Having attended both Saturday and Sunday games, last night I was seven long hours into a weekend of horrible baseball. I almost started to agree with what the host Dodger Stadium fans and countless Facebook status updaters cleverly suggested: Yankees suck. But that eighth hour of long-awaited grinding offense was heartening.
Great game. But it should not have been. Only a sputtering Yankee offense could turn a Vicente Padilla outing into a Ford-Koufax pitchers duel. Except I don’t think Koufax wasn’t as into drilling opposing batters for no reason in a tight game.
When purchasing tickets back in March for Saturday’s game, I took the 80% chance that Burnett would not be on the mound for this game. He might be going through this slump as a personal favor to Javy Vasquez so AJ can assume the full burden of the fans’ ire. But Javy has started to show signs of his NL self, so ire-redirection is made slightly easier. It’s a sad case when watching the Yanks put 3 on the board before an out is
recorded and saying to yourself “OK, now we just need a couple more 3 run shots to have a chance in this game”. Four interminable hours later, it was clear that two more 3-run shots would merely have tied the game.
AJ Burnett’s games are becoming more of a “pass” that Vasquez’s. Pre-pinstripes, everyone said AJ only has to be healthy to become a dominant pitcher; that his health was the only thing preventing greater success when he was with Toronto. Well, we are led to believe he’s been healthy his entire time with the Yanks and he still gaks with the best of them. He’s like a heavy-set woman whom you think would be attractive if she dropped 20 lbs, but next time you see her, she’s that much lighter and equally unattractive. I have the go-ahead to say that since I, too, am skinny and unattractive. But I still think I’ll be disqualified as a “People All-Star”.
So after Girardi shockingly let AJ hit for himself with the tying run on 3rd and one out in the 4th – this, after Burnett made an open and shut case for being yanked due to lack-of-being-anything-remotely-resembling-effective – I can only hope the skipper did an imitation of me whenever I lock my keys in the car. It involves finding the nearest brick wall and banging my head against it, “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” Anything short of that makes me fear his head is in a mystical faraway land of gnomes and sprites. Neither of
which I’ve noticed in the Bronx. Though admittedly, they are more likely to appear in LA.
Much as I like Mr. Torre, he was his old self in helping the Yanks come back on Sunday night. I had noticed last Thursday he brought in his stopper Jonathan Broxton with a 5 run lead (I think there were two men on, so Torre was clearly protecting against three consecutive home runs that would have tied the affair… the iron-clad rulebook calls that a save, afterall). That precluded Broxton from the Friday game, which proved to be
academic. Then in the Saturday debacle, he again saw a 5 run lead in the 8th as tenuous enough to go to his stopper for an extended save. In fact, in watching this I was hoping the Yanks would battle and make him work a bit so he’d be less effective the next night, but I was actually disappointed in how efficient Broxton was against them that day. But I
guess it was enough. Again, the rulebook tells us that protecting a 3 run lead for one inning = save, so naturally, they had to go with Broxton in the 9th yesterday. Yes, the Dodgers added an insurance run (nullifying the “save situation”), but it was after two were out and no one was on, so Broxton was heated up and ready. I think his use in this game in and of itself was less egregious than the day prior. This is arguable, but put
them together and you got yourself a whole mess of “Joe T. wuz here, 6/27/10”.
Overuse of his stopper was not nearly enough to earn Torre the Knucklehead Award ™ however. That went to co-candidates Russell Martin and Garrett Anderson, who conspired to leave their team without a catcher and a leftfielder in an extra inning game by popping off to home plate umpire Chris Guccione about balls and strikes. Maybe he had a quick trigger, but there’s no reason to put yourself in that situation. Even with the
built-in excuse “it was an emotional game”.
I was amused at the conclusion of the 7th inning of Saturday’s ugly Yankee loss when some Dodger fans in my section loudly made light of all the Yankee fans that started defeatedly filing out of the stadium at that point. They must not have taken note that it was the Dodgers who just went down, so the fans leaving the stadium were the thousands of stereotypical Dodger fans headed for the exits.
And another thing!
At ballparks, I tend to eschew the traditional stadium fare of hot dogs and beer and instead go for a soft serve. So after observing the menu and which line was giving heartier servings, I firmly, loudly, and confidently walked up to the Frozen Yogurt Lady and had this exchange:
Cappiello: Hello, I’d like a chocolate frozen yogurt in a white cup please.
(they also had pink)
FYL: You want mix? (as in “swirl” flavored)
Cappiello: Chocolate, please.
Cappiello: Chocolate, please.
[Cappiello receives the mix flavor, sighs, and slinks away, frustrated. But maybe the frustration was really because the concession stand inexplicably did not have the game on.]