LADY AT THE BAT: September 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Celebration At MLB's National Park

The first episode of The National Parks: America's Best Idea, the new Ken Burns film, aired tonight on PBS. As I watched it I thought about Yankee Stadium, where the Yankees clinched the AL East today for the 16th time in franchise history.

Our national parks are full of beauty and wonder: Majestic waterfalls, awesome geysers, trees that leave you speechless, mountains that take your breath away, and much, much more. I watched all of this splendor tonight and thought to myself: Yankee Stadium is Major League Baseball's National Park.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Andy Pettitte Makes Me Feel Uncomfortable Right Now

After an aching shoulder forced him to miss a start, Andy Pettitte returned to the mound and pitched decently against the Angels of Anaheim last night. The Yankees lost the game but Pettitte gave Yankees Universe some hope that the rotation can help take the team deep into the playoffs.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Peter Abraham Gets A New Job

The LoHud Yankees Blog, written by Peter Abraham, (the Yankee beat writer for the Journal News) has to be the most popular Yankee blog in cyberspace. It is THE source die-hard Yankee fans turn to for breaking Yankee news. I have lost count of how many times I have linked to his blog and how many times I have quoted him in posts to LATB.

Yesterday Pete announced that he is leaving the Journal News and moving on to bigger and better things. He has accepted a job with the Boston Globe, covering the Red Sox. As a Yankee fan I don't like this at all; he is moving to the enemy's side. However, as an aspiring writer, I understand it completely. Pete has gone from covering college basketball for a tiny paper, to covering the Yankees for a small paper (well, maybe not so small, but not big, either), to, now, covering the Red Sox for a major daily newspaper. Congratulations to him.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

At Fenway Last Night, Fuentes Plays The Blame Game

The walk-off was the win of choice last night around MLB. Not only did the Yankees get their 14th walk-off win of the season, but several other teams, including the Red Sox, also won in dramatic, final at-bat fashion.

The Red Sox win, against the Angels, was a basically a gift, and I'm not talking about the umpires blowing the ball/strike call during Nick Green's at-bat. The gift came when Juan Rivera failed to hustle when "attempting" to catch Alex Gonzalez's pop fly.

But Angels closer Brian Fuentes didn't see it that way. He chose to talk about the umpires:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

For Posada, Suspension Could Be A Blessing In Disguise

Most are speculating this morning that Jorge Posada will be suspended five games for his actions during last night's game against the Blue Jays. That will be five days during which he will not even be allowed on the field, let alone play in a game.

It is late in the baseball season. Posada is an aging catcher. Put these two statements together and you have one very tired baseball player. He'll never admit it to anyone (perhaps, not even to himself), but five days of rest will do him good. After the suspension he'll be refreshed and ready for the playoff run.

This is all assuming Posada will accept the suspension and not appeal it. Something tells me that I'm in for a big disappointment.


[Photo: Sabo/Daily News]

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Teammates Delighted As Jeter Breaks Record

Derek Jeter's in-game press conference turned out to be a good idea. The Yankees lost the game so no one had to be subjected to "Bottom line, I just wanna win." (See my previous post.)

The Yankees lost the game but Jeter won and, for the second game in a row it was a pleasure to listen to him talk about what breaking Lou Gehrig's record means to him. It was even more of a pleasure, in my opinion, to hear what his teammates had to say about him.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thank You, Jorge Posada

My heartfelt thanks go out to Jorge Posada this morning. Without his game-winning home run last night, the Yankees might have lost, and, had they lost, all we would have heard from Derek Jeter regarding catching Lou Gehrig was the following:

"Bottom line, I just wanna win."

Yes, I'm exaggerating, but surely we would not have heard much more than that. Everyone knows that Derek Jeter, rightfully so, is all about the team, all about winning. Jorge Posada made it possible for us to hear Jeter speak, not from his heart, but something close to it. "Georgie juiced one" and the Captain showed his hand.

Now he has a chance to break the record tomorrow night. On September 11th. What will he say if he breaks the record on September 11th? What will he do? Not much I'm guessing. Out of respect for the historical significance of the day he won't say very much, which is the right thing to do. That's why I hope he doesn't do it tomorrow night. It was refreshing to see him open the door, however little it was, to give us a small glimpse of himself. I'm hoping he goes 0-2 with two walks, then becomes the all time Yankee hits leader on Saturday September 12th.

Congratulations Derek Jeter and good luck this weekend.


[Photo: Sabo/Daily News]

Monday, September 7, 2009

Check This Out: Pitch In For Baseball

I received a message from an acquaintance the other day about a really cool organization called Pitch In For Baseball. This is a group of individuals and organizations that donates new and gently-used baseball and softball equipment to kids all over the world. The equipment they donate comes from you. They accept everything from gloves and helmets to batting tees and pitching machines. (They accept financial contributions as well.)

It's about more than equipment, however. Their goals are:

To support the growth of baseball in the U.S. and internationally.

To give kids equipment so they can get out, have fun and stay healthy.

To teach kids important lessons through baseball, like teamwork and sportsmanship.

To make friends across the world through America's pastime.

Want to get involved? Click here.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Did Posada Have AJ On The Brain Last Night?

After hearing that Jorge Posada lost track of the count in two of his at-bats last night, I can't help thinking that it was because he had his mind on AJ Burnett's lousy performance.

There was Burnett stinking up Camden Yards and shouting at himself in the process, no doubt causing some who were watching to believe he was shouting at Posada. That in itself probably did not bother Posada as much as the overall fact that Burnett was having another bad outing while he was behind the plate. I'm sure it was on his mind the entire game, including during every one of his at-bats.

Laughter spread through the Yankee dugout (and, I'm sure, throughout Yankees Universe) during Posada's gaffes. But, how many people will be laughing if the reason for those gaffes continues to be an issue in the playoffs? AJ Burnett had better get his act together real soon, or the Yankees could be looking at yet another early playoff exit.


[Photo: Daily News]