An Interesting Yankees-Red Sox Game 1

April 20th, 2012 by Jane Heller

From the clips I saw and the articles I read, the ceremonies at Fenway must have been really well done. Sorry I missed them. I wasn’t all that wild about the Yankees wearing the “throwback” uniforms, but they were pretending to be the Highlanders and seemed to enjoy the whole thing.

As for the game itself? How rare is it to see Pedroia drop a pop-up? Eric Chavez pop a couple of homers? So many Yankees popping homers? Jeter passing Winfield on the hits list and A-Rod passing Griffey on the homers list?

I was glad we won, obviously (great job by Nova and the bullpen), but even the victory was rare; we usually lose to Boston early in the season, don’t we?

And then there were the “We want Tito” chants after the game. Awkward.

There’s every possibility that the Sox will win the rest of this series, but from what I saw today they looked listless, as if the constant bad press and issues with Valentine have taken their toll. I just didn’t feel their usual fire.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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23 Responses to “An Interesting Yankees-Red Sox Game 1”

  1. YankeeCase says:

    Beginning to worry, Jane. The late post and all. Hopefully all is well and the late post was a result of a great dinner party or something along those lines. :)

    Really good day for our boys, huh? Five solo shots really quieted that crowd in a hurry. It was only a four run deficit, yet it felt like it could’ve been 14 the way the crowd was so lifeless. Though that’s nothing for us to complain about.

    Nova pitched great in front of a crowd that should’ve been even more unruly than usual. I thought he might’ve been able to go out for one more, but I do understand his pitch count was up there. I don’t understand Girardi’s decision in bringing in the new kid. Again, it was only a four run deficit, even though it felt like a lot more. And in that pinball machine of a ballpark, it wouldn’t take much to regret not bringing in someone a little more trusted.

    I did happen to see a little bit of the ceremony while at work. From what I saw, they basically gathered a bunch of old Red Sox players and had them hover around in the general area of where their position was. And by a bunch I mean like over 150 players or something. Pretty much, you were invited if you ever wore a Red Sox uniform. (But oddly they didn’t invite Theo Epstein…?) They then gathered in the middle of the field. And then idiots Millar and Pedro Martinez stood on top of the Boston dugout with champagne and tried to have one big, giant toast to Fenway with the entire stadium. As if drinking out of bottles in the middle of the day in front of thousands of kids and millions more on TV is any way to send a positive message. It all seemed disjointed and sort of half-ass planned, like, “We’ll just march them out and they can just go wherever and wave to the crowd. And maybe someone can do a toast? Yeah, it’ll all work out. It’ll be very organic and real…” I wasn’t all that impressed.

    It just makes you appreciate even more how well the Yankees pull this sort of stuff off, with Old Timer’s Day, unveiling new monuments like the most recent Steinbrenner one, and the 2008 All-Star game.

    Oh, and the uniforms? While it was cool to see Jeter playing in high socks, I really hope we don’t see this kind of stunt again for a long while. Although I did hear Michael Kay say that the Yankees did wear a different uniform in 1996 in Detroit when they were celebrating old Negro League teams (The Black Yankees). So I felt a tiny bit less revulsion upon hearing this news. Let’s just not make it a habit…

  2. Audrey says:

    I heard there was supposed to be a small glass of grape juice at each seat in the stadium for the toast. Not sure if it was sparkling grape juice or the regular kind.

    I missed the ceremonies and even Pedroia’s error. I decided I needed to get in a bike ride before the weather turns rainy this weekend and got back just in time to see A-Rod hit Jeter home for the first run. then got to watch the rest of the fun. Considering we left nine men on base it could have been even more fun but we still seem to be struggling with RISP. I can’t complain, of course, but imagine if those five homeruns weren’t all solos.

    The hardest part of that game was watching in on NESN. Tell me if they do this on YES – when the Yankees were up to bat, The NESN broadcasters conducted interviews (like with Pedro Martinez) that lasted the entire half of the inning and were given most of the camera time. Ocassionally they would cut to action on the field but it was mainly about the interview – they Yankees ups were an afterthought. Truly annoying. Never thought I would say this but I’m looking forward to Fox today. How I wish we could get YES up here!

