Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Brain Drops On a Wet Wednesday
In spite of all these injuries -- the kind that have made Met fans (and Arsenal fans) freak out, the Yankees were still even with the first-place Tampa Bay Rays in the loss column coming into today.
Update: The first game is over, and the Tigers won, 2-0. This is the first three-game losing streak for the Yankees this season. They only got 4 hits: 1 each for Cano, Posada, Swisher and Winn.
On the other hand, Javier Vazquez pitched 7 innings, allowing only 5 hits and 2 walks. He still got tagged with the loss (making him 1-4), and his ERA (though reduced today) is still 8.10. But this was an encouraging appearance. (Boone Logan pitched a scoreless 8th. Being a road game that the Yankees lost, the bottom of the 9th was not necessary.)
The Yankees fall to 21-11, a game and a half (1 in the loss column) behind Tampa Bay, and also holding the lead for the Wild Card (not that that would be my first choice as to how to get into the Playoffs) going into today's night games. The Tigers are 19-14, two and a half (2 in the loss column) behind the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central, 3 and a half behind the Yanks for the Wild Card. The Tigers are a good team: They almost made the Playoffs last season, and have at least been in the race in 2 of the last 4 seasons. There's no reason they should not still be in it this September.
Tonight's probable starting pitchers are Phil Hughes for the Good Guys, and Jeremy Bonderman for the Bless You Boys. (Or the Motor City Bengals. Or the Michigan Marauders. Or the Cadillac Cats. Or pick your own name.)
Based on recent comeback wins, like last night's, the Mets do seem to have more character than their 2005 to 2009 versions.
All they need now is more talent, and more health.
No, I do not want to trade Javier Vazquez for Oliver Perez. A classic "your headache for my headache trade" is not the answer for either New York team. Besides, even if, as Mike Lupica suggested in the Daily News the other day, sending Vazquez from the Yanks to the Mets would help both teams, what would the Mets send the Yanks in return? What do the Mets have that the Yanks need? The Mets aren't exactly up to their necks in reliable outfielders. Or middle relievers.
The Atlanta Braves announced they will retire Tom Glavine's Number 47. No word from the Mets on whether they will do the same.
They could always retire Number 47 for Jesse Orosco. The difference is, Orosco got the final out of a World Series and threw his glove in the air; Glavine got only one out in a regular-season finale, blowing a Playoff berth, and Met fans wanted to throw things in the air, so long as they hit Glavine.
Ken Griffey Jr. was caught sleeping in the Seattle Mariners' dugout. No, I'm not making that up.
Somebody suggested that this was worse than Rickey Henderson and Bobby Bonilla playing cards in the Met dugout, because "at least they were awake."
I disagree: It sounds like Griffey was trying to pay attention and failed; whereas Rickey On Behalf of Rickey and Bobby Bo "made their move" to not pay attention.
Even if your father is still alive, I think you should drop the "Junior" from your name -- and retire from playing professional sports -- if you're so in need of a nap that you literally fall asleep on the job.
Griffey has 630 career home runs. But he hasn't hit any this season, at age 40.
Then again, I'm 40 -- 27 days younger -- and I haven't hit any home runs this season, either. I also didn't hit any in the preceding 20 years (the length of Griffey's career).
We all thought he would turn out to be the new Willie Mays. Instead, with all his injuries, he turned out to be the next Mickey Mantle. (Rest in peace, Bobby Ray.)
The Mariners made a big deal of Griffey "coming home" as they looked to try to overtake the Whatever They're Calling Themselves This Season Angels of Anaheim as the leaders of the American League West. Instead, they're off to an awful first quarter of the season, and they will soon have to make a big decision as to whether to keep Junior, or talk him into retiring, or to take the decision out of his hands.
If Junior retires, the top 10 active home-run hitters will be as follows, with their totals current through games of last night (May 11, 2010): Alex Rodriguez, 586 (tying Frank Robinson); Jim Thome, 569 (surpassing Rafael Palmeiro); Manny Ramirez, 548 (tying Mike Schmidt); Larry Wayne Jones Jr. (Chipper), 428; Vladimir Guerrero, 413; Jason Giambi, 409 (also none this season, and should pack it in); Andruw Jones, 397 (and seems to have rebounded from 3 awful seasons, with a little help from Javy Vazquez); Jim Edmonds, 384 (after sitting out 2009, is playing with Milwaukee and not doing all that badly, and I was surprised that this man, so well-known for his defense, has more career home runs than Hall-of-Famer Jim Rice); Albert Pujols, 373 (and, believe it or not, still not halfway to Hank Aaron, let alone to Barry Bonds); and Paul Konerko, 339.
Griffey has 2,779 career hits, making him 2nd among active players. The top 10: Derek Jeter (surprise!), 2,785; Griffey, 2,779; Ivan Rodriguez, 2,747; Omar Vizquel, 2,708; A-Rod, 2,563; Manny, 2,515; Garret Anderson, 2,508; Johnny Damon, 2,458; Chipper, 2,426; and Vlad, 2,289.
Griffey is the active leader in RBIs, with 1,834. If he retires, the top 10 become: Manny, 1,801 (if Griffey doesn't retire, Manny will pass him soon); A-Rod, 1,726; Thome, 1,580; Chipper, 1,452; Garret, 1,358; Vlad, 1,344; Giambi, 1,334; Pudge, 1,279; Todd Helton, 1,209; and Bobby Abreu, 1,200. Jeter? He has usually been 1st or 2nd in the order in his career, and currently ranks 19, with 1,090. But that's more than David "Big Steroid Papi" Ortiz with 1,079.
Today, I was at the Freehold Raceway Mall in Central Jersey, going to pick up the newly-published Reggie Jackson biography. While waiting for the bus to take me back up Route 9, I saw a girl head for the mall entrance, and, knowing that smoking was not allowed inside, drop her cigarette, and crush it with her foot.
Which was wearing a flip-flop.
Suppose she had turned her ankle? And burned her foot on the lit cigarette?
Those goddamned things are dangerous to your health. In so many ways.
She was wearing flip-flops. And sweatpants. And a sweatshirt with the hood up. And shades.
Somebody from England, who I knew from a message board I used to be on, said, "You should thank God that you don't have "chav culture" in the U.S.
The hell we don't. And America's malls are Sector 001 for that.
I would have said "Ground Zero for that," but those words have a very different meaning since 2001.
Chavs make ginkers look classy by comparison.