• The Unit At Fenway

    Posted by on September 30th, 2005 · Comments (2)

    On April 14th this season, Randy Johnson pitched at Fenway Park. He went 7, but he allowed 5 runs. Edgar Renteria and Jason Varitek did a lot of damage to him in that game.

    On July 16th of this season, Johnson again pitched at Fenway – going 6.3 IP and allowing 4 runs. He got the win in the game – but, allowed HRs to Manny Ramirez and Mark Bellhorn.

    Prior to this, it’s been a long time since Johnson pitched in Fenway – it’s at least four years, probably six years.

    On average, against Boston this year, as a whole, Johnson (in 5 starts) has averaged pitching into the 7th inning and allowing, on average, 2.6 runs to score.

    The Yankees need Johnson to do this tomorrow – go into seven, allow less than three – if they’re going to have any chance at all.

    September 30th @ The Red Sox

    Posted by on September 30th, 2005 · Comments (7)

    Serenity now.

    OK, before that sets in – to the game tonight.

    This season, Jorge Posada, Ruben Sierra, and Bernie Williams have been hot and cold at the plate – but, more often cold than hot. So, what does Joe Torre do in one of the biggest games of the year? He bats these three men back-to-back-to-back and they go 0 for 12 in the game (as a group). But, because they all trail each other in the order, that’s like giving the Red Sox pitchers a free pass in 4 innings – or close to half the game. Brillant.

    And, of the three, Posada killed them the most tonight – failing twice with a runner on 3rd with less than 2 outs. And, by the way, the Yankees lost by two runs tonight – possibly the two that Posada left on the pond and dying to come home.

    Hey, it was that kind of night for the Yankees hitters, outside of Matsui. They hit balls well at people in spots and let too many hittable pitches go by without doing damage in others.

    Perhaps the game, offensively for the Yankees, was captured in this snapshot: Jeter homers in the 7th to make the score 5-3, and says to A-Rod, as he crosses home plate “Come on, let’s go.” And, what does Alex then do? Rodriguez whiffs – looking.

    It’s too bad that Posada failed in the 1st with the sacks loaded with one out – because that could have been the spot to knock David Wells off his game. But, once that passed, Wells was dealing. Without question, Wells is one of the last men that you would ever want your daughter to bring home someday – but, the guy can pitch in a big game when he has a lead.

    Speaking of pitching, I think Wang did OK – not great, not very good, but OK. After the 5th inning, I thought to myself “He’s gone five and allowed two. For a rookie, in Fenway, facing this line-up, in a game like this, that’s very nice.” But, then, thanks to some bad defense and walks, the game got away from him in the sixth. I still find it amazing that Jason Giambi cannot throw the ball 80 feet, at times.

    So, now, it comes down to Randy Johnson. Tomorrow is the day that the Big Unit can earn every penny due over the life of his Yankees contract in just one day. Facing Wakefield, it will not be easy. And, I will make one prediction now – if the Yankees lose on Saturday, they will lose on Sunday as well, and go home with nothing. And, we will know then that the worm that turned last year never turned back again. Yes, now, thanks to tonight, tomorrow is that big.

    Serenity now.

    Damn, it doesn’t work at all.

    Just Do It

    Posted by on September 30th, 2005 · Comments (2)

    I’ve been trading e-mails the last few days with the folks that I split my Yankees season tickets with – and today we were discussing the “keys” the current series, and one of the gang wrote back with:

    I thought the key was for me to wear my lucky shirt and sit in my lucky chair.

    Know what? I can respect that. We all have those things that we do. So, tonight, and tomorrow, and Sunday, well, just do it.

    It can’t hurt.

    Thank You

    Posted by on September 30th, 2005 · Comments (5)

    By the way, yesterday was the 162nd day for WasWatching.com being around – cool number, eh? – and there were 6,855 hits made to the site yesterday (which is an all-time one-day high, to date).

    So, I have to say “Thanks!” to all for their interest in WasWatching.com and for checking it out as often as you do. It’s great to know that folks get something from what’s happening here.

