No question about it. If this game was in the first half of the season, the Yankees would have not held on – and would have blown it. What a difference three months make.
With a name like that, I’m sure he got his butt kicked more than a few times during recess in grammar school. Maybe that’s the reason for the short fuse and the chip on his shoulder? Without going further on him, or Johnson, on this issue, what I want to bring up here is Joe Torre.
It’s September. You’re a game back in the loss column. There are just 17 games left – including the game you’re in. Your ace just gets tossed in the 2nd inning.
You have to get yourself run in this spot if you’re the manager. You have to make a scene – and a statement at the same time. It’s a statement to your team, the umpires, and the league – “You do something to get in our way, and we’re not going to take it like sheep.” (And, it’s not that big a deal to get tossed – you can still manage from the runway.) Oh, well, at least the Yankees bats came back and made that statement in place of Torre.
Still on Torre: It’s the bottom of the 6th and you’re up by seven. The bases are loaded and Reed Johnson is up – who is Pat Tabler-ish with the sacks juiced. And, you bring in Felix Rodriguez? Gosh, that’s where the Blue Jays got back into this game. Just what is in that green tea?
On the subject of Rodriguez, let me bring up Total Paquete for a moment.
Stupid Yabu! Sorry, I had the A’s-Bosox game on as I was writing this and he just hit Manny with a pitch to hand Boston the game.
Anyway, back to Alex. He hits the monster HR in the 4th with no outs, when the Yankees were up by 3, to make the score (then) 8 to 3. Now, the “Ortiz for MVP” camps will scream “Not clutch!” here. However, in a normal world – where Torre does not allow F-Rod to pitch to Johnson – Total Paquete’s bomb here is the blow that ices the game for New York. Maybe it’s not the 8th inning. And, maybe it was not a one-run game at the time. But, that’s still a big and important homerun. It’s a shame that more people don’t get that.
Lastly, we might have to start calling Robinson Cano “Little Papi” if he continues to blast these homers. And, please, can Mo get a day or two off soon – before his arm falls off?
The Yankees magic number is 18. Any combination of Boston losses and Yankees wins that equal 18 means the Yankees will win the A.L. East.
16 games to go.