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May 23, 2006

May 23rd @ The Red Sox

OK, I have to confess. I picked up the game tonight in the 2nd inning - and then took a break to watch American Idol and House - later coming back to the game when Mo was facing Ortiz in the 8th (and then I watched from there unitl the end).

So, I had to see a lot of the action via the post-game highlights (as I missed the 1st inning and most of the 4th through the 8th).

The guys on YES might have said something (which I missed), but, man, Doug Mirabelli must be made to pay for that attempt to take out Jeter on the DP in the 6th inning. I only caught it in the flash-summary at the end of the game. Nonetheless, Mirabelli went a good 9 feet away from the bag to try and get Derek. Next time he bats against the Yankees, he deserves a shot on the elbow.

OK, on to bigger things. Is Jaret Wright building something now, or what? Yes, the "Did I pop it up?" homer by A-Rod was a big hit. And, yes, Mo cleaning up for Proctor, Myers and Farnsworth - going 5 outs for the save - was huge. And, yep, Damon and Jeter set a heckuva table tonight - which really helped.

But, this game, to me, was all about Wright. He got the game to the bottom of the 6th, with the Yankees winning 4-0. At that point, all the Yankees needed was 12 outs to win the game. If Wright can do that every start, meaning get the team to a point where they have a 4-run lead and needing 12 more outs to win, he's going to be a big part of this team.

In my mind, coming into this game, the odds were not in the Yankees favor. Getting a win, despite the odds, is very uplifting. I hope New York can ride this into something positive tomorrow.

Lastly, am I the only one, every time that the Sox' Mark Loretta comes to bat, who hears the voice of Nick Tortelli saying "And, this is my wife. The lovely Lo-ret-ta."?

Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 23, 2006 11:05 PM

Comments

So, the Yankees designated RHP Colter Bean for assignment to make room for Sheff. I never would have guessed that one. Reese or Long would have been my picks to go.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 23, 2006 11:35 PM

Oh My God No! Colter Bean, no relation, was an absolute joke. His Fidrych imitation was useless as were his "frisbees" as they called his pitches that hummed up there anywhere from 72-84 mph. Nope, this guy pitched himself right off the team, thank God. If we're lucky someone else will pick him up on waivers. If not, please don't continue to tell us we have a pitcher in the minors who can help us by the name of Colter Bean! This man was a bad joke. Yes, I'm back, and I'll be commenting. I'm sure I was not missed. Something about being a Yankees fan calls one back, time after time, after time.....

Posted by: Scott Coulter [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 23, 2006 11:42 PM

Jean Kasem is much taller than Mark Lorretta. Not necessarily better looking, but much taller.

Posted by: Scott Coulter [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 23, 2006 11:45 PM

Me channeling Berman: Scott Coulter (Where Ya) Bean.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 23, 2006 11:46 PM

Steve, I'm not questioning you, but how does a Yankee fan skip a Yankees-Red Sox game for "American Idol" and "House"? Couldn't you tape/TiVo them?

Torre did everything he could to lose this game for his team. I'll say it again: Torre. Cannot. Manage. A bullpen. He is the worst.

The Yankees have a 4-0 lead, Wright tweaked his groin, so he's going into the bullpen. MUST Proctor pitch two innings? Does he have to extend him to two innings EVERY time he pitches? Can't Villone or even that has-been Erickson come in and get three outs? Four runs is not a huge lead, but it's the sixth inning and you can quickly run Proctor out there if one of them gets into trouble.

But no. Proctor, whose arm is already probably hanging off, comes in and it's immediately obvious that he doesn't have good stuff. He gives up one run and then gets out of the inning. There's absolutely no reason to put Proctor back in the game. He CLEARLY doesn't have a good fastball and has no command. So what does Clueless Joe do? He runs Proctor right back out there and watches him walk people.

But here's the worst part. After seeing Proctor struggling, and knowing that Papi is coming up, HE DOESN'T HAVE MYERS START TO WARM UP TO PITCH TO ORTIZ! Proctor gets lucky, after missing his target by four feet, and gets Ortiz to fly out to center. Then instead of taking the exhausted Proctor out and bringing in Farns to pitch to Manny, he lets Proctor stay in (for no particular reason) and Proctor promptly gives up a three-run bomb to straightaway center.

Then Myers comes in and walks Nixon. Farnsworth gets out of that jam by striking out Mirabelli. But then in the eighth Farnsworth got wild and couldn't find the strikezone.

Even though Torre constantly misuses the bullpen, he still amazes me with his asinine decisions. Can't he see what everyone else sees? That Proctor doesn't have good stuff? Couldn't Villone pitch the sixth?