  3. Leo says:

    I’d like to think this series is our best chance to get greedy and sweep. We avoid having to face Beckett AND Lester this series from what I’ve read. Nova continues to impress. I don’t really look at wins to evaluate pitchers because that’s mostly a team stat and some great pitchers who have terrible run support don’t rack up wins much (obvious example would be Felix). But Nova shut down a great offense going deep with 5 strikeouts and best of all, no walks. This kid keeps it up and he’s going to have a bright future. That minor league stint last year and adding the slider to his arsenal made all the difference. The offense was driven by the long ball yesterday which was fun to see, particularly from Martin, A-Rod, and Swisher as they are our regulars in the offense. Not to take anything away from Chavez though as he did help as well with his 2 shots.

  4. Juan says:

    I really enjoyed this victory, mostly cause we spoiled the party for the Sox. It was awesome to see the bats clicking in this game (except for Cano, really). Chavez 2 HR, even Martin hit one… The part I hated was the pre-game and seeing those two idiots Millar and Pedro running out of things to say trying to break the record for the biggest toast, and then going on to mock Karim Garcia… That was completely unnecessary. I felt like it was kind of classless to say that with all the great Sox players in attendance, and celebrating such a historic feat. Moving on, I hope we can continue to win against Boston, and have Freddy pitch well today and survive the FOX curse.

  5. Melissa says:

    Since the game was on such a weird time, we taped it (and the pregame) and watched it later.
    I checked my email and a Yankee friend had sent me something. I thought it might give away the game, so I didn’t read it, but noticed the word “Ugh” in it. I was sure we’d lost, so the outcome was a great surprise! (The email was about Bobby V.)

    They only showed clips of the pregame ceremonies, but all I could think of was how very long it must have been for the fans. They introduced over 200 former Red Sox. Wow, that is a lot! Yaz still looked great.

    As Juan and YankeeCase noted, the toast by Millar and Pedro was disgraceful. It was incoherent, classless and ugly. The utterly despicable Martinez had to bring up Karim Garcia (who I had to look up because I’d forgotten – he was the Yankee who Pedro almost hit that led to the brawl where Pedro so elegantly shoved Don Zimmer to the ground.) Plus Millar and Martinez both seemed to be drunk. It was repulsive.

    If you think your stomachs can handle it, you can watch the debacle here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrXjkYyUFgY

    It was great that the Yankees never let Boston into the game. Nova was wonderful. Every time the Yankees hit a homer, the YES announcers said “The ball is really flying out of here today.” I think that should give Nova even more credit – no Boston hits flew out.

    Martin got his homer, but was also robbed of a double on a great play.

    And for the past two days I’ve told my husband that ARod was about to start hitting. At the beginning of the season he had a frown on his face and was flapping and wriggling and twitching in the batter’s box. I guess he does that when he’s struggling with his timing. On Thursday, I noticed his face looked more relaxed and he moved much less. Yesterday I said “ARod’s got his panther face on.” I know I’ve said it before – when he is hitting well he is still and focused, like a panther about to pounce. Hope he keeps it up!!!

    Let’s hope Freddy can defend the honor of the Garcia name in Boston today. (I couldn’t hear Pedro’s rant well and thought he was dissing Freddy Garcia.) Go Yankees!

  6. Jane Heller says:

    I didn’t know you were counting the seconds until every blog post, YankeeCase. LOL. (Yes, I had a very busy day/night, besides which I figured everyone saw the game and didn’t need a summary of who did what.) As for the ceremony, I did read about Pedro and Millar (so glad I missed them) and the toast thing does sound a little unscripted, but the Sox do things differently than the Yankees, who script everything. I, too, thought about Old Timer’s Day and how we honor our past players with such fanfare and class every single year, but the Sox organization has always been a different animal and it made sense that they stayed true to how they do things.

    Grape juice on each seat, Audrey? I didn’t hear about that. My first thought is how would they keep the glasses from tipping over and how many people got stains on their T-shirts? (I’m so anal.) I totally hear you on the in-game interviews during games. It’s one of my pet peeves, and occasionally YES does it too if they’ve got a visitor in the booth. Makes me absolutely crazy because while it’s fine to interview a notable person during the game, it’s not fine to miss the action on the field. Grrrr. If you really want YES, why don’t you get either MLB Extra Innings on cable or MLB.TV for your computer?

