew out to right field. Man, you could see how frustrated he was having just missed it. And that might be as close to getting a hit as he comes—just missing a pitch, feeling that frustration. You never know. He is supposed to start tonight and then again tomorrow but something tells me that we are definitely going to see him again in the spring somewhere else.

Anyhow, the  Yanks lost on Tuesday but they pounded the Sox last night and hell, anytime the Yanks can irritate the Sox it feels like a good thing, am I right?

And Now the End is Near


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The Yanks lost today and this evening announced that Alex Rodriguez is holding an 11 a.m. press conference tomorrow morning. Which means he is either going to follow Tex and hang ‘em up, or the team is going to release him. Rodriguez had a terrific comeback season in 2015 but this year he has been what you’d expect from a 40-year old.

Going out with a whimper is not rare—it is how most players leave and reminds me of the lede of a story Pat Jordan once wrote about Bobby Hurley:

“For most of us, death will not announce itself with a blare of trumpets or a roar of cannons.  It will come silently, on the soft paws of a cat.  It will insinuate itself, rubbing against our ankle in the midst of an ordinary moment.  An uneventful dinner.  A drive home from work.  A sofa pushed across a floor.  A slight bend to retrieve a morning newspaper tossed into a bush.  And then, a faint cry, an exhale of breath, a muffled slump.”

If this is it for Alex, well, I have thoroughly enjoyed rooting for him. Not since Reggie Jackson have I pulled for a star player that is so disliked by Yankee fans. And he didn’t make it easy to root for him always, that is for sure. He was such a social klutz—never mind his tremendous talent—that I felt for him, even when he was being a putz. He’ll retire as the greatest third baseman in Yankee history, like him or not.

He achieved some grace before the curtain fell on his playing days and considering where he was a few years ago that is no small feat.

Treadmill to Oblivion

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Man, the Yanks should sell more often. All this winning, what gives?

They’re at it again this afternoon.

Never mind the Men at Work:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Why Can’t Be Friends?

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I’ve got a friend who cannot stand Mark Teixeira—who seems like a benign guy to hate but the more I think of it, I can see it. Sort of like hating a guy like Raffey Palmerio. Not really hatable but irritating enough to turn into something disagreeable. Especially if he is not on your team. Well, Tex got under the Mets’s skin last night, particularly reliever Hansel Robles, who appeared to psyche himself out believing Tex was psyching him out.

Oh, well. Yanks won, 9-4 in a game that certainly more painful for the Mets to lose than it was for the Yanks to win.

We’ll take it.

The Old Man….Is Down the Road

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Is this the end of the line for Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees? M’eh, could be…

Yeah, and the Mets thumped the Yanks last night, 7-1.

 

They Pack a Punch

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Aaaaand, thud: the Yanks drop the final game in Houston, 4-1.

Today gives a day off and maybe some trade rumors.

You Gotta Believe…?

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With the Yanks winning there is talk of contending…this year.

Fool’s Gold—although, Hell, with the way the playoffs are set up now, this kind of dreaming isn’t just encouraged it is halfway sensible.

Yanks won again last night but let us hope the Yankee brass doesn’t fool themselves here.

Onward.

Seen This One Before?

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A 2-1 win. Go figure.

Heating Up

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The Yanks won’t cooperate in any losing business. They beat the Giants 5-2, behind a solid start from Nathan Eovaldi, to take 2 of 3 over the weekend.

Still, Mr. Chapman is on the block and the rumor mill is getting hotter than July 31—dig.

[Drawing by John Byrne]

We’re Havin’ a Heat Wave

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So I was at the game on Friday night. Malcolm Gladwell threw out the first pitch and he would have made Dave LaRoche proud. It was an exciting game—sloppy, especially for the Giants, but exciting. Ton of Giants fans there—and yesterday afternoon, and today too, I’m sure—and it was nice to see them exit quietly. Yanks won a close one on Friday, lost a close one in extras yesterday.

Still hotter n July.

Never mind the out-of-towners:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

This, That, and the Third

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Last night gave a 5-0 win. What’s with our boys? Showing a little fight, eh? (Let’s just hope it doesn’t make management daffy in the head.)

The final game against the O’s is this afternoon—nice, hot summer day in New York.

Never mind the moisture:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Bomb Pop

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I was at my brother’s over the weekend and shot some hoops. Felt good. I wasn’t ever much good at shooting but I made a couple of long shots and for a brief—very brief—moment, I felt young again. Hey, I can still do it.

Thought about that last night when Alex Rodriguez creamed a fastball for a long home run. The old man! There aren’t many dingers left in him, and fewer still that were outright bombs like the one he hit last night, so might as well enjoy each and every last one, right?

Yanks won a very Yankee-like 2016-style win, 2-1 over the O’s.

 

 

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