    Thanks again!

    The Eraser

    Posted by on September 30th, 2005 · Comments (1)

    A caller into ESPN Radio in NYC today, around 1:45 pm, got me thinking about something.

    Last October, when the Red Sox came back against the Yankees in the ALCS, and then went on to win the World Series, from many sources I heard that the win by Boston “erases everything” for the Red Sox (and their rivalry with the Yankees). And, that, completing the comeback in the ALCS, etc., gave Red Sox Nation the reply to knock down any comment about past happenings (such as “1918″ or “Buckner” or “Bucky” or “Boone” etc.).

    So, here’s the question: If one ring in 2004 can make up for 86 years of failure, then, if the Yankees win it all in 2005, and defeat the Red Sox in the process, does that “erase” what happened in 2004?

    Personally, I would say “no.” But, then, of course, when you transfer the same logic to the win by Boston in 2004, then it means that the comeback, etc., by the Sox last year cannot make up for all the prior years of failing.

    However, for those who want to insist that 2004 was some sort of all-powerful “eraser” of all things past, it will be interesting to see how a Yankees win in 2005 (if it happens) will be applied to their grand Yanks-Sox Ledger.

    Hey, it’s just another reason why it will be great to see a Yankees win this season – to add another iron to the fire of debate.

    I Think He’s Earned It

    Posted by on September 30th, 2005 · Comments (1)

    From the Star Ledger:

    Shawn Chacon, who makes $2.35 million this year, will fall short of incentive bonuses unless he pitches a one-game playoff Monday. He has a combined 25 starts and 151 innings pitched between the Colorado Rockies and the Yankees. His contract calls for a $50,000 bonus for reaching 170 innings and a $25,000 bonus for making 26 starts.

    I gotta think Big Stein will just give him the 75-G. Neo’s earned it, stats be damned.

    Pitching Keys

    Posted by on September 30th, 2005 · Comments (11)

    In his last 9 games, the Red Sox Jonathan Papelbon has an ERA of 1.46. Somehow, the Yankees need to solve this kid over the weekend. If not, they could have an issue.

    The Yankees will also have an issue if they use Embree, Felix Rodriguez, or Proctor in any of these games against Boston. They are like pouring gasoline on a fire. Even Sturtze is bad news for the New York these days – his ERA in his last 9 games in 7.88.

    Back to Boston pitching, Chad Bradford has been a human batting tee in the last week or so – if he gets into a game, the Yankees need to pound him. And, who knows what Craig Hansen will provide Boston? He’s a big wildcard in this series.

    As far as the starting pitcher match-ups for this series, this is what we’re looking at:

    Tonight: Wang, with an ERA of 4.44 in his last 4 starts, against Wells, with an ERA of 6.14 in his last 4 starts. The Yankees must win this game.

    Tomorrow: Johnson, with an ERA of 2.17 in his last 5 starts, against Wakefield, with an ERA of 1.99 in his last 5 starts. Wear two pairs of underwear when you’re watching this game.

    Sunday: Mussina, with an ERA of 5.87 in his last 2 starts, against Schilling, with an ERA of 4.46 in his last 5 starts.

    It might just come down to that final game on Sunday – which presents an interesting situation for the Yankees and Joe Torre. If New York has a lead in this game, and needs to bridge to Gordon and Rivera, what do you do? Bring in the duds in your pen? Or, do you try and get extra innings out of Gordon and Mo? Or, do you bring in someone good, like Chacón, and play as if there’s no tomorrow – when there could be a tomorrow in the Bronx on Monday? It’s going to be a second-guesser’s delight.

    Hitting Keys

    Posted by on September 30th, 2005 · Comments (10)

    Alex Cora and Edgar Renteria have been hot lately for the Red Sox. Over their team’s last 9 games, Renteria is batting .342 and Cora is batting .357 (although Cora only played in 6 of those 9 games).

