Sunday, April 22, 2018

Gleyber Day? It Was a Yankee Win Day

Today was Gleyber Day. Gleyber Torres, the Pinstriped Savior, rode into Yankee Stadium on a donkey, with everyone fanning him with palm leaves.

He walked into the clubhouse, and put on uniform Number 25, previously worn by such Yankee notables as Hank Bauer (before switching to 9), Irv Noren, Norm Siebern, Joe Pepitone, Bobby Bonds, Grant Jackson, Brian Doyle, Tommy John, Don Baylor, Jim Abbott, Ruben Sierra, Joe Girardi (as a player), Jason Giambi, and Mark Teixeira.

He was placed 8th in the order, and batted for the 1st time in the bottom of the 1st inning, by which point Didi Gregorius had already given the Yankees a 1-0 lead with a home run. Gary Sanchez had walked, and Miguel Andujar had doubled, so there were 2 men in scoring position for Torres.

He batted against former Yankee Jaime Garcia, and, well, apparently, there is a scouting report on Torres and Garcia read it. He threw Torres 5 pitches low and inside. Torres swung at the 1st 2, and missed both badly. He laid off on the 3rd, and fouled off the 4th. Then he swung at the 5th, and struck out.

As I've been saying, major league pitching is very different from minor league pitching, and you cannot presume that a player who has hit well, even at Triple-A, will hit well in the majors.

But right after Torres' 1st at-bat, Austin Romine doubled home the runners, and that made it 3-0 Yankees, and the game was pretty much over.

Torres came up again in the 4th, and grounded into an inning-ending double play. Wherever he was (probably in the luxury boxes), Brian Cashman was probably not smiling.

The Jays scored a run, but in the bottom of the 6th, Sanchez doubled. Tyler Austin singled, but Sanchez couldn't score. Andujar doubled Sanchez home, sending Austin to 3rd. 4-1 Yankees. Up came Torres... and he popped up to 1st base. So, the Triple Crown of Uselessness: Strikeout, double play, popup.

Gregorius added a sacrifice fly in the 7th, to make it 5-1. Torres came up one more time, in the bottom of the 8th, with 2 out and Andujar on 1st with a single. He flew out to right.

So Torres went 0-for-4 in his major league debut. He didn't reach base, not even once, and looked hopelessly overmatched at the plate.

On the other hand, he handled 2 chances, a grounder and a double play, without an error at 2nd base, which is not his natural position. (He's a shortstop, and Cashman knew he already had Gregorius.)

Fans were expecting the Gleyber Torres Show. Instead, they got the Luis Severino show. My man was dealing: 1 run, 3 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, and was still bringing it in the 7th inning. Aaron Boone let him throw 112 pitches, before giving the ball to David Robertson for the 8th and Aroldis Chapman for the 9th.

Yankees 5, Blue Jays 1. WP: Severino (4-1). No save. LP: Garcia (2-1). That's 3 of 4 at home against those pesky Blue Jays.


So, 3 full weeks into the 26-week Major League Baseball season, the Yankees are 11-9, in 3rd place in the American League Eastern Division, 5 1/2 games behind the leading Boston Red Sox, 5 in the loss column.

This is better than it was, but the Yankees still need to get going. The call of "It's still early" needs to shut up.

The Minnesota Twins come to town for 4 games, then it's off on a Western roadtrip. This is a good time to start a good run. Actually, there's never a bad one. But if the Yankees can follow their 3 of 4 against Toronto with 3 of 4 against Minnesota, then they'll be ready for Anaheim and Houston, 2 teams that drive the Yankees crazy.

Come on you Pinstripes!


Days until The Arsenal play again, 4, this Thursday at 3:00 PM our time, home to Atlético Madrid in the 1st leg of the Semifinal of the UEFA Europa League. The 2nd leg will be in Madrid the following Thursday. If they win, the Final will be in Lyon, France on Wednesday, May 16. Today, The Arsenal won 4-1 at home to East London team West Ham United. 

Days until the New York Red Bulls play again: 6, Saturday night at 10:30 PM Eastern Time, 7:30 Pacific, away to the Los Angeles Galaxy. They looked awful in losing at home to the Chicago Fire this weekend.

Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": 13on Saturday afternoon, May 5, home to New York City FC. Their 1st game against the Philadelphia Union will be on Saturday night, May 26, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison. Their 1st game against the New England Revolution will be on Saturday night, June 2, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. Their 1st game against D.C. United, and their 1st game ever at the new Audi Field, will be on Wednesday night, July 25.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series begins: 16, on Tuesday, May 8, at 7:00, at Yankee Stadium II.

Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 36, a "friendly" against Bolivia, at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania, home of the Philadelphia Union, on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28. After the Bolivia game, there will be a trip to Europe, to play Ireland in Dublin on June 2, and France in Lyon on June 9. These 3 games should have been warmups for the World Cup. Alas...

Days until the next World Cup kicks off in Russia: 53, on June 14. Under 8 weeks. But the U.S. team won't be playing. At least now, Donald Trump doesn't have to choose, and can root for his favorite country, the host nation, Russia.

Days until the 2018 trading deadline, after which we won't have to fear Yankee general manager Brian Cashman trading any proven good players for "prospects": 100, on Tuesday, July 31. A little over 3 months.

Days until Arsenal play a game with a manager other than Arsène Wenger: 111, in the 2018-19 Premier League season opener. Time, opponent and location as yet unknown.

Days until the next North London Derby: Unknown, but not until next season. The only thing we know for sure is that you never see a derby on the opening weekend. So, more than 111 days.

Days until Rutgers University plays football again: 132, on Saturday, September 1, home to Texas State University. A little over 4 months.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: Unknown. The 2018 schedule hasn't been released yet. But the season opener is usually on the 1st Friday in September. that would be September 7, which is 138 days from now.

Days until the New Jersey Devils next play a local rival: Unknown, as the regular season is over. It is possible that the Devils will play the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but that wouldn't happen unless both teams reach the NHL Eastern Conference Finals. Otherwise, they wouldn't face the Flyers, the New York Rangers or the New York Islanders until the start of the next regular season, which is usually on the 2nd Friday in October. That would be October 12, or 173 days.

Days until the next Congressional election, when we can elect a Democratic Congress that can impeach and remove Donald Trump from the Presidency: 198on November 6. Under 7 months.

Days until the next Rutgers-Penn State game: 209, on Saturday, November 17, at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving high school football game: 214, on Thursday, November 22. Just 8 months.

Days until a Democratic Congress can convene, and the impeachment process can begin: 
256on Thursday, January 3, 2019. Under 10 months.

Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Mariano Rivera: 276
, on January 23, 2019. A little over 10 months.

Days until the next Women's World Cup kicks off: 411, on June 7, 2019, in France. A little over a year, or under 14 months. The U.S. team, as 3-time and defending Champions, has, as usual, a better chance than the men's team would have had in 2018 anyway.

Days until my 50th Birthday, at which point I can join AARP and get discounts for travel and game tickets: 605, on December 18, 2019. Under 2 years, or a little under 20 months.

Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Derek Jeter: 6460
 on January 22, 2020. A little under 2 years, or exactly 21 months.

Days until the next Summer Olympics begins in Tokyo, Japan: 824on July 24, 2020. A little over 2 years, or a little over 27 months.

Days until the next Presidential election, when we can dump the Trump-Pence regime and elect a real Administration: 926
on November 3, 2020. A little over 2 1/2 years, or under 31 months.

Days until Liberation Day: 1,004at noon on January 20, 2021. Under 3 years, or a little under 33 months. Note that this is liberation from the Republican Party, not just from Donald Trump. Having Mike Pence as President wouldn't be better, just differently bad, mixing theocracy with plutocracy, rather than mixing kleptocracy with plutocracy.

Days until the next Winter Olympics (after the current one in Pyeongchang, Korea) begins in Beijing, China: 1,384, on February 4, 2022. Under 4 years, or under 46 months.

Days until the next World Cup for which the American team will be eligible is scheduled to kick off: 1,674, on November 21, 2022, in Qatar. Under 5 years, or a little under 55 months. The charges of corruption against Qatar may yet mean that they will lose the tournament, in which case it will be moved to a nation where it would not be too hot to play it in June and July.

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