At home at fenway

Keeping on eye on Dustin, Papi, Youk & a few good books

Archive for November, 2009

Bruce Caldwell, briefly in MLB, but eternal Yalie

Posted by athomeatfenway on November 18, 2009

Caldwell had a cup with these mugs in '32

Who was Bruce Caldwell ?   That’s a question I started to ask 3 months ago, and will continue to ask for awhile.

The Southern New England Chapter of S.A.B.R. has undertaken a book chronicling every MLB Player born in Rhode Island.  SABR members can take a crack at writing a chapter on a player.

I wanted to participate without presumptuously asking for a status guy like Napoleon LaJoie or Gabby Hartnett.

I intentionally chose a no-name.  A fellow named Bruce Caldwell.

How much more obscure could a ballplayer be than Bruce Caldwell ?  I never heard of him.   He batted .184 in 45 plate appearances for the ‘28 Indians and the ‘32 Dodgers.  That’s all there was to him.  I thought there wasn’t much of a story to tell.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.  At one point, he was national news — before he even played pro ball.

Caldwell of the Diamond

Caldwell was a major success in the minors from 1929 to 1932.  Over 4 year minor league seasons, he logged a .356 BA and a .629 Slugging Average —  an O.P.S. of .984.

Let’s go backwards in time.

In 1932, he faded from pro baseball, choosing to attend Yale Law School after notching a .301 BA in a split season with  Hartford & Harrisburg.

In 1931, He won the Eastern League Triple Crown with the New Haven Profs, with a .356 BA, 38 HR, 130 RBI – and — 327 TB !  A quadruple crown.

In 1930, he batted .380 and .333 in a season split between Albany (A) and Minneapolis (AA).

While in Albany, he played with Billy Werber, a doubles-and-speed guy who went on to receive NL MVP votes in 4 seasons, and played in the 1939 & 1940 World Series for the Reds.

In 1929, with New Haven, he batted .366 with a .661 slugging average, playing with Jim Weaver, who would go on to lead the NL in shutouts in 1935, and Cliff Bolton, who later as a Senator faced Hubbell in the ’33 World Series.

And in 1928……Before he ever played an inning in the minors, he made his MLB debut for the Cleveland on June 30, 1928, pinch hitting for Dutch Revsen and striking out in a 6-2 loss to Lena Blackburne’s White Sox.

So how does a rookie with no minor league experience jump immediately to the Bigs and get in the box score with Mel Harder, Joe Sewell and Lew Fonseca ?

The answer to that question is:  Billy Evans.

7 days before he struck out in his debut against Chi Sox ace Tommy Thomas, Caldwell sent a telegram to Indians General manager, Billy Evans.

The AP wire story said…. “Billy Evans, general manager of the Cleveland Indians, announced tonight that he has received a telegram from Bruce Caldwell, versatile Yale Athlete, accepting terms of a contract to play for the Indians and expressing his intention of joining the club in Chicago in a few days.”

“Caldwell waited until today’s conclusion of the Yale-Harvard baseball game before taking the plunge into professionalism, Evans said, in order to remove all question of his eligibility to compete for his alma mater.”

“While his fielding is not sure, his coach ‘Smoky Joe’ Wood, ex Cleveland and Red Sox player, considers that he will be a batting rival of Rogers Hornsby within two years, Evans stated.”

Caldwell of Yale

Smokey Joe Wood was indeed Caldwell’s Baseball Coach when Bruce was a Yale undergrad (1925-1928).  And Caldwell was a fine collegiate Baseball player.

But Caldwell’s national fame stemmed from what he did on – and off — the Yale gridiron as the starting left halfback in his senior year, Fall of 1927.

He had come to Yale from Providence, the son of working class millworkers.  He was the only member of the backfield that did not Prep at a blue blooded private school.

He made himself fit in on the athletics fields and in the classrooms.

He turned the Georgia defense inside out in an unexpected 19-0 victory.

He made All American.

He was the star of the Yale team at a time when College Football in the East was near the pinnacle of Sport in America.

