Bronx, N.Y., October 16, 2009 — The Yanks beat the Angels 4-1 in Game One of the ALCS Friday night in a game where the Halos contributed to their own demise with uncharcateristically sloppy play. But whatever was affecting the Angels had the Scoreboard operators off their game as well. The only ones who played their “A” game were the dominant Yankee starter CC Sabathia and the fellow members of his team. Continue reading
Bronx, N.Y., October 9, 2009 — Milling around the new train station at Yankee Stadium Friday night following the Yanks’ improbable come-from-behind win, the big joke went something like: “Boring game, huh?” But move those delirious people back in time two hours, and nobody would have seen what was so funny. For the second straight postseason game the Yanks and their fans (hey, we buy the tickets) got their money’s worth when both CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett were signed on December 18, 2008. What we didn’t count on was the superb Nick Blackburn and the Twins setup relief.
Bronx, N.Y., October 7, 2009 — It seemed pretty clear that the overwhelmingly underdog Twins had one not so bad chance playing Game One of the ALDS in Yankee Stadium Wednesday. Sure, they were whipped, having played must-win games for a month, won out to make up a deficit, and finally slipped past the Tigers just 20 hours before first pitch. Sure, they were set to play the 103-win Yankees in a ballpark in which the Bombers have quickly learned to dominate. And they would be facing 19-game winner CC Sabathia, and a hostile Yankee crowd almost 50,000 strong.
Bronx, N.Y., October 7, 2007 — A Yankee season that was imperiled when the Indians beat Chien-Ming Wang in Cleveland was pushed further to the edge by a swarm of gnats Friday night, resulting in an 0-2 record in the five-game ALDS. One wonders how a confident yet nervous Yankee crowd in the Stadium for Game Three Sunday night would have reacted had they known going in that aging vet Roger Clemens would not last three frames. Continue reading
Bronx, N.Y., October 3, 2006 — A not so funny thing happened in the Yankees/Tigers tussle in Game One of the ALDS Tuesday night. As expected, Chien-Ming Wang gave the Yanks a good, not stellar start. The 12 hits Yankee bats stroked against starter Nate Robertson were about par for the bashing club’s course. Fulfilling manifold predictions, the vaunted Yankee lineup threw a crushing rally at Detroit. But totally messing with the pregame script, the Tigers responded to six straight Yankee hits that tallied five runs leading off the home third by rallying to make the series opener a battle. Continue reading
NEW YORK, N.Y., November 5, 2004 — OK. Let’s get something out there right from the start. I come not really to praise the Red Sox but, as the Bard would have it, to “bury them.” But first there are quite a few great things they accomplished this season that need to be recognized. They are the first team in baseball history (and in the history of any major sport that is currently viable) to recover from an 0-3 deficit to win a best of seven series. Continue reading
NEW YORK, N.Y., October 16, 2005 — Darn. What a Gyp! It’s almost six days now, the Almighty seems to have recovered, seeing as the sun has returned to New York, and so I’m thinking it’s about time I do the same. I’d like to say the turn in the weather has shaken me out of my lethargy and alerted me to how lucky this Yankee fan’s life has been, but that would be giving me credit for a maturity I possess in extremely short supply. Continue reading
Bronx, N.Y., October 9, 2005 — It was 7:56 pm on an unexpectedly pleasant Bronx evening when Yankee righty Shawn Chacon delivered his first pitch to Angels third baseman Chone Figgins, but by the time his lazy fly ball settled into hometeam centerfielder Bubba Crosby’s glove, the clock had moved to 57 minutes after the hour. Perhaps the between-minutes first pitch put both offenses out of phase, or maybe it was just the great pitching, but what ensued was 192 (or 193) minutes of the most tense baseball the House That Ruth Built has seen in 2005. Continue reading
Bronx, N.Y., October 20, 2004 — Well, that which cannot happen has come to pass. It’s a true statement on several levels, but for our purposes let’s just concern ourselves with two: First, when push comes to shove, the Yankees always beat the Red Sox. And more generally, teams who lose the first three games of a best-of-seven series in most major sports, and certainly in baseball, can’t recover from that deficit. Continue reading
Bronx, N.Y., October 17, 2004 — The pictures in the Fox-TV coverage toward the end of last night’s Yankee 19-8 humiliation of the Red Sox were dominated by two views, one seen often in Fenway Park, and the other almost never. (I couldn’t tell you what Buck, McCarver, et al, were saying, as we threw that verbal tribute to the powers that be at Fox over the side in the second inning, using the radio for the audio portion of the goings-on. (But I can address the pictures they showed.) Continue reading