Alex Rodriguez hit two home runs last night in a 5-4 Yankees win in Tampa. He drove in four runs, and now has an improbable four home runs on the season and 658 for his career. He also had the most notable amount of white, chalky shit on his helmet that we’ve ever seen on a guy in a game. What the Hell is with that?
And these words never felt like they would be written here again. What a story this really is, what A-Rod is doing. He’s doing it right in the face of his team’s ownership and fans, and really the entire world has tried it’s best to forget about the guy.
The reality of it is, A-Rod looks to be in pretty good shape. His swing looks pretty good, as it has all spring. There’s no reason to think that he won’t pop 20 or 25 home runs this season cleanly for the Bronx Bombers. But to think that it’s this quiet when a guy is two home runs from Willie Mays is just crazy.
This was the longest game in Yankees franchise history in terms of time – we actually had a friend at the game – for at least some of it.
This game had a little bit of everything, and it’s the kind of unpredictable little lottery that buying a ticket to a baseball game can provide. It’s honestly the type of game we’ve always wanted to be present at.
There was a 16-minute power outage at the game, making the official time of the game six hours, 49 minutes. With the power outage factored in, officially it was not the longest game in franchise history.
We started watching this one somewhere around the 13th. It was a game that just wanted to stay tied. The Red Sox led with two outs in the ninth when Edward Mujica surrendered a home run to Chase Headley to send it to extras.
Then the Red Sox grabbed two leads in extra innings that the Yankees came back to tie; one on a home run by David Ortiz and the other on a single by Pablo Sandoval.
The winning run in the top of the 19th scored on a sac fly after a Yankees passed ball allowed by John Ryan Murphy.
Everyone has seen Baby Andy Reid and Baby Mark Mangino. But to celebrate Opening Day, my wife dressed up our daughter as former Yankees Pitching Coach Don Zimmer. It’s pretty good – she even has Don’s steel blue eyes – but my wife went and ruined it with that headband.
They’re out of town for the week somewhere in Yankee-land, but I’ll have it known that my daughter is NOT a Yankees fan but a Cincinnati Reds fan and this was done by my wife against my will. Because my kid is cute in that puffy jacket, and chubby like Don Zimmer in the jowls, I was okay with it this once.
Also, my daughter is named after a baseball player which my wife hates to admit but her name was not picked off the internet and shall she see this post; and she will because she likes to check up on exactly what I’m up to; I just want it to serve as a reminder.
Baby Don Zimmer? Baby Don Zimmer. Someday my daughter will look back on this and laugh about her first Opening Day. If only we had a little Baby Pedro with a grease curl to sit next to her, we would have been internet famous.
Derek Jeter began his final homestand in the Bronx tonight. He singled off R.A. Dickey, got caught stealing; probably trying to give the home crowd a nice memento to remember him by. And then he did something legendary.
Unless you’re living in a cave, you heard about Derek Jeter’s legendary Gatorade commercial that rolled out today. It’s all kinds of awesome.
Jeter’s last game at the stadium will be next Wednesday, an afternoon game that many of us will miss because we’ll be at work. I’m really going to miss Derek Jeter. I think everyone who loves the game of baseball feels the same way about it. I have received so many text messages today from my baseball brigade of friends who all said they’re really sad to see him go.
But make no mistake about it – this guy is sick and his history in the game should be condemned. It’s still a great read and if you’re a baseball fan who grew up with even the faintest memory of Hall and you’re bored you should read it.
I don’t really know why – but there was something that always felt comforting about seeing Don Zimmer on television in a baseball uniform. Today he passed away at age 83, and baseball lost one it’s most coveted members of it’s storied fraternity.
Zimmer spent much of his time in uniform with three of the most storied organization in baseball history: Dodgers, Cubs, and Yankees.
He lived a charmed life in baseball. He’ll probably be most remembered for getting thrown to the ground by Pedro Martinez in the 2003 ALCS. It’s arguably one of the most famous moments in the rivalry’s history:
And at that moment, you wanted to walk down on the field and pick up the little man they called ‘Popeye’ and dust him off. Much of the baseball world became forever endeared to the bald fat man who sat next to Joe Torre in the Yankees dugout at that very moment.
You get the feeling that Don Zimmer loved extra innings and more baseball. Where he’s at now, every day is like a new 19-inning marathon, all-you-can-eat baseball buffet. Sleep well old timer.
You just knew the game’s finest player had something special in store for his one and only trip to Yankee Stadium this season. On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the Bronx, he did everything he could to will his team to victory. He went home run, K, walk, walk, single and stole a bag. If you were at the park – and one of our good friends was – it probably felt like you got the full Mike Trout experience. We would have given anything to have been in the Bronx yesterday to see it. The Angels still lost the game 4-3.
Then tonight, on display for the world to see; Trout gets a couple of singles off Masahiro Tanaka on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. He also struck out a few times. The one thing in watching Trout close is that even in the at-bats he’s striking out, he’s right on a bunch of tough pitches that Tanaka is throwing him. He’s fouling off two seamers and sliders hard, along with the other five pitches Tanaka mixes up in the zone. His swing is so quick and flawless, I’ve never seen anything like it.
You can tell Trout is just at ease in the box and on the field. He’s in control, and because of his ability he’s able to reach a comfort level that lets him have fun playing the game. That’s what makes Mike Trout so great: just showing up for work at Yankee Stadium and straight kickin’ ass. He’ll board the plane tonight after the game and do it again tomorrow night in California.