But he would be thrown off the Yale team halfway through his senior season when he was declared ineligible for playing a few freshman football games for Brown in 1924.

Caldwell’s own words describe the odyssey in this excerpt by the Hartford Times from an article he authored in the Dec. 2, 1938 issue of the Saturday Evening Post, titled, “After the Ball is Over”.

“Because of the chores involved in working my way, and a broken ankle at the outset of my junior year, I got a slow footed start.  But in my Senior year, the newspapers told me that my forward passing was phenomenal, my drop-kicking and punting superb.  I averaged 5.3 yards carrying the ball.

I was getting the same kind of publicity Albie Booth, Jay Berwanger, Larry Kelley, Clint Frank, Marsh Goldberg, Sid Luckman, Whizzer White and others were to enjoy later.  Particularly after the Army Game.

The year before, Army had defeated Yale 33 to 0.  The ’27 Army team was supposed to be even stronger.  The battle was billed as a duel between Harry Wilson, then playing his eighth year of college ball, and me.

With a bale of newspaper clippings under my bed back in my room, I enjoyed the pleasant knowledge that the eyes of 72,000 people were focused on my bright number 48.  As it happened, I managed to live up to even Tad Jones’ expectations.  Tackle Sid Quarrier, now a surgeon in Hartford, shifted out of the line trickily, became an eligible receiver, and caught one of my long heaves.

“I converted for the extra point.  Then, after enjoying a couple of nice runs, I kicked a 47-yard field goal.  We won 10 to 6.  That was the year Army trimmed Notre Dame and remained undefeated, except by the Bulldog.  The sportswriters turned cartwheels for my glorification.

A few weeks later, along came what looked like a bad break, but something that caused the publicity spotlight to play on me more brilliantly than ever.

In 1924, because I wouldn’t get a (Yale) scholarship…I had entered Brown University as a Freshman. I was cut from the Brown Freshman squad on the second day.

But when books threw some of the boys for losses, they took me back.  I played for short periods against Andover and Harvard seconds, but did nothing notable and wasn’t a regular.  The next year, 1924, I entered Yale, still a Freshman.

On Nov. 8 of my Senior year, I picked up a Providence Bulletin to discover that those few minutes of playing obscurity on the Brown freshman eleven were to make me a more talked about halfback than anything I had ever done in big games for Yale.

A reporter had written about my Brown record, and cited the Yale-Harvard-Princeton agreement not to use any player who had been a competitor on any other college football team.

I was barred from Yale football immediately.  A New York paper offered me $1,000 for the story of my life.  Press and public seemed to resent the technicality which had disqualified me.  The Yale A.A. broke a rule and awarded me a letter.  After the close of the season, Ashton, R.I. took a day off to celebrate Bruce Caldwell Day.

An American Hero

Mr. Caldwell is an American story.  He rose from the Rhode Island mill town of Ashton.  He was educated beyond his class at America’s most prestigious University, where he was a star athlete, and would later return to earn a Law degree.

He would go on to serve in the Navy during the War and earn the rank of Lt. Commander.  He would be a successful lawyer in private and public practice.  He would serve in Government as the Commissioner of the Hartford Housing Authority and lead a $10 Million slum redevelopment.

He never married.

He passed on Feb. 15, 1959.

One obituary said it was cancer.  Another one said it was pneumonia.

His Death certificate indicated liver disease.

My research isn’t done.  I’ve just scratched the surface.  Any living survivor of Bruce Caldwell or anyone with a connection to him can contact me at athomeatfenway@gmail.com.

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Jose Canseco : The Tawdry & Titillating

Posted by athomeatfenway on November 8, 2009

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Jose Canseco’s reputation has rebounded since he was ridiculed for lying in his 2005 book titled, “Juiced”.   Not many believed his allegation that 85% of MLB players were juicers.

When the Mitchell Report came out in 2007, Canseco didn’t look unscrupulous anymore.  His next book, “Vindicated” soon was published.

But don’t confuse Jose Canseco with a do-gooder.

