Monday, May 31, 2010

Dangerous Comebackers

Sorry I haven't posted for 4 days. Couldn't be helped, due to a trip that I'll mention in a subsequent post. So some catching up to do.

On Thursday night, the Yankees lost to the Minnesota Twins, 8-2, preventing a 4-game sweep. On Friday night, the Yanks started a 4-game set at home against the Cleveland Indians, and won, 8-2.

Saturday afternoon's game was one to forget, but those who saw it never will, for the wrong reasons.

First came a rocket off the bat of Alex Rodriguez that went straight back to Indian pitcher David Huff, hitting him on the back of the head. He was down for 6 minutes, before being taken off the field on the stretcher. He managed to wave to the fans, and got a standing ovation.
He was released from the hospital that night, and found to have not sustained a concussion. Thank God, because it looked really bad on TV.

I thought about Herb Score. He was the Indians' "Phil Rizzuto," a former star who became a quirky broadcaster, and from Queens like the Scooter as well.

May 7, 1957, the same teams, Yanks and Indians, at the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Score has pitched 2 seasons in the majors, and with Bob Feller now retired, it looks like Feller to Score is going to be the pitching equivalent of DiMaggio to Mantle. Except Gil McDougald hits a line drive right up the middle, smacking Score in the eye. He's out for the season, and although he spent the rest of his life saying that it was an injury the following spring training that really derailed his career, everyone wondered. McDougald was never the same, either, and was so distraught over almost killing Score that he lost his hitting edge.

There was another game in 1995, at Jacobs Field, only this time it was the Yankees in the field. I don't remember the batter and the pitcher, but the pitcher just got his glove up in time to save himself. Rizzuto, in his first season as a broadcaster in '57, mentioned what happened to Score, and the camera caught him reaching out of the press box to get the attention of Score, in the next room of the box. Score, wearing headphones and not having access to the WPIX-Channel 11 transmission, was unaware of Rizzuto's words and gestures, but he had to be having flashbacks, too.

Anyway, back to Saturday afternoon. After A-Rod's comebacker off Huff, the Yanks took a 10-4 lead... and blew it. The Indians won the game, 13-11. That's another kind of "comebacker" that I didn't want to see. Stylistically, and competitively, this was one of the worst games in Yankee history.

Fortunately, yesterday afternoon, the Yanks won, 7-3, thanks to Mark Teixeira's 250th career home run and the pitching of A.J. Burnett.

As for today's game, well, that was involved enough to warrant its own post. Tomorrow.

UPDATE: Huff made his next start, showing no ill effects from the incident.. The Yankees acquired him in 2013, traded him to the San Francisco Giants the next season, and traded to get him back the same year, let his contract run out at the end of the season, and did not try to reacquire him. He played for both of the Los Angeles-area teams, and in 2017, at the age of 32, pitches in Korea's baseball league.


Days until the 2010 World Cup begins in South Africa: 11. U.S. vs. England the next day.

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 600th career home run: 34 (estimated). About 5 weeks.

Days until the World Cup Final: 41, July 11, at Johannesburg, South Africa. Just 6 weeks.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series: 67, starting Friday night, August 6, at Yankee Stadium II.

Days until the new English Premier League season starts: 75.

Days until the first football game at the new Meadowlands Stadium (still unnamed): 77.

Days until Rutgers plays football again: 94. A little over 3 months.

Days until the first regular-season Giants game at the new Meadowlands Stadium: 104.

Days until the first regular-season Jets game at the new Meadowlands Stadium: 105.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 107.

Days until the Devils play another local rival: 131 (estimated).

Days until Rutgers and Army play the first college football game at the new Meadowlands Stadium: 138.

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving clash: 178.

Days until Derek Jeter collects his 3,000th career hit: 353 (estimated).

Days until the Rutgers-Army football game at Yankee Stadium: 530.

Days until the last Nets game in New Jersey: 685 (estimated).

Days until the 2012 Olympics begin in London: 773.

Days until Alex Rodriguez collects his 3,000th career hit: 853 (estimated).

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 700th career home run: 1,124 (estimated).

Days until Super Bowl XLVIII at the Meadowlands: 1,343. (February 2, 2014, though the NFL might tinker with the schedule to move it to February 9 or February 16.)

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 756th career home run to surpass all-time leader Hank Aaron: 1,774 (estimated).

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 763rd career home run to become as close to a "real" all-time leader as we are likely to have: 1,798 (estimated).

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