After what can only be described as an extremely successful three game series down in the Orange juice carton, the Yankees finally came home after a 9 game road trip to deliver…well truth be told they really didn't deliver anything at all today.
I think fans and the media tend to get carried away with “first”. The first game in a new ballpark, the first at bat, the first hit, the first home run, the first cup readjustment, etc. That's all well in good because in my opinion one of the best parts of life is looking back and reflecting on our most memorable “first”. However while we are allowed to stop and reflect, we should never get to caught up in them because as the saying goes, tomorrow is a new day. I'm sure the papers will make a big deal out of how getting blown out in the first home game at the…hold on let me channel my best Howard Finkel here….NEWWWW Yankee Stadium is embarrassing, deflating, humiliating, blah blah blah, but the truth is if the Yankees take the field tomorrow and defeat Cleveland then today will just be an after though (not to mention exactly why I should have sold my $12 tickets and made a 500% profit instead of waking up at 9am to drive into NYC, damnit).
I had already visited the new ballpark two weeks ago when the Yankees had an open workout session for season ticket holders, so I really don't have the desire to breakdown the pros and cons of the new ballpark right now. My advice would be to buy a cheap bleacher ticket off of stub hub, or a very affordable $20 tier reserve seat and see the place for yourself. Trust me you won't be disappointed. However if you really do want a complete breakdown, leave a comment below and I promise to do one this weekend. My main objective today though was to see the game, not to sightsee.
You may not know this by just looking at the final 10-2 score, but for 6 innings the game was pretty entertaining. CC Sabathia wasn't what I would call dominate, or even very good, but he battled for nearly 6 innings, allowing only 1 run on a Kelly Shoppach double in the 4th. Sabathia's control, or lack thereof which is evident by his 5 walks, resulted in him being lifted after 5 2/3 innings with a pitch count of 122. What I liked about CC was that even without his A or B game, he still gave the team some quality innings. Hopefully he can pass that trait on to Wang one of these days.
Once CC was gone and Cleveland came up to bat in the top of the 7th inning, the game basically ended once Girardi called in Jose Veras. And that was where I had my first real managerial complaint. Girardi has previously called upon Edwar Ramirez to get the last out in the 6th inning with a man on 1st. And it looked like he had done his job until Cody Ransom bounced a throw to first base which resulted in an error. Then Edwar got Trevor Crowe to hit a slow grounder up the middle, which was hit just a bit too slow to get any of the runners. Instead of leaving Edwar in to face Grady Sizemore with the bases loaded, Girardi called on his lefty Phil Coke. Now Edwar's best pitch is his incredible changeup, which can be used very effectively against a left handed hitter. However Girardi wanted to play the lefty-righty match-up game, which isn't a bad move either. And to his credit it worked, as Coke got Sizemore to fly out to left field.
Now what I didn't like about that whole situation is Girardi then choose to remove Coke from the game and start Veras in the 7th inning. So in the span of 1 out, Girardi had called 3 different relief pitchers from his pen. And not only did he burn through Edwar and Coke to get just 1 out, but now he was bringing in arguably the worst relief pitcher he had in a 1-1 game. Personally I would have let Coke pitch the 7th inning, but I'm not the manager of the NY Yankee now am I. So with Veras now pitching we can fast forward a half hour, to where the score is now 10-1 Cleveland after the ambiguously shitty duo of Veras and Damaso Marte crapped all over many fans “first” at the new ballpark. So Girardi's moves didn't exactly work out, but at least he's learning who he can and cannot trust early on in the season (didn't I already say that this week?).
But hey that's baseball, and tomorrow is a new day. If today accomplished anything it was introducing a beautiful new ballpark to 40 thousand plus people, and hopefully it brought us Yankee fans one day closer to the debut of Mark Melancon (just remember that name).
Quick look in the notebook:
- It was great to see George Steinbrenner make it out today; I hadn't seen him in like 8 years. Seriously though its sad to see how far his appearance and health have fallen in such a short time. Like him or hate him he's certainly been entertaining to follow.
- I really think Mark Teixeira is hurting more then he or the team is letting on. I heard he received a cortisone shot today, which he believes puts him over the top. I don't put any stock in his poor numbers thus far due to the sample size (although his defense has saved probably a dozen runs from scoring), but I was concerned when I saw Girardi pinch hit for Tex in the bottom of the 7th inning for Melky Cabrera. Yes they were down 9 runs, but at least let him get an at-bat in before throwing in the towel.
- Nick Swisher is quickly becoming a fan favorite in NY, and the best part of the game today was the chant which arose from the stands after Marte served up the grand slam to Sizemorein the 7th. The chant was “We Want Swisher”, which was in reference to his relief appearance against Tampa Bay on Monday in the 15-5 blowout. Swisher didn't acknowledge the crowd, which is good that he didn't because some uptight NY fans would interpret that as him showing up his pitcher, but you could tell he was laughing his head off from his post in right field. It's like we've replaced Bobby Abreu with a guy who actually has a personality. And isn't afraid of walls, and plays defense, and hits for power….
- Speaking of right field, news broke early Wednesday that Xavier Nady may be out of the season. He experienced pain in his right elbow during Tuesday's game against the Rays, and the MRI he took apparently wasn't very good. Nady was put on the 15 day disabled list today as he continues to have test done, but he's already had Tommy John surgery on that elbow once and it looks like he may be headed under the knife again. I'll touch upon this more in the days ahead and how it may effect the team going forward.
- Carl Pavano got a rousing Bronx cheer during his introduction. I can't imagine what it must feel like to have millions of people literally hate your guts. At least he's got a big cheer awaiting him on Sunday when he serves up a dozen or so runs in his start against Burnett.
- I bet I can guess Michael Kay's favorite moment today. It was probably introducing Buck Showalter to the crowd during the pre-game ceremony. The TV camera's didn't catch it but I saw them burning a #6 jersey in the Yankee bullpen later on.
- John Fogerty sang the legendary song Centerfield live before the game today. It was an enjoyable performance, but the best part was when he went to shout something into the microphone before he left only to reveal that mic was never actually turned on. Also his long hair makes him look like a girl from behind. Not sure why I felt the need to share that.
- Following Mrs. Fogerty was Bernie Williams who played Take me out to the Ballgame on his guitar in center field. Eh, I rather watch him hit then strum a guitar, but that's me.
- Finally I'll end by saying I thought I knew what low class was. That was until I took my seat in the right field bleacher creature section today. Season tickets baby!!! I kid, I kid….
Okay that's it from me. Did I mention tomorrow is a new day yet? It will be Anthony Reyes versus Joba Chamberlain in matinee number 2 of 4 at the NEWWWWWWWW Yankee Stadium. Be sure to check it out. Any questions or comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Goodnight!
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Written by Joseph Gallo