Monday, July 14, 2008

Wrap Up From Toronto

I was in Toronto for Friday and Saturdays' Yankee games. Friday's game as everyone knows, stunk out loud. The offense couldn't get anything going at all off Roy Halladay. Doc was absolutely cruising. I don't think I ever saw so many ground balls to first and second in any game I've ever watched or played in. It was unreal. I thought the Yankees had a shot at chasing Halladay early as he threw a lot of pitches in the first 2 innings. But then the Yankees went back to being aggressive and it didn't work out too well, much like it hasn't all season. Halladay is one of the best pitchers in the game and the Yankees didn't do themselves any favors by swinging early in counts. It's been one of their downfalls all season. In my opinion, it's the biggest reason why they're not scoring. I think I've mentioned that maybe, 1, 2, or I don't know, a billion times. The Yanks do much better when they show patience at the plate. It definitely ruined a good outing by Joba.

The second game featured a new Yankees lineup and they exploded right out of the box. Jeter set the tone right from the get go when he put the 2nd pitch into the Yankee bullpen for his 200th career HR. No better place to hit a milestone HR than into your own bullpen. The offense jumped all over the Jays. It made the game much more fun. I still have no idea how Rasner escaped with a win and how he settled down, only giving up the 4 first inning runs. It was a solid win all around. The bullpen, as it has been most of the year, was fantastic. That runs my in-person viewing of the Yankees this season to 2-1. Not bad. I've got 6 games to go. I'll take a 6-3 record.

I didn't see a lot of the 3rd game, but it was almost a carbon copy of the first one. A late 9th inning HR by the Giambino accounted for the only run. Not the type of game I wanted to see them have going into the break. I've got high hopes for the 2nd half of the season. They Yanks will be fine if the offense can get it together. Damon should be back soon. Matsui's rehab is progressing. Brian Bruney isn't far off. They've got a run in them. I can feel it.

The fans were absolutely brutal to A-Rod. I've never heard him booed like that when I've seen them play up there. Alex's alleged antics and impending divorce have made him an even bigger media target. I spend a lot of time hanging around the team hotel hoping to get an autograph. This time, those of us that were there hoping to get a signature or two, were joined by about 7 members of the paparazzi, who were there trying to get shots of Alex and his wife/children who were in town. C-Rod walked right by me into a side entrance. She was within arms length. I think I was the only one who recognized her. Anyway, these photo peeps are relentless. On Saturday night, Alex and family left in an Escalade and the paparazzi jumped into traffic snapping photos while they were stopped at a red light. They then all followed Alex wherever he ended up going. It reminded me of the videos I've seen on E! where they're snapping photos of Britney or Lindsey in their rides. It was a little nutty.

On the autograph side of things, I ended up getting David Cone to sign a 1998 World Series ball. The Blue Jays run a promotion called "Flashback Fridays" on every Friday home game. The featured guest signs autographs before the game. Coney was that guest. I also later got him at the hotel after the game. He signed that ball on the sweet spot and included his perfect game date. Coney is one of the nicest guys you can ever run into. He took a lot of time to sign autographs, pose for pictures, and talk to whoever wanted to chat. He signed pretty much every time he came to, or left the hotel. Other than that, I also got Andy Pettitte on the 1998 World Series ball (he and Cone are the only 2 on it for now) when he was getting on the team bus. I also got Andy again during batting practice on his own ball. I could have gotten others but I didn't really want them to be honest with you. The biggest disappointment was that I didn't get Mariano Rivera to sign the back of his jersey. Mo usually signs at the hotel once per trip and that ended up being Sunday this trip. And since I had to leave, I missed out. No worries though. There's always next trip.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,