The audio on the mlb app on my iphone kicked in just as I walked past the Stock Exchange. ”Joe Maddon is managing this game like it’s the seventh game of the World Series,” remarked Suzyn Waldman. ”He’s about to use his fifth pitcher.” Nick Swisher, apparently, had just k’d for the second out in the eighth. Johnny Damon had tied the score earlier in the inning with a double down the line. And Suzyn Waldman was right. Maddon was strangely h*ll-bent on winning this game. Where the h*ll was the Big Boy? He should have been all over this. I should have been getting texts, updates. I got nothing. Luckily, the iphone came to the rescue. Unfortunately, As the 4 train came rumbling into the station at Bowling Green, I clipped out just as Girardi was bringing on Bruney to relieve Pettitte. When I emerged at 95th St in Brooklyn 40 minutes later, the first thing that popped onto my screen was a text from Vino. ”Jeter!” it said. I knew things must have ended well. Quickly tapping the mlb app again, it was official: 4-3. Sorry Joe Maddon. Five pitchers weren’t enough. Neither were six. The Captain strikes again.
I didn’t love the Yankee lineup when the season began. I still don’t love it. I didn’t like Nady, as I look at him to be a .278 hitter with maybe 17 bombs and 68 rbi. I feel like we swapped out Abreu for Texeira, two guys who have put up very similar numbers in their careers; both patient hitters. Jeter, Posada, and Damon are another year older, I hate Cano’s approach at the plate, and who knows what Gardner is going to give you. Let’s leave Allie Rod aside for the time being. The big surprise has been Swisher, obviously. Mike Sherry is convinced he’s going to be this year’s Lenny Kozlowski (Scott Brosius). Tony Sherry said he might surpass the Ferocious Lion as his favorite player. But aside from him, the fears have been borne out, to some extent. The Yankees in a perfect world, would score more runs. But I’m not expecting too much. Hopefully Al Rod comes back with some pop. And hopefully the Ferocious Lion can stay healthy. Or get healthy. Stop hitting in the point-zero-teens, anyway…
The good news, obviously, is the starting pitching has been as advertised. Except for that first egg from Sabathia and the two Wang disasters, the Yankees have gotten extremely strong outings from their starters. That’s why they were able to come back with a winning record on a nine-game road trip to start the season. Burnett has been extra-special. Man, if he can pitch like he did last year, the Yankees will win some games. As it is, they should do well at avoiding prolonged slumps with those starters. I hope they can keep it up.
They were killing Texeira on the radio this week for not playing in those three games. For any of that Tex-bashing to ring true, you have to buy into the idea that this wrist injury is indeed “a little tendonitis” that “should be gone in a couple of days.” I’m not so sure. I’m a bit nervous about that. Too many times you see a guy who has this mysterious injury to a key body part pop up that ends up getting worse and sidelining them for a chunk of the season. Big HGH went through this just last year. I don’t like it…
Nady is now going to be gone for an “extended period of time,” apparently. I don’t really care. The only issue is you just got a little less deep off the bench. I wanted to play Swisher over Nady anyway. Well, as of last week anyway. Before that I couldn’t for the life of me understand why they would ever get a bum like that to play for this team. But what do I know….
I’m going to be at the Stadium tomorrow, so I’ll try and do some sort of journal on my day. Maybe I’ll even post some updates via the iphone. Probably not, as I am the laziest man on Earth. But maybe.
I watched the Mets opening ceremony at Citi Field the other night. The poor Mets. I remember when they closed the Stadium last year, and Tom Terrific bounced that pitch to Piazza before they closed the gates. How fitting, I remember thinking. I also remember thinking it was fitting that they closed it on a day that the Mets put the cherry on the top of yet another devastating late season collapse. The poor Mets… So there they were the other night, opening up brand-spanking new Citi Field, as pretty as a picture. And when Seaver threw out the first pitch to Piazza, it was a strike right down the middle. Maybe this really will be a new era for the Mets, I thought. Maybe the cosmos will align for them. And then Pelfrey (Really? Pelfrey is your Citi-Field opening starter? Really?) puts the first pitch right over for a strike. The crowd went bananas. Maybe it really will be different, I thought. And then Jody Gerut smashes the third pitch of the game out of the park. The first-ever regular season batter at Citi Field. Can it get any worse? Yes, actually. After the Mets thrillingly tied the score on a three-run bomb by David Wright, they end up losing on… a balk. Dude…. The poor Mets. Hey, love the ballpark, though. Great spot. And I thought the opening ceremonies were great.
One thing strikes me about the new Stadiums in New York. They really are a reflection of the guys who run things right now. Guys in their late fifties, early sixties. The new Yankee Stadium is really an homage to the old Yankee Stadium, which is cool. I’m all for the history. It just means a little less to me because I was never in the old Stadium. I grew up in the post-1976 Stadium. Like I said, still cool, just less relevance for a guy like me. Citi Field is also an homage, to the old Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, where Fred Wilpon used to wile away summer afternoons as a kid with his dad. The one and only thing about that field that could have been improved was its location. Ebbets Field looked perfectly in place on Sullivan Street in Brooklyn, as the angled entrance sat on a street corner, with all of the atmosphere of the Brooklyn neighborhood wrapped around it like a cozy sweater. Citi Field still sits in the middle of a parking lot, essentially, so the shape of the Stadium looks a bit confused. And you miss out on the atmosphere of a surrounding neighborhood. Great once you’re inside, though. I haven’t been there yet, but I’m going next weekend. Another sign the old guys are in charge: Seaver and Piazza walked from the bullpen to the mound with “Beginnings” by Chicago blasting from the sound system. Appropriate enough title, I guess, but you’re talking about a song that was recorded five years after Shea Stadium opened. A curious choice, I thought.
Excited about the big day in the Bronx, boys. Here’s hoping we start things off right.