July 9th, 2008
Before 53,552 fans at Yankee Stadium on a hot, humid day, the NY Yankees are finally showing rays of hope, and seem to be warming up with their fourth straight win against AL Leaders.
The Yankees just beat Boston twice in a row, who won today murdering the Twins 18-5, and now just beat up the Rays for two in a row as well, giving this skeptic something to look forward to other than football season. Don't get too excited because the Yankees only scored 2 runs, a sign that the offense still needs help, but it was one more than enough for a big ol "W."
The story of the day has got to be Sidney Ponson, who went 6 innings; giving up five hits, one run, two walks, four strike outs totalling 87 pitches, 50 of which were strikes. Not too bad for a second chance, who has two wins so far with NY, and one no-decision.
The only run scored against the Yanks today was a homer blasted by Carlos Pena leading off the sixth, tying the game one to one after the Yanks scored in the first on a Jason Giambi single (1 for 3,plus a walk) scoring Derek Jeter (2 for 4). After the "missed pitch" to Pena, Ponson settled right back down and retired the next three batters.
The score would remain tied until late in the game. Veras pitched the 7th inning stiking out two with one ground out. Then Kyle Farnsworth, who has been enigmatic at best, pitched a one-two-three inning as well, thus allowing for a proper bridge to Mo.
Mariano Rivera, who has been getting a little scary lately, walked one and then nothing more in the ninth; four up, three down. Jorge Posada (0 for 3) walked to lead the bottom of the ninth off, and was pinch runned for by Justin Christian, a speedy little kid who has rockets for cleets. He took second on a Robbie Cano (0 for 3) sacrifice bunt, and then tore off for third beating the Rays sure arm catcher, Navarro. The opportunity for the Yanks fizzled though, as Melky Cabrera (1 for 4) whiffed, and Benjie Molina (1 for 3) then struck out, which is getting to be all too familiar. In the 10th inning Mariano went one-two-three again; striking out two, and getting a ground out.
In the bottom of the 10th Captain America, Derek Jeter, walked with one out. Then, with the sun shining rays of betterment on NY, Bobby Abreu (1 for 4) ripped a change up that was down and in for a double into the right field gap. Fleet of foot, Jeter bolted all the way home from first base for a walk off win. Joltin Derek Jeter gave the final winning score to the Yankees for a 2 to 1 squeeze over the soon to be setting Rays.
Now to the nitty-gritty: Giambi's Day, his mustache, and the Yankees' request for all of their fans to vote Giambi in for the All Star Game.
Today before the game The Yankees handed out 20,000 fake mustaches in a Ghiambino-style celebration before the game, save the pasta. After the game Joe Girardi even wore one for the post game interviews. This is what it's all about, having some fun; but it ain't no fun losing, as Andy Pettitte might be heard saying. Giambi is healthy this year, and is on fire picking up another RBI today bringing his total to 54, only 3 behind team leading Abreu, but with about 20 less games as well!
"The Big G" credits the 'stache for the luck, but it isn't luck at all. He was slupming a long time ago, grew the moustache and now? Well look out because even Lady Liberty, being from France, wants to grow one too. Most ball players are superstitious, but the whole team is waking out of a half-season long slump, and streaking. Mr. Steinbrenner remains silent as Giambi's stache grows ever so boldly, even if it is against team grooming policy, and now the "luck o the 'stache" is growing out of control paying dividends for the whole team, and their mustache wearing fans.
To honor Jason Giambi tell the Yankees to keep him on next year by voting him onto the All Star Team. This vote will be the tell all whether he stays in NY next year or not, the Yankees have officially asked fans for their input. If the fans do not vote, then rest assured it is "bah-bye Ghiambino" next year. But maybe we can get some speedy little rascal to take his place, so he can bunt, and steal bags all day. Who knows, but I don't think the little rascal will be parking em off Beckett, and most all other pitchers league-wide, or leading the team in run production.
If the fans vote enough, which is unlimited by the way, then Jason may just retire a Yankee after all. And why not? Because of injury years? He is loved by the vast majority of fans, but all need to hop on the bus, Gus - and vote for "The Big G" to play, especially hit homers in the HR Derby. What good is the HR Derby in the "Last Year of Ruth" without a Yankee (A-Rod) smaking some out? The last time Giambi was in a HR Derby (2003) he hit 9 out in a row, which is a record too! I voted this year about 125 times for Giambi so far, they votes are unlimited, and Yankee fans reading this should as well.
