Yankees 5, Orioles 2: Amateur Night

But there was plenty to clap about. They clapped for C. C. Sabathia’s strikeouts. They clapped for Robinson Cano and Kevin Youkilis. They clapped for one Oriole, center fielder Adam Jones, who dropped a fly ball in the bottom of the seventh, with two outs, that allowed the three winning runs to score in the Yankees’ 5-2 win over Baltimore. And they clapped for the 4-6-5-6-5-3-4 triple play that the Yankees recorded in the eighth.

via C.C. Sabathia Pitches Yankees to Win Over Orioles – NYTimes.com.

9:59 PM John
Juggernaut!

10:00 PM Samantha
You see the triple play?

10:01 PM Woods, John
Just did, on video. …4-6-5-6-5-3-4! Just like they teach you in Little League! …I notice mlb.com is calling it the “the first 4-6-5-6-5-3-4 triple play in MLB history.”

10:06 PM Samantha
Ha! Oh, how I’ve missed the insight of mlb.com.

It might very well have been the first such triple play. More certain was that it was the first by the Yankees in the Bronx since 1968.

For sure, it nearly fried the brain of Kevin Youkilis.

“That’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever had on the field,” he squeaked to reporters after the game.

“This game we play,” Mr. Youkilis added with apparent seriousness, unfortunately giving word to a thoroughly inane thought, “it’s one of these games where it’s a job and it’s a grind at times.”

Is it? Mr. Youkilis, you moron? You are getting $12 million this season to slave away at Yankee Stadium.

He kept on, as though it all were true: “When stuff like that happens, you feel like you’re back playing Little League again.”

We’ll give him that. Parts of Friday’s game sure looked like they were being played by Little Leaguers.

In the seventh, with the score tied, 2-2, and the bases loaded, the Yankees’ Vernon Wells hit a long fly ball to center fielder Adam Jones. Mr. Jones, who is an honest-to-god Gold Glove-winner, mind you, actually blew a bubble of bubble gum just before the ball bounced out of his glove.

We are not making that up. Three runs scored.

After the game, like a true professional, Mr. Jones made it seem harder to explain than it really was. “You could say it’s rain,” he shrugged. “You could say it’s cold. You could say anything, wind, you could say whatever you want.”

Can we say you’re stupid?

Presumably, Mr. Jones was not allowed to join the Orioles in the coach’s minivan for the postgame trip to the Pizza Hut.

The triple play, as is usually the case, was really a full-on blunder. Manny Machado hit a grounder to the Yankees’ Robinson Cano, who tossed to Jayson Nix for an ordinary force at second. Baltimore’s Alexi Casilla, who had been on second, was caught in a rundown on his way to third because he thought Mr. Cano had caught the ball on the fly. Mr. Machado, the batter, was for some reason by then about halfway between first and second. Dumb meets dumber.

First baseman Lyle Overbay completed the play’s second rundown by tossing wildly to Mr. Cano for the third out. “Good thing he’s got good hand-eye coordination,” Mr. Overbay said, without irony, of Mr. Cano’s swift reaction.

Good thing you aren’t still playing for the Braves, we said — sarcastically — to Mr. Overbay.

Mark Teixeira, the first baseman whose injury makes Mr. Overbay’s liabilities a necessity, bleated, “That’s one of the toughest triple plays you’ll ever see.”

That is true. And if the Orioles had been any smarter, or the Yankees an inch more clumsy, it might not have happened.

Postscript

Maybe the most astounding fact of this young season? Mr. Youkilis is maybe the Yankees’ best player so far. He has a hit in all nine of the Yankees’ games, and is batting .424. His hitting streak, according to The A.P., is the longest by a Yankee newcomer since 1945.

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Steinbrenner on Steinbrenner

Quote

It was never easy being the son of George Steinbrenner, despite the obvious material benefits. Hal Steinbrenner has spent half his life working for the Yankees, a sometimes hazardous and often stressful occupation for anyone working for his father, but even more so for him. “They took their share enough that they thought I didn’t get any worse,” Steinbrenner said of his colleagues. “But I did. The one thing I joke about is that we could have a horrible, horrible day at work here with him, but the one thing they don’t have to deal with is he doesn’t show up at their house to play with their kids that night. We would get home and I’d be like, ‘I love him to death and my kids love him, but not tonight.’ It’s definitely different what I went through than what they did.”

via If Anyone Knows Storm Clouds, It’s Hal Steinbrenner – NYTimes.com.