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It was a matchup of the first place Yankees and an Orioles’ team looking to avoid 100 losses for the season. Normally I look forward to these games; they should be low pressure, high scoring stat-padders. Instead, it was a good argument that 162 games might be too many, and that Major League Baseball could not care less about the fans.
The week started off well. A Labor Day matinee featured a lot of good hitting and bad pitching. Robinson Cano had a grand slam, and Mark Teixeira hit his 36th home run. But this day belonged to prospect Jesus Montero, who had two home runs.
The Yankees used seven pitchers and gave up ten runs, but at least they won. It was a great day for the fans, a good day for the Yankees.
The week suddenly got ugly. With rain coming down in the Bronx all day and into the night, Tuesday’s game should have been cancelled at noon. Instead, MLB demanded this game be played through hell and high water. A 7:00 start turned into an 11:00 start. That’s a four-hour delay, with torrential downpours continuing steadily. As for the game, both teams looked like they had never played in a monsoon before. What a fun night for the whole family!
Mariano Rivera closed out the game for his 598th save, just two away from 600, and four away for the most in baseball history. That momentous occasion happened at 2:15am, and was witnessed by the 14 masochists, insomniacs, and drunks that endured the seven hours at Yankee Stadium.
Theeee Yankees win, theeeeeee Yankees ZZZZZZZ.
A mere ten hours of steady rain later, a day game was scheduled. A 1:00pm start during the first week in September- perfect for anyone that’s unemployed, not perfect for everyone else.
But day games must happen. You know what shouldn’t happen? A pregame ceremony marking the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, when no one can watch or attend the game. That must have been pretty emotional for the 200 or so New Yorkers at the stadium.
Stressing the importance of the game, Joe Girardi played his bench, which included half of the Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre team. There were more Yankees with numbers in the 60’s than numbers in the 10’s. Speaking of Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre, A.J. Burnett was the Yankee starter. He threw three wild pitches and had four walks. He also failed to cover first base twice, one time looking like he was catching pass patterns on the front lawn.
This had all the intensity of a Marlin’s game. The Yankees ended up losing, in extra innings.
Girardi pretty much admitted to going through the motions, saying,
“We don’t have to worry about making up this game, and that’s a good thing.”
Well if that’s not a victory, I don’t know what is.
The Yankees got on a bus to play a makeup game, this time in Baltimore. Yup, another day game. You could tell the Yankees were psyched for this, since they didn’t get a hit after the fourth inning against Alfredo Simon and the Orioles bullpen. They let a 4-1 lead vanish, and lost, again, to woeful Baltimore, again in extra innings. To celebrate, they got on a plane for a west-coast road trip.
The Yankees looked they were going through the motions, or just really hungover. Losing two games to the last-place Orioles just shouldn’t happen, in any weather. I understand it’s a long season, and at this point Girardi is trying to rest players before the playoffs. But staying in first place means not playing against Justin Verlander and the Tigers in a short playoff series.
But the biggest losers for this week were the fans. They were forced to sit through unprecedented rain delays, torrential downpours, sloppy play, and A.J. Burnett. The games were as exciting as a men’s softball league, but at least in men’s softball, you might get a free beer.