He’s a guy with a lot of bad habits, according to his ex-wife, Jessica Canseco, who penned, “JUICY, Confessions of a former Baseball wife”.  (Regan Books.  2005.  248 pages.)

His career total of  461 HR’s was wickedly inflated by winstrol and testosterone use.  He was married twice and a father twice, but he patronized a call girl service for years while married.  He was a hound.  He transmitted bacterial infections to loved ones through intercourse.  He loved to watch himself have sex.  He was pretty much self-obsessed 100% of the time, and constantly in search of sex.

He was her type.  Large.  Strong.  Handsome.

And he was making $5,000,000 per year as MLB’s highest paid player.

No surprise that Jessica Sekely found Jose’s looks and lifestyle intoxicating.  She loved his 20,000 square foot home, with pool and waterfall.  When he offered to let her use one of his cars, she took his Bentley.  Soon after meeting, he took her to the mall and bought her $4,000 in designer clothes.

Jessica, after describing much cheating, abandonment & abuse, says “the guy is an asshole, but the perks are good.”

Jessica is a middle class girl from Ohio who was on the high school track team.  Her Mom was a Nurse.  Her Dad was a businessman.  She was the middle child in a brood of 3 girls.

She had A.D.D..  She struggled at the local college.  She was not a terribly deep young person.

In 1993, at age 19, she got a waitress gig at Hooters.  On her third day of training, Canseco walked in.  He finessed his way into her station and got her phone number.

The rest is fast moving history.

After one lunch together, and an invitation for sex that Jessica declined, Canseco has his assistant arrange travel for Jessica to Boston, where Canseco’s Rangers were playing the Sox.

Just like that, the 19 year old blonde consented to running with Jose, and was soon doing it in Beantown with the Cuban bad boy.

What follows are 200 pages of everything being done Jose’s way.  Stay home when he wants.  Travel when he wants.  Sit by the pool alone when he wants.  Have sex as he wants.  Feed the baby cougar.  Pet the baby leopard.  Save the giant turtle from drowning in the pool.

The nature of the relationship is boring, demeaning and submissive.  The story is punctuated with an unending series of facials, manicures, boob jobs, and collagen injections.

Any chick with half a tailbone would have been out of there in a month.

She stayed seven years.

At 19, Jessica was hypnotized by Jose’s looks, money and lifestyle.  He gave her a charge card she could use as she wished.  He paid the bill when it came.

By 1999, she was experienced.  By then she had left Jose three times and come back.  She had married him and divorced him and was back living with him again.  She had one baby with him, a daughter named Josie, who is a 7th grader today.

Eventually, she found the path to enlightenment through books and education.  As she grew, Jose opposed her development in every way possible, as if a stupid partner is controllable and thus preferred.

Eventually, she did marry the right guy.  On June 23, 2007, she got hitched to plastic surgeon Garth Fisher at his Bel Air mansion.

There is not much baseball in this book.  Jessica was at the 1993 game when the Carlos Martinez fly ball bounced off Canseco’s head for a HR.  She mentions Jose’s free agent signings, trades and releases and the related moves to Boston, New York and California.  She describes how Scott Erickson asked if she was alright in a Florida parking lot after she and Jose had punched each other.  Kevin Kennedy comes up.  The baseball names are interspersed.  But the author is not a Baseball fan.

She’s a devotee to self-improvement.

Despite its tawdry nature, the book is a glimpse into the life of a modern, over paid, self-important Baseball hero.  It’s a good and fast read.

I won’t mention Jessica’s book tomorrow when I meet Jose at the Greater Boston Sports Collectors Convention

Trashy yet arresting, you cannot put it down.

Posted in BASEBALL, BASEBALL BOOKS, Jose Canseco | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Pete Rose would have paid for hitting Jerry Moses

Posted by athomeatfenway on November 2, 2009

GerryMosespic

This guy was not afraid to get hurt.

Athomeatfenway.com had the opportunity to do a Q & A with Jerry Moses, Red Sox catcher from 1968 to 1970.