    Nova was very impressive, Leo. He looked so confident out there and never got rattled when there was even a hint of trouble. So interesting how Hughes was the golden boy and nobody knew Nova existed, and yet now look at them. Baseball works in mysterious ways.

    I keep waiting for Cano to start clicking, Juan. He’s not usually a slow starter, is he? I’m worried about Garcia today. I just can’t picture him doing well at Fenway as much as I want him to. And then there’s the FOX curse, as you mentioned. We shall see.

  7. Terri says:

    Being a Red Sox fan reading this blog is hard sometimes :) I think perhaps the Sox and Yankees just do things differently, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    The toast by Millar and Martinez was assuredly awkward; they stayed out there for a bit too long, but I agree with the spirit of the idea of having them toast. They should have had a script, though. Sparkling grape juice was under the seats of everyone there – they were attempting to break the World Record for most people participating in a toast. Also “gathering a bunch of old Red Sox players” is like me saying to any Yankees fans “I dunno, they had some guy named Mantle out there.” Yes, everyone who ever played for the team was invited. It was part of showing that the team and the park are linked in a particular way, and that one makes an impression upon the other, no matter for how short a time. Also, the NESN interviews were a bit of a special thing given the historic nature of the day. I lived in NY for 9 years and “had” to watch plenty of games on YES. They don’t normally do the cutaway for interviews like NESN does (and I hate that particular practice; let me watch the game!) but YES certainly does interview folks during the away team at-bats.

    But I digress! This is a Yankees blog, after all :)

    The Sox pitching situation is pretty dire; we sort of deserve to have our butts kicked right now. The observation of “listless” is spot on. Something is not clicking, and it needs to be figured out. All we ever seem to be able to do is muster comeback wins. I think only one of our (dismal 4) wins came from being ahead the entire game. Sheesh. Congrats to the Yankees for the deserved win, you party spoilers you! :)

  8. Sean K says:

    Nice to see Nova stay in the groove. IMO he’s the Yankees’ best starter right now.

    One down, two to go. And hey, we finally won consecutive games for like the first time in about 8 days! be nice to get some consistency going.

    On to tonight.

  9. Jane Heller says:

    I’ll have to start paying more attention to A-Rod’s facial expressions, Melissa! A panther, huh? I thought he was a centaur.:) I really hope he can keep up the hitting. I think Girardi’s strategy of resting him and all the older players is a smart one. They all need to avoid injury and fatigue over the long season. And I like the idea of swapping him with Cano in the lineup against lefties/righties. As for the Kim Garcia thing, I think I get the picture without looking at the video (thanks for posting though). I don’t know why they even brought Garcia up. It was supposed to be a celebration of their team and their history, after all.

    Oh, Terri. It does take fortitude to come here after our teams play. But yes, it’s a Yankees blog so I wouldn’t look for any Red Sox love. I do agree with you that it’s not only okay for our teams to handle ceremonies differently but preferable. How boring it would be if every organization conducted itself the same way. I like that each team has its own “personality.” And the players that came to your event yesterday were not a “bunch of old guys.” I would have enjoyed seeing Yaz and others (just not Millar and Pedro!). And as you read, I agree that YES does long in-game interviews too (so do most of the team’s feeds that I’m stuck with as a result of MLB Extra Innings.) Do you think the listlessness we’re both seeing with this team is a carryover from last year or Valentine or what? I just know that a friend of mine, who’s a Red Sox fan, thinks they never should have gotten rid of Francona and is still angry about that.

    Was it really the first time in a week that we won consecutive games, Sean K? I hope we can build on that. Consistency is so important.

  10. Audrey says:

    Oh Jane, the television situation here is somewhat delicate. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but my husband is not the fan I am. He likes to watch a game now and then, but gets bored when we watch too many games in a row. He likes to do and watch other things and gets annoyed if I am glued to the TV watching a Yankee game every night. So it makes no sense to spend a hundred dollars on something that will only cause contention. And we are fortunate to get about half the games between ESPN, FOX, TBS, My9 and NESN. The My9 game are my favorites since they feature YES and I really don’t mind listening to games either. That’s how I did it weeknights as a kids (I would listen in bed every night then get to watch on the weekends back when they were on WPIX). When I listen to the games I can work on other projects so it’s more productive. But those games I have to watch on NESN are tough because, even though the announcers aren’t bad, the commericals and sponsors are all about the Sox. I guess I kind of know how Terri feels when she comes here:).