Go here, and vote for Giambi, email it to all your friends and relatives; and send the Yanks a message that without Giambi they would be much worse than is Toronto this year. No pitcher throws strikes to this guy, and for good reason. One swing, that is all it takes. Instead, he forces the pitcher to throw strikes to A-Rod, because Giambi has an upper-cut that is meant to cause damage. Giambi is is "Damage Incorparated." He has a better eye than he does a mustache too!
Giambi is always on base, whether a smash or a walk, or even hit by pitch. I remind you of last spring, A-Rods home run escapade...who hit behind A-Rod? Giambi did, forcing strike to Alex. It's all about respect, and respect Giambi pitchers do. Now, the Yanks respect the stache as well! I realize he had a bad year here and there, but he is finally 100% healthy, he even stole a bag this year, and got a triple -the first one since 2002! It is a great sign for things to come if nothing else.
You can also vote via cell phone, and text your selection of A2 into the number in this link. No excuses.
It isn't my money, nor yours, but I bet his market has gone down markedly anyhow. It's all about Giambi, the Big G, stache boy...my boy - who looks like Thurman Munson. Munson's stache was better, even better than the Gooses. But I am biased about it, Thurman Munson-my all time favorite.
Giambi has said to have signed about 70 balls that will be given out at random to fans who vote. The above pictures shows that Giambi is there for the fans, the question is do the fans return the love?
Now...will the Yankees make a move this year or what?
Girardi said after the game, "pitching and good defense is what wins games." Agreed, the Yankee pitchers are hurt though, and don't forget, coach, about the bats! What was once a dominant Yankee offense has sputtered, and the same bats that used to win games too. Just ask the unlikely heroes named O'Neil, Martinez, or Brosius whom are all now Yankee Legends about walk offs, or most recently Bobby Abreu.
This is the Babe Ruth' House (#3 All Time HR King, 714), with Gherig (AL Record RBI King, 184), Joltin Joe DiMaggio's 56 game Hit Streak, Mickey Mantle who hit the longest homer ever at 610 feet (that's a tenth of a mile!), or the other M&M Boy, Roger Maris (Single Season HR King for over 30 years), Reggie Jackson (MR. October), Thurman Munson (my man, "Our Captain," 500 in post season play).....to name a few. None of these titles say "they played good defense" streak.
Good pitching and good hitting is what wins games, defense is for those pitchers that aren't exactly in their primes anylonger, and aren't very Yankee-Like - save Mike Mussina, who has the lowest ERA on the team despite the hole in right field.
The Yankees have no bench, and that is not Yankee-like considering Strawberry, Justice, Fielder, Raines, and in 2000s, Ruben Sierra. Boy, Cashman has got to be glad that he got rid of Bernie Williams because "he played to well in 2006, and cost others their postions (Damon)" right about now. Good job, Cash. Thank God he isn't on your bench, because who wants a switch hitter that averages about 400 in the post season anyhow?
Let's face it, it is also not Yankee-like letting three Aces (Santana, Sabathia, Harden) slip by, especially considering all of these injuries in the rotation in Wang, Hughes, and Kennedy all out; but not MOOSE. It seems as though the Yankees have adopted the west coast philosophy of small ball.
It is not Yankee-like to think that Ponson would be a better man in the Yankee rotation, but there he is regardless. Barry Bonds could do wonders for the Yankees, who have the short right field porch, and is talking to Boston, The Mets, and The Diamondbacks. Well, the Yankees are one team whose mystique could absorb the controversy, as the Yankees History alone is bigger, and more rich than any one person. Rumor has it that Bonds said he would donate all monies made to the children who attend games too. It sounds like someone is going to grab him up, and the Yankees need the offense.
Unless the Yankees are just going to let Mitchell manage their team for them now too, then all is fair in love and war. It wouldn't be Yankee-like to not make the post season, nor let another opportunity slip them by.
For now, the Yanks' weakness is still pitching, that hole in right field, and the slumbering lumber. Something the Yankee Management, and Steinbrenner, who ESPN despises because of thier spiteful competition with anothers' network, needs to work on. And swiftly so.
I wonder if the offense and the defense can get better simultaneously while keeping all bats in the line-up, or at least when they're healthy again. There is an idea to work on until that day.