When last we (or, rather, I) left the Yankees, they had just won their home opener, 5-0, over the Whatever They're Calling Themselves This Season Angels of Anaheim on a beautiful Friday afternoon at Yankee Stadium Mark II. And, down in Sunrise, Florida -- outside Fort Lauderdale and not all that close to Miami -- the Devils had taken home-ice advantage away from the Florida Panthers, winning 3-2 in Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinal.
On Saturday, the beautiful weekend was interrupted. First, the Yankees had an awful game. Phil Hughes (0-2) did not have it at all, and C.J. Wilson (2-0), who drove the Yankees crazy in the 2010 ALCS for the Texas Rangers, did so again for the Angels. The Angels won, 7-1, and the only good thing about this game was that Derek Jeter got 2 hits. The rest of the Yankees combined? 4, 1 each by Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano, Mark Teixeira and, surprise, Eduardo Nunez, who was playing 3rd base while Alex Rodriguez was the DH.
Then, that night, I went to the Red Bulls' game against the San Jose Earthquakes. "Metro" blew 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the first half, and could not muster much of an attack in the second half, and ended with a 2-2 draw. A clear penalty was denied the Red Bulls in the waning minutes; the referee had been all right up until then, but he picked a fine time to blow a call.
To make matters worse, Rafa Marquez injured Quakes midfielder Shea Salinas, breaking his collarbone and kicking him while he was down. The referee didn't see it, so Marquez didn't get carded, but he will likely be suspended.
Already, there is talk that the Mexican defender will be stripped of his national team's captaincy. He had just come off a suspension, and should never play another game -- not just for the Red Bulls, but in this country.
On Sunday, the Yankees made it 2 out of 3 -- which is what you're supposed to do at home, but the Angels are, like the Yankees, one of the favorites for the American League Pennant. In the 3rd, with the game tied 1-1, Brett Gardner led off with a walk, Jeter doubled him to 3rd, Curtis Granderson got Gardner home on a groundout, A-Rod singled Jeter home, Cano walked, Teix doubled home A-Rod, and Swish got A-Rod home on a sacrifice fly. 5-1 Yankees.
In the 4th, Russell Martin led off with a walk. Gardner singled, s on a ground ball to center fielder Vernon Wells. Russell Martin to 2nd. Jeter hit his 2nd home run of the season to bring them both home, and make it 7-1 Yankees.
The Angels closed to within 8-5 in the 7th, but a Raul Ibanez homer (his 2nd of the year) put the game away. Yankees 11, Angels 5.
WP: Ivan Nova (2-0). LP: Jerome Williams (0-1).
Unfortunately, at the same time this was going on, the Devils lost Game 2 to the Panthers, 4-2. That series is tied 1-1, with Game 3 tonight at the Prudential Center. Still, taking home-ice advantage away is good.
Then last night, the Yankees started a new series against the Minnesota Twins, another good team. And got off to a great start: Jeter and Granderson each hit their 3rd home run of the season to lead off the game. (Well, the Yankee half of it, anyway.) Then A-Rod singled and advance to 2nd on an error, and Swish singled him home. 3-0 Yanks.
That was all the scoring the Pinstripes would do. Freddy Garcia (0-1) was awful. The Twins' starter (1-1) cruised after those first 3 runs, allowing only 3 more baserunners the rest of the way, all singles (one arguably should have been called an error), one erased via a double play. Justin Morneau homered for the Twins, showing he's back from a nasty injury that caused him to miss half of last season, causing the Twins to have their worst season in 12 years. This game? Twins 7, Yankees 3.
The Twins' starter? American Idle himself, Carl Pavano.
If this is the low point of the season, I can live with it. But losing to Carl Fucking Pavano better be the low point!
Personally, I'd like to put Carl Pavano and Rafa Marquez in a steel cage. Who knows, we just might be rid of one of them.
Right: It would be Pavano. Marquez would kill him in about 40 seconds.
The series continues tonight. CC Sabathia starts for the Yanks, Nelson Liriano for the Twins.
Going into tonight's games, the Baltimore Orioles lead the AL Eastern Division, half a game (even in the loss column) ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays, 1 ahead of the Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Boston Red sox 2 back.
Elimination Numbers: O's 152, Yanks & Rays 151, Scum 150
2,785 hits, 215 to 3,000
630 home runs, 70 to 700, 133 to the all-time record of 763
Murray Rose died 2 days ago. Born on January 6, 1939 in Birmingham, England, Iain Murray Rose was taken by his family, which fled to Australia to escape the Nazis' bombings of Britain in World War II. They settled in Sydney, and Murray became part of the legend of Australian competitive swimming.
In 1956, when he was just 17, the Olympics came to his homeland, to Melbourne. Competing for Australia (not his birthplace of Britain), he won 2 races and was part of a relay team that won another, making him the youngest athlete ever to win 3 Gold Medals at a single Olympics.
He moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California. He won a Gold, a Silver, and a Bronze Medal -- one of each -- at the 1960 Olympics in Rome. Graduating from USC with a degree in communications, he became an actor, and broadcast Olympic swimming both for his homeland's Nine Network and America's CBS in 1964 and ABC in 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1984. (The U.S. boycotted in 1980, but he still announced for the Nine Network, as Australia did not participate in the boycott.)
UPDATE: He wrote this memoir after his leukemia diagnosis.
It was published after his death.
He married twice, first to Bobbie Whitby, adopting her daughter, Somerset. He married again in 1988, when he wed Jodi Wints, a ballerina. They had a son, Trevor. "Somerset Rose" sounds like the name of a writer; "Trevor Rose," like that of a barrister.
Murray Rose battled leukemia, and died on April 15, 2012, at the age of 73.