Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hot day, cold team: Observations of a lost afternoon against the O's

We wuz there, Ed Smith Stadium, Sarasota: Mustang, Alphonso and me. Right field corner for six sun-pocked innings, air conditioned bar stools for the final three. (Thank you, Willis Carrier.) Esskay hot dogs and Stella Artois beer. Old and cagy crowd, quick to grab the best stools. Mostly Orioles' sickly orange, Manny Machado "13" jerseys, a couple "BUCK THE YANKEES" hate crime fashions. Yankee fans wore their finest Jeter attire. My bootleg tee said "NY" on the front and "YOUKILIS" on the back, a reminder that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to...

Aw, screw it. The stool sample scouting report:

Didi didn't. The new Jeter 1.0 experiment, Didi Gregorius - for whom we traded Shane Greene - swings the bat like Taylor Swift. Joe has him leading off. That won't last. This guy will bat ninth. Obviously, it's too early to draw conclusions, and Didi didn't hurt us in the field. But Yankee fans should start pondering the outside chance that our SS this year will be Brandon Ryan, or even Stephen Drew. Hate to be Debbie Downer, but you heard it here first. The guy looks over-matched at the plate.

Drew do-do. For whatever it's worth, Drew came up with the bases loaded and two outs, and though the games don't count, it was clearly the pivotal moment of the day. They overshifted against him, stacking the right side. If Drew could have slapped the ball to left, three runs could have scored, and we would have won the exhibition game. He swang hard. He hit a Little League pop-up to second. Oh, well. The joke is on Baltimore. The games don't count, right?

Aaron Judge. Made the defensive play of the game, charging from RF and diving full-out, to spear a pop fly down the line. Carlos Beltran wouldn't have gotten close enough to take a photograph. Judge did nothing memorable at the plate, but his sheer size makes him a P.T. Barnum "captured man-leviathon" act. Fans were pointing at him, as he towered over coaches and teammates. Listen: If this guy can hit, he's going to make 2019 the year of Giantism.

Chase Headley. Three hits, practically our only offense. One ball bounced off the wall in RF, a foot below the HR line. In Yankee Stadium, it would have been 20 rows back. Can't complain.

Chase Whitley. Three scoreless innings, but pitched out of several deep jams. It was the type of outing that Yogi used to hate. He'd remove a pitcher who was throwing a shutout, because he couldn't take the stress. In other words: Chase Whitley is in mid-season Chase Whitley form.

Esmil Rogers. Most dominant Yankee pitcher of the day. One inning, whap-whap-whap, thank you, ma-am, lights out. (Second place: Jacob Lindgren, the lefty, whom we watched from the stools.)

Gary Sanchez. Homered in the ninth. Crushed it. Hard to gauge importance. Besides, we were belly to the bar, drowning sorrows, watching on the overhead. At least the guy in the BUCK THE YANKEES shirt wasn't happy. I say, BUCK SHOWALTER.

Will try to post pictures later of post-game Yankee perp-walk. Gotta figure out how to get them off phone.


Alphonso said...

A few more notes:

On the side of reality; Judge struck out twice: Reysfsnyder was a weak strike out looking. Heathcott was a weaker (final ) strikeout of the game, swinging at something in the dirt.

Murphy , with two on and no out, chose to swing away, rather than bunt the runners into scoring position. The result was a double play, man on third and two outs.

This is the same, dumb-ass strategy the Yankees always pursue. We don't have any clutch hitters, so could predict ( correctly) that the Yankees don't score the run..

Peralta ( S&P?) looks like he can hit. And Mason Williams made a. Great catch in deep center ( assuming he is wearing number 80).

Larry Craig, U.S. Senator (Retired) R Idaho said...

Nice report BUT did you see The Master? Did they pipe in Ma and Pa's radio feed into the men's room, like they do at The Stadium? I hope they appreciate him down there as much as we do in Boise (The NYC of the Intermountain West). Hell of a guy, that Mr. Sterling. Mixes a great Manhattan too, although we're switching to Old Fashioneds this year. Might bring the team a change in fortune.

John M said...

This sounds like the entire coming season, distilled into one sad, sorry game.

If you guys are a benchmark, that means we'll be spending the last third of the season on the bar stools. All things considered (which still has the dopiest music of any program on NPR), we'll be drinking heavily and kind of half-watching by the All-Star break.

Ken of Brooklyn said...

My greatest fears for the season condensed into one post, URRGG!