    I am curious to know how Terri feels about the Francona/Valentine situation. I personally feel that Francona got a raw deal after having done well for the Sox. Everyone has an off year now and then and the players bore much of the responsibility in that debacle.

    Also wondering if Bill Buckner was invited back for the ceremony?

  11. Melissa says:

    Terri,
    As always you are a class act.
    I’ll bet the interviews with the former players were great. I love that kind of thing! It was fun to see them all, but I’ll bet it was long.
    I was happy to see Tony Canigliaro there. His injury was such a horrible thing to happen.
    I stand by my assessment of the toast however. The idea of the toast was fun – I thought it was cool to have a Guinness Book of World Records record on this special day. And I don’t think every team has to do things the same. Some of the Yankee stuff is a bit over the top and over scripted.
    But Millar and Martinez were bad. I wish they had picked some of the more dignified players.

  12. Jane Heller says:

    Hm, you do have a tricky situation at home with the TV issue, Audrey. I think you handle it perfectly. And yes, Buckner was there yesterday.

    Glad you clarified for Terri, Melissa. I agree with your comment 100%.

  13. YankeeCase says:

    I guess I’m the evil culprit here. I’m sorry Terri, I don’t mean to poo-poo any team (yes, even the Sawks), the ceremony just seemed it could’ve been handled so much better and bigger for such a momentous occasion (and yeah, Melissa, sometimes the Yankees do go a little over the top, lol!). I respect the game too much not to know who Carl Yastrzemski, or Johnny Pesky, or Bill Buckner are. Again I was watching while on the job so my focus was a bit divided, but it seemed there were a lot of players I didn’t know, and others that had somewhat short stints with the team. I’m not a Red Sox fan (obviously, right?), so there will be those older players who weren’t stars that I just don’t know. But then again the celebration wasn’t meant for me. I truly hope you enjoyed it. I wish we could’ve saved our old house as you guys did and had our own 100th anniversary in 2023….

  14. Melissa says:

    I forgot Billy Buckner, YankeeCase! That was very nice that he got an ovation.

    And it would have been nice to save the old stadium, but I have to admit, after going to Camden Yards, I saw the old Yankee Stadium in a different light. Wish they could have somehow managed to improve it but keep the actual place.

  15. Jane Heller says:

    I must be the only person on the planet who actually likes the new Stadium, Melissa. I miss the history and tradition of the old one and you’re right – it would have been great if they could have renovated it and brought it into the 21st century. But I love the great hall in the new place, the aisles are so much roomier and the seats more comfortable, and I love that there are restrooms everywhere as well as food concessions. I just feel like there’s breathing room there, and it’s so welcome.

  16. YankeeCase says:

    I don’t hate or even dislike the new stadium, Jane. I like that we have a new stadium and how modern it is. It seems so futuristic in so many ways! But I’m also a huge fan of history and the fact that there were so many great moments and so many great players on that field really means something special. I secretly keep hoping that somehow we can uproot the new stadium and place it over the site of the old one. But that’d probably be a little messy, with all the kids playing on the new fields there and whatnot… lol. That’s just a joke, please don’t hurt me! :P

    Speaking of the new fields, they are top notch and really beautiful. It almost seems the right thing to do with the site (even though I selfishly would’ve wanted old Yankee Stadium to be a museum). The spirit of it is still there, being enjoyed now by all these kids. And not just the Stadium, but the spirit of baseball itself. It’s very poetic how in death old Yankee Stadium inspires the continued life of the game we all love.

  17. Melissa says:

    I agree with you Jane. I prefer the new stadium.
    But, I also agree with YankeeCase (Eddie). Wish we could have somehow preserved the old one. One of my Yankee buddies said something about how we go visit places like the colosseum in Rome (where I am going in 2 weeks woo hoo!!) , and we should have preserved this very special place in baseball history so that in the future people could come and look at it.

  18. Ruth says:

    Audrey, hope you’re still ‘listening’ here. I have the same problem with my husband…he ‘likes’ baseball, but he doesn’t want to watch every day. I got MLB Extra Innings (now called ‘the marriage ender’ in my house) last season, and I was hooked. I got it again this year, but have to be less enthusiastic about watching all the time. I love baseball, but I’d hate to ruin the good thing I got going with the hubs, so you and I should compare notes about how we can keep both love affairs going! Oh, how nice it would be to have what you and Michael have, Jane, and anyone else here who can watch baseball every day with their significant others!