    The Yankees know that Ortiz and Manny are going to hit. And, they know that Bill Mueller will hit them as well – he always does. And, Trot Nixon will get big hits off RHP. You really cannot stop them – you can only hope to contain them.

    But, the Yankees have to find a way to get Cora and Renteria out in this series this weekend. That could be the key for New York. You need to get 27 outs to win and Cora and Renteria might be able to provide close to a third of those 27 outs.

    On the Yankees side, Jeter, Matsui, A-Rod and Cano have all been hitting well lately. Even Sierra, in his last 6 games, has been doing OK. Obviously, they need to keep this up in Fenway.

    But, the key for the Yankees offense in this series just may be Bernie Williams, Gary Sheffield, and Jason Giambi.

    Bernie has hit well in his last 4 games (.312). And, Sheffield has 3 HR in his last 4 games. Giambi has been an on-base machine in his last four games. But, that all was against Baltimore. In the series before the visit to Camden, these three did not perform as well.

    Cora, Renteria, Williams, Sheffield, and Giambi. Come Sunday night, we’ll know how they all did. Keep you fingers crossed Yankees fans.

    September 29th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on September 29th, 2005 · Comments (12)

    It’s Jeopardy!

    I’ll take “Scott Proctor” for “closing,” Alex.

    And, the “answer” was not “How will the Yankees blow this must win game that seemed to be in the bag?”

    Wow. I’ll get back to that in a bit.

    The bigger story tonight was Small Hobbs once again doing his Lucky Charm thing. The guy has made 15 appearances this year and is 10-0. Can it get any better than that?

    And, congrats to A-Rod for becoming just the 3rd RH batter in Yankees history to have 120+ runs and 120+ RBI in the same season. The others? Joe DiMaggio and Ben Chapman. Now, there’s a trivia question for you.

    Was Jason Giambi locked in at the plate in this series, or what? I just hope that he keeps it up in Fenway now. And, perhaps Sierra can muster up one big night tomorrow against Wells in Boston? (By the way, Big Rube, a bright red silk shirt and matching tie on the YES post-game? Way to mack there fella.) And, this is just a hunch, but, I’m calling a big series for Matsui this weekend. He often rises to the occasion on the big stage. This is the perfect set up for Godzilla.

    Now, to the bad news: You have a six run lead in the 8th and you have to use Gordon and have Rivera up and tossing as well? That’s flat out sad. It’s almost as sad as watching Sturtze served up nightly these days – cooked ala’ Torre. It’s a crime what Torre has done to so many promising pen men over the years.

    Back to Proctor, it was scary on a couple of levels to see him closing tonight. First, well, because he’s Scott Proctor. And, the second reason is because he started the Yankees big run this year with a surprisingly good spot start. I hate to think that a surprising good close-job might be the other bookend to frame this collection of stories on great Yankees wins.

    Speaking of a couple of reasons, the Boston win tonight was bad for New York in two ways. First, it was a Boston win. And, second, it was the way that they won – with a run in the 8th and 9th both delivered from Big Papi. Giving those guys some steam is the last thing that you want to do before a big three-game set.

    In any event, it’s clear what the Yankees need to do now – win two games in Boston to lock up the A.L. East. Or, at the least, win one to force a tie-breaker game on Monday in the Bronx. And, if the Yankees win none, it’s over.

    Knowing this, I keep thinking back to the Kevin Millar mantra during the ALCS last year – “Don’t let us win one game.” And, I truly feel that this applies for this year as well. It will serve the Yankees well to win on Friday and have Big Unit win on Saturday – and not let the Red Sox move from the line of scrimmage, at all. But, that’s easier said than done, right?

    Mike Stanton To The Red Sox

    Posted by on September 29th, 2005 · Comments (8)

    From the AP:

    The Red Sox acquired left-hander Mike Stanton from the Washington Nationals on Thursday for right-handers Rhys Taylor and Yader Peralta.

    Boston’s trade means Stanton could wind up pitching this weekend against his former team, the New York Yankees. If the Red Sox advance to the playoffs, Stanton would not be eligible for the post-season roster.