In its relative infancy, the replay system that Major League Baseball has employed, so far, has ran pretty smoothly. We aren’t getting as many meltdowns from managers, but the pace of the game isn’t slowing down, and the umpires are getting the calls right. That is exactly what replay is there for: to get the call right.
For today’s team preview, you’re in for a real treat. The team is the New York Yankees, always relevant and at the forefront of the baseball universe. This preview is extra special because it’s written by one of our favorite baseball writers on the internet: William Tasker, also known as The Flagrant Fan. You can follow William on twitter here for some great baseball takes and reads all season long. William gives us an excellent perspective being that he is a die-hard Yankees fan.
Every single projection system on the planet seems to calculate the 2014 New York Yankees to finish with 83 wins. And that is somewhat understandable since huge question marks abound concerning the infield, the bullpen and CC Sabathia. But what if those concerns are unfounded? This is a team that can win 93 games just as easily as it wins 83.
Manager Joe Girardi has had a very successful Spring Training. With a team stacked with injury risk, the only major concern has been time missed by Jacoby Ellsbury with a calf strain. Of cource, the newly acquired center fielder is one of those injury risks as he has had problems staying on the field in the past. Otherwise, others who have caused great concern have looked healthy. Let’s go over that list quickly. Continue reading →
There are few players who are as immensely solid and steady as Derek Jeter has been for two decades now. When he began his Hall of Fame run, I was not yet even in High School. Things are now winding down, and as he enters what he today declared to be his final season, I’m ten years into my own career and adult life.
If only I would have been as consistent as Jeter.
This is not a post meant to eulogize the guy just yet; that will come on this blog after he’s played his final game. But before you go saying ‘here comes another tribute season to someone’, try and remember that baseball is just a much better place with Derek Jeter as part of it. I’m by no means a Yankee fan, but I respect the place in the game that the Yankee captain signifies. Jeter has done a great job carrying that torch with dignity and respect, never once tarnishing his name. You don’t find flip phone pictures of Derek Jeter doing anything funny floating around the internet. He has been the consummate teammate and professional for such a long period of time. I mean honestly; who goes 20 years without screwing up in some fashion?
Click through the jump to see Jeter’s announcement.
So I am in a state where I am desperately trying things to pass the time until baseball season begins – and I don’t just mean spring training games and pitchers and catchers report stuff. That’s not the end-all, be-all for me. I mean the real thing. Real games, counting stats, nightly standings. And I log onto my favorite daily sites to read something that will hopefully pass the time in a faster manner (nothing will), and all I find is Alex Rodriguez talk.
I have little reaction to the A-Rod stuff at this point. I just want it to go away. He’s a liar. He’s lied so long that he probably believes himself. He strikes me as the kind of guy who sits around wondering why the rest of the world is mad at him for all of this.
I agree with Fangraph’s Dan Szymborski in that A-Rod should just go full-heel turn if he ever plays again and embrace being the villain. But he’s never going to be able to do that because A-Rod is a tone deaf douche. He will probably ride off into the sunset lying. Just die clean, that’s the only way to save face at this point.
The whole thing is a real shame. I remember back in 1996 when Rodriguez exploded upon the scene. I presume he might have been cheating then as well, but the world didn’t know it. And this kid was one of the most exciting players to follow growing up. What he was doing in Seattle every night back then was a joy to watch. It’s hard to believe this is even the same player and person we’re sitting here hating to write about all these years later.
And I long for a day when we get something interesting to talk about or read about. Just 75 more long, excruciating days until we have something other than Rodriguez and his sketch doctor Bosch to talk about. I can hardly live long enough.
Well here’s a sentence I never thought I would type: Alfonso Soriano is the hard hittin’est of them all. And it’s hardly a sentence because there’s a word in there that isn’t in the English language (unless you speak Diamond Hogger).
Starting one calendar week ago today, Soriano had one of the biggest weeks in baseball history; and one that is worthy of him being named HHMWMPOTW.
Here are the stats – and you better be sitting down:
15 for 22 (.682 batting average), Five home runs, 18 RBI, .682/.708/1.409 slash line. That’s an OPS of 2.117 for a week. True to Soriano form, he walked just one time even being as white-hot as he was. The crazy bastard had 14 RBI in a 3-game stretch which tied a big league record. Then for shits and giggles he collected four more on the fourth night to give him his total of 18.
I hope that someone’s fantasy baseball team reaped the benefits of this tidal wave of offense he provided. I was one of the ignorant ones who talked myself out of picking him up for a short tour of duty because while I thought he might have a resurgence in his second go around as a Yankee, I couldn’t see anything like this coming down the pipeline.
I really didn’t know how Joe Girardi would handle this. I thought there was a possibility when he came right down to it, the organization would have him pull the plug on things and say that in respect of Major League Baseball’s ruling; Alex Rodriguez would not be playing for the Yankees.
Canton, Ohio grabs the spotlight tomorrow by kicking off the NFL season with the Hall of Fame ceremonies and that crappy exhibition game of grocery baggers. But Canton should be remembered for a different reason on this weekend.
Thurman Munson died 34 years ago today, four years before I was born. I know people in Canton who knew Thurman. After talking to them and reading this story on Deadspin about him, he sounds like the type of player I’m sorry that I never got to see take the field.