Thursday, June 4, 2009

Game 54: Get Back

I love afternoon matinee games. Baseball is made for sunny afternoons, and while the forecast for today isn't perfect, baseball in the daylight is still a treat. When I was younger, I lived for the days there was a weekday afternoon game on during summer vacation. Those were the best. I'd love to see the MLB Network eventually broadcast a daily afternoon game during the summer months. I only wish I still had months-long summer vacations to enjoy it.

The Yankees continually do their opponents a favor by having these get-away-day matinees, allowing them to skip town early and get to the next city in time for a good night's sleep. It's a luxury the Yankees are rarely afforded on the road, as most teams need the night time start to ensure a good gate. Even with all the moaning about the new Stadium, the Yanks would still draw close to a packed house even if the game started at sunrise.

Despite my affinity for these afternoon contests, I'll be stuck in my luxurious cubicle following on GameCast, while Jay will be in attendance. Rest assured there will be more on that later. I'll bide my time knowing I already have tickets for a few other weekday afternoon contests later in the season.

Today's game is all about getting back. The Yankees look to get back to 10 games over 0.500, hopefully on their way to 15, 20, and 25 over. They also look to get back to another axiom from the Torre years: winning the series, as they try to take the rubber game of this three game set. They look to get the offense and starting pitching back to where it was before poor performances from both yesterday. Mark Teixeira gets back in the line-up after he missed yesterday's game with a sprained ankle suffered while getting back at the Rangers on Tuesday night.

But more than anything else, today's game is about getting Chien-Ming Wang back. Getting him back from the pitching limbo he's been in for the past two weeks. Getting him back to the starting rotation. And most importantly getting him back to the form he displayed from the start of his career up through his season ending foot injury last year.

Expectations are the first step towards disappointment, so I'm trying not to expect too much from the Wanger today. He's looked good in his last two relief outings, turning in 5 scoreless innings and allowing only 3 hits and a walk against 3 Ks. But I don't know that we can draw anything other than an optomistic outlook from that. Getting Wang back to where he once belonged will likely be a long and arduous process given the injury, the beatings he took early this season, and they way he's been mishandled over the past few weeks. Regardless, today is an important first step.

Wang should be good for about 80 pitches today, which is assuredly why Alfredo Aceves was held out of yesterday's game. If he's on, Wang may be able to go six, if he's off the Texas line-up can chew up his pitch limit in the fourth. If he's really off he won't even make it that far.

As an aside, with Aceves held out yesterday, Brett Tomko was the de facto long man, going three impressive innings in relief of Pettitte. Remember when the Yankees said Tomko couldn't be used for multiple innings because he had been conditioned as a short-stint reliever this year? Another pearl of honesty from Girardi and company. I guess they feel that he was sufficiently stretched out after making two appearances covering two innings in the last two weeks. Remind me again why this guy is on the roster?

[UPDATE 12:02 PM: Pete Abe is reporting that Burnett has been suspended six games by MLB for throwing at Nelson Cruz Tuesday. How he can be suspended for six games due to an action that didn't get him tossed from one is a little beyond me. But it makes perfect sense in the pretzel logic that is the MLB discipline policy. Burnett plans to appeal, but we may see Hughes back in the rotation sooner than thought. Even if he serves the full six, I don't care. Burnett did what he needed to do for his team. If that's the price to pay for it then so be it. Meanwhile I'll wait for MLB to suspend Padilla as well. That is if Texas doesn't cut him first.]

Please use this as a game thread. We're not quite ready for a fancy live game chat, but I imagine several of you, like me, are stuck at some soul-sucking office today rather than sitting in front of your big screen with a frosty cold one. So let's commiserate in the comments.

Here's your video for today. As a special matinee bonus we'll do this a little differently. Rather than your typical video of the song or a live peformance we'll give you a two part, behind the scenes look at the making of Get Back. In true Fack Youk fashion, it's in black and white. So in my best Ed Sullivan voice "Ladies and Gentleman, the Beatles" with the late, great Billy Preston on the keys. Enjoy.

Get back, Get back,
Get back to where you once belonged.


  1. Re: Burnett: Suspension without a warning? Typical MLB horseshit. I'd like to see a clear, transparent policy. Otherwise, fanaticism of the opposing team's television/radio broadcast can lead to a suspension.

    Cruz didn't even object to the attempted beaning.

    Was Padilla suspended?

    Here's to Bob Gibson replacing Bob Watson.

