Saturday, September 24, 2011

Random Yankee thoughts

I'm starting to think that the biggest opponent for the New York Yankees this year is not the Red Sox, but Mother Nature. She has imposed on the Yankees with several hours-long delays and postponements, forcing the Yankees to play a brutal schedule of doubleheaders with little time off down the stretch. At least Major League Baseball didn't force the Yankees and Red Sox to wait until 11pm and start the game in the rain. With Joe Girardi convinced that Russell Martin got hurt because of a bad playing field the day after that epic wait, you know the Yankees were fighting MLB to call the game early and keep the field in good playing condition for the rest of the weekend.

• Brian Cashman is getting the last laugh on the Red Sox after their offseason battle. The Yankees general manager admitted that he only had lunch with Carl Crawford’s agent to drive up the price for the Red Sox on the free agent, which makes total sense to me. I never believed the Yankees would want to spend that much money on an outfielder they really didn’t need. But Boston was desperate after missing the playoffs last year and overpaid for Crawford. Even though he is having a rough first season in Boston, I think he might still be a good player, but his expensive contract will hang around the Red Sox’ necks for another six years. Just more proof that the Rivalry goes beyond the field and into the front office.

• I guess it was bound to happen. Derek Jeter is now the subject of a series of one-act plays. Some are meant to be humorous although a few actually deal with serious family issues. I’m tempted to go see the plays myself, but hesitate because I’m sure Jeter is thrilled at this latest attempt by someone to cash in on his fame.

• Two former Yankee greats are receiving well-deserved honors this weekend. Oklahoma Christian paid tribute to Bobby Murcer, who helped revive the school’s baseball program, by naming its new indoor practice facility after him. Murcer was not only a great former player, but a wonderful broadcaster. I love watching old Yankee games just to hear his voice. And hopefully the rain will not force another postponement of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Roger Maris breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record at Yankee Stadium today. Every time I think about Maris, I can’t help but think of two things: the movie 61*, which clued me in to the enormous pressure and hatred Maris endured during his pursuit of the record, and the kids of Maris being hugged by Mark McGwire after he surpassed Maris in home runs. With the subsequent revelations of steroid abuse by McGwire and Barry Bonds, Maris to me is the true record holder and worthy of such an honor.

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