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Thursday, July 8, 2004

Photos: Tigers 10, Yankees 8
They didn't win. It was a shame.

I should have known better than to attend a Yankees mid-week day game.

Check out this recipe for disaster:

• 1:05 p.m. start means a subdued daytime crowd and, worse, John Flaherty's .153 batting average in the starting lineup
• No. 5 rookie starter Brad Halsey, on the mound for the Bombers, was so emotionless in his last solid start against the Red Sox that he makes Mike Mussina look like Al "The Mag Hungarian" Hrboksy
• Screaming camp kids everywhere, the kind who have never heard of Don Mattingly, the Greatest Living Ballplayer
• That fat, crazy guy in front of me whose B.O. was visible, who talked to himself and made me wonder if prostitutes accept all comers
• Despite a healthy paid attendance of 50,338 — the kind that supports large payrolls — there was no line for beer or bathrooms. That should tell you how dull this crowd was. Of course, a 10-3 deficit in the fifth inning doesn't much help
• I was there. The Yankees are now 27-8 at home when I'm not in attendance, 11-1 overall when I'm not even in the country, but just 2-4 when I drag my ass up to the Bronx. Ugh.

I posted 22 pics from the day, but even I'm getting tired of looking at the same shots all the time. But it's good practice. And, no, I don't know the chick in the photo above. She was like 10 rows in front of me.

Today's Sports Links:

Top Pitchers to Win One Game — No question my top two are Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, those bastards who combined to ruin the Yankees in 2001. I'm sure it's happened, but how often do those guys get knocked out of a game, instead of being lifted for a pinch-hitter or a situational reliever in the late innings? They have to be the most bankable pitchers out there.

A Boo for the Red SoxMotley Fool takes issue with how Boston announces its donation to the people who suffered from floods in the Dominican Republic.

NFL's Best Posse of Passers — FOXSports.com ranks each team's bevy of signal-callers. As if the Colts (No. 11) would ever — EVER — trade their crew, which includes Peyton Manning and four nobodies, for that of the Bucs (No. 5) or Panthers (No. 4). Would you rather have depth or strength at the top? Reminds me of every fantasy football owner's quandary.

Jayson Stark: Really Useless Information — I've saved this link more than a week, but it's still an engaging piece of work for any baseball stats junkie. Will Barry Bonds have more intentional walks than hits this season? Who was the last guy before Billy Wagner to reach 30 strikeouts without a walk? Who hit a walkoff homer deepest into an extra-inning game? How many times have perfect-game hurlers faced each other?

Steinbrenner Belongs in the Hall of Fame — Mike Fish makes the case on SI.com. Ten pennants and six World Series championships in 30 years sounds like a pretty good 30 years to me. Not to mention he built what this year will be the most-watched team in MLB history.

Jump the Shark: SportsCenter — Sports fans chime in on when the show lost its spark. Thanks a lot, Stuart Scott!

A Gentleman in a Pinstripe Suit — Rick Reilly on the great Alex Rodriguez, future Yankee Hall of Famer who will be in pinstripes through 2010. (Subscription required, or just log in with the name of someone you know has one.)

Category: Sports | Permalink | Post a Comment (17)

Comments: Photos: Tigers 10, Yankees 8

I don't think that "winning at all costs" as George Brett put it- a belief that Mike Fish at SI obviously endorses- is remotely in any sports' best interest.

That's the sort of attitude that has encouraged steroid use by our professional athletes, and questionable and felonious behaviour by sports teams' owners (ie Steinbrenner paying a professional gambler to "dig up dirt" on Dave Winfield).

As a mother of young athletes, I think Steinbrenner epitomizes poor sportsmanship. He's like the one coach in everyone's little league who will do anything to win, regardless of the cost: parents hate him, the league dislikes him, the opposing players feel cheated and after a while, his players either learn how to skirt and bend all the rules (such great life lessons) or they are ashamed of winning at the cost of their integrity.

Winning isn't everything. It's nicer, and it's more fun- but it isn't everything.

Posted by lucy at July 8, 2004 1:08 AM

Um, OK, I'm sorry the Yanks lost and all, but, really, George Brett is Obviously the Greatest Living Ballplayer. Who else could hit .390 when the rest of the league struggled to hit .300?

Posted by Mark at July 8, 2004 1:32 AM

Lucy, you make is seem like the Yankees' success is due to rule-bending and inappropriate behavior that values winning over sportsmanship.

In fact, the Yankees are loaded with respected professionals, from Jeter to A-Rod (see Reilly's column) to Bernie to Mariano to Posada to Matsui to Mussina to the manager Torre.

To dismiss the Yankees' success entirely as some kind of function of payroll is to be ignorant to the fact that in three of their four World Series wins since 1996, they faced an NL team that had won more games then they in the regular season (2000 vs. Mets, 1999 vs. Braves, 1996 vs. Braves). If those teams were as clutch as the players we have (and in the cases of Jeter, Bernie, Mariano, Posada and Pettitte, actually developed in our own system), maybe they would have more fans and thus more revenue.

And if the Red Sox would knock down that rat-infested dump and cram more Massholes in to see the most overrated franchise in sports history, maybe they'd have more money, too. Instead they just cry about the Yankees making money, spending money and winning pennants on a home run by a scrub.

Posted by Paul Katcher at July 8, 2004 3:54 AM

Wow- $7 for a beer?!? And I thought $5 for one at Wrigley was steep...

Posted by Kristi at July 8, 2004 10:03 AM

Yeah, $7 for 16 oz. How do you think Jeter and A-Rod get paid? Cork is cheap, though.

When I was at Wrigley last year, the bartenders around the stadium told us New Yorkers were the best tippers. So even the beloved Wrigleyville bars love seeing the Yankees — and I guess the dreadful Mets — come to town.

Posted by Paul Katcher at July 8, 2004 11:14 AM

$8 for a beer, Bud Light draft, that was warm for chrissake. Still nothing is worse than staples center in LA, $10 for a heinken draft, I could fly to Amsterdam and get hammered cheaper than at Staples!

Posted by Ayan at July 8, 2004 12:01 PM

First of all, the fact that other teams win more games in any particular regular season doesn't mean that the Yankees payroll doesn't affect their winning the World Series as much- it just means that Yankees players turned it up when they needed to, and the fact that they have high caliber players who can do just that is a reflection of thier inflated payroll.

Secondly, my comments stemmed from the article you linked to from SI.com. I commented on a quote from George Brett about George Steinbrenner, in reflection to Steinbrenner being elected to the Hall of Fame. Brett said that "winning at all costs" was vital to Steinbrenner, and the article had previously mentioned Steinbrenner's felony conviction as well as his suspension from MLB. My point was to connect those two facts with his election, by observing that it is that type of behavior which is detrimental to the game and is, indeed, unsportsmanlike.

Steinbrenner's behaviour. Not the behaviour of any individual Yankee player or manager. If I did not make that distinction clear, let me do so now.

As I said before: Winning isn't everything- especially not at the cost of the integrity of a sport.

Which, as a sidebar, is why I don't think Pete Rose should be elected, either.

As for the Red Sox- the Cubs have a longer history of not winning, as they still manage to keep in the black....

Posted by lucy at July 8, 2004 3:11 PM

The only problem I have is the margin by which the yankess have now widened the gap between what they are willing/able to pay vs. the league. Since 2002, the yanks have left the rest of the pack in the dust.
Take a look at this year's numbers- they are outspending the #2 team (sox) by $57M. There are 14 other teams that do not even spend $57M. Since 2000, their payroll has doubled. And yes $$ won't buy you wins (See 2003 Mets - they sucked, Ed) but it sure creates opportunities.

Posted by sk at July 8, 2004 7:56 PM

If the Sox wanna close the gap, let 'em knock down that dump of a sandbox and get more people in there. Till then, tough.

Remember, the team owners own the game. Yes, the Players Association has power, but no more power than the few dozen who actually own the entire league. So if Steinbrenner is so bad for the sport, they'd probably be more vigilant about changing things.

As it is now, Steinbrenner plays by the rules set forth by his peers. What's he supposed to do? Try less to win?

Posted by Paul Katcher at July 8, 2004 8:05 PM

Torre just added Javier Vazquez to he AL All-Star team. That makes eight Yanks. I was hoping for somewhere between 12-14.

Posted by Paul Katcher at July 8, 2004 9:02 PM

Although it sounded like it, I wasn't bitching solely about the yanks, but the system. You have teams that never have the cash to compete while others are perennial powers... I was raggin on the Mets, tho.

Posted by sk at July 8, 2004 11:18 PM

Thanks for the new mug shot of you, hottie. Much bettah.

Posted by PeeWee at July 9, 2004 12:41 AM

the Phillies new stadium is fabulous, adn I do feel has made a difference for the team. $5.50 for a COLD Miller Lite. Unfortunately, the team has not mastered the art of being consistent in their wins just yet. I think that they will do it this year.

Steinbrenner is hardly bad for the sport of baseball. He raises the bar for how things should be for a winning team. He must be doing something right.

New pic is hot:).

Posted by Cass at July 9, 2004 8:56 AM

Mattingly "Greatest Living Ballplayer" :-)

It's funny... I guess that's the satire part of your post.

Obviously, there's a long list ahead of him, and George Brett barely qualifies. Last time I checked, Mays and Aaron were still walking the earth. And if I get to pick, it's obviously Michael Jack Schmidt and his 8 home run titles and 3 MVPs and 9 Gold Gloves.

Posted by CJ at July 9, 2004 12:54 PM

Hard to say if Mays and Aaron were really better than Mattingly, epecially considering they didn't play for the Yankees. But I guess they were OK.

Also, before anyone bitches about Torre selecting Vazquez and snubbing Pedro for the All-Star team -- as some uniformed Internet writers are doing -- know that Torre did extend an invitation to the chickenshit headhunter and he declined.

Posted by Paul Katcher at July 9, 2004 3:06 PM

Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing.

We're talking about professional athletes, not little leaguers. These men are paid a LOT of money, to win.. not to play nice and have fun.

While I can't stand the Yankees... they're doing what everyone else only wishes they could do. Winning, and winning a lot. They have the fan base to support the payroll, so they pay it. That's it. If the other owners want to stop it, they'll vote for a salary cap. Until then, the Yankees will have the highest payroll and be a contender every year.

Posted by Johnny FlopBoot at July 14, 2004 12:18 PM

My carreer attendence stats are equally appauling. And becasue i live in Australia, they are unlikely to improve anytime soon.

Yankees 1-2, Boston 2-0! arrhhh!

Posted by D at July 15, 2004 4:16 AM
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