Monday, May 30, 2011

Ambition Is Good, Naked Ambition Is Not

Ambition is good in sports. Or, to paraphrase Michael Douglas in The American President (even though I'm still in love with his wife), "Yes, my team tries to buy a championship every year. The question is, why doesn't YOURS, Bob?"

Ambition is good. Naked ambition is not.

During Saturday's game at Safeco Field, three people ran onto the field. The third came in the 8th inning, and he wasn't wearin' nothin' but a smile.

That's not the kind of streak I want to see at a ballgame. Both John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WCBS said they'd never seen a streaker at a ballgame before. Guys running onto the field, yes; naked, no.

To make matters worse, the Yankees lost. They tied it with a run in the 7th, following home runs by Robinson Cano (his 10th of the season) and Mark Teixeira (his 15th), both off the incredibly overrated (at least until he becomes a Yankee, if he does) "King" Felix Hernandez of the Mariners. But in the bottom of the 12th, Mariano Rivera (1-1) came in and couldn't hold the tie, making a winner out of Seattle righthanded reliever David Pauley (4-0). Mariners 5, Yankees 4.

Yesterday, however, was a different story. Just as I was beginning to worry that this would be yet another of those West Coast journeys that would turn into a Borg Roadtrip -- losing 7 of 9 -- the Yankees scored 5 runs in the top of the 3rd, bracketed by single runs in the 2nd and 4th, and beat the Mariners 7-1 to salvage the series finale. CC Sabathia (6-3) was fantastic, doing what aces to, holding the opponents down and going long to ease the fatigue of your bullpen, before Lance Pendleton allowed a leadoff single in the 9th and then got the next 3 outs. (No save. Jason Vargas was the starter and loser for Seattle, 3-3.)

The 2nd inning run came on a much-needed home run by Nick Swisher (his 3rd). The key hit in the 5-inning 3rd was a bases-loaded triple by Andruw Jones, who doesn't look washed-up anymore.

The Yankees get underway in Oakland in a few minutes, a Memorial Day matinee. Remember when Memorial Day meant a doubleheader? Anyway, Bartolo Colon starts for the Yankees, Trevor Cahill for the A's. Cahill's 6-2 with a 2.03 ERA this season, but he's 0-2 lifetime against the Yankees.

Today I caught a little of the Memorial Day parade in nearby South River, New Jersey. Some veterans were marching in their full dress uniforms. It's 88 degrees out there. Haven't they suffered enough? Especially the ones who served in hot climates like Vietnam, Nicaragua, Iraq and Afghanistan? (Oops, the Reagan acolytes don't want you to know about Nicaragua. I could have added Bosnia, but Sarajevo is actually at a higher north latitude than Boston, so it probably wasn't as consistently hot as those other places.)

Yesterday was the 16th Anniversary of Derek Jeter's major league debut. He is now just 20 hits away from 3,000. I spent the day down the Shore. Turns out that the Goo Goo Dolls (who I don't especially like) and Michelle Branch (who I do kind of like) are sharing a bill at the Tropicana on July 23.

Jeter's been playing for 16 years? The Goo Goo Dolls and Michelle Branch are playing at a casino?

I don't recall growing older... when did they?

Jeter hits 2980 20
Rivera saves 572 29
A-Rod homers 622 141
A-Rod hits 2723 277

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