  19. Sean K says:

    Audrey & Ruth — sorry to hear your husbands are having issures with you watching the games. Maybe a compromise is in order? “If you let me watch all the Yankees games I want, I’ll agree to watch [30 violent manly-man movies] in the next 6 months with you, even if I close my eyes when the guns start firing?” Or whatever your husbands might want in compensation?

    Back when my second wife was still alive, we would do that all the time — “OK, I’ll watch [chick flick] with you if you watch Con Air with me.”

    Just a thought and I hope you both find a way to maintain marital bliss while still getting your Yankees fix!

  20. Barbara says:

    So many interesting posts. I was very curious about the ceremony since I have heard so much in advance living in Boston. I had to work until 8 but had breaks where I could hear some but then came home and watched the highlights.
    A guy at the gym told me he went and there was lots of we want Tito chants during the end part of the game.
    As for husbands and tvs. I live with a sox fan and Yankee hater and we have one tv so in an effort to have him hate the Yankees less, I would give him the tv whenever he wanted and go listen even if it was static filled. This year I finally spent the money to get MLB.tv and now I watch on the computer so he can have the tv whenever he wants. I also told him I would be less crazy because I can watch games or parts of games after the game so I dont have to plan my life around when the yankees are on national tv.

    This game is unbelievable. I gave up and started to make dinner and then 7 runs in the 7th–just like 7 runs in the 7th of the 1998 world series game my dad and I went to with tinos grand slam.

  21. Jane Heller says:

    I am lucky having Michael be as big a Yankee fan as I am, Ruth. When we started dating he suggested we watch a game together and I said, “Hm. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.” LOL.

    I love your approach to this thorny relationship issue, Sean K. Compromise is always the answer!

    And yes, Barbara, today’s game was amazing. I’m about to write my post about it now if I can process it all!

  22. Terri says:

    Wow, so many replies. You guys are all truly awesome! Thanks for understanding my POV on the 100th anniversary celebration. I recognized most of the older guys, though sometimes they’ve changed since their pictures. Yaz, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky, El Tiante, Pedro of course, Jim Rice, even Billy Bucker (we’ve forgiven him, lol!). I also agree that the toast was just awkward. They apparently had a script but went off of it. I understand they wanted to try and bring back something from ’04, but that magic was within the season, and it just felt weird in 2012.

    The Tito vs. Valentine situation — for me, I feel Tito pretty much got a raw deal, as do most Sox fans I know. He was the catalyst for the 2004 team and he had a feel for the players and the way they needed to be handled in Boston. Valentine seems to not have a feel for this team at all; every decision he makes seems to be the wrong one. Francona got the loudest ovation of all at the Fenway 100th anniversary – it tells you something about the state of the Sox nation right now. We’ll never know what happened in that clubhouse or what went on behind the scenes. Sometimes the manager just takes the brunt of the blame, because at the end of the day, he’s supposed to be in charge. I think the situation is sad. I wish it could have been different. At the end of the day, I hold the players accountable for their play unless the manager does something egregious. There’s some kind of cancer in that clubhouse that has yet to be excised. Couldn’t tell you what it is. There are so many theories flying around, but all I know is that you can see it on their faces every day and it makes me so sad to see my team so frustrated, as it would any fan.

    I do think my Sox will start doing better. They’re too talented not to. But they have to find something that clicks for them. And my goodness, does the bullpen stink (as we all found out today!!!). Good on the Yankees for hanging in there. No idea what Valentine was thinking pulling Doubront; he still had juice left.

    YankeeCase: I would have loved to see the old Yankee Stadium as a museum too, but I am a Bostonian and we’re very stubbornly sentimental about that sort of thing. The thing that’s actually made me happiest all this year was knowing that Fenway Park asked for and received a place on the National Historic Registry so that it’s MUCH harder to tear down. When the day comes that it’s no longer viable to play there (hopefully after I’m dead and buried!!!), I’m hopeful that it’ll remain as a baseball/Sox museum.

  23. Jane Heller says:

    Thanks for the insights from the Sox side of things, Terri. And you see? We’re actually a decent group of Yankee fans over here! I think everyone appreciates your point of view as much as I do.

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