Some remember Jerry as the Yazoo City, MS gridiron star who chose Baseball over Football but was sidetracked by injuries.  Others recall Jerry as the 1970 All Star who had a ringside seat on the collision between Pete Rose & Ray Fosse.

When you meet him today, he is a friendly, soft spoken man with a kind countenance that hides his toughness.

He trained with Ted, cheered for Mantle and ran with the Hawk & Frank Howard.

You were a big bonus baby.  How did injuries effect your career ?

Three times I broke my middle finger, I did it even though I put my hand behind the glove.  Anytime the ball went below my glove I flipped it and the hand automatically opened up.  I couldn’t stop it.  I was out 6 to 8 weeks each time I broke it.  The one that really got me was in 1970 when Bert Campaneris was batting in Oakland, and he came around on his swing and hit my glove hand, crushing the network of nerves in my hand.  I tried to play about two weeks with it being that way, but finally the manager said what’s wrong with you ? I said “Nothing’, and he said, ‘Well, you’re not even swinging the bat.”  I said, “I can’t”.  I was bunting for base hits.  I was trying to get walks.  The injury  caught up with me.  I didn’t play the rest of the year.  I got traded the next year. 

The 1970 All Star Game:  Pete Rose & Ray Fosse

I think Ray Fosse and I should have been the only two catchers on the team.  But it didn’t work that way.  Bill Frehan was hitting around .240, but all the fans voting decided Bill should be there, even though Fosse and I were hitting about .310 a piece.  I didn’t get in the game.  When Fosse got in, there was no shot for me because they have to keep somebody as a backup if someone gets hurt.  So, when the collision happened, I was in an open area where the pitchers were getting ready.  We’re in Cinncinati and it’s the 14th inning, and here comes Rose around 3rd.   Ray tried to block the plate without having the ball.  Rose came in shoulder first, and Fosse didn’t know Rose was going to hit him like that.  He came in full bore.  That’s the way Rose played.  He played hard.  I don’t think he had to do that.  I don’t think he should have.  And I don’t think Fosse should have tried to do what he did because that game didn’t mean anything at the time like it does now.  But I will say this, and I’ve said it my whole life:  I had a football mentality, not necessarily a baseball one, and I don’t believe he would have ever gotten to the plate and run over me like he ran over Fosse.  If he did, he would have felt it.  I played a lot of football and I didn’t mind getting hurt.

What do you recall about Gibson and Satriano – the late 60’s Sox catchers ?

In 1970, Satriano was the back up.  He got to catch some because Sonny Siebert and I didn’t see eye-to-eye. Siebert nibbled too much and he didn’t want to challenge the batters. Satriano ended up catching Siebert every time.  The other catcher was Russ Gibson.  Gibby had come up in ’67, playing that year with Elston Howard and Mike Ryan.  In ’68, Gibby caught a good bit of the games and Elston was only there a little that year.  Then in ’69, Gibby was the starting catcher and I was his back up.  In 1970, Eddie Kasko named me as his starting catcher, and Gibby ended up going to the Giants.

Did you recall Hawk Harrelson’s famous psychedelic wardrobe, Nehru jackets, racks of designer shoes and boots?

I loved Hawk.  He was a character.  He swung the bat pretty darn good.   He was unique in so many ways.  I loved him.    He may not have had all the tools, but he had enough.  I saw his Nehru clothing and his cowboy hat and boots, and that was just him.  I was with him a few times on the road, we’d go out to dinner and have a few drinks together, if we were in Washington, he and Frank Howard and a bunch of us would get together and go night clubbing.  These were high profile guys and I was just getting to the majors, so I enjoyed it.  Hawk took me along.  He was somewhat older than me, he had his own group, but he was good to me.

What was Frank Howard like to spend time with ?

The best.  Everytime he came up to bat, the first thing he would do was to greet the catcher, “How you doin’ ?”.  I’m doing fine, how you doin’?”  He was the nicest guy.

He was a guy we listened to.  We were playing Washington at Fenway one day, when Siebert, Reggie Smith and a Senator ended up in an exchange with somebody hitting somebody else, and all of a sudden we started fighting.  And Howard ran in from left field and gets in the middle of it, and says, “Boys, cut this out.”.  And we did.  We listened to him. No one could hit a ball as far he did.

