Because I Haven’t Made a Baseball Post in a While…

2007 September 17
by CajoleJuice

Last night’s battle between the Yankees and Red Sox signified everything that is great about baseball. Sure, it took a bit longer than any 9-inning baseball game should, but — like the blubbering idiots in the Sunday Night Baseball telecast booth said — every pitch counts. Not even they could get that wrong. It’s incredible how every Yankees-Red Sox series feels like October. Even the chances of the Yankees snatching the division away from the Red Sox are as slim as they can get, they still sent a message by going to Boston and winning 2 out of 3. They wanted to win those games. Both teams wanted them.

Doug Mientkiewicz made an amazing diving play to save a few runs in the first (I think) inning. If Giambi had tried to make the same play, he would’ve torn about 5 different muscles and suffered internal HGH leaking. After that shaky first inning, Clemens and Schilling went pitch-for-pitch for six innings, with each only letting up a run. Clemens had the benefit of the 21-year-old Joba Chamberlain to back him up, and he pitched out of a leadoff double in the seventh. Until the 8th, the only back mark on Schilling was a home run to Robinson Cano in the 5th. It came down to a showdown between him and Jeter with two outs and runners on second and third. Instead of trying to pitch around Jeter, Schilling looked like he was trying to get Jeter out. The count was 2-2 This was the moment in the game. Watching a baseball game knowing any pitch can mean the game is the most tense feeling a spectator can get. Jeter got the best of him, crushing a hanging splitter over the Green Monster. The game was over right there.

Or was it. The Red Sox have had Mariano Rivera’s number for a number of years now. And Mike Lowell hit a home run off a Joba — the first earned run he has let up in the majors – so it was 4-2 when Mo came in to close the game in the 9th. He didn’t look himself, even hitting the Navajo Jacoby Ellsbury. The Red Sox scored a run and loaded the bases. There were 2 outs and the mirror “clutch” image of Derek Jeter came up: David Ortiz. Many sabermatricians discount the notion of “clutchness” but there’s definitely something about those two guys. It was another moment. Anything short of an out meant failure. (I’m not even figuring a possible walk in here — there’s no way Rivera would allow that to happen). The chest tightened up again while watching and analyzing every pitch.

He got Ortiz to pop out to Jeter, of all people. Game over. A possible preview of October. God, there’s nothing better than playoff baseball.

As for the Mets, they’re just totally disgraceful at this point. They’ve lost 7 straight games to the Phillies and managed to lose again today to the goddamn Nationals. If they only won a couple of those games against the Philles, the division would be theirs. Instead, the Phillies still have an outside shot at embarrassing the Mets and having the entirety of Queens asking for Willie Randolph’s head. I really can’t see them going anywhere in the playoffs at this point.

At least David Wright doesn’t suck. He just joined the 30-30 club yesterday. Jim Thome also joined the 500 homer club with a walkoff home run that went further than I can hit a golf ball. That’s the way to get that milestone.

And to wrap up: Marc Ecko bought Barry Bonds’ 756th home run ball for over $752,000 a while back. Now he has a website dedicated to what he should do with it.


I’m going to make another post dedicated just to this awesome idea. I hope he goes through with whatever wins. I really do. (Except if it’s option A. I voted for B.)

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  2. The Worst Throw in Baseball History
  3. There is Nothing Better Than Playoff Baseball