Todays starting lineups are as follows:
Chien-Ming Wang started today versus the Indians, and was kind of a mixed case of success. In the first retired the side, striking out two. He threw eleven pitches, with nine being strikes. In the bottom of the inning the Yanks had a RISP, but Sabathia struck out A-Rod. Well that seems familiar…
In the top of the second Wang looked poor, allowing four base hits and a walk. The Tribe score three. In the bottom Giambi got a BB, and
The Incredible Hulk Shelley Duncan crushed one over the fence. 3-2 Indians
Wang came out of the game in the fourth inning. Overall he threw about 75 pitches, 53 for strikes, in his fourth start this spring. He got hit pretty hard, yet did fan seven. His slider and offspeed pitches were working fairly well.
The Indians scored runs in the 5th, 7th, and 9th innings. Looks like they were doing well in innings that also double as prime numbers.
On the other side, the Yanks drove in a run in the 4th, one in the eighth, and Nick Green hit a walk off homerun in the 9th with two runners on base.
Bronx Bombers win it, 7-6.
The Yankees next have their only spring matchup against the BoSox on Monday, 3/17 from Legends Field. Lefty Andy Pettite will get the start for the Yanks.
On A Side Note:
Former player Jim Leyritz, out on bail for DUI/Manslaughter, entered Legends Field at around 11:00 am. He proceeded directly into the clubhouse, where he interacted with players and friends. Exiting at around 1:00 pm, he did not answer any questions from reporters. Many people were interested in the appropriateness of the situation, and of the Yankees seeming to welcome his presence. However, Cashman and Girardi were defensive in their statements about Leyritz, and I generally agree with their positions. Cashman simply explained that he had run into Girardi the night before, wanted to see old teamates, and that was all it was.
Girardi said, and I quote:
“I think he’s going through a hard time. I don’t think it’s a situation anyone wants to be in. … The way I look at it is that all of us have probably done things that we regret. Some might be considered worse than others. Obviously it’s a very sad story and situation, but I don’t believe you turn your back on people." (From LoHud Yankees Blog)
Ian Kennedy needs eighteen pitches to get through the inning, only eight are strikes.
Top of the 2nd:
Kennedy just hasn’t shown great control so far. He gives up a dinger to Eric Hinske off a pitch way up in the zone. Not long afterward, Chris Richard hits one out over in left field. Kind of a cheap shot, with the strong wind, but a homer none the less. Kennedy is at 40 pitches with two outs.
Bottom of the 2nd: Rays lead the Yanks 2-0. A-Rod hits a long drive over the centerfielder’s head for a stand up double. Matsui then proceeds to push one through the 3 4 hole for a base hit. Rodriguez scores off of a Posada sac fly, and the inning ends on a 6 4 3.
Kennedy continues to struggle, and has thrown about half balls, half strikes. He gets out of the inning with no earned runs.
Yanks are retired 1,2,3 in the bottom of the third
Rivera comes in to pitch the fourth inning. Hinske has a hit, and then proceeds to third on a sac fly. The Rays score one. 3-1.
Bottom of the 4th:
A-Rod continues to look great as he gets on base again. Posada hits a double, and A-Rod is waved into home. However, the catcher receives the throw way before Rodriguez can make it into the plate, and he simply allows himself to be tagged. No broken wrists here from the vet.
Top of the 6th:
Well, Kei Igawa is pitching, and boy does he stink. First batter he faces doubles, and then Guzman hits a triple to right. Run scores. Next up, another extra base hit. Run scores. Rays lead 5-1. He ends up allowing 2 runs, 2 doubles, and a triple. His fastballs have no movement, and are not nearly overpowering enough to be thrown up in the zone. This guy lives up in the zone. Come to think of it, he gets hit down low too.
Top of the 7th:
Igawa gives up a dinger with 2 outs.
Bottom of the 7th: (All starters are out)
Yankee run scores on a Ray E4. 6-2, Rays.
Igawa gives up another run in the 8th before pitching a double play ball. The Rays homer again in the ninth, and the Yankees are unable to score any runs in the their last at bats. They didn’t score any runs all day actually. Jeter went 0 for, and the offense just wasn’t productive.
Tampa Bay wins, 7-2.
Today (Saturday, 3/15) the bombers play a split squad double header, with Ian Kennedy facing the Rays and Joba Chamberlain starting against the Tigers.
Vs. The Rays
Vs. The Tigers
In a game ended in the 10th, due to rain, the Yankees and Reds went home after a 7-7 tie. From the batters box, A-Rod hit his third homerun, and Jeter was able to connect 3 out of 4 times. Jason Lane also had a nice two run single. On the mound however, Phil Hughes didn’t show up with his best stuff. He was pulled after two outs in the third, his hitless streak was ended after the first batter that he faced. Edwar Ramirez went perfect in 1 2/3 innings, striking out four, and Albalajedo struck out all four batters he battled.