Did you spend time with Ted Williams ?

Yes, actually.  7 years with Bobby Doerr and Ted Williams, both as hitting instructors.  Ted worked a lot with me.  I was a bonus kid that came out early.  This was pre-draft.  I guess they babied me through my time coming in.  It was really an awful situation in that you had two great hitters, great players, great HOF’ers, and what they did they did well, but they had two different ideas of how you should hit.  Doerr wanted you to hit on top of the ball, not necessarily swing down on the ball, but swing close to it.  And Williams wanted you to swing up…and I heard that difference of opinion year after year after year.

There was this wonderful video that Bobby did with Ted, and Bobby gave it to me because he knew I loved both of them.

Bobby was so neat…and Ted was John Wayne, you know, that’s what they called him.

It hurt my hitting to work with both of them.  The first year I hit 13 HR’s in 8 weeks in single-A ball.  I had no problem getting the ball out of the park.  Hitting HR’s was one of the reasons that the Red Sox outbid everyone else for me.  And then once I got into the organization, I tried to do what Ted told me and what Bobby told me.  Before you knew it I became a line drive hitter.  Hitting line drives isn’t a bad thing, but I never hit more than 7 HR’s a year.

Did you find Ted the hitting instructor to be overly technical ?  Mantle once said that Ted confused him.

Ted expected everybody to be as good as him.  And nobody was.

Mantle was my idol, as a kid growing up.  Down in Missisippi, the only guys we could see were the Yankees on Saturdays.

Anyway, I apologized for not being as good as Ted Williams wanted me to be.

Favorite guy to catch ?

Oh, I loved Lonborg.  I didn’t get to catch him as much as I wanted to.  Lonborg and Ray Culp were great. I think Ken Brett would have been a HOF’er had he not hurt his shoulder.

I caught Gaylord Perry with the spitball.  He was a master, a pro’s pro, a tough guy, not always gentle with guys he did not think were hustling.

Favorite pitcher to hit ?

I hit Nolan Ryan pretty good…I went 1 for 3…He K’d me once, I popped out once, and in the third at bat I bailed out on a curveball and broke my bat with the ball going over the shortstop’s head for a single.  God, Ryan could throw the ball.  I didn’t have to face him often.  You didn’t have a chance to tell if there was a tail on the ball because it was coming so quick.

I thought Rollie Fingers was one of the toughest guys coming out of the bullpen.  He had a ball that would sink and a slider that would go the other way.  If you didn’t guess right you weren’t going to come close to it.

It seemed like I hit the better pitchers better than I hit the guys who didn’t pitch so good.  I’m not bragging about any of it.  I hit fairly good off Bert Blyleven, and Jim Palmer, but not so well against the two Baltimore lefthanders, Cuellar and McNally.

I didn’t hit Catfish Hunter well, a guy who never let anybody hit a HR when there were men on base.   He’d wear you out inside and then come outside, and then with the slider.  I faced Hunter 30 or 40 times and always wanted to bat against him because I thought I could hit him, but I never got a hit…..

The good pitchers all pitched inside.  I knew a lot of guys who wouldn’t throw inside because they were afraid of giving up a home run.  You have to have the confidence.

The pitcher is going to pitch whatever he wants to pitch.  The catcher just makes the signs.  But if you have that chemistry, they won’t shake you off more than 3 or 4 times a game.  That’s what made guys like Bill Lee so good.  He’d pitch to you inside.   Bill didn’t throw the ball over 90 or 91 mph, but he would throw strikes….he was a little crazy, but he could pitch.

+++++++++++++

Gerry Moses came straight out of Baseball into the Food business where he has stayed for 40 years.  Among other successful ventures, he is the founder of Ann’s Boston Brownie Company.

He is in good health, is still working and having fun.  He works out and makes it a habit to eat healthfully.  He credits his wife of 41 years, Carolyn, for keeping him in line.  “If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know what I’d have done; she’s the strength of our house.