  2. Gibson would make for an extremely interesting dean of discipline. I doubt hitters would dig in too deeply under his regime.

    In a way, the Burnett suspension is consistent with the suspension Beckett received earlier this year for tossing at the Wallaphobe. But overall, I agree that the league is too inconsistent with its discipline. I don't want a rigid, absolute policy because context needs to be considered, but there needs to be improvement.

    Padilla was fined, but word is Texas is going to cut him anyway, so a suspension would be moot. Neither his manager, nor his catcher, nor any other teammate has defended him, so I'm guessing his act has worn thin. Cruz might not have liked getting buzzed - and Burnett probably could have gotten the message across just as well with a pitch more at rib or ass level - but given what I've read about Padilla and his reputation, Cruz must have figured someone had it coming.

  3. If I were Damon's agent in the minors I think I would stop representing him based on the fact that I would have to furnish the cost of his bats.

  4. If your first initial is D. and your last name Murphy then you should stay out of the outfield...

  5. Dale and Dwayne Murphy and their 11 combined consecutive Gold Gloves strongly disagree.

    They are however quite disapointed with their distant relative.

  6. Well left field anyways--David and Daniel.

  7. Daniel Murphy should just stay away from gloves period. Except for batting gloves. And maybe oven gloves if he's baking.

  8. Another fine outing from Wang! 4.2 Innings with 7 hits, a walk, and 5 runs! Wang does his part!!! Hooray!

  9. GO, TEIX!!

  10. Anonymous flamers are awesome.

    Lets win this fucking game, I do NOT have the patience for anything less today.

    And no I don't have anything constructive or analytical to contribute, Fack Youk anyway.

  11. Just when I turn it off to study for the Bar exam...

  12. That's alright Schiff - unadulterated bile has its place here and there.

    Hope you enjoy your Canadian trip more that I did mine.

    So what's the verdict on Wang? I'm just Gamecasting it here. Started out OK, the second Kinsler at bat got him in trouble. Looks like he left the sinker up to Cruz.

  13. Panicked. Brought him back too early. I wonder how much AJ getting suspended had to do with that.

  14. Grib: They have to start with him somewhere.

    I hate when managers announce pitch counts before the game.

  15. Matt I've made a mental note to read up on your Canadian trip. Ours was pretty insane and included one of our friends grabbing some 50 year old's boobies in a bar by the Rogers Centre (totally invited), me screaming "FAAAACK YOUK!" and "Ortiz, you weigh 3 times your average!" from 15 rows back to the delight of the entire section, and another one of our friends paying a Canadian stripper $150 to eff her in our hotel room at 3am and texting me an offer to do the same as I sat in a diner w/another one of the guys (said text was accompanied by a very special photo).

    "If you have hate in your heart, let it out."

  16. Grib - I don't think it was panic. Not today at least. Joe's right in that they have to start him somewhere. I meant performance wise today, what's the verdict?

    I think people knew Wang would be limited to 80. Wang had said so himself. Aside from Kinsler, no one was really making him work anyway. Throwing strikes will do that for you.

    Schiff - Your trip sounds infinitely more eventful than mine. Don't know if I would have been up for all of that.

  17. Yea, I didn't realize we were up for any of that either. However, I can say this much - If you thought talking to regular Canadians was bizarro with their accents, try talking to naked Canadian accented strippers who span the full spectrum of stripper looks. Shit will blow your mind. The annual Baseball Roadshow just gets better and better every year....

  18. Did Aceves get hurt? Game cast says something about an injury delay

  19. Leadoff Walk, bring him in Hideki!

  20. Melky strikes again!

  21. i wrote a big facking post about the Burnett suspension, but it was lost. Anyways, we get to watch Papelbon run out of the dugout and dance around like an infant to protest calls during interleague play after he gives up the game winning homer, but AJ can't send a message late in a lopsided game. Right. I guess this is the penalty the Yanks get for knocking the Sawks out of first.

    the facking gritty, gutty Yankees are back!

  22. danamis - sorry you lost your comment. The commenting function gets a little picky sometimes.

    I'm not sure what the Burnett suspension has to do with the Sox. Beckett got the same supension for something almost identical earlier this year.

    Papelbon is a douche of the highest order and what he did during that game against the Mets was complete bush league. But it's not at all comparable to what happened with Burnett the other night. Papelbon showed the umps up more than anything. I doubt they'll forget that over the course of season, suspension or no suspension.