    Stanton, who is 38, started the season with the Yankees and was cut June 30 after going 1-2 with a 7.08 ERA in 14 innings over 28 relief appearances. He signed with Washington on July 13 and went 2-1 with a 3.58 ERA in 27 2-3 innings over 30 games.

    Geesh, I hope Mike doesn’t show them the Yankees secret handshake.

    The Toronto Factor

    Posted by on September 29th, 2005 · Comments (9)

    On August 5th, I wrote:

    The key team in all of this might just be the Toronto Blue Jays. Starting tonight, the Yankees play the Blue Jays 13 times from here until the end of the season. And, Boston has to play them 7 times. Toronto is trying to get into the AL East race as well. So, they will be up for these games.

    When it’s all said and done, it will be interesting to see how New York and Boston did with these Toronto games – and how it impacts the final standings.

    After tonight, we’ll have the final tally.

    The Jays went just 4-9 against the Yankees in those 13 games. But, so far, they’re 3-3 against the Red Sox – with one game left (this evening).

    On the whole this season, Toronto went 6-12 versus New York and is 11-6 against Boston (to date).

    Both pitchers for the Jays-Sox game slated at Fenway tonight have struggled this month. It could be one of those softball-score-affairs. Yankees fans can just cross their fingers and hope that Toronto can win just one more against Boston this season.

    Grinding It

    Posted by on September 29th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    The Yankees are now 23-9 (.719) – heading into tonight’s game – since Posada handed out the “Grind It” shirts.

    Of course, just three days before the shirts came out, Joe Kerrigan fixed Randy Johnson.

    But, the shirt thing is a much better story. Shockingly, I have yet to see “Grind It” shirts on sale anywhere. It’s just a matter of time.

    Excuse Me John Henry

    Posted by on September 29th, 2005 · Comments (5)

    Just about a week ago, it was shared here that we should expect lamenting from RSN about what could have been this season if not for the health of some of their players.

    And, now the Red Sox brass has picked up on using that excuse as well. From the Boston Globe:

    “If we had been as healthy this year as last year, I would [be frustrated],” Henry said. “All teams have injuries, but when you lose the guy at the front of your rotation [Curt Schilling] and the back-of-your-rotation closer [Keith Foulke], it’s not easy this day and age to fill those spots. Imagine if the Yankees lost [Randy] Johnson and [Mariano] Rivera or they had 6 ERAs.

    “So, I can’t be totally unhappy with having to fight to the finish. I was probably overly happy two weeks ago when we weren’t.”

    Now, have the Yankees been 100% healthy this year? Have not all the members of their original starting rotation this year missed starts because of injuries? What about the Yankees bullpen? Go ask Sturtze and Gordon if their arms have been sound all year.

    Further, didn’t Ruben Sierra, Bernie Williams, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, and Hideki Matsui all have injuries at some point this season (although Godzilla and Sheff played through theirs as a DH)? What about the bad thumb that Jeter’s been playing with for a good portion of this season?

    In fact, a case could be made that some of the Yankees injuries were a chance for the Yankees to show their ability to find a way to win. Without Brown, Wright, and Pavano going down for extended periods then Wang, Small and Chacón are probably not wearing pinstripes right now.

    The Red Sox owner is right when he says that it’s not easy to fill spots created due to injury. It’s not easy. But, it’s possible – just look at what the Yankees did. Now, using excuses, that’s easy to do.

    A-Rod 2005 vs. Joe D. 1937

    Posted by on September 28th, 2005 · Comments (6)

    With his HR this evening, Alex Rodriguez broke Joe DiMaggio’s Yankees team record for most HRs in a season by a RH batter. DiMaggio’s mark was 46 HRs in 1937. It’s a great feat by A-Rod to pass this mark. However, one thing that should be taken into consideration is Yankee Stadium 1937 versus how it measures today:

    47.jpg

    It’s pretty safe to say that Joe would have had many more than 46 homers in 1937 if Yankee Stadium (then) was the same size that it is today.

    September 28th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on September 28th, 2005 · Comments (8)

    Once again, the story is Shawn Chacón. As much as Chien-Ming has been Obi Wang this season, Shawn has been “Neo Chacón.”

    Ever since Morpheus Cashman freed him from the Baseball Matrix in Colorado, Chacón has been “The One.”

    It was also great to see Mo get the save tonight only using 9 pitches.

    Of course, a huge thanks has to go out tonight to Frankie The Cat and Ted Lilly. It must be nice for Lilly to win in Fenway at a time like this – when it was just two years ago that the Boston Bush Leaguers had his name taped to the backs of the jackets in an attempt to get the crowd at Fenway to sing-song his name and try and rattle him.

    With the Yankees now up by one game, with four to go, it means that – at the worst – New York would need to win 2 of 3 in Fenway this weekend to take the A.L. East (and not a sweep to clinch). Further, with a win tomorrow – regardless of what Boston does on Thursday – New York would then only need one win in Fenway to lock in a tie for the East.

    Throw in the Cleveland loss tonight – which gives a little breathing room in the Wildcard chase, if needed – and it’s just been a very nice night in Yankeeland.

    Now, it’s up to Small Hobbs to keep moving the chains tomorrow.

    Alan Embree

    Posted by on September 28th, 2005 · Comments (7)

    To date, Alan Embree has pitched in 23 games for the Yankees – totaling 14 IP. He’s allowed 23 base runners and 12 earned runs in those 14 IP. Prior to coming to New York, Embree performed at the same poor level when he was with the Red Sox this season (which lead to his release from Boston).

    Some recent news on Embree in the CT Post:

    But when pressed on Tuesday, Torre said he’d likely carry 10 pitchers if the Yankees make the playoffs. He expects that at least one pitcher would be a lefty reliever.

    The candidates are Alan Embree and Al Leiter, both of whom have been inconsistent.

    Embree allowed three runs in the ninth inning of Monday’s 11-3 victory, but was encouraged with the way he threw the ball.

    “If I go out with that kind of stuff for the rest of the year, something good has to happen,” Embree said.

    Torre was encouraged by reports from catcher John Flaherty about Embree’s stuff. But the manager remained noncommittal about a possible postseason roster spot for Embree.

    “I want him to be,” Torre said, “I’ll leave it at that.”

    If I go out with that kind of stuff for the rest of the year, something good has to happen.

    Good for who Alan? Good for who?

    A-Rod Lately

    Posted by on September 28th, 2005 · Comments (20)

    Alex has 16 whiffs in his last 11 games. Is it just me, or, at this time of the year, and given the standings, etc., do you want to see more contact from A-Rod?

    Yes, he also has 11 hits and 7 BB in those 11 games. But, and maybe I’m just being pissy, should an MVP candidate be doing more?

    September 27th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on September 27th, 2005 · Comments (11)

    Two days ago, I wrote:

    It really bothers me that Boston swept the O’s – for two reasons. First, there’s the obvious one. But, secondly, Baltimore has now lost eight games in a row – and five of them have been by one-run. By virtue of the laws of probability alone, they’re due for a fluke win over the next four games.

    So, I had a feeling that this was coming. Did I know it would be 17-9 bad? No – never, at all. But, thanks to Meltdown Mussina & The Arson Squad (with the latter being Leiter, Proctor, F-Rod, and Sturtze today) it was that ugly.

    Now, it’s up to Chacón and Small to save the Yankees hopes for this season – and, why not? They’ve been doing it for months now.

    At least the Indians and Red Sox also lost tonight. The Yankees got lucky there – both of them losing close games was a huge horse of a gift.

    And, the next five games will tell us if the Yankees decide to look that gift in the mouth – or not.

    The Six Pack

    Posted by on September 27th, 2005 · Comments (2)

    At this moment, the Yankees and Red Sox are tied for first:

    stand927.jpg

    And, including tonight, each team has just 6 games left.

    If I had to guess, I’m thinking that Boston will win two of it’s next three against Toronto.

    So, at the best, the Yankees will be 1 game up heading into the final weekend at Fenway. Or, they could be as far down as two back. Again, this is assuming that the Blue Jays can win at least one of the next three games.

    If the Yankees are one-up heading in, they need to win two of three in Fenway to take the A.L. East. If the Yankees are two-back heading into Fenway, they need to win all three games in Boston to win the A.L. East.

    This tells me a couple of things.

    First, for the Yankees to win the A.L. East, they’re going to need help from the Blue Jays. Toronto needs to win more than just one game in Fenway between now and Thursday.

    Secondly, unless Toronto helps out, it’s very uphill for the Yankees. Going into Fenway, needing 2 of 3? Or, needing a sweep?

    On average, including the game this afternoon, Boston wins 2 out of every 3 games in Fenway (this year).

    Therefore, now, I’m thinking maybe it’s time to start thinking about Wildcard in addition to the A.L. East. There’s no shame there.

    Ask the 2004 Red Sox. Or, the 2003 Marlins. Or, the 2002 Angels.

    Getting into the dance is the fun. Does it matter which door you go in?

    Curt’s Not Loved?

    Posted by on September 27th, 2005 · Comments (15)

    Will he be too upset to pitch against the Yankees?

    From the Boston Globe:

    Curt Schilling is in pain, the worst of his 20 years in professional baseball. He hurts inside, as do his wife, Shonda, and their children who are old enough to sense his anguish.

    Less than a year after Schilling risked his career to help the Red Sox capture their first world championship in 86 years, he is plagued by the guilt and despair of failing to fulfill the expectations of his fans and teammates. It also hurts that at least one teammate has suggested that Schilling has unfairly escaped the public wrath that other Sox players have endured for their disappointing performances.

    “Purely on a professional level, this year has been by far the hardest for me of my career,” Schilling said. “It has been very, very painful.”

    “Somebody on this team wants me to get booed to make them feel better, and that really bothers me a lot,” said Schilling, 38, who hopes to pitch two more years.

    Citing the lack of a public backlash against Schilling for his subpar season — the Sox ace is 7-8 with a 5.89 ERA — the player was quoted as saying, “When he comes into the game, people cheer him like he’s the Pope? You think they’d let Pedro [Martinez] get away with this? Why does he get a free pass?”

    Schilling made no secret of his anger at the criticism, even if it came, as he suggested, from ”somebody who’s not wired right.”

    “As much time as we spend together, you think you know someone,” he said. “But more times than not you find you really don’t.”

    Curt forgot to mention that he is convinced that his mate on the Sox, who wants him booed, got 30 pieces of silver in payment for making those bad statements against him.

    Cash: No Excuses

    Posted by on September 27th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    From the Washington Times:

    The little team that could? Not with their $200 million payroll, the omniscience, impatience and bombast of owner George Steinbrenner and the pinstriped arrogance inherent in their name.

    Still, the New York Yankees have had much to overcome this season. They had their worst start since 1966. Their high-priced pitching staff was torn apart by injuries. They lost a three-game series to the horrid Kansas City Royals.

    Yet the Yankees (92-64) have persisted.

    “And before all these injuries, which you can use as an excuse but which I refuse to do, we were healthy and full strength and playing like [garbage],” general manager Brian Cashman said. “We lost three in Kansas City earlier in the year. There’s no excuse for that.”

    And, if the Yankees should not make the post-season this year, Cashman is right. It’s not because of injuries – most of those injured were nicely replaced. It will be the result of playing like “garbage” in the first 30-or-so games of the season.

    Good call Brian.

    One-Two History

    Posted by on September 27th, 2005 · Comments (2)

    Seasons in which New York and Boston have finished first and second:

    onetwo.jpg

    During the past 100 years prior to this one, in only five seasons have Boston and New York finished first and second in the final standings where the difference between the two teams was less than 3 games: 1904, 1949, 1977, 1978, and 2000.

    Last season came close to making this six instead of five. And, for the record, the Yankees finished first in all of these “close” years sans 1904.

