A lot to get to, as I missed telling you about 2 games.
Sunday afternoon. My sister, her guy and I took her girls to Twins Day at the Somerset Patriots. Along with all the other sets of child twins in the ballpark (about 20 pairs), they got to go on the field during the 7th Inning Stretch and sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." They didn't seem into the game much this time (as opposed to last September at the same park), but when the time came to sing, they did great.
The Pats, of the independent Atlantic League, beat the Camden Riversharks, 7-2. I got to use the Woody Allen line: "A shark has to keep moving, or it dies. I think what we've got here is a dead shark."
While this was going on, Freddy Garcia (5-5) was pitching great for the Yankees again, and they pounded Josh Tomlin (7-4). Yankees 9, Indians 1.
Last night, the finale of the 4-game series against Cleveland, was a totally different story. A.J. Burnett (6-5) was Good A.J. again, allowing 1 run on 5 hits in nearly 8 innings. But the Yankees only got 5 hits off Hector Carrasco (6-3) and Chris Perez (16th save), and lost, 1-0.
Taking 3 out of 4 from a 1st-place team is usually very good. Still, I would've loved to have taken the 3 runs the Yanks got in the 8th inning on Sunday (or even 2 of them) and moved them to the 8th inning of last night.
Once again, the true most valuable player in the game is Maurice Mentum, better known as "Mo" Mentum. He jumped the club again, this time playing for the Indians.
To make matters worse, Derek Jeter had to leave the game with a calf strain. He had earlier gotten a hit to reach 2,994. He needed 6 hits in the 3 upcoming games against the Texas Rangers to get to 3,000 on the homestand. Now, he's day-to-day.
(I know: "We're all day-to-day." Like John Maynard Keynes said: "In the long run, we are all dead.")
A cynical person might think, "He knew he wasn't going to make it to 3,000 on the homestand, so he cooked up this excuse and the club is going along with it." But I doubt that. This is a guy, much like Martin Brodeur, that you practically need a crowbar to pull out of the lineup. If he has to leave the game, he must be in a lot of pain. Such an injury does hurt. How do I know? I'm not at liberty to say...
At the start of the 1974 season, with Hank Aaron just 1 home run away from Babe Ruth's career record of 714, the Atlanta Braves were supposed to open the season in Cincinnati before coming home, and the Braves organization wanted Aaron to break the record at home. So they announced he wouldn't play in the opening series. Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who rarely missed an opportunity to show he was a lawyer first and a baseball fan second, ordered the Braves to play Aaron. He did have a point: By not starting Aaron, who'd hit 40 home runs the year before despite being 39 years old, they were choosing not to play arguably their best player, thus possibly losing games on purpose. But Bowie was thinking about baseball fans in general, not Aaron's home fans. A compromise was reached: Aaron would start the first 2 games of the series. He homered in the opener, Number 714, didn't get another that day or the next, sat the next, and then got Number 715 in the Braves' home opener.
Kuhn left the Commissioner's post in 1984 and has been dead for a few years, so he's not here to force the Yankees to start Jeter on the road, whenever he's able to return. As for current Commissioner Bud Selig, well, I seriously doubt he's going to be as much of a pain in the ass about it as Kuhn. On the other hand, if the best argument for how good a Commissioner Selig has been is, "He's been better than Bowie Kuhn," then that's setting the bar really low. (It's like saying, "Of course, Jose Reyes is the best shortstop in Met history. Who else are you going to pick, Bud Harrelson?")
The Yankees are now 2 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Scum, 2 in the AILC. The Rangers come to town to start a 3-game series tonight, CC Sabathia against Alexi Ogando.
Meanwhile, the Yankees' two hottest hitters lately have been Jorge Posada (apparently it was all worry about Jorge Jr.'s surgery) and Alex Rodriguez. (No attention on A-Rod, and he's hitting great? NCIS Rule Number 39: There is no such thing as coincidence.) Now, if we can just get Nick Swisher hitting, I'm starting to worry about him.
Jeter hits 2994 6
Rivera saves 575 26
A-Rod homers 626 137
A-Rod hits 2737 263