The disappointing thing about Fanrsworth is that he's now walked as many people as he did all of last year. He seems to be trying too hard to make a perfect pitch (he always seems to be trying to hit the corners instead of just challenging people with that 100-mile-an-hour heater; he should watch that at-bat between Papelbon and Sheff). I don't think it's the pressure of the situation that's making Farns press; I think it's the fetid presence of Torre. Torre clearly hates Farns, and he clearly has more trust in Proctor. Every time Farns walks a man or gives up a hit, Torre has Gator run out to the mound. It's in Farns' head that if he's not perfect he's going to get yanked. I watched Farns pitch over the years, and last year quite a bit, and I've rarely seen him pitch free and easy while with this team. Torre and Gator have to get off his back, pat him on the butt, and tell him to just let it go. They need to let him know that he doesn't need to be perfect. That they have his back. The dude clearly needs a little encouragement.

Finally, let me just say something to you, "Scott Coulter." There's nothing funny or good about the situation with someone like Colter Bean. Yeah, he's not cut out for the majors, and he's probably dealing with this fact right now. Everyone who plays in the minors wants to make it to the show. Even career minor leaguers, guys who hang on till they're 35, still think they're going to make it. And having to come to the realization is a sad event. These guys have a tough decision to make: keep plugging away in the minors, with no real chance, or give up their dream to be a baseball player and pursue a new career. Outside of the phenoms and young kids, the minors are a sad, depressing place. It's a horrible purgatory. So while I don't want Bean on this team, we should have sympathy for these minor-league guys and not kick them around like they're trash. Because ultimately they're just human beings -- fans who had the talent and stones to take their love for the game a lot further than us.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 12:07 AM

Wright has now made 4 straight quality starts. It would be nice to raise his pitch count a bit so we don't have to deal so often with the Procter et al show when he pitches. Also the ESPN guys made a big deal of Manny staring at his HR shot. A little brush back would solve that but doesn't seem to be in the Yanks style - too bad.

Posted by: Josh [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 12:10 AM

There was an article (in Newsday) I think about how a few of the Yankee players didn't appreciate Manny's show boating either. Personally, it really pisses me off. The guy is an asshole. He pulls this crap constantly and half of the time it's when his team is losing.

Where's Springer when you need him?

Posted by: JJay [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 08:40 AM

bailey,
I'd guess I'm just as big of a Yankee fan as anyone else but I skipped some of the game for House too. It's a great show and last night's (very trippy) show was the season finale. Couldn't help myself :)

Posted by: James Varghese [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 09:00 AM

Manny should be greeted tonight with a fastball that knocks him on his ass. (Obviously, with no intent to injure him.)

I saw his display on ESPN last night and it was ridiculous. This "Manny being Manny" crap is fine for Red Sox players and fans, but it shouldn't be fine with the Yankees' pitching staff.

Baseball 101: Do not show up a pitcher, because he holds a hardball in his hand and he will throw it at you the next time he sees you.

Posted by: Joel [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 09:29 AM

IIRC, in NY, Proctor got Manny to K in a big spot to end an in inning and came off the mound pumped. Maybe Manny though this was payback? Still, he's excessive. Even last year, a few times, he pulled this crap. I think it was in the final series last year. Is it just me, or, does he only do it at Fenway? If so, then he is a chicken.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 09:48 AM

baileywalk - along the lines with what James said - it was a pretty big night for those two shows. Probably the best/biggest for both series. Plus, I'm not the only one in my house who likes to watch TV, to relax, in the evening. (I'm married almost 14 years now and would like to see many more years, ya know.) And, the Yankees-Sox to play 19 times these days, so, it's not like I was missing something unique. Lastly, FWIW, I did check the score at every commerical break. (Oh, and I did watch mots of the game outside of the 4th through the 8th.) So, it's not like I said "Yanks-Sox, wo cares, I find something else to do.:

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 09:53 AM

Oh My God No! Colter Bean, no relation, was an absolute joke. His Fidrych imitation was useless as were his "frisbees" as they called his pitches that hummed up there anywhere from 72-84 mph. Nope, this guy pitched himself right off the team, thank God. If we're lucky someone else will pick him up on waivers.
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He'll find work somewhere. Has a decent arm, been putting up numbers in the minors, I'm sure another team'll give him a shot.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 10:04 AM

I wasn't questioning your loyalty, Steve. I guess I just assume everyone's like me -- I never miss a single pitch of any game all year. And if circumstances dictate that I simply CANNOT watch the game (a friend's wedding, business, etc.) I tape the game and watch it later. I can't even remember the last game I didn't watch straight through (or at least listened to on the radio; I had to do this a few times while on the road). I think the last game I missed was sometime in 1995 -- back when I was a teenager (boy, that seems a long time ago).

Most of my friends and family, even the sports fans, think I'm a little excessive. Maybe I am. I guess I just feel the need to be there for every pitch, and I feel if I'm going to scream and shout about Torre and the team the way I do, I owe them at least that much (to see what I'm screaming and shouting about). It also doesn't hurt that TV sucks nowadays (outside of a few shows) and my girlfriend is as diehard as I am.

Just to add this: Matt Smith is getting called up; Bean was DFA'd. I don't like the harsh treatment of Bean, but they finally made a good call on a minor leaguer. Next thing you know Erickson will be off the team and they'll call up Rasner and Beam.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 10:04 AM

Baseball 101: Do not show up a pitcher, because he holds a hardball in his hand and he will throw it at you the next time he sees you.
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Baseball 102: Pitcher may have the ball, but after he throws it, he doesn't have it anymore. OTOH, the hitter still has the bat.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 10:11 AM

IIRC, in NY, Proctor got Manny to K in a big spot to end an in inning and came off the mound pumped. Maybe Manny though this was payback? Still, he's excessive. Even last year, a few times, he pulled this crap. I think it was in the final series last year. Is it just me, or, does he only do it at Fenway? If so, then he is a chicken.
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Chicken? Why? What's wrong with putting on a "show" for the home crowd?

If people don't want batters celebrating, if pitchers don't want to get shown up, I suggest they make better pitches.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 10:15 AM

Chicken because he would not do it when he knows that 55,000 people are going to let him hear it, for being a jerk. Say what you want about Bonds, but, he slow-dogs-it at home and on the road - because he doesn't care about the boos. If Manny doesn't do it on the road (and I'm not sure that he doesn't) then he's a chicken in my book.

And, also, BTW, probably the best RHB in baseball over the last 10 years too, FWIW.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 10:19 AM


What I particularly disliked about Manny's showboating at the plate, both last night and (Steve, you remembered correctly) during the final series last year, is that the homer didn't give his team the lead or even tie the game. The guy can show off all he wants, but the team's still losing, and that kind of attitude - standing there watching his handiwork with that smug look on his face - just screams "me first, team later." His team still had some ways to go after that home run. That's why I think it's inappropriate.

Posted by: carla [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 10:26 AM

Payback is a ultimately a tactic like anything else in baseball. It's gotta be done at the right time. If Torre were a hothead like Piniella, he'd wait for an opportunity when the Yankees are several runs ahead or behind and have whomever's on the mound plunk Manny. Certainly, some managers would not let it lie. In 11 years, can anyone remember Torre ordering such a payback? It's out of character for him to do anything about it. For some, this might seem noble.

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 10:27 AM

Chicken because he would not do it when he knows that 55,000 people are going to let him hear it, for being a jerk.
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I'm not sure if he does it on the road (I wouldn't be suprised if he did), but Manny's such a space cadet that I don't think he cares if people "let him hear it." He already catches heat in Cleveland & NY.

You may be on to something, goig by memory it seems his antics are driven a lot by the home crowd; the Monster bathroom break, cutting off a throw from the CF'er, and other general loopiness

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 10:34 AM

Also, I just wanted to take a moment and say "good work Jaret." Good to see that he's able to contribute.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 10:38 AM

What is so surprising is that Torre really is an old school baseball guy. And no old school guy would ever let Manny get away with his "celebration" without a response. Could you imagine Billy Martin, Earl Weaver or Whitey Herzog not doing anything about this?

And beyond the payback, Manny and Ortiz are just too comfortable at the plate. These guys have to be brushed back. This is a broader problem in baseball generally. As anyone who has played organized baseball knows, there is something of a "fear factor" for every hitter in the pitcher-hitter faceoff. Nowadays, hitters dive into the plate with little or no consequence, and the league essentially supports this behavior by allowing hitters to wear all sorts of protective gear at the plate. Bud and the owners want offense, so the hitters have been accomodated.

Let's see Manny do his dance with Bob Gibson or Don Drysdale staring him down off of a 15 inch pitching mound.

Posted by: Joel [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 11:04 AM

The elbow-armor doesn't help, but the real reason that players can get away with it is because the umpires won't call a strike a strike. It doesn't matter that you stuck your elbow in the way. It's still a strike. Just add it to the "ground rule double" and other rules that the umpires find it more convenient to ignore than enforce.

Manny isn't showing anybody up. He doesn't even remember which team he's playing for. He's just a goofball. I find it funny that the guys who hit a ton of homeruns watch them and the guys who hit 11 HR in a 18-year career put their head down and run. Gee Barry, were you thinking that last one would look different than the previous 700-some?

And I am happy to eat my words about Jaret Wright never being useful. I don't know if he'll sustain it, but right now, he's giving the team as much of a chance to win ballgames as anybody on the staff.

Posted by: hopbitters [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 11:26 AM

If the elbow armor didn't help--even psychologically--the players wouldn't wear it.

And, although some do not think that Manny was showing anyone up, the Yankees apparently do. According to Peter Gammons (no friend of the Yankees) and others, it is widely known that the Yankees do not like Manny's antics. Scott Proctor essentially gave a angry "no comment" to the question last night.

Posted by: Joel [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 01:06 PM

Sorry, I meant the elbow armor doesn't help the crowding the plate situation - not doesn't it help the user.

As for Manny, they may not like it, but that doesn't translate to intent.

Posted by: hopbitters [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 24, 2006 01:14 PM