The Yanks are 6-6 in the Grapefruit League, and have a split squad double header on Saturday. Half the team will once again face our new found rivals the D-Rays, and Joba Chamberlain will make a start against the Tigers.
Jeter says he doesn’t expect any trouble facing Tampa Bay, and neither do I. On a side note, MLB has warned both teams, and an extra umpire will be working as well.
Additionaly, for the most part, Duncans teammates have been very supportive of him. Brian Cashman noted that he would "take 25 Shelley Duncans." Oh my. Jeter noted that Shelley shouldn’t change the way that he plays ball.
Also, Cervelli has returned to Fl, with his arm in a sling, and commented that he was very proud that his teammates stuck up for him.
Well, no reason to not talk about, our boys Duncan and Cabrera got suspended three games for their involvement in the previous game with the D-Rays. Now, to be honest, I’m not in total disbelief that they were suspended. However, it’s really been more of both the press, other players, and managers reactions that have been so annoying. Let’s be really honest about what happened. In their prior match up you had a Yankee Catcher, Cervelli, get roughed up while he was blocking the plate. The reaction from the D-Ray camp? Oh thats just some hard baseball. And your wondering, well, I mean sure it is, but this is Spring Training right? Just like a cop pulling over a speeding off duty cop, you pay a little respect to each other, not try to get each other hurt before the games count. Well, regardless of that, we all know you got young guys out there that are really trying to make an impression, to get on with the Big Club. So, inevitably, some of the marginal guys may make an err in judgment in an attempt to stand out. You know, like breaking someones wrist coming into home. So anyway, Cervelli gets banged up, and some of the Yankees are a little defensive about it on paper, or on the tape recorder. Outside of that, they let it go. Well, coming to their next matchup, you can tell things are a little tense. I would like to note however, that Jeter, A-Rod, Pettite, etc etc, aren’t even there. They’re back taking batting practice with the great number 60, Billy Crystal (more on that later). So what you have is a whole roster of young Yankee players, but no one initially thinks that there will be any problems. OH NO! Bottom of the first, no name Heath Phillips, lefty, ejected from the game for a pitch that barely scrubbed up against Rays batter Evan Longoria. When I say barely scrubbed, I mean barely even thought about scrubbing. But, what do have? Ump thumbs him out of there immediately. I mean so immediately that I’m not so sure his thumb wasn’t comin up before the pitch even crossed the plate. Well, lets fast forward to the top of the second. Duncan hits a dribbler down by third base, and as it rolls behind the bag he tried to stretch it into a double. Iwamura probably had the ball in his glove over at second when Duncan was still about sixty feet away. Despite of this, Chuck Norris, I mean Shelley Duncan, keeps on truckin for the bag, and slides in with his right spike in the air. He catches Iwamura on his right thigh, and the ump there immediately thumbs him out of the game. As Jet Li, ****, Duncan is gettin up, outfielder Jonny Gomes runs in to give him a tackle, and the benches clear. This is fighting to enter the 2008 ALDS right? Oops, nope, just Spring Training. On a side note, somewhere in this downstairs mix-up, the Melkman punches some Ray somewhere. You couldn’t see it on TV, but MLB says that it happened. They probably have some tape evidence. So theres a whole ordeal, people gettin ejected, apparently one unlucky guy got a little punch, and Duncan got what I like to call a sack lunch. Nom Nom Nom Nom.
What then, is the meaning of writing about all of this? Well, mostly, like I said previously, everyone’s reaction. Manager Joe Maddon, of the D-Rays said, and I quote:
“What we saw today is the definition of a dirty play. There’s no room for that in our game. It’s contemptible, it’s wrong, it’s borderline criminal. I can’t believe they did that.”
Ok, back the truck up here Joe. Borderline criminal? COME ON!
Look my point is, and I am slowly but surely rambling on towards it, is that baseball is not supposed to be some silly nanny pink skirt game. Regardless of spring training ethics, and all that jazz, the worst that happened was Duncan came into a fielder with his cleats a little high. Come on Joe, he was just given your guy the old rufus gufus. Just a little hardball, right?
When was it that this game become so politically correct? When was it that aggressive play, violent tempers, and a little bit of good old fighting went so out of style? This isn’t supposed to be a game so concerned with looking classy, that actual ballplayers cry about a high spike, or a broken wrist, or a punch in the mouth. How is that for politically correct? Just because a system shifts away from it’s beginnings doesn’t make it’s new position correct. I can only advocate for dead ball era play just so much, because I have to accept that the game is no longer like that. And the fact that there were some fines and suspensions, well I mean the big boys have to save a little face, for the sake of the business. But a manager calling it borderline criminal? Real sports fans and writers in an uproar? Really? This is really how baseball is? Naw, it can’t be.
Ty said it all, "Baseball is no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out!"