Now that I have paid proper tribute to Dear Old Alma Mater on the 25th Anniversary of our first County Championship in baseball... back to the first sports team I ever loved.
Loved? Well, let me put it this way: My relationship with the Yankees, as a baseball club, is still committed; my relationship with this current Yankee team, how shall I put this... "It's complicated."
Thursday night. Coming off back-to-back humiliations at the hands of the Boston Red Sox. CC Sabathia going for the Yanks. Josh (Super Punk) Beckett going for The Scum.
First Yankee batter of the game, Derek Jeter. What does Beckett do? Of course, he hits Jeter. On purpose? Is the Pope German?
Next up, Curtis Granderson. Home run. Perfect retaliation. 2-0 Yanks.
The game is then quiet until the bottom of the 3rd. With 1 out, Jeter reaches 1st on a fielding error. He steals 2nd. Granderson walks. 1st and 2nd, 1 out, 2-run lead. Things are looking good for the Bronx Bombers.
Mark Teixeira is up. Beckett strikes him out swinging. Okay, not good, 2 out now, but still men on 1st and 2nd, and Alex Rodriguez is at the plate.
At this point, hitting a batter with a pitch would load the bases for Robinson Cano, and would therefore be stupid.
Josh Beckett is having a very good year, and has been especially strong in his last few starts against the Yankees. A loss of control on his part is highly unlikely.
He hits A-Rod with his first pitch. The Stadium erupts in boos.
So now, Jeter and A-Rod have both been hit in this game. Teix has also been hit in this series. All 3 are believed to have been on purpose. Cano pops up to end the inning.
Next inning. Top of the 4th. CC strikes out Adrian Gonzalez. Kevin Youkilis, the Red Sock most known for whining about getting hit with pitches, draws a walk.
That brings up David Ortiz. Big Papi. The Boston Fat Boy. The big fat lying cheating bastard who is the biggest (not just the fattest) Yankee-Killer of all time. He can tie this game with one swing of his steroid-aided bat.
There's an old saying: It's better to give the big man four balls for one base than to give him one ball for four bases.
How about giving him one ball for one base?
First pitch, and CC Sabathia does something NO Yankee pitcher has ever been willing to do: He hits Ortiz.
Only once before has Ortiz ever been hit by a Yankee pitcher: Jeff Nelson, in the 2003 American League Championship Series, and that was probably by accident as Nelson wasn't known as that kind of pitcher.
CC channeled his inner Samuel L. Jackson: "Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfuckin' Red Sox doing whatever the fuck they please!"
Finally, a Yankee pitcher stands up to this fat bastard and his Scum teammates.
As Tony Reali, host of ESPN's Around the Horn, would say, "I am looooooooking for a MAN."
Carsten Charles Sabathia is a MAN.
Of course, that won't do much good if you can't get out of this 1st & 2nd, 1 out situation. He does, with no additional baserunners.
This was shaping up to be the most satisfying regular-season Yankee victory since the 2009 American League Eastern Division clincher -- also at home against The Scum.
Except CC fell apart in the 7th inning, allowing 7 runs, including 2 on a double by that cheating Ortiz. The Red Sox won, 7-2.
WP: Beckett (5-2). LP: Sabathia (7-4).
In New York, I like Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic on ABC's Castle). I do not like Josh Beckett. Not in New York. Not in Boston. I do not like him here or there, I do not like him anywhere.
Last night, with The Scum gone, the Yankees started a 4-game series against another 1st-place team, the Central Division-leading Cleveland Indians.
All seemed to be going well. Grandy and A-Rod both homered. Ivan Nova (5-4) was pitching very well. The Yankees led 6-0 after 4.
However, within those first 4 innings is an incident I have to mention: Fausto Carmona (3-8), a big reason why the Yankees lost to the Indians in the 2007 AL Division Series but hasn't done much since, gave up Granderson's homer in the bottom of the 2nd. The next pitch, to Teix... hit him.
Apparently, AL teams still think the Yankees can get pushed around.
Not this time! Both benches AND both bullpens emptied. Yankee manager Joe Girardi and Indian manager (and former Washington National manager and Met coach) Manny Acta got into a shouting match. It took a while to settle everything down.
No more plunkings. After 7, the Yankees led 11-2.
For the 8th, Girardi brought in rookie Kevin Whelan. No Joba Chamberlain? Nope, Joba had been having a great year, but he's got torn ligaments. Barring a second opinion with a better diagnosis, it looks like Tommy John surgery. It may be after the 2012 All-Star Break before we see him pitch in Pinstripes again.
Whelan walked 4 batters, forcing in a run without the benefit of a hit.
Unacceptable. Girardi pulled him for Amauri Sanit, who gets out of the inning, leading 11-3.
No problem, right? Except in the 9th, he allows 4 straight singles, making it 11-4. Girardi dumps him for Lance Pendleton. He walks home another run, to make it 11-5. With the bases still loaded.
Seriously? It was 11-2 and we have to bring in Mariano Rivera? Cue Vince Lombardi: "What the hell's goin' ON out here?"
And Mo allows a single (admittedly, the runs aren't charged to him) to make it 11-7! Fortunately, he gets the last 2 outs. Not a save situation.
A much-needed win. It goes into the books the same as any other win, as if the score had remained 11-2. Or even 3-2.
But... sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. When you score 11 runs, you should NOT have to bring in Mariano Rivera.
This afternoon. Could Bartolo Colon continue his renaissance?
Up to a point. He took a shutout into the 7th, backed by homers by A-Rod (who now has 13 on the season), Grandy (20) and Teix (19). Beautiful.
As ESPN's Lee Corso would say, "Not so fast, my friend!" Colon had to leave the game with a hamstring injury! Another Yankee pitcher on the Disabled List?
Put me on it, too, because I think I'm going to be sick.
David Robertson pitched the rest of the 7th and the 8th, and Boone Logan actually remembered how to get lefties out. And righties. Yankees 4, Indians 0.
WP: Colon (5-3). No save. LP: Mitch Talbot (2-3).
Pretty good day for the Yankees, if all you knew was what you read in the box score. If you didn't know that Colon was hurt, too.
Oh yeah, Talbot hit A-Rod. I'm not sure if it was on purpose.
This has to stop. But the best way to make it stop isn't as good as the best way to make it not matter: Win.
The Yankees are currently 2 games behind the Red Sox, 1 in the loss column.
Derek Jeter now needs 9 hits to reach 3,000. It is still possible for him to reach it on the homestand.
The series continues tomorrow at 1:05. Freddy Garcia against Josh Tomlin.
I won't be able to see it. Uncle Mike and his sister are taking the nieces to see the Somerset Patriots against the Camden Riversharks.
Jeter hits 2991 9
Rivera saves 575 26
A-Rod homers 626 137
A-Rod hits 2734 266