    This just amplifies how unique this current pennant race is for New York and Boston.

    I wonder: When it’s said and done, and if the Yankees win, will 2005 be thought of along with 1949 and 1978? Or, will it be thought of closer to 1977 and 2000? (I say this assuming that no one remembers 1904.)

    The next three of four days could be the key to the answer.

    Tim Wakefield On October 1st

    Posted by on September 27th, 2005 · Comments (3)

    So, now, the Red Sox will be throwing Yankee-killer Tim Wakefield on 10/1 at Fenway, against Randy Johnson, instead of Curt Schilling (who will throw the next day).

    This could be interesting. Wakefield is 38. He’s already logged 213.3 IP this season – the most that he’s done since 1998. And, as far as I can tell, in the last three regular seasons, from 2003 through 2005, he’s never been asked to throw as a starter on three-days rest.

    Yes, Wakefield does not have the “strain” that most pitchers do – because of what he throws. Still, it will be interesting to see if shorter rest, age, and season-workload perhaps impact him in some way.

    Put it this way, as a Yankees fan, I’d rather face Tim under these conditions than have him under normal ones. Anything that could help New York, is a good thing.

    September 26th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on September 26th, 2005 · Comments (5)

    I go out walking, after midnight
    Out in the moonlight, just like we used to do….

    At 11-0, after 6, I think it’s safe to put this one in the books.

    Now, of course, you know that the Yankees are going to have scoring issues tomorrow. That’s always how it goes.

    OK, gotta go now, the Escalona-Proctor-Womack-Lawton show is about to begin. Vento and Phillips better not be far behind.

    Yankees magic number is now, assuming the “W” tonight, seven with six games to go.

    Update, 9/27/05, 12:20 am EST: After watching Matt Lawton butcher another fly ball tonight into a hit and seeing Alan Embree once again play human batting tee (both in the 9th), I know (for sure!) that I would rather see the Bacardi and Cola guys on the Yankees post-season roster than Lawton and Embree (should the Yankees make it).

    Jays-Sox Rained Out 9/26

    Posted by on September 26th, 2005 · Comments (6)

    Day/Night Doubleheader tomorrow at Fenway for the make-up game. I wonder: Will this mean that someone will have to pitch on short rest on October 1st? Will he do it carrying a bloody umbrella?

    Perlozzo: When We Kick The Yankees Butts

    Posted by on September 26th, 2005 · Comments (5)

    From the Baltimore Sun:

    As the Red Sox were putting the finishing touches on a humbling three-game sweep, leaving the Orioles with an eight-game losing streak that matched a season high, Perlozzo peered up at the Boston-partisan crowd that was standing and applauding in anticipation of the game’s final out.

    “I said to myself, ‘Take a look at this. You’ve seen it enough, and I don’t want to see it no more,’” Perlozzo said. “In the long scheme of things, we don’t want our Septembers to be like this anymore. That’s the attitude I take. ‘Take a look at it, boys. Go ahead. See all the people standing. That’s not going to happen again, so let’s learn something from it, let’s get that bad taste in our mouth and let’s make sure we don’t have to see that again.’”

    There was just one thing that stopped Perlozzo from delivering the message to his players.

    “We still have four more games of Yankees [fans] to listen to,” he said. “So the last night, when we kick their butt, that’s what [the Orioles' players] will hear. They’ll hear, ‘Look, we’re sending [Yankees fans] home quiet, boys, and it’s not going to happen next year. Do you hear it?’ That’s what I want to be able to say Thursday.”

    Boy, I wish Peanut Perlozzo had tried to get this fired up for the Red Sox series too.

    1949

    Posted by on September 26th, 2005 · Comments (1)

    Think this year is stressful? Try 1949.

    On this date, September 26th, in 1949, coming into the action for that day, the Yankees and Red Sox were tied for first place in the American League. Boston had just beat the Yankees in two straight, at Fenway (on 9/24 and 9/25) to bring about the tie.

