Derek Jeter started feeling the pressure to overtake Lou Gehrig as the Yankees’ all-time hits leader, but he came through as always (well, was he really never going to get a hit again?). Tonight he’ll attempt to pass the Hall-of-Fame first baseman and stand alone at the top of the heap. Here’s a list of other lesser-known Yankee records that will most likely never be broken:
Highest number of floozies and alcoholic beverages consumed in one night: 29, Babe Ruth (it’s unclear how many were drinks and how many were floozies).
Most times teammates swapped wives: once, Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich
Most hits by a Yankee backup catcher in 1966: 47, Jake Gibbs (this is one record that will never be broken)
Most times a player sat in a cake while pantless: 11, Sparky Lyle
Most times a Yankee manager was referred to as “Stump”: 1,342, oddly enough it wasn’t Stump Merrill but Ralph Houk
Most times a player had to clean George Steinbrenner’s pool to stay on his good side: seven, Steve Howe
In other news, the Yankees tuned up for the playoffs by winning five out of seven games, including a doubleheader sweep over the Rays, while the Mets are getting a head start on next year’s spring training. They’re trying to play the spoiler but every team they play is pretty much out of contention (or already has the division locked up) so there’s nothing really to spoil, and they can’t win more than one or two games a week anyway. On Tuesday, during the Mets broadcast, SNY experimented with the “Silent Sixth,” having nothing but the ambient sounds of the game for a full inning sans announcers.
The Yankees should try that with their radio broadcasts; it would be a big improvement over John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. And the Jets and Giants made their final cuts and are getting ready for week one of the season. Big Blue bid farewell to David Tyree, but he didn’t leave empty-handed, as the Giants presented him with a “Super Bowl Hero” coffee mug as security escorted him off the premises.
Player of the Week
Derek Jeter: Who else could it be? He went into an 0-12 funk with the spotlight shining on his every at-bat, but he finally tied the Iron Horse’s record (Mike Blowers is holding steady at 44, but is out there somewhere thinking about a comeback). With one more hit, Jeter will get to stand side by side with New York’s other franchise hit leader, Ed Kranepool. The Yankee shortstop has a long way to go to match the legendary status of that Met great, though.
Nick Swisher: The lovable goofball hit a walk-off wall scraper (it was measured at 190 feet) on Tuesday, which was his second homer of the game. For the week, he belted three long balls, drove in six and scored eight runs.
Mike Pelfrey: He pitched eight innings and only allowed one run on Sunday. That’s right, he pitched eight innings and they were all in the same game.
A.J. Burnett: The Yankee pitcher got back on track on Monday with a win against Tampa Bay. “I didn’t throw anything that I didn’t want to throw. Every pitch I had conviction behind it 100 percent,” he said after the game. In an unrelated note, Jorge Posada was “accidentally” locked in the trainer’s room for the duration of the game.
CC Sabathia: The ginormous lefty struck out 10 batters during his seven-inning, one-run stint on Monday.
Carlos Beltran: The Mets center fielder returned to the lineup after a two-and-a-half-month absence. He could have packed it in for the year, but he’s a ballplayer, that’s what he does. Now he doesn’t have to go into next season wondering how he’ll feel. He’s an example and inspiration to everyone who makes over $100 million in a seven-year period.
Schmuck of the Week
Angel Pagan: He forgets how many outs there are when he’s running the bases, he gets thrown out at third on a groundball hit to the shortstop, he loses track of the ball on a hit-and-run and gets forced out at second instead of ending up on third. There’s only one logical explanation for his baserunning misadventures: He’s drunk.