Afternoon Baseball

Common-sense ruminations on baseball and culture.

That was this weekend's New York Yankees series against the Los Angeles California Anaheim Los Angeles (again) Angels. Whatever they are calling themselves these days.
To whit:
1. The Yankees lost Saturday with a bullpen meltdown, yet they gained back some self-respect and, possibly, a psychological edge against the Halos, the only team to outplay the Yanks in the Joe Torre era. Why? Derek Jeter got hit by Ervin Santana after getting hit the night before. Any Yankee fans knows that the Red Sox have hit Jeter about 3 million times in the last 6 years with about zero retaliations. Granted, Brian Bruney is not very accurate, but he backed out Vlad, then got him to ground out. Then, still having leverage to throw at someone, he threw about 45 feet behind the human firecracker that is Juan Rivera. Lots of smack-talking, including Jorge Posada getting in the act, and seemingly everyone was even.
Now, Bruney gave up the lead the next inning, and the rest of the bullpen was atrocious. But Juan Rivera was useless the rest of that at bat. The seed of doubt was planted in his mind, and more importantly, the Yankees showed, at least once, that there will be consequences for plunking the (team) MVP, who bounced back today nicely with 2 HR and 3 RBI (for 81 this year).

2. Today, Bernie Williams was a machine. Two home runs, four hits, six RBIs. Looks like a great day, and it was. However, as I've said before, a flashback Bernie day always brings the danger of too much Bernie time (last line). Plus, Bernie is left field leaves about 85% of that side of the outfield open. WasWatching notices trends between Bernie and the team.

3. Jeff Karstens pitched well and earned his first major-league win. However, his presence means that Mussina is still out, and Karstens, scarily, is the team's third-best pitcher.

4. A-Rod struggled. OK, that is what it seems. Poor guy.

One last contradiction, this one relating to Torre's use of Mariano. Chin Music, as usual, is not happy with Joe Torre and has a very interesting example. Bronx Banter gives a more in-depth detail of the latest bullpen foolishness from Torre.
To be fair, Farnsworth not getting any outs and walking three guys didn't give Joe much of a choice.

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