    On this date in 1949, the Red Sox came to New York and beat the Yankees, 7-6, with 4 of their runs coming in the top of the 8th. This gave Boston a one-game lead in the standings.

    On September 27th, the Yankees beat the A’s and the Sox beat the Senators – and Boston remained in first by a game.

    On September 28th, The Yankees beat the A’s again – but the Senators scored two in the bottom of the 9th to beat Boston, 2-1. The tie for first in the A.L. was on again. Since September 29th was an of day for New York and Boston, the tie remained for two days.

    On September 30th, the A’s beat the Yankees and the Sox beat the Senators – putting the Red Sox up again, by one game (with two games left to play in the season).

    The next day, on October 1st, the Yankees beat the Red Sox in New York, despite Boston jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the game, by the score of 5-4 (with the winning run scoring in the 8th inning, the only run scored in that frame, on Johnny Lindell’s home run). The teams were tied again in the standings – with a winner take all game to come the next day.

    On October 2nd, it was a 1-0 game heading into the bottom of the 8th – when the Yankees scored 4 runs to take a 5-0 lead. Three of the runs in the 8th came on Jerry Coleman’s bases-loaded bloop hit – struck with two outs.

    Boston came back with 3 in the top of the 9th – but, fell short. Two of those runs came when Joe DiMaggio couldn’t catch a ball off the bat of the Sox’ Bobby Doerr. (The playing-hobbled DiMaggio then removed himself from the game to get a better fielder out there. Joe had a viral infection at the time.) In the end, the Sox had the tying run at the plate in the 9th, but, he popped up.

    The Yankees won the game, 5-3, and took the A.L. pennant.

    All I can say is, if the Yankees do the same thing this year, and it’s October 2nd, in the 9th, New York better not wait for their CF to remove himself from the game after a miscue.

    Just what is it about these two teams and October 2nd, anyway?

    You Can Never Have Enough Friends

    Posted by on September 26th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    So, Shea Hillenbrand and Frankie Catalanotto, can you be a friend and have a really big night at the plate tonight against Curt Schilling?

    It would really be appreciated.

    October 1st

    Posted by on September 26th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    It’s just one pitching rotation from today. Johnson versus Schilling at Fenway. Assuming that the Yankees and Red Sox are tied after Thursday, this will be the biggest game of the set.

    If the Yankees lose on Friday, then October 1st is must win. And, unlike many must win games, this one really is must win. If they go into the Fenway series tied, and lose the first two games, then the season is over.

    If the Yankees win on Friday, and they were tied coming into the series, then a loss on October 1st allows the Red Sox to live another day – and then they get to throw Wakefield on Sunday. If the Yankees win on Friday and Saturday, then they win the A.L. East and Sunday is fun day at Fenway.

    Therefore, as you see, if the Yankees are tied heading into that Fenway series, either way, New York has to win on Saturday to have a chance at winning the whole thing.

    I hope that the Big Unit is up to the task. And, I hope that Joe Torre manages the games leading into Saturday, as well as the actual game on October 1st, knowing that Saturday is the biggest game of the set with Boston (even though all the games are important).

    There’s No Place Like………..

    Posted by on September 26th, 2005 · Comments (7)

    From Lupica today:

    “Four million to the 4-4,” said Joe Flannino, the big guy with the handlebar mustache who works security for the Yankees, at home and on the road.

    Flannino is an ex-New York City policeman, and once worked in this part of the Bronx, in the 44th Precinct, which he still calls the “4-4.”

    “Four million fans to watch baseball in the 4-4,” he said again in the parking lot, as more players kept arriving. Tino Martinez. Jorge Posada. Chien-Ming Wang, yesterday’s starter, another surprise star of the season. “Who would have ever believed it?”

    On Saturday, Knicks coach Larry Brown stood in back of Steinbrenner’s suite and looked out at the crowd and the day.

    “They started 11-19, right?”

    “Eleven and 19.”

    “And they still drew four million fans?”

    He was told they sure had.

    “There’s no place like this,” Brown said.

    Yup.

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