Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ichiro Hits Walkoff, Cashman Shoots Mouth Off

The late Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver used to say, "The Oriole Way is pitching, defense, and three-run homers." As in, not just hitting home runs, but doing it with men on base.

Which is a little odd, because, from 1978 to 1982, Weaver managed Gary Roenicke (who remained with the Orioles through 1985, and even played 1986 with the Yankees).  In 1979, with Roenicke platooning with John Lowenstein (a big Yankee Killer at the time) in left field, Weaver led the O's to the Pennant, and Roenicke, hitting in pitching-friendly Memorial Stadium, hit 25 home runs -- but only had 64 RBIs.  He hit so many homers with no one on base, he was nicknamed "Solo." (No, Lowenstein wasn't nicknamed "Chewbacca." Or "Kuryakin," for that matter.)

Last night, against the Texas Rangers, the Yankees hit no home runs with anyone on base.  But they hit 4 home runs, and won the game, 4-3.

Hiroki Kuroda pitched well into the 7th, Boone Logan somehow managed to finish the inning without starting a fire, David Robertson pitched a scoreless 8th and Mariano Rivera (1-1) pitched a scoreless 9th.

Travis Hafner hit his 12th home run of the season in the 4th, Brett Gardner his 7th in the 5th, and Jayson Nix his 2nd in the 6th, all off Ranger starter Yu Darvish.  But it was RISPfail again: 1-for-7.  The Yankees loaded the bases in the bottom of the 8th, and didn't score.

In the bottom of the 9th, Chris Stewart led off with a walk.  That's what you want to do in the bottom of the 9th: Get the leadoff man on.  But Gardner grounded into a force play for the 1st out, and then he got thrown out stealing 2nd for the 2nd out.  So nobody was on base when Ichiro Suzuki stepped up.

Tanner Scheppers (5-1) was on the mound for the Rangers.  He came into the game with an ERA of 0.95.  On a hot night, he was throwing some serious heat.  He threw Ichiro 4 pitches, all fastballs: 96 miles per hour for a called strike, 98 for a foul ball, 98 for a ball, and 97... and Ichiro hit it out to right field to win the ballgame.  (His 4th homer of the year.) Yankees 4, Rangers 3.

I know this isn't hockey, but I've got to say it: RANGERS SUCK! Actually, this is a case of both RANGERS SUCK and DALLAS SUCKS!


For most teams, a walkoff home run would be the biggest story of the day.  But we are the Yankees.  Things happen.

Alex Rodriguez is now officially on Twitter.  And @AROD said...

Visit from Dr. Kelly over the weekend, who gave me the best news - the green light to play games again!

Good to hear.  After all, one of two things is going to happen.  Either...

1. A-Rod will be able to play the way he used to, and we'll have hit bat in the lineup and his glove in the field.  Or...

2. He won't be able to play the way he used to, and we'll be no worse off than we are now, and might even have a better case for dumping him.

Personally, I would prefer Option 1.

Yankee general manager Brian Cashman has had some problems.  Including problems he shares with A-Rod: Saying the wrong thing in public, doing goofy things when he should be concentrating on his work, and fooling around with the wrong women.

Told by ESPN New York about A-Rod's tweet, Cashman said this:

You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, we will.  Alex should just shut the fuck up."

Huh? I realize that, yesterday, the Supreme Court plunged a knife into the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  But since when does Brian Cashman get to decide that the First Amendment is now invalid? Neither the Yankee organization, nor any representative thereof, has the right to regulate the public statements of their players.

Freedom of speech (talking) and freedom of the press (writing, including the use of Twitter) are still in effect.  They're not absolute.  The classics examples of going too far are, for speech, yelling the word, "Fire!" in a crowded place when there is not actually a fire; and, for the press, publishing that someone is a crook without evidence.  As long as a person isn't causing harm with his or her speech or writing, they've got the right to say pretty much what they want, and no one should be able to stop them.

Especially Cashman, who's done a lousy job of regulating his own speech. He's not quite at Billy Martin level, but at least Billy's really bad behavior was away from prying eyes. 

As noted A-Rod defender Lisa Swan put it in today's Subway Squawkers:

Get your popcorn ready! It's always fun to hear a guy who jumped out of an airplane and broke his leg, who cheated on his wife with a stalker mistress who had 13 restraining orders against her, and who gave Kevin Youkilis $12 million this year, criticize somebody for bad judgment and tell him to shut the bleep up.

It would kind of be like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, parents of baby daughter North West, getting in Gwyneth Paltrow's face about naming her child Apple.

(Side note: Right before the baby was born, Kanye released a song titled "I Am a God." No, Kanye, you're not.)


Can you imagine some of the Yankee Legends on Twitter?

Babe Ruth @SultanOfSwat
@Cubs I'm gonna hit one out off that kid you got pitching today. 5th inning. Straightaway center field.

Lou Gehrig @IronHorse4
Found a nickel! Lucky me!

Whitey Ford @ChairmanODaBoard
@Mick7 Where were you last night?

Mickey Mantle @Mick7
@ChairmanODaBoard There's 20 bucks in it for anybody who can tell me. Spent 2 hours throwing up. N' my knee hurts like hell. I'll only hit 1 out today.

Roger Maris @RogerMaris9
@Mick7 At least your hair's not falling out.

Joe Pepitone @JoePep25
@Mick7 @RogerMaris9 Me too Roger. Shit

Mickey Mantle @Mick7
@JoePep25 Maybe that's what ya git for bringing that hairdryer into the clubhouse. @RogerMaris9

Yogi Berra @Yogi8
@JoePep25 Your hair ain't as bad as mine. In my case, it's close to being over. If I had more hair, I wouldn't be this bald.

Thurman Munson @CatcherFromCanton
@BillyNumber1 Will you relax? We'll win today. I'll lead off the 9th with a hit, and the new guy with the big mouth will hit one out.

Billy Martin @BillyNumber1
@CatcherFromCanton Relax? Who can relax? Have you forgotten who our boss is?

George Steinbrenner @BigStein
@BillyNumber1 @CatcherFromCanton I haven't forgotten.

Phil Pepe @PepeDailyNews
@CatcherFromCanton Thurman, can I quote you on this? I'll have you listed as @ProminentYankee.

Phil Rizzuto @Scooter10
Holy Cow, this social media stuff is giving me agita. You huckleberries.


Joe DiMaggio wouldn't be on Twitter.  He valued his privacy too much.

The thought of Billy Martin actually being on Twitter is disturbing.

Then again, maybe A-Rod and Cashman are made for each other. One's a born liar, the other's conflicted - conflict of interest.

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