Gerry says the present BoSox owners “have been fabulous.  They embraced us and involve us…they seem to understand marketing better than most…..they get us (retired players) into Fenway despite the sell outs…I am lucky and proud to still be in the Red Sox family.”

Moses also added that the Sox he played with were multi-talented.  “We thought after ’67 we were going to have a good run there, but Lonborg got hurt, Santiago got hurt, Mike Andrews got hurt.

Those are the BoSox I remember so well.  Moses, Yaz, Reggie, Harper, Andrews, Rico, Boomer, both Conigliaro’s, Peters, Nagy, Romo, Lee, Lyle, Culp, Siebert and John Kennedy, the super sub.

That pre-Rice era of BoSox played its heart out and won more than it lost.

Gerry Moses fit right in.

Rose Fosse

Fosse's shoulder injury may have cancelled his ticket to stardom.

Posted in BASEBALL, Boston Red Sox, RED SOX | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Joe Buck can’t hold tongue. Hamels doesn’t have it.

Posted by athomeatfenway on November 1, 2009

Hamels walks 10.31.09

Hamels mildly imploded after 3.1 Hitless.

Happy Halloween.  The night of costumes came to us with Game 3 of the 105th World Series wrapped inside it.

Speaking of costumes, there was a day in 1999 that I eschewed my Red Sox garb and went to Yankee Stadium dressed in UConn paraphernalia.  Standing in the line for the tinkle room, New Yorkers extended congrats  for UConn’s recent National Title. They paired knowing nods with arrogant, conceited sentiments like, “There’s nothing like a championship.  We ought to know.  We’ve got 26 of ‘em.”

Screw you, Yankee Fan.  Bleeping bleepers.

It is nothing in particular and everything in general that makes me root against the Yankees.  Thus, I settled into my couch, notepad in lap, on Oct. 31, 2009, to observe game 3, hoping against hope for my Yankee-hating peeps in Philly.

Top of 1st

With Jeter retired, and a 2-1 count on Damon, the “Yankees Suck !Yankees Suck !” chant breaks out in Citizens Bank Park.  A sign of good things to come, I thought.

Bottom of 1st

With Rollins perched on 2nd and Pettitte facing Victorino, a new chant broke out:  “You Use steroids !  You Use Steroids !”.  Nicely done, Philly Fans.

End of 1: Hamels looks locked in.  Pettitte wriggles out of a jam.  0-0.

Top of 2nd

Fox cheats America, showing a commercial instead of Cole Hamels plunking A-Rod. With Mr. Kate Hudson at first, Fox’s Joe Buck calls a balk on Hamels.  The Umps do not agree.  Shut up, Joe Buck.

Soon, Cano is batting and his batting glove moves take on an OCD-like quality. Pull, pull, pull, snappity, snappity, snap.  Get the hell back in the box, dude.    He strikes out, missing the ball by three feet.

They earn $201 Million, but they were as hapless as the Washington Nationals.

Bottom of 2nd

Jason Werth’s awkward, reaching half-swing on a 3-2 pitch catches the jet stream and lands 10 rows in front of Harry the K’s restaurant, about 20 rows past the left center wall.  A 394 footer.  Liberty 1, Evil 0.

Feliz then shows he too can reach awkwardly across the plate and make contact, doubling to right. And Ruiz walks.  Then Cole Hamels, who batted .148 this season, drops a perfect BUNT in an impossible place for a single to load the bases.  Joy spreads across New England as Jimmy Rollins strides to the plate.  It’s looking bad for Big Andy.  He walks Rollins, gifting him an RBI.  Then, after getting ahead 0-2 to Victorino, Pettitte forgets how to keep it out of the strike zone and the Flyin’ Hawaiian strokes a sac fly to center.

End of 2: Hamel looks solid.  Pettitte melts down.  Phillies 3, NYY 0.

Top of 3rd:

It just can’t be more efficient.  Jeter makes Hamel throw him 6 pitches to get a line out, but Cabrera and Pettitte only require 3 total pitches combined to be retired.

