Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 16, 2008
BASEBALL: Like An All-Star Game

Last night's game was, when you stripped away the hype and the usual nonsense that surrounds the All-Star Game these days, just some really, really good baseball. I think the guy I came away most impressed with was Russell Martin - I can't remember the last time I saw a catcher handle that many plays at the plate in extra innings in one game, topped off by the game-saving throw by Nate McLouth to cut down Dioner Navarro at the plate (you would not have gotten odds before the season on Nate McLouth throwing out Dioner Navarro in the All-Star Game).

Highlight of the night from the fans:

1. The Yankees, at least in theory, hope to be in the World Series this year.

2. The outcome of the game had the chance to make it easier or harder for them, if they do so, to win the World Series.

3. Papelbon came in to pitch for the AL in a key late inning situation. If he could help the AL win, it could help the Yankees, if they make the World Series.

4. The Yankee fans decided to taunt Papelbon.

5. Papelbon responds by giving up the tying runs.

Great work, Yankee fans!

A few other random thoughts:

*My two-year-old daughter got confused and annoyed that we were watching a baseball game and not all chanting "Let's Go Mets".

*Yogi is still the coolest guy in baseball.

*Joe Buck called Yankee Stadium "our Coliseum". Does that make the Red Sox the Christians?

*I don't know who Josh Groban is, but I now know he's a weenie. He sang "God Bless America" like he wanted America to go to bed with him.

*It will be a shame if Yankee Stadium goes out without one last "Steinbrenner Sucks" chant.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:56 AM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0)

My wife and I liked when Yogi called Joe Buck "Jack," not because he made the mistake, but because Joe probably thought it quite an honor to be associated with his legendary father.

Posted by: wd at July 16, 2008 12:10 PM

Actually, I don't think Papelbon gave up the 'tying runs', but rather gave up the 3rd run after coming into a 2-2 game. It wasn't his fault, as Navarro made what could be the worst throw by a catcher in the last 10 years, which allowed the runner to go to 3rd & score on a routine sac fly.

Of course, I understand what you're saying, but these are Yankee fans....logic gets in the way of doing whatever the local sports rag or radio show tells them to do. Really, they all think and talk alike.

Posted by: RW at July 16, 2008 12:26 PM

Navarro also didn't even try for a tag on the sac fly when the play likely would have been at least close.

I totally thought Dan Uggla was going to be Atlee Hammaker with his 10th inning GIDP, 2 errors and 1 overly cautious throw to the plate that prevented a DP and almost led to a throwing error to first. I kept wondering in that inning if he was going to go .220/.290/.375 with 2 HRs the rest of the season.

Posted by: jim at July 16, 2008 12:37 PM

Most Yankee fans love George Steinbrenner. He has been the best owner in sports for a long time now and he hasn't been well. So I would expect a low class comment from a Met's fan. If you want to find somebody who sucks, talk to your pal Freddie Coupon.

Posted by: trooper york at July 16, 2008 1:18 PM

Actually, many Yankees fans are very ambivilant about Steinbrenner. He has mellowed out over the last 15 years or so but in his prime -- 1983 through his suspension in 1989 -- he was a lunatic who alienated many, many fans, including myself. There is a theory that without Steinbrenner's two suspensions, the Yankees would have had their pennant runs in the mid 1970's and mid-late 1990s, when other people were able to run the team and not trade away future all stars for washed up losers. I have mellowed on Steinbrenner over the years, but I cannot forgive him for the madness of years past.

Posted by: steve at July 16, 2008 2:19 PM

Correction: Steinbrenner's "prime" was 1973 through 1989.

Posted by: steve at July 16, 2008 2:29 PM

Well, the prime of "Bad George" really was '83-'89. Before and after that his meddling and bluster were more tempered by the influence of good baseball people.

While Steinbrenner the person obviously mixes a lot of good with a lot of bad, Steinbrenner the owner has, on balance, been a major net positive if you're a Yankees fan. So I'm not surprised he's now viewed mostly in a good light.

Posted by: Jerry at July 16, 2008 2:57 PM

Trooper York

You're alive. Miss you on Althouse!

But I agree more with Steve than you on George. In any event, I think that we all agree that he seems to be in a steep mental decline & would not boo him.

I think it was rash for Terry F to have removed Frankie R so quickly. Pap could've gone on thru the 9th & Rivera could've pitched the 10th & 11th. But TF wanted to have Frankie R in the game anyway & Rivera in the game in YS. Why not put Rivera in in the 8th & 9th & save Pap for the 10th & 11th? And then have Frankie R for the next two? Don't assume extra innings? Why not? Anyway all AL relievers dun gud tho fielding helped also.

Posted by: TomCom at July 16, 2008 4:40 PM

I don't disagree that some Yankee fans would boo George. They are idiots. George is the best owner in the history of baseball. Better than Topping & Webb who fired managers just like George. Better than O'Malley who ripped the heart out of Brooklyn for money. Better than Jacob Ruppert who trashed Ruth and fired managers left and right just like George. Better then Yawkey who lived with losers for too long. The Red Sox only won when the copied the Yankees way of doing business. Spending money to make money. But loser Met fans hate George and want to spread poison about him because they are jealous. It's the same idiots who used to tell you they rather have Rey Ordonez as their shortstop than Derek Jeter. Now they tell you the same thing about that malcontent Jose Reyes. Now the Yankees and Mets will both have new stadiums. They will both be raking in the cash. We will see who spends the money to win and who makes excuses.

Posted by: Trooper York at July 16, 2008 5:59 PM

Let's just say I'm nostalgic for the second longest-running chant in NY sports ("Potvin sucks" still beats it).

You will search my site in vain for evidence of pro-Ordonez sentiment. Yes, he was a better glove man at his peak than Jeter, but he was also arguably the worst-hitting everyday player since Bill Bergen.

Reyes is better than Jeter, but only because he's 9 years younger and on the upside of his career, while Jeter's on the gradual downslope; this season is really the first time you could say that. He'd have a long way to go to match Jeter's career.

Posted by: The Crank at July 16, 2008 6:13 PM

Anyone got theories on why Seaver, Ryan, Bench, Morgan and Fisk were absent in the pregame? There were a lot of pitchers out there but Morgan is a HOF board member. Curious. Maybe Bench didn't want to remind Yankee fans of his 1976 World Series domination.

Posted by: splinter at July 16, 2008 6:19 PM

You really can't compare Reyes to Jeter because of his age now can you? Because I bet there is a zygote in some Dominican guy’s nut sack that is ten times better than Reyes. If we are going by potential. Reyes has done squat on the field. When it was time for him to step up, he stepped back. I would never trade Reyes for Jeter. Not now, and not for as long as Jeter plays. Jeter is a leader. Jeter is a winner. Jose Reyes is the second coming of Gary Templeton. A player with gaudy stats, but a hot dog and a loser. Is he going to slap Manuel the next time he takes him out of a game? Talk to me when he has as good a game in the playoffs as Fred Chicken Stanley or Brian Doyle.

Posted by: trooper york at July 16, 2008 6:28 PM

That's a sound theory about Johnny Bench. That's why you didn't see Grover Cleveland Alexander either.

Posted by: trooper york at July 16, 2008 6:30 PM

Gee TY, your sarcasm sensor must be as lively as GC Alexander. Feel free to go ahead and tell us how Thurman Munson was Bench's equal .....

Posted by: splinter at July 17, 2008 12:28 AM

Older Yankee fans remember that if it wasn't for Howie Spira and the Dave Winfield kerfuffle, Gene Michael never would have had the chance to rebuild the team in the early 90s, since by the start of that decade Steinbrenner had become a trigger-happy lunatic lunging from one quick-fix for his team to another while sending his minor league's best young talent elsewhere in exchange for aging players who more often than not, never panned out. His two-year suspension allowed the team to hold on to its key players and just as importantly, not have George around to trash them in the local papers anytime they made any rookie mistakes.

It's no doubt why the cheers for Steinbrenner on Tuesday were more muted than some of the New York media were expecting -- George has obviously been on the downhill slide since the start of the decade and gained some applause for his longevity and his desire to win, even if many of his efforts were misguided. But Yankee fans are wary of Hank right now, with all but the loopiest fearing he's going to pull his old man's stunt if the team misses the playoffs this year and start dealing all the young players for players who'll fail to live up to expectations.

Posted by: John at July 17, 2008 12:50 AM

Talk to me when he has as good a game in the playoffs as Fred Chicken Stanley or Brian Doyle.

I can see that Trooper York isn't the sort of guy who wants to let something as annoying as facts get in the way of a good screed, but what the hell? How about this good game from Reyes: Game 6 against the Cards in the '06 LCS. Mets trailing 3 games to 2. Facing Chris Carpenter, the defending Cy Young winner. Reyes leads off with a homer, on his way to going 3 for 4 with 2 runs scored, 1 RBI and 2 steals with no caught stealing.

Mets win 4-2. Safe to say that Reyes won the game for the Mets single-handedly, though John Maine helped.

You can take Chicken Stanley, George "The Criminal" Steinbrenner, and the 34 year-old version of Derek Jeter. We'll take Reyes, thank you very much.

Posted by: Mike at July 17, 2008 6:40 AM

Hey you are welcome to Reyes. I am sure he will win the Rickey Henderson Memorial trophy for highest average of petulant outbursts for a player with more than 150 at bats. It is always amusing to hear people mock Jeter as over rated when the fact is the Mets over rate every player they have ever had. Except for Tom Seaver and they couldn't wait to get rid of him. So keep telling us that Reyes is great, I look forward to seeing you trade him for Joe Foy. Oh what, we can't bring up ancient history? Isn't that what you guys are doing with George? I will take George with all his mistakes and crazy actions over the coupons any day of the week. We should be so lucky if Hank is like his dad. At least he will hold his team to a standard of winning and will do what it takes. To listen to you guys tell me how the Yankees are going to trade off their young players is just wishful thinking on your part. The Yankees had the opportunity to get the mainstays of the Mets, Beltran and Santana and passed on both. Neither is worth the money or the prospects. Just fact the fact that the Yankees are making the transition to a younger team while still staying in contention. We will have a rough year this year and we might not make the playoffs. But I am much more enthused about our future than that of the Mets. Let’s see what happens.

Posted by: TROOPER YORK at July 17, 2008 10:51 AM

That's face the fact.

Beer is not just for breakfast anymore.


Posted by: TROOPER YORK at July 17, 2008 11:03 AM

How come when Reyes doesn't want to come out of the game it's a "petulant outburst", but when Paul O'Neill does it, it just shows his fiery drive to win?

Posted by: Linus at July 19, 2008 8:51 PM

Because Paul O'Neill is a Yankee and they can do no wrong. This is pretty easy to follow, try to keep up.

Posted by: TROOPER YORK at July 22, 2008 5:48 PM
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