Today before the game Joe Torre took the line-up cards tothe chief umpire himself. Since when does Joe take the line-up card
out himself, except during the World Series? He went on to shake the
hand of every umpire. Except Jeff Nelson.
NOTE: If the NY DAILY NEWS (or anyone else) covers this story, they should credit Suzyn Waldmann for the idea. Anthony McCarron, who was a guest of WCBS Radio booth during the "DAILY NEWS 5th" inning, said he had not noticed when Ms. Waldmann mentioned the line-up card and hand-shaking routine. They discussed yesterday’s post-game report with John Sterling, who calls play-by-play during the game. He said he had been struck by how intensely Mr. Torre repeated the sequence of events that led to the game-ending call by Jeff Nelson.
I enjoyed the game at Yankee Stadium yesterday, my first of the season. We lost to the Angels, but Wang kept us in the game, and Mo closed us out beautifully, 1-2-3. Our bats q up about halfway through, and the slumping players got on base by hit or walk — Cano, Melky, Abreu. A-Rod hit a single and fielded well. Mank…witc (However you spell it — first baseman, #11) got on base and made an incredible stop. Damon pinch-hit a single in the 9th.
Early in the game I joked to Floraine Kay — who got me these 2 tickets for my birthday a long while ago — that John Sterling must be appreciating the home plate umpire, who was calling the pitches expeditiously. (Mr. Sterling can be eloquent and very funny filling time while waiting for the more deliberate umpires to signal "strike" or "ball.") We didn’t know his name at the time, but that home plate umpire was Jeff Nelson.
Throughout the game, we noticed a number of questionable calls which could have affected the score of the game. Having forgotten to bring my radio, we were cut off from what was apparently a lively discussion, particularly at the end of the game.
Yankees 6 @ Orioles 5 in 10
BS(3)/W(2-1)-Proctor*, S-Wang (1), H-Myers (8) L-Ray (1)
*Proctor has 8 Holds. Johnsion pitched 7.1 innings with 4ER in a ND.
Scott Proctor: A starter reprogrammed into a nerve-wracking reliever. Started once in 2005, beautifully. Seemed to need to spread out and use more pitches, like a starter. 2006: Sharp in long relief, short relief, all relief. What happened? I hate to speculate about players’ personal lives, but I do wonder if his baby daughter’s life-threatening heart condition and surgery had an effect on his live-in-the-moment Zen Mind. It’s like he "had a Heilman," who is a converted Mets starter who may be inadvertantly impressing his way into a permanent bullpen artist.
And Chien-Ming Wang? Pitching in a relief spot could reduce his tendency to slip into a bad inning the way he does as a starter. Then again, that happens when his focus weakens with runners on base, so he may not be ideal for high-pressure relief in general, though he did well earning the Save today.
Keep an eye on these guys, if you like:
A’s: Loaiza, Street Reds: Claussen, Harang, Womack Diamondbacks: Clark Boston: R. Seanez, Mota (+ Foulke no less!) (Wells says he commits) Beckett, Lowell Padres: Peavy, Estes, Greene Tigers: Rogers, Maroth, Robertson, Bonderman, Seay, Inge, Leyland Cleveland: Sabathia Rockies: Fogg Orioles: Benson (Bottalico, Yates), Duquette, Mazzone Mets: Trachsel, Heilman (+obvious Billy Wagner), Keppinger Angels: Figgins Cardinals: David Eckstein Cubs: Eyre, Jacque Jones Brewers: Capuano Tampa Bay: Marlins: Girardi Pirates: Zach Duke, Ty Wigginton Phillies: Rowand (great fielder, does not hit under pressure, though) Dodgers: Sele White Sox: McCarthy Rangers: Benoit, Eaton, Dellucci, Durazo Royals: Runelvys Hernandez, McEwing Astros: Taveras Yankees: Chacon, Small, Wang, Proctor (as a starter), Sturtze, Mendoza, Ron Guidry (Hughes, Cox)
Angels 5 (0 Errors) Yankees 3 (3 Errors)
W Escobar (2 IP, 0.0) S Rodriguez (1 IP, 9.0) L Wang (6.2 IP, 1.35)
Poor Wang. He pitched great, with lots of groundouts. Look at that ERA. He was the victim of Yankee errors, one of which he committed, as well as his manager, who kept him in one too many innings. The Angels didn’t outscore the Yankees until the 7th, and they tied it up in the 6th. I worry that Torre is playing the game plan he lost to Boston with last year — saving pitchers for the next game/series. I certainly share his reluctance to trust the bullpen, but he knows Wang weakens on the early side of late innings, and there’s no game tomorrow. Leiter was OK. Proctor was fine. Good.
PS: If someone had to hit a homer off us, let it be Juan Rivera. I always did like him. Would I give up Matsui or Sheffield? No. Can he play center? He’s used to platooning….
White Sox 5 (0 Errors) Red Sox 4 (1 Error)
W Buehrle (7 IP, 5.14) S Jenks (2 IP, 0.0) L Wells (6.2 IP, 2.70)
Am I over Wells? Was it hard to watch him lose for the Red Sox, especially in the post-season? Is there any pitcher I’d prefer on the Yankee mound at this time of year? Do I have to answer?
I admire Buehrle’s consistency in the face of accumulating runs. Jenks was scary but great. Uncanny how his build echoes Boomer’s. Papelbon (1.1 IP, 0.0), the Boston reliever, felt more dominant, but then again I may have been too nervous for the White Sox to judge. Thank goodness for Aaron Rowand. The first time we saw him on TV, Floraine Kay and I said in unison "Who is THAT?" That’s a center fielder you can turn your back on. His bearing — as well as his build — reminds me of Kevin Brown’s, making me wary that his ego may have trouble allowing him to adapt as his body ages. Then again, we did NOT give Brown time to work his changes out. Don’t get me going.
Yankees (94-65) @ Red Sox (93-66)
CHIEN-MING WANG (RHP, 8-4, 4.02) vs. DAVID WELLS (LHP, 14-7, 4.47)
White Sox (96-63) @ Indians (93-66)
Cubs (78-81) @ Astros (87-72)
Phillies (85-74) @ Nationals (81-78)
- WANG was spectacular. With him, Chacon and Small, we have 3 big-game pitchers who are healthy. All have indicated that they can handle Yankee-style pressure on the mound, and they seem impervious. Thank goodness. I’m still a big fan of the seniors — and, in fact, I’d like to raise the average age of the rotation by restoring our favorite emotional rollercoaster David Wells to his rightful place. I still think we used bad, if not immoral, judgement when we forced Kevin Brown to make his first rehab start at Yankee Stadium; we may be responsible for ruining his career and his memory in the minds of many. The way we treated Brown, Wells — twice, Mendoza ("I want to die as a Yankee") and Stanton when letting them go, etc., has created bad karma. I’m not superstitious enough to say that’s why we haven’t won since…, am I?
- BUBBA CROSBY interfered with Derek Jeter’s catches twice. Is he just overeager, now that he has felt the good feeling? (Scoring the winning home run on Sept 2 plus a couple fabulous catches) He reminds me of the CANO, who was fielding everywhere but 2nd base earlier this season. He’ll settle down soon. Soon enough? We need to keep an eye on Cano, too, — yes, without killing his spirit, of course. That was a big running error today.
- GARY SHEFFIELD. The Man. RBI sac fly and an important 3-run home run, widening the gap in a game in which confused fielding (see Crosby above) cost the Yankees a run off Mariano in the 9th.