Bottom of 3rd

Ryan Howard K’s for the 8th time in 11 WS at bats.  Werth and Ibanez give it a ride, but Andrew Eugene Pettitte has a 1-2-3 inning.

Somewhere Susan Waldman is saying Andy looks just like Sandy Koufax.

End of 3: Crisp, exciting pitching. Keep it going and we’ll all be in bed at 10:30, dreaming happy Phillie dreams.   Good guys lead, 3-0.

Top of 4th

Damon, batting .125 and looking every bit of 36 now, lifts a weak fly to RF.  They are going down like lambs.  Then, after Tex waves at a 1-1 pitch, Joe Buck announces that Hamel hasn’t allowed a hit.  It’s Top of the Fourth and the Fox play-by-play man strikes the first drum beat for a nationally televised no-hitter, breaking all the rules of Baseball mojo  !!!!  The Baseball Gods react quickly to the Buck boondoggle.  Teixeira walks on a pitch that looks like a strike out on replay.  A-Rod doubles.  No, wait, the ball hit a TV camera on the Right Field wall.  The play is under review as  “Yankees Suck !” begins anew.  Whoops.  The Umps reverse their original call; it’s a 2 run HR.

Screw you, Joe Buck.  Keep your mouth shut next time.

Bottom of 4th

Pettitte comes out sharp, getting ahead of Feliz 1-2, inducing a grounder to 3rd.  But A-Rod then shows why his zone rating is below average, throwing wildly.  E-5.  Runner at first.  Was the Curse of A Rod setting the stage for a Phil’s rally ?  Nope.  A grounder, a sac bunt, and a soft fly to RF later, and no damage is done.

End of 4: Bad things happen to good people.  (Non-Yankees.)   Phils 3, Yankees 2.

Top of 5th

When Hamels can’t get Swisher to swing at two crap pitches on 0-2, the Son of Steve lined a double to left.  Hamels then gets 0-2 on Cabrera, and K’s him on a change in the dirt.  With one out and a man at second, Pettitte steps into the box for an easy out via the Cole Hamel express.  But wait, Hamels declines the heater and tosses a curve that Andy times for a solid single to CF.  Swisher then beats Victorino’s throw to the plate.  On the very next pitch, the first pitch to Jeter, the Yankee captain flairs a safety to almost the exact same spot in CF that Pettitte reached.  Two on, one out, and Damon, now batting .111, neatly lines an 0-1 pitch to the gap in RF for a 2 RBI double.

Suddenly, the Phillies’ clear advantage in pitching evaporates.

Tex walks.  Hamels yields to Happ.  Arod lines out.  Posada pops out.  The damage is done.

Bottom of 5th

As Pettitte gets Victorino to line out to  CF, I realize that with two consecutive World Series appearances Shane Victorino has become as recognizable to me as the mailman.

October is now a Philadelphia thing.

Pettitte retires Utley, 3-1, busting his bulk up the line to nip the fleet Phillie.  Howard pops weakly to Jeter to end it.

End of 5: How quickly things change.  Yankees 5-3.

Top of 6th

After registering one out, Happ allows a moonshot to Swisher.  Yankees, 6 – 3.

I cheerily recalled how in April I had seen the Phils win 13-11 in the only game I ever attended in Philly.  The Phils came from behind four times, over coming 5 homers by the Nats.  No lead is safe in Citizens Bank Park.

Middle of the 6th

And on that happy note, I retired for the evening after 36 outs, in the middle of the 6th, with New York ahead by 3 runs.

I had a lot planned for Sunday morning.

It was 11:24 pm, EST.

I would arise to the bad news.  Yankees win.  Y-A-N-K-E-E-S win.

But I won’t let one win bother me.  They won have 112 games in 2009.

I’m OK if they win one more.

But only one more.

My ultimate prize this year is to see the stuffed shirts in the boroughs denied the right to crow about a 28th Championship like it was their birthright.

Screw ‘em.

Posted in NEW YORK YANKEES, Phillies, World Series, yankees | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »