Friday, August 22, 2008

Toronto Series Recap

Only one word can describe the Toronto series: disgusting. It was just not good baseball. Tuesday's game was a good game. The Yanks didn't have much going on for them offensively. Rasner pitched a great game. It was a shame that two dropped fly balls by Johnny Damon led to the loss. He had an absolutely dreadful night in the field. I'm not sure how the dropped ball in the 8th was not an error as that ball was more than catchable. Perhaps he's now "scared" of the wall after having injured his shoulder. Maybe it's that there's no difference between the OF "grass" and the warning track in the Rogers Centre and he couldn't tell where the wall was. Maybe both were contributing factors. Maybe they addressed it on the post game, which I didn't see. But a bad night all around.

The Yankees couldn't touch AJ Burnett all night. There was a gentleman standing next to me who felt he was "auditioning" for the Yankees. While I'm sure there is interest in AJ, I can't imagine it's that high. You know the rotation is going to be anchored by Wang and Chamberlain. If they're smart they resign Moose and don't bother with Pettitte. Pettitte will keep the Yanks wondering all winter what his plans are and they shouldn't hold things up for AP. Besides, Moose is one of the best pitchers in the last 20 years and who better to give guidance to the youngsters than Moose. And unless they totally give up on Phil Hughes, he'll be the 4th starter, leaving one open spot, which I'm sure they'll try to fill with a lefty, cough cough, CC Sabathia.

Andy Pettitte absolutely dominated the 2nd game. He was pretty much on all night. I couldn't help but wonder why they pulled him after 7 as he was cruising, had a 4 run lead, and had only thrown 83 pitches. Knowing Girardi he was playing the righty/righty match-up as the whole Jays lineup was pretty right heavy. Brian Bruney looked especially sharp also. I thought the team should have scored more runs, but they're the Yankees. Offensive explosions are a rare commodity these days. The offense which is made up of pretty much the same guys as last year can't seem to get things going. Man, who knew Jorge Posada was that valuable to the Yankee lineup.

And then there was yesterday's absolute trashing. I knew before the series started that the Yankees were likely only going to win 1 game based on the pitching matchups alone, with the middle game being the only one that favored the Yankees. After watching Toronto struggle offensively the 1st 2 games, I thought maybe the Yankee had a chance at beating Roy Halladay. And then the bottom of the 1st started and my hopes for a Yankee victory were quickly dashed. I didn't even stick around for the whole game, leaving after the 1st inning because I was absolutely exhausted. Usually I stick around any game I attend until both teams get hits because I'd hate to miss a no-no. I had planned to stay for the entire game but I was exhausted and getting home at 1opm as opposed to 2am, seemed like a great idea. I was absolutely worn down because hounding for autographs is tough work.

If you've been a long time regular reader of this blog then you've probably read some stories about my experiences trying to get autographs. I spent a lot of time standing outside the Yankees hotel hoping to score some stuff for my collection. I'd get there around 8:30-9 in the morning and I'd leave around 1:30am. I usually stay in Mississauga, which is about 15 miles outside of Toronto as it's cheaper and the parking is free. The morning drive is brutal. That was draining in itself. Anyway, I won't bore you with the details, but I did pretty well for myself over the 3 days. This is how I fared:

  • Tuesday: Pudge Rodriguez on a sweet spot and Al Leiter on a Team USA WBC ball
  • Wednesday: Joe Girardi and Derek Jeter on my 1998 World Series team ball, A-Rod on a 2008 All-star ball, and A-Rod on an authentic jersey (he signed the #1 on the back with a paint pen)
  • Thursday: Mariano on an authentic jersey (he signed the #4 on the back with a paint pen) and Terry Francona

Now, you've probably just asked yourself, Terry Francona?? Yeah, Terry Francona. The Red Sox start a series with with the Jays tonight. They were in Baltimore on Wednesday and had an off day on Thursday, which meant they flew into Toronto very early Thursday morning. The 2 teams stay at the same hotel and this time their paths crossed. So for the majority of Thursday, the hotel was crawling with both teams. It was a pretty odd scene to say the least. There was one point where David Ortiz was leaving the hotel on foot and was crossing the street. On the other side of the street was Jose Veras. Ortiz crossed the street and he and Veras ended up hugging, and not just an ordinary hug. Veras rested his head on Ortiz's shoulder. The two then walked down the street holding hands, albeit only for a few seconds. It was more comical than anything else and I think they were playing it up for some odd reason. The 2 then went to eat together and happened to dine at the same eatery as Mariano Rivera and Edwar Ramirez. Very weird. I could have gotten Ortiz's autograph but I didn't follow him around town as he walked. He signed for those that did. I was hoping to catch him on his way back but he didn't return before I headed to the stadium. There were other Sox players that signed, but none I were interested in. And that was pretty much my hotel experience in a nutshell.

The Yankees are now 6 games out of the wild card with 35 to play. I think they're pretty much done. Carl Pavano is getting the start on Saturday. If that's not a sign that things are bad, I don't know what is. Hopefully, Moose wins tonight and picks up #17. All I'm really looking forward to is him winning 20. Hopefully, the offense doesn't let him down. and hopefully, my hair magically starts to grow back. I don't see either happening.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,