August 04, 2006
August 4th @ The Orioles
First off, Ken Singleton should win the Emmy for "Outstanding Performance By A Baseball Announcer In A One Man Booth" for his performance this evening on YES. Yankees fans all over should be thankful that it wasn't Michael Kay or Bobby Murcer who was left alone in the booth tonight.
Randy Johnson was not good tonight - locating, that is - but he was good enough to win. Ron Villone deserves another gold star for his hand in this game tonight as well.
Torre, in the post-game, on YES cracked me up tonight. In complimenting the guys from the pen, he gave credit to the starting staff as well - saying that (thanks to the starters) 'We haven't had to overuse the bullpen.'
Meanwhile, Scott Proctor's right arm was recently mistaken for Sally Kirkland because it's so used and abused.
Good game for Craig Wilson too - who seems to have a pretty big reach at first base, by the way, for a guy listed at six-two. Maybe it's just the baggy uniform?
And, Damon, Posada, and Melky played well.......shoot, it was just a good team win. Feels like 1996 all over again.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at August 4, 2006 10:44 PM
I hope Torre is happy. Randy Johnson has been total garbage since that 130-pitch game. It really eats away at me, too, because the move made no sense whatsoever. There was simply no reason to leave Johnson in. What makes it even more frustrating is that Torre never leaves his starters in the game, even when he should, but he decided to break the rule for a 43 year old. Way to go. Right now Johnson has NO command at all. And when he has no command he throws his fastball down the middle and a horribly flat slider. When he's like this people just tee off on him.
Watching Johnson tonight, I had a depressing vision of seeing a grumpy old RJ on the mound again next year, cursing and moaning, clearly stunned by his diminished skills. I don't know if he needs some time off or what, but Johnson needs to un-eff himself and get it back together. The rotation gets a lot shorter if he's going to have outings like this for the rest of the year.
Bobby and Wilson seem to be fitting right in. I've been really impressed with Wilson. He's going to strike out a lot, but so far he's come up with big hits.
I know the pressure is off A-Rod right now and he's quietly playing better, but his swing is still horrible. Did you see pig-boy from the O's rear back and throw a 94-mile-an-hour fastball right down the middle and Alex swing through it? Mattingly obviously works hard at his job, but he needs to get A-Rod to shorten his swing. It's getting ridiculous.
The love Yankee fans had for Bubba Crosby still mystifies me. He couldn't hit, he was a lousy outfielder (the reason he was always diving and jumping is because he got late breaks), and he seemed to have an overreaching sense of his own worth. He had speed -- that's about it. I can't believe he went out like a little bitch. Doesn't say good-bye to anyone? Walks out like a child? Who did he want them to cut -- Damon? Jeter? Bernie? I feel bad for the guy, but that's really immature. And unless the Marlins pick him up, I don't think he'll find a job. And if he does, it will be as a pinch-runner.
I'm glad another "closer" bent over for the Sox tonight. Seth McClung, who gave up a bomb to Ortiz to lose a game, must be the most hittable hard thrower I've ever seen. He throws his fastball about 95-97, but it's like it's hanging in the air, waiting to get hit.
I figured that all the good from others in this game was enough to not mention A-Rod's weak pop-up in the big spot - and his almost mishandling an important DP ball late in the game.
Besides, when I bring that stuff up, you guys kill me anyway.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at August 5, 2006 08:58 AM
Hey, Steve, *I* don't kill you about A-Rod. I'm really concerned about how effective he can be with his swing the way it is. He literally has a gaping hole in it: throw a fastball -- even an average one at 90-91 -- put it at his belt or above, and he can't touch it. It's almost like A-Rod is swinging his bat with his arms stretched from the dugout. I've never seen a swing so long. A-Rod had this problem even last year, when he was an offensive monster, but it's gotten worse and the team (yeah, you, Donnie) need to address it.
Does anyone know why Singleton was alone in the booth? (I missed the beginning of the telecast.)
Michael Kay had sort of a bizarre breakdown on his show yesterday in which he made analogies involving both slavery and Nazis. I'm curious if that had anything to do with the one-man booth.
Someone told me that O'Neill got stuck on his way to the game.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at August 5, 2006 12:21 PM
jonm, I don't listen to Kay's show. Can you fill us in a little more on his Nazi/slavery talk? Was he comparing them to sports?
O'Neill couldn't get out of the Cincinnati airport due to weather-related problems. Singleton said he'd be there today though. As for Kay, I didn't hear yesterday's show but, like everyone else who's a sports talk host, he feels it's necessary to be provocative if not borderline offensive and confrontational. Otherwise his bosses will think they've hired Richard Neer (Sir Sominex). That being said, Kay's politics is fairly right of center...and seems to be the only reason he's such good buddies with Al Leiter, er, the future governor of New Jersey.
Here's a link to a blog entry about Kay's show:
Kaye's right that talking about a jinx is silly, but his response was just nuts. I think that Kay's Nazi/slavery "logic" was in response to a claim that it was baseball etiquette not to mention a perfect game while it was going on. Then, Kay started ranting that it was considered good etiquette at one point to own slaves or to follow orders given by Nazis.
It was a nutty comparison and, given that Kay brings very little to the table any way, I would use it as an excuse to dump him.