Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Derek Jeter Night Tarnished By an Actual Game

Legend has it that, in 1964, long before the Internet made such things easy to find out, the Mets played an afternoon game at Wrigley Field, and beat the Cubs 19-1. A guy was working during the day didn't want to wait for the evening paper -- that was a thing in those days -- and called a newspaper's sports department:

Met fan: "How did the Mets do today?"

Sports desk guy: "Great! They scored 19 runs!"

Met fan, who obviously knew his team well: "Did they win?"


When you score 18 runs in 1 day, it usually means you didn't lose.

On Sunday, the Yankees scored 18 runs, and lost.

But they also won.

They won the 1st game of the rain-forced doubleheader with the Houston Astros, 11-6. The 2nd game was preceded by Derek Jeter Night. Accompanied by his wife, parents, grandmother, sister and nephew, Derek received his Plaque for Monument Park, and his Number 2 was retired.

"You know," Jeter said, "you play here in New York for 20 years. I learned that time flies, memories fade, but family is forever. And I'll be eternally grateful to be a part of the Yankees family. So I can't thank you guys enough. Thank you very much."

Unfortunately, they then had to play a game, and Masahiro Tanaka, the closest thing New York baseball has to a pitching ace these days, got rocked. The Astros scored 8 runs in the 1st 2 innings.

It would be the 5th inning, and a 9-0 deficit, before the Yankees made any progress on Houston starter Charlie Morton. Matt Holliday hit his 7th home run of the season, part of a 4-run inning.

Giovanny Gallegos pitched 3 scoreless innings. Chasen Shreve was perfect for 2 1/3rd, Tommy Layne perfect for 1 2/3rds. It seemed as though the bullpen was giving the Yankees a chance to get back into it.

Dellin Betances pitched the 9th, and allowed another run. So it was 10-4 going to the bottom of the 9th. The Yankees got a minor rally going, but it fell short. In the end, the run Betances allowed didn't matter, although it is a bad sign, for a reason I'm about to divulge.

Astros 10, Yankees 7. WP: Morton (5-2). No save. LP: Tanaka (5-2).


More bad news: Aroldis Chapman has gone on the Disabled List. It is the 10-Day Disabled List, retroactive to Saturday, meaning he will be eligible to come off it on Tuesday, May 23.

But don't kid yourself: It's for rotator cuff inflammation. It explains his 2 recent bad outings. General manager Brian Cashman said that he won't pitch in a game for at least 4 weeks. Does that mean a major league game, or even so much as a minor-league rehab game? Regardless, don't expect to see him on the mound at Yankee Stadium again until at least late June.

This means that Betances will be the closer, and Adam Warren will be pitching more.

You know, I was enjoying this season. But, I guess, we're not making the Playoffs again.


So we are 7 weeks into the 26-week season, and the next 4 are likely to be without a reliable bullpen at all.

So enjoy this fact while you still can: The New York Yankees are in 1st place in the American League Eastern Division half a game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles, 4 ahead of the Boston Red Sox, 6 ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays, and 7 ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays. In the loss column, they lead the O's by 1, the Sox by 5, and the Rays and Jays by 9 each.


Days until the Red Bulls play again: 3, this Friday tonight at 7:30, home to Toronto FC. They blew their 19-game home winning streak on Sunday, getting embarrassed 3-1 by the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Days until The Arsenal play the FA Cup Final: 11, a week from this Saturday afternoon, May 27, at 12:30 (5:30 in the afternoon, their time), against West London club Chelsea, at the new Wembley Stadium. That's a little under 3 weeks. Their 4-1 victory away to the disgusting Stoke City on Saturday keeps alive the hope that they can finish at least in the Top 4 and thus at least qualify for next-season's UEFA Champions League.

Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 18, on Saturday night, June 3, at 8:00 local time (10:00 Eastern), against Venezuela, in an international friendly at Rio Tinto Stadium, the Sandy, Utah home of MLS' Real Salt Lake. Under 4 weeks. This is a warmup for the following week's CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers, the following Thursday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in the Denver suburbs, against Trinidad & Tobago, and the following Sunday against Mexico at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. At the very least, the T&T game is a must-win.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series: 21, on Tuesday, June 6, at 7:05 PM, at Yankee Stadium II. 

Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": 33, on Sunday, June 18, again away to the Union again, at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania. They will next play the New England Revolution on Saturday, May 27, at Red Bull Arena. They will next play a Hudson River Derby against New York City FC on Saturday, June 24, at Red Bull Arena. And they will next play the D.C. Scum on Saturday, September 27, at Red Bull Arena.

Days until the next North London Derby: Unknown, as the schedule for the 2017-18 season can't be released until after the season is over, since we don't yet know which 3 teams are being relegated and which 3 are being promoted. The soonest it would be is the 1st Saturday of the new season, which would be August 12. That's 88 days. But derbies rarely kick off the season, so it will probably be a lot more.

Days until Rutgers University plays football again: 108on Friday, September 1, home to the University of Washington. Under 4 months. 

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: Unknown, as the 2017 schedule hasn't been released yet. I now know that high school football games have been scheduled in Middlesex County, New Jersey on Friday night, September 8. That's 115 days from now.

Days until the New Jersey Devils play again: We don't know, as the 2017-18 NHL schedule has yet to be released. The NHL season usually begins on the 2nd Friday in October, which, in 2017, would be... ugh... Friday the 13th. That's 150 days. A little under 5 months.

Days until the New Jersey Devils next play a local rival: See the previous answer, although the 1st game isn't likely to be against either the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders or the Philadelphia Flyers.

Days until the Alex Rodriguez Contract From Hell officially runs out, and the Yankees can spend his salary on new players: 
168, on October 31.

Days until the next election for Governor of New Jersey: 175, on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Under 6 months.

Days until the next Rutgers-Penn State football game: 179, on Saturday, November 11, 2017, at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 191, on Thursday morning, November 23, 2017, at 10:00. A little over 6 months, and thank God it's at home at Jay Doyle's grove, rather than at the purple shit pit on Route 9.

Days until the next Winter Olympics begins in Pyeongchang, Korea: 269, on February 9, 2018. Under 9 months.

Days until the next World Cup kicks off in Russia: 394, on June 14, 2018. A bit over a year, or a little under 13 months. Has Bruce Arena turned our chances around? Or will Trump ruin them? Maybe, with the tournament on his soil, Putin will tell Trump to tell Bruce Arena to tank the games. Maybe not. Or maybe just if we end up playing Russia. I don't think Arena will listen. I hope his life insurance is paid up, because Putin kills people.

Days until September 2018 roster call-ups, when we can finally start to expect seeing some of those wonderful "prospects" for whom Yankee general manager Brian Cashman threw away a chance at the 2016 Playoffs: 473. Under a year and a half, or under 16 months. Of course, we could end up seeing one or more of them sooner than that, but since most of them are at Double-A Trenton now, if that, who's kidding who? Then again, at the rate the Yankees are going now, we may not need them!

Days until the next Congressional election: 539, on November 6, 2018. Under 2 years, or a little under 19 months.

Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Mariano Rivera: 
603, on January 9, 2019. Under 2 years, or a little under 20 months.

Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Derek Jeter: 
968, on January 8, 2020. Under 3 years, or a little under 32 months.

Days until the next Summer Olympics begins in Tokyo, Japan: 
1,166, on July 24, 2020. A little over 3 years, or a little over 38 months.

Days until the next Presidential election: 1,268, on November 3, 2020. Under 4 years, or a little under 42 months.

Days until Liberation Day: 
1,346at noon on January 20, 2021. Under 4 years, or a little over 44 months. Note that this is liberation from the Republican Party, not just Donald Trump. Having Mike Pence as President wouldn